Tim Niland's Reviews > Richard Stark's Parker: The Hunter

Richard Stark's Parker by Darwyn Cooke
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Aug 05, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2009-reads
Read in August, 2009

This is the first graphic novel adaptation of the great Parker crime series by Richard Stark (aka Donald Westlake) and it makes for a fascinating comic, adapted and illustrated by Darwyn Cooke. Shot in the gut and left for dead by his wife after a heist, master criminal Parker struggles with the law and the mob to come to New York City with one rage fueled thought on his mind: revenge. After dealing with the wife, Parker looks to take the mob for everything he can get. One thing is sure - the New York underworld has never met a man quite like Parker.

Parker is one of my favorite characters in all of crime fiction, her's the ultimate noir anti-hero, and I was concerned about how well he would translate into graphic form. Very well as it turns out. Cooke illustrates in a retro format that is very appealing and indicative of early 1960's New York City. Parker is drawn as a detached square-jawed figure, cloaked in shadows. Part criminal genius, part brooding thug. Regardless, this is a very successful work, Stark's story is welded perfectly to the Cooke's artwork and isn't altered or compromised in any way. Fans of crime fiction and the Stark/Westlake canon in particular will feel right at home here. This is a fine adaptation and hopefully this series will continue at regular intervals.
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