Writer: Darwyn Cooke (based on Richard Stark’s Parker novels)
Artist: Darwyn Cooke
I realised recently that there may be some of you (strange though it may seem to me) who don’t realise who Darwyn Cooke is. I had a number of books I thought of reviewing, but something I picked up at New York Comic-Con completely decided it for me. I had to talk about the Outfit.
I’ve been staring at this screen wondering how to start this review, other than to say that I love this book. That didn’t sound objective enough, I reasoned, but eventually I decided to give up on objectivity.
I love this book.
With the first volume of Parker The Hunter, Darwyn Cooke took a high-tension, violence and action filled crime-thriller and translated it perfectly into a graphic form. From the stylistic art to his interpretation of the story, it just worked. The book captured this world rife with crime, captured Parker and his transformation from a man who’d had love to a man who’d had everything torn from him and become even harder because of it. It was a stunning book, and knowing that, I’ll admit nervousness when I learned that the second book, The Outfit would be out at NYCC. It was nervousness mixed with excitement as I wasn’t sure the next book could live up to the high expectations set by the first.
Oh, wow, were my worries unfounded. From the opening sequence, the book captured me, once again sending me straight to Parker’s world. Cooke’s art was again brilliant and so well suited to the story. The story itself was engrossing, and very different from the first installment of this series. Cooke uses a number of methods to show heists in progress, all of which are entertaining and don’t interrupt the flow of the story, but rather complement the overall narrative.
I’ll admit, I took the book on the plane with me (I had 22 hours of plane rides) and read it four or five times, always delighted to discover something new in the art or some detail I’d read over the first time.
This book is going to have a very proud place on my shelf. When it’s on my shelf, that is, and not getting re-read.