On The Hunt
Tripwire continues its 100 Graphic Novels You Should Read While Stuck Inside with its twenty-third choice, Richard Stark’s Parker The Hunter by Darwyn Cooke from IDW, reviewed by Tripwire editor-in-chief Joel Meadows…
Richard Stark’s Parker The Hunter
Writer/ Artist: Darwyn Cooke
Today’s choice is another Darwyn Cooke creation. Published back in 2009, this hardcover adapts the first of the Parker novels by Richard Stark and Cooke, who made his name drawing characters like Batman, Catwoman and the Justice League of America, really ups his game in this wonderful hard boiled slice of comics noir. Cooke was a versatile comic creator, able to turn his hand to a variety of stories aimed at a cross section of different audiences. The plot here is simple enough: Parker is a man with revenge on his mind, determined to bring down the crime syndicate who stole from him.
Cooke channels Alex Toth and the work of 20th century artist Lynd Ward with rare pizazz and panache. His storytelling is simple yet effective, moving the action along with pace and Cooke manages to give the whole thing an elegantly vintage yet contemporary feel. Cooke also manages to make The Hunter a cinematic experience and you can even imagine a Lalo Schifrin soundtrack running throughout. Parker was actually adapted to the big screen with Lee Marvin in Point Blank (1967).
Parker is an old-fashioned action hero and Cooke is just the man with his stylish sensibilities and his visual elegance to bring the world of Stark to life on the comics page. The use of duotone here lends things an extra noirish touch too and there is a naked simplicity to his lines that connects with the reader. He went on to produce another four Stark adaptations, all equally powerful. His loss in 2016 was a huge one and he leaves behind a massive legacy of work.
IDW also did great work making this hardcover look the business.
For fans of hard-boiled detective stories in any medium, Parker is a must-buy.
Here’s links to the other graphic novels reviewed so far