Parker: The Hunter
The world of comics and graphic novels has huge impacts on pop culture, but still remains a very small and under-appreciated community. The flip side to a small niche market, is that within the comics community, there are unique creators that always garner a huge amount of respect. Darwyn Cooke is one of these people.
I have said before that I’m a relatively new reader of comics, so there are legendary titles and runs that I have yet to (and may never get a chance to) read through. ‘Justice League: The New Frontier’ was always one of those books that people seemed to love but I never gave much attention to. One day, after hearing about Darwyn Cooke peripherally for years, I decided to google image search some of his work. I was astounded by what I found. Cooke’s retro art is nestled deep in a time of non-ironic fedoras and tommy guns that stands out from any other comics that I've seen. I knew that this was something I couldn't miss out on and picked up the paperback version of ‘Parker: The Hunter’ that was just released.
Cooke created the ‘Parker’ graphic novels as the comic adaptation of Richard Stark’s novels of the same name. ‘Parker: The Hunter’ is a classic revenge tale that perfectly matches Stark’s dark and gritty world with Cooke’s master storytelling art. The writing and imagery is thick with subtle touches that act as a time machine. Cooke manages to throw you head first into the grimy world of crime noir. What’s interesting is the book doesn't even bother to paint the titular character as an anti-hero, and show’s that he’s just a bad guy that's pissed off. Somehow, the story still manages to build a relationship with the reader and Parker, which had me rooting for him all the way through to the end.