Every single time I put down one of Darwyn Cooke’s Richard Stark adaptations, I tell myself, “Man, I really need to read those Parker books”. Not only do they come with solid recommendations from many of my trusted friends, they’re right up my alley. Disgruntled con-man with some serious anger issues? Give me all the books.
Parker’s general rule states that if a job needs more than five people, it’s not a job. So imagine his reaction when someone proposed a heist requiring more than twenty-five bodies. Scaling things down to a modest twelve crooks, Parker joins in with a rag-tag group of criminals recruited by a mysterious newbie, Edgars, with a plan to rob an entire town. Edgars is upfront about his displeasure with the quarry city and makes it known that the job has a lot to do with personal reasons – another red flag for Parker. Parker admits that he’s in need of a challenge and with a take of this size – roughly a quarter of a million – it’s hard to say no.
I often wonder how objective I would be with the material if I had read the original books. I can’t attest to how accurate the adaptations are, all I can say is how much fun they are to read. The artwork is gorgeous and the colors, while subdued, find a way to do so much with varying shades of only one predominate color.
I’m a big fan of Cooke’s approach to this project. The series is very much a “show, don’t tell” adaptation as there are large sections of storytelling without dialogue. I guess that’s the point. If you wanted tons of words encasing the beautiful imagery, you might as well read the books.