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After he evens the score with those who betrayed him and recovers the money he was cheated out of from the syndicate, Parker is riding high. Until, that is, he's fingered by a squealer who rats him out to The Outfit for the price they put on his head. After he evens the score with those who betrayed him and recovers the money he was cheated out of from the syndicate, Parker is riding high. Until, that is, he's fingered by a squealer who rats him out to The Outfit for the price they put on his head.


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After he evens the score with those who betrayed him and recovers the money he was cheated out of from the syndicate, Parker is riding high. Until, that is, he's fingered by a squealer who rats him out to The Outfit for the price they put on his head. After he evens the score with those who betrayed him and recovers the money he was cheated out of from the syndicate, Parker is riding high. Until, that is, he's fingered by a squealer who rats him out to The Outfit for the price they put on his head.

30 review for Richard Stark’s Parker: The Outfit

  1. 5 out of 5

    Dave Schaafsma

    You know, if you read Darwyn Cooke's loving adaptation of Richard Stark's (Donald Westlake) Parker alongside Agatha Christie, as I am doing, the obvious thing to say is that it is way more brutal. Parker is a thief, a career criminal. But The Outfit is also bleakly beautiful in its depiction of the story, which is again, after Cooke's first adaptation of Starks' The Hunter, a kind of revenge tale. Parker, the toughest of tough guys, a really bad guy, never smiles in this book. He doesn't believe You know, if you read Darwyn Cooke's loving adaptation of Richard Stark's (Donald Westlake) Parker alongside Agatha Christie, as I am doing, the obvious thing to say is that it is way more brutal. Parker is a thief, a career criminal. But The Outfit is also bleakly beautiful in its depiction of the story, which is again, after Cooke's first adaptation of Starks' The Hunter, a kind of revenge tale. Parker, the toughest of tough guys, a really bad guy, never smiles in this book. He doesn't believe in emotion, or friendship, or love. He's the hardest-boiled criminal you will find (James Coburn, maybe?), a perfect reflection of sixties detective fiction, but he is also somehow smooth and sophisticated as he pulls off the caper, where he (of course) takes down The Outfit, which we admire in part thanks to Cooke's stylish approach. I really had a good time reading it. How can I like this guy? I was raised to go to church and admire the good guys! But thanks to Stark and Cooke, I like this Parker fella.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Chad

    In the second of Cooke's Parker adaptations, Parker has changed his face via plastic surgery, being on the run from The Outfit. But when a colleague fingers him, Parker goes on the offensive, sending guys out on jobs hitting The Outfit at where it counts, the bottom line. I think I enjoyed this even more than The Hunter. It shows Parker's cold, calculated side as he schemes to take out the head of The Outfit. Cooke's art has a a 60's pop-art look to it that fits the 60's setting perfectly. In the second of Cooke's Parker adaptations, Parker has changed his face via plastic surgery, being on the run from The Outfit. But when a colleague fingers him, Parker goes on the offensive, sending guys out on jobs hitting The Outfit at where it counts, the bottom line. I think I enjoyed this even more than The Hunter. It shows Parker's cold, calculated side as he schemes to take out the head of The Outfit. Cooke's art has a a 60's pop-art look to it that fits the 60's setting perfectly.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kemper

    As a fan of the Parker series and comic books, these adaptations are right in my wheelhouse, but what I find most intriguing about them is the clever ways that Darwyn Cooke has used to tell a text story into a more visual form while staying true to the spirit of the original books. The Outfit was the third book in the Parker series, but this one also adapts the second novel, The Man With Getaway Face, into part of this story, too. Parker pissed off the Outfit and even though he’s gotten plastic s As a fan of the Parker series and comic books, these adaptations are right in my wheelhouse, but what I find most intriguing about them is the clever ways that Darwyn Cooke has used to tell a text story into a more visual form while staying true to the spirit of the original books. The Outfit was the third book in the Parker series, but this one also adapts the second novel, The Man With Getaway Face, into part of this story, too. Parker pissed off the Outfit and even though he’s gotten plastic surgery to change his looks, the mob is still coming after him. Parker contacts a bunch of his criminal buddies and asks them all to go on a robbery spree against various Outfit businesses, and they’re all too happy to do it. Parker works on his own scheme to make some cash and get them off his back once and for all. My favorite part in this was how Cooke converts several of the mini-stories from the book about how several professional thieves rip off Outfit joints. He incorporates a faux crime magazine cover and story (With actual text from the book.) as well as some short cartoonish style strips to recount these robberies. He also uses a game of Monopoly as the basis for giving us the history of the Outfit’s boss. These graphic novels are excellent companion pieces to the original books.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mohammed

    Having read many of the Parker novels im hugely impressed by how Cooke adds a new dimension to the stories with his artwork,the way he narrates,uses two novels The Outfit,The Man with the Getaway Face into one Graphic Novel. Cooke’s art has never been better the inking,the coloring,the use of shadows. Every page with Parker himself is priceless because he got Parkers look,movement so well. I just stared in awe in how great Parker looked. How he can be retro,cartooney art style and still draw hard Having read many of the Parker novels im hugely impressed by how Cooke adds a new dimension to the stories with his artwork,the way he narrates,uses two novels The Outfit,The Man with the Getaway Face into one Graphic Novel. Cooke’s art has never been better the inking,the coloring,the use of shadows. Every page with Parker himself is priceless because he got Parkers look,movement so well. I just stared in awe in how great Parker looked. How he can be retro,cartooney art style and still draw hardcore,dangerous Parker i dont know. I also liked the different inventive ways he used to tell about the different heists. It was made the story,action less predictable to those who have read the novels. Darwyn Cooke's art and Richard Stark's writing was made for each other, a perfect match and the way you should adapt a great novel,writer. You dont change everything that made the novel so good,you add new visual layers. I cant wait the next Graphic Novel in 2012!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sam Quixote

    This is the second of Darwyn Cooke’s comic book adaptations of Richard Stark’s Parker novels with this one using material from the novels “The Outfit” and “The Man with the Getaway Face”. After Parker walks off with a hefty chunk of change from the Outfit (a crime syndicate) at the end of the first book The Hunter, a price is put on his head as Parker heads south to enjoy his earnings in the lap of luxury. But even after altering his face with plastic surgery, he’s spotted and the Outfit are ale This is the second of Darwyn Cooke’s comic book adaptations of Richard Stark’s Parker novels with this one using material from the novels “The Outfit” and “The Man with the Getaway Face”. After Parker walks off with a hefty chunk of change from the Outfit (a crime syndicate) at the end of the first book The Hunter, a price is put on his head as Parker heads south to enjoy his earnings in the lap of luxury. But even after altering his face with plastic surgery, he’s spotted and the Outfit are alerted to his location, Parker decides to gather his criminal friends and bring the fight to the Outfit’s boss. Parker is easily Richard Stark/Donald Westlake’s greatest creation. He is an unstoppable, super-efficient career criminal who plans his heists meticulously, selects the most useful members for his team, and has no compunction with killing – but only with no other choice left to him. Parker almost seems like a robot at times – he regards emotion as weakness, and looks upon any kind of extravagance as wasteful, an element that will end the person and send them to jail. And yet he’s strangely likeable – or if not that, then fascinating to read as he pulls off daring heists so coolly. Cooke incorporates different artistic styles to tell the stories of each of Parker’s gang hitting the Outfit in different ways even including prose from the source novel to tell certain parts of the story. The styles change the pace of the book, slowing it down while the action ramps up so you’ve got time to enjoy what happens at just the right speed. It’s a great balance. Cooke’s done Richard Stark/Donald Westlake proud by doing such a fantastic job in telling the tale of one of Parker’s best adventures with style and panache that only someone as experienced and masterful a comics artist as Cooke could do. It’s a great crime caper comic that’s terrific fun to read. More, please!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Scott

    3.5 stars Though it stands a little in the shadow of The Hunter (the excellent preceding volume featuring tough and taciturn antihero 'Parker'), The Outfit was still a reasonably entertaining graphic novel adaptation by Cooke from Westlake's long-running crime series. (I enthused in my prior review that it is a great collaboration between artist and author.) The energy or forward momentum is good until the halfway point and then things sort of . . . well, Parker is off-stage for many pages and it 3.5 stars Though it stands a little in the shadow of The Hunter (the excellent preceding volume featuring tough and taciturn antihero 'Parker'), The Outfit was still a reasonably entertaining graphic novel adaptation by Cooke from Westlake's long-running crime series. (I enthused in my prior review that it is a great collaboration between artist and author.) The energy or forward momentum is good until the halfway point and then things sort of . . . well, Parker is off-stage for many pages and it's not nearly as interesting without him. However, the gunshot-fueled hide-and-seek climax picks up the tempo, and I think the last page panel - as well as the late '63 setting in Lake Tahoe - hints at a fictional connection to a real-life kidnapping of a certain singer-actor's son.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Stewart Tame

    Darwyn Cooke's adaptations of the Parker novels are pure comics perfection. The artwork is a perfect match for the material, very much in the early 60's mode. Although I wasn't born until the late 60's, I've read enough magazines and whatnot from the era to appreciate details like business logos and so on. Cooke's research is right on the money as far as the time period goes. This is a world of Esso gas stations and Timex watches and AAA maps and so on. This book picks up close to where the prev Darwyn Cooke's adaptations of the Parker novels are pure comics perfection. The artwork is a perfect match for the material, very much in the early 60's mode. Although I wasn't born until the late 60's, I've read enough magazines and whatnot from the era to appreciate details like business logos and so on. Cooke's research is right on the money as far as the time period goes. This is a world of Esso gas stations and Timex watches and AAA maps and so on. This book picks up close to where the previous one left off. Despite a new face, Parker still apparently has a hit out on him. Needless to say, he's less than thrilled by this. But getting the hit cancelled means going up against the Outfit, essentially taking on the entire Mafia. You know this is going to be good ... The art, as I said, is steeped in period details. There are several heists recounted, as Parker arranges to have the Outfit hit where it hurts, and Cooke manages to come up with distinctly different styles for each one. Honestly, the only problem I had with the art comes fairly early on, page 48 to be precise. I've read enough mysteries over the years to know that putting a silencer on a revolver is useless, and Parker is too much of a professional not to know this. The gasses escaping from the sides of the cylinder, the ones NOT going through the silencer on the barrel, are where most of the noise of a revolver shot comes from. Ah well, it's a tiny mistake, and the rest of the book is more than thrilling enough to make up for it. Highly recommended!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Karl

    This copy is signed by Darwyn Cooke.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    Parker is still under the gun from the Outfit, a crime syndicate. His recourse - attack back. He zeroes in on the operations, contacting other bad guys to hit the Outfit where it hurts - in the pocketbook. Good hard nosed noir.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    Writing under a pseudonym in 1963, Donald E. Westlake wrote a series about a calculating, hard-boiled career criminal named Parker, and after receiving Westlake’s blessing to adapt the series into a graphic novel series, comics artist Darwyn Cooke published this second installment in 2010. In the first installment, Parker was dealing with a former associate who double-crossed him, and ended up crossing paths with the mob, known as The Outfit. Since they continue to put hits out on his life, Park Writing under a pseudonym in 1963, Donald E. Westlake wrote a series about a calculating, hard-boiled career criminal named Parker, and after receiving Westlake’s blessing to adapt the series into a graphic novel series, comics artist Darwyn Cooke published this second installment in 2010. In the first installment, Parker was dealing with a former associate who double-crossed him, and ended up crossing paths with the mob, known as The Outfit. Since they continue to put hits out on his life, Parker undergoes plastic surgery, then returns to hit The Outfit where they live. Sending letters to numerous criminal associates across the country, announcing open season on The Outfit, a dozen of their enterprises are hit nationwide, with losses to the tune of a million dollars, with Parker promising not to quit until they agree to quit hunting him. With scenes depicted in black, white, and cool shades of steel-blue, the plot is easy to follow, and even includes a surprisingly educational glimpse into the criminal world, with clever illustrations detailing various mob enterprises, told in easy-to-understand instructional out takes, and I’m told the Crime Confessions Weekly newsletter usage was taken straight from Westlake’s original. Parker manages to convince the mob boss to back off, but something tells me they aren’t gone for good. Until next time...

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lars Guthrie

    Darwyn Cooke decisively scored with his first comic book adaption of the Richard Stark ‘Parker’ novels: ‘The Hunter.’ ‘The Outfit’ doesn’t deliver the same bold punch. That might be expected from a sequel, and because the story line is not as hard-hitting or straightforward. Cooke’s choice of palette is an indicator of a more workman-like delivery. There’s still just one color other than black and white, but where it was crackling cyan in ‘The Hunter,’ ‘The Outfit’ is tinted with a more muted bl Darwyn Cooke decisively scored with his first comic book adaption of the Richard Stark ‘Parker’ novels: ‘The Hunter.’ ‘The Outfit’ doesn’t deliver the same bold punch. That might be expected from a sequel, and because the story line is not as hard-hitting or straightforward. Cooke’s choice of palette is an indicator of a more workman-like delivery. There’s still just one color other than black and white, but where it was crackling cyan in ‘The Hunter,’ ‘The Outfit’ is tinted with a more muted blue. Cooke also uses a clever device to telescope three hits on organized crime’s operations by employing different styles than the slashing lines that dominated ‘The Hunter.’ The most successful of these is a send-up of a 1960s pulp crime magazine. No matter how ingenious and necessary, though, these changes in style (and story) are drags on momentum. But as might be expected from Donald Westlake (writing as Stark) and Cooke, it’s still a slam-bang narrative filled with action. After a nice opening two-pager aerial view hipping us to place and time (‘Miami Beach 1963’), we’re shoved right into a one-page panel featuring a gun shot and a woman screaming, as the indefatigable Parker rolls out of his swank hotel bed. That’s followed by a couple of tightly packed pages with no dialogue other than Parker’s would-be assassin’s mutter of ‘Guh…’ Then we’re introduced to the woman. A good match for Parker, Bett Harrow takes in the groggy invader without ‘fear or astonishment but breathless. Expectant.’ Parker’s on his ruthless way again, and if the pace is only slightly slower, Cooke demonstrates anew his gift for the comic book form, wringing a hurtling narrative from his simple and bold retro drawings. Cooke and Westlake are a perfect match-up and I’m looking forward to the next one of these.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Martin

    After the success of Richard Stark's Parker: The Hunter, in which Darwyn Cooke adapted a classic of crime fiction for the comic book page, we're treated to this gem of a book. Too bad I can't give it six stars! First off, there were some choices to be made, story-wise, to keep the book flowing evenly while respecting the source material and not going over a certain number of pages. Before the actual 'Outfit' story, Cooke included a short adaptation of Stark's The Man With The Getaway Face, in whi After the success of Richard Stark's Parker: The Hunter, in which Darwyn Cooke adapted a classic of crime fiction for the comic book page, we're treated to this gem of a book. Too bad I can't give it six stars! First off, there were some choices to be made, story-wise, to keep the book flowing evenly while respecting the source material and not going over a certain number of pages. Before the actual 'Outfit' story, Cooke included a short adaptation of Stark's The Man With The Getaway Face, in which Parker gets a new face to help remain under the Outfit's radar. They're still sore about him walking off with $45 000. (at the end of 'the Hunter'). Also, Cooke cleverly employs different art styles to illustrate the different heists that Parker and his associates pull on them. The subtle use of humour (and the inclusion of Grofield - which is NOT in the original story) is just icing on the cake. There are some departures from the source material, such as Parker killing the accountant Quill and giving Karns ten percent of the take from Bronson's Buffalo (a nice touch, that!), all in keeping with Cooke's vision of Parker. Truly a wonderful book. Next up: Cooke's adaptation of The Score.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Brandon

    Parker had evened the score with the Outfit, or so he thought. After extensive facial reconstruction surgery, Parker is identified by a squealer, outing him to his enemies. Parker realizes that the fight isn't yet over and he intends to finish it! So, while I did like this book, I wasn't into it as much as The Hunter. Cooke seemed to take the story in a few directions towards the end, tying up loose ends and telling other parts in a different format. By throwing in a magazine style layout as well Parker had evened the score with the Outfit, or so he thought. After extensive facial reconstruction surgery, Parker is identified by a squealer, outing him to his enemies. Parker realizes that the fight isn't yet over and he intends to finish it! So, while I did like this book, I wasn't into it as much as The Hunter. Cooke seemed to take the story in a few directions towards the end, tying up loose ends and telling other parts in a different format. By throwing in a magazine style layout as well as different artwork; it really took me out of it. I wasn't exactly sure what he was going for with those deviations but it fell kind of flat for me. Luckily, it was only a small part of the story itself, so it's sort of easy to look past. As far as the artwork goes, I'm still in love with it - that much Cooke doesn't change. The violence is played out really well, showing just as much as you need and nothing over the top. Stylistically, I still think it's one of the coolest presentations I've ever seen. Apparently, I'm all caught up on this series as the 3rd book isn't out until sometime next year. I guess its finally time I get started on the originals. The only problem is that I believe this is books 2 and 3 together? I'm not entirely sure, I'll have to look into that. I had to rate it 3 stars but I'm telling you it's a solid 3 and a half.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Michael Finocchiaro

    I am not normally a very patient person. Some might go to the extreme of calling me impatient in fact. But I am learning. After almost 3 years of struggle, I have seen several of my initiatives come to fruition at work recently and realized that my patience paid off. There were several moments of hesitation where I wanted to throw in the towel because I thought things were not moving at all, but I hung in there, continued to build a diverse and fairly huge fan base, and delivered high quality ou I am not normally a very patient person. Some might go to the extreme of calling me impatient in fact. But I am learning. After almost 3 years of struggle, I have seen several of my initiatives come to fruition at work recently and realized that my patience paid off. There were several moments of hesitation where I wanted to throw in the towel because I thought things were not moving at all, but I hung in there, continued to build a diverse and fairly huge fan base, and delivered high quality output. For the moment, it seems that blue skies are ahead and I am feeling really good. So, to celebrate, I am going to enjoy Justified and read some more… imagesBut before I do, a friend suggested a book to me called The Outfit back in January which I went out and purchased. Well, actually, I bought the wrong one by Richard Stark which is a fictional novel as opposed to the one my friend meant which was by Gus Russo and is a non-fictional history of the Mob. I will go and grab the Russo book, but in the meantime, the Stark one was pretty fun. Apparently, Stark passed away in 2008 after writing about 24 books featuring the main character Parker. He is sort of like a Raylan gone bad who is highly intelligent and a dangerous killer. The book was about his revenge on the Outfit where he tries to free himself of the bonds they put on him. I liked the flow as well as the descriptions of the characters and mob operations. The Outfit is a very entertaining and relatively light read and has been adapted by Darwyn Cooke into a great comic book as well.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    This is a fantastic second graphic novel in this series. It is smart, fast paced and brutal with beautiful art that enhances the 1960s setting. Highly recommended.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ed

    Probably as interesting as the first graphic novel, this second one didn't leave me disappointed. Lots of cool 1960s decor and vibes are found in the cartoon panels. Remember the Esso signs? The graphic novel Parker fits my idea of the literal one from the Stark novels. The pages of text toward the middle slow down the story a little. Enjoyable enough. Probably as interesting as the first graphic novel, this second one didn't leave me disappointed. Lots of cool 1960s decor and vibes are found in the cartoon panels. Remember the Esso signs? The graphic novel Parker fits my idea of the literal one from the Stark novels. The pages of text toward the middle slow down the story a little. Enjoyable enough.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Philip

    Well, that was quick. Just hours after finishing Cooke's first book in the series, The Hunter, here I am reviewing book #2, The Outfit - guess that's what quarantine reading does to you. Actually enjoyed this one quite a bit more, in part because unlike Hunter it was an unfamiliar story to me, but also because I can tell that Cooke just had more fun drawing it. While he maintains the same "Saul Bass-ian" hard noir graphic style for most of the book, when he gets to the four robberies that make up Well, that was quick. Just hours after finishing Cooke's first book in the series, The Hunter, here I am reviewing book #2, The Outfit - guess that's what quarantine reading does to you. Actually enjoyed this one quite a bit more, in part because unlike Hunter it was an unfamiliar story to me, but also because I can tell that Cooke just had more fun drawing it. While he maintains the same "Saul Bass-ian" hard noir graphic style for most of the book, when he gets to the four robberies that make up the lengthy middle section, he draws them in a range of styles that all end up looking like those vintage 1960s Public Service Announcements: ...so yeah, a nice cocktail of classic dark noir with a splash of dark humor as well. The first three Parker novels are basically a trilogy, one long story about "Parker vs. the Outfit." However, the next book (and I believe most of the next 20+ Parker stories) are pretty much stand-alones, so I may dip in and out as they become available in our library or from the massive McKay's Used Books in Manassas, should it ever reopen. That said...I also note that Cooke only wrote/drew five of the Parker stories before his untimely 2016 death at just age 54 - and so being the OCD completist that I am, I will probably end up reading them as well, should I stumble across them.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Tony

    My Grade = 70% - C- Originally published as a novel (by Donald Westlake) - 1963. 152 pages. Current incarnation as a hardcover graphic novel - July, 2009. Price tag - $24.99. When I was a lad they were called comic books and they sold for a dime - and this one is not even in color. This one is from my favorite thrift shop in Pennsburg, Pa, where all adult books are sold for 50 cents (unless they are on sale for 30% off, or 50% off, or sometimes free day,) which is probably why I picked it up. March, My Grade = 70% - C- Originally published as a novel (by Donald Westlake) - 1963. 152 pages. Current incarnation as a hardcover graphic novel - July, 2009. Price tag - $24.99. When I was a lad they were called comic books and they sold for a dime - and this one is not even in color. This one is from my favorite thrift shop in Pennsburg, Pa, where all adult books are sold for 50 cents (unless they are on sale for 30% off, or 50% off, or sometimes free day,) which is probably why I picked it up. March, 1963. It seems that in a previous work, Parker got screwed over by "The Outfit," (which I take as "The Mob," - very Las Vegasy. In this one he gets his revenge. I picked this one up because I liked the cover and the inside cover design, very mid-century modern. If this were a movie, it would be a film noir, as it is, I guess it would be a book noir. It was very forgettable.....

  19. 5 out of 5

    James Love

    Excellent adaptation of the novel. It even includes a nice "idiots guide" that explains illegal betting, the "numbers" racket and money-laundering/smuggling complete with illustrations. Yeah, I know it's a graphic novel, I was being sarcastic. Sadly, IDW has not made the previous book The Man with the Getaway Face or the martini edition of The Hunter that includes the aforementioned book available for download on Kindle/Comixology. https://www.bing.com/images/search?vi... Excellent adaptation of the novel. It even includes a nice "idiots guide" that explains illegal betting, the "numbers" racket and money-laundering/smuggling complete with illustrations. Yeah, I know it's a graphic novel, I was being sarcastic. Sadly, IDW has not made the previous book The Man with the Getaway Face or the martini edition of The Hunter that includes the aforementioned book available for download on Kindle/Comixology. https://www.bing.com/images/search?vi...

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kris

    Book 2 Of Darwyn Cooke's graphic novels based on Donald Westlake's, aka Richard Stark, Parker books is The Outfit. This story picks up not to long after the first story, The Hunter, had ended and it continues the story of Parker's run in with the Outfit. Parker has gone back to his life of resorts and rich women after he had gotten plastic surgery to change his looks when an Outfit hit man tries to take him out. This sets off a series of things as Parker has to "convince" the Outfit to leave him Book 2 Of Darwyn Cooke's graphic novels based on Donald Westlake's, aka Richard Stark, Parker books is The Outfit. This story picks up not to long after the first story, The Hunter, had ended and it continues the story of Parker's run in with the Outfit. Parker has gone back to his life of resorts and rich women after he had gotten plastic surgery to change his looks when an Outfit hit man tries to take him out. This sets off a series of things as Parker has to "convince" the Outfit to leave him alone. What is really great about this story is that as you follow Parker through his plan to get the Outfit off his back there is a great set of side stories that come up about other "pros" who are hitting the Outfit at Parker's request. This to me really amped up the story and got me that much more involved in what was going on. The various "jobs" that are done and how they are done becomes almost more fun for me to read then the main story line, which has it's own unique and enjoyable twists. This book really builds on what was done with the first book and not only repeats what was right in that book but adds more that is new and fun in this universe. This is really stellar story telling. Pithy review - Oceans 11 with real bad guys.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Max's Comic Reviews and Lists

    Judgment of the Mob Alright Imma keep this review short so I can continue reading the rest of the series. The Hunter is a book that gets better as I think about it. I immediately jumped into this 2nd volume excited to see Parker reign hell of the mob. It started out semi strong and then turned into a snooze fest. The first 2 parts or so served as an entertaining heist. As soon as Parker starts trying to take down the Outfit, this book became a confusing and frankly pretty boring read. Every f Judgment of the Mob Alright Imma keep this review short so I can continue reading the rest of the series. The Hunter is a book that gets better as I think about it. I immediately jumped into this 2nd volume excited to see Parker reign hell of the mob. It started out semi strong and then turned into a snooze fest. The first 2 parts or so served as an entertaining heist. As soon as Parker starts trying to take down the Outfit, this book became a confusing and frankly pretty boring read. Every few pages random names are just thrown around with no other information. Y’know when you hear someone say “We are figuring things out at the same time the protagonists are”, basically meaning that the story is more immersive. But not in the case of this book. 75% of the time I was going “who?” or “how the f**k am I supposed to know who the hell that is?!” A more coherent and stream lined way of introducing important characters was really needed here. AND YES I know this was adapted from source material. But I’m willing to bet it’s not nearly as confusing as this was handled. I do however really like the character of Grofield. A charismatic pretty boy type character that I’m sure will provide a lot of great moments between Parker and him. Then….heh heh then the book became almost tortuous to read. There is a series of short stories that completely interrupt the flow of the story. I just found them so uninteresting and was begging for the already dry main story to continue. LOOK if anybody can tell me how in the hell those shorts were connected please tell me instead of getting mad. I really don’t feel like going back and analyzing the stories. It reminds me of those 2 issues of Hellblazer that Grant Morrison wrote back when Delano was writing. If any of you get what I’m talking about comment BUT either way it was a big interruption to me. Once those shorts are over the book picks up again and I was entertained till the end. Over all I’d say more of the book I disliked than liked. Parker as a lead once again is pretty wooden. (I feel like I’m literally the only one to have that opinion) I think he is serviceable but for the love of god needs more characterization. What more is there to say about Darwyn Cooke’s iconic art style? I stopped so many times mid speech bubble just to gawk at the incredible penciling and inking I had in my hands. I know I sound cliched as hell saying this, but I don’t think anyone else’s style could encapsulate the Golden age 1950s/1960s feel as much as his. Even scenery in this book is gorgeously drawn. And one of my favourite aspects of the book is that not every drawing of a person is hyper detailed and perfect. Sometimes a lack of detail or polished forms really gives the book a more interesting aesthetic. At least to me. The blue shading and filling also works very well. In the end I was disappointed by this volume of Parker. Confusing and dry storytelling, an entire section that took seemingly 5 years to read, but the intro and ending that were pleasing compared to everything else. Overall I would say if you are reading this series in full don’t get discouraged or anything if you didn’t like this volume cuuuuuuuuuuz volume 3 is a lot better. Letter Grade: (C) Book Construction: Since I didn’t end up getting the Martini Edition, the four hardcover volumes are more than sufficient. These are some of my favourite hardcovers I own just because of the production value. The actual hardcover has a rough texture, there is a different silhouette imprint on each of them, and the spine is written in slightly embossed white cursive. Delicious. The paper is also thick ass card stock. So that’s also great, because compared to the recent marvel trades where you could put a whole threw the paper by blowing on it, this paper quality is fantastic.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Arun

    3.75/5 Since I couldn't find book 1, this is my first bout with Darwyn Cooke and I'm loving his style of almost minimal and washed single tone colors. Also special mention on idw's choice of paperstock (or cardstock) used in this version, it's the thickest one I've come across in any graphic novel by far.  This a solid story, it has the old world charm of a typical crime fiction from the sixties and seventies and Cookes distinctive art style, that reminds you of the cartoon shows from that era, gr 3.75/5 Since I couldn't find book 1, this is my first bout with Darwyn Cooke and I'm loving his style of almost minimal and washed single tone colors. Also special mention on idw's choice of paperstock (or cardstock) used in this version, it's the thickest one I've come across in any graphic novel by far.  This a solid story, it has the old world charm of a typical crime fiction from the sixties and seventies and Cookes distinctive art style, that reminds you of the cartoon shows from that era, greatly compliments it. It has all the quintessential tropes one would come to expect from a good crime novel and it has been beautifully adapted by Cooke. Loved the way the panels were layed out. This book has minimal art and a lot of prose but it doesn't get boring at all. All in all a quick read nothing special. 

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tara

    I have never read a Richard Stark novel, so I don’t know how the Parker character reads in prose. Darwyn Cooke’s comics adaptation of The Outfit, however, is a great read all on its own. The late Cooke has a fondness for midcentury graphic design and advertising art which provides him with the tools to elegantly reproduce the early ‘60s milieu of the Parker novels. As a storyteller and draftsman, he was more than just the cartoonist laureate of the Jet Age, distilling influences such as Jack Kir I have never read a Richard Stark novel, so I don’t know how the Parker character reads in prose. Darwyn Cooke’s comics adaptation of The Outfit, however, is a great read all on its own. The late Cooke has a fondness for midcentury graphic design and advertising art which provides him with the tools to elegantly reproduce the early ‘60s milieu of the Parker novels. As a storyteller and draftsman, he was more than just the cartoonist laureate of the Jet Age, distilling influences such as Jack Kirby and Alex Toth into a sharp, dramatic style. The Outfit is centered on master thief Parker’s vendetta against the powerful, wide-ranging criminal organization of the title. After he eludes an assassination attempt, our protagonist (he can hardly be called a hero) traces the hit back to a partner on an old job that didn’t quite go as planned. Cooke luxuriates in period architecture, cars, and fashions, as he follows Parker up and down the eastern seaboard, disrupting vulnerable points of the Outfit’s operations with grit and savvy. This lean, muscular pulp plot is an excellent match for Cooke’s skills and sensibilities, and his affection for the source material is evident. The cartoonist juggles different period cartooning and graphic design styles as he tells different segments of the story with different moods without ever seeming disjointed or forced. Unlike his superhero work, which embraced the romance of heroism and derring-do, The Outfit, and I presume other entries in his series of Parker adaptations, proves Cooke could also deliver cool cynicism and bad behavior with the best hard-boiled crime purveyors.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Darrell Reimer

    Darwyn Cooke's original outing with Richard Stark's Parker was a lushly rendered, graphic tour-de-force. With his second go-round, the aesthetic more or less remains, but much of the energy is gone. Part of this is due, I think, to Cooke's strict faithfulness to Stark's work. There are Parker books where the action is very physical, and moves relentlessly forward, The Hunter being one such. But there are also Parker books where most of the action is in Parker's head, as he adjusts tactics to sta Darwyn Cooke's original outing with Richard Stark's Parker was a lushly rendered, graphic tour-de-force. With his second go-round, the aesthetic more or less remains, but much of the energy is gone. Part of this is due, I think, to Cooke's strict faithfulness to Stark's work. There are Parker books where the action is very physical, and moves relentlessly forward, The Hunter being one such. But there are also Parker books where most of the action is in Parker's head, as he adjusts tactics to stay one step ahead of his mark. The Outfit falls all-too-solidly into the latter category, which must have driven Cooke crazy. Midway through the adventure, Cooke resorts to metatext, inserting a (vintage) men's magazine story to provide several pages of back-story. Meta-text/narrative is a jarring strategy at the best of times, especially so in a work that is fighting stasis from the get-go. The book concludes with the promise that "Parker will return in 2012." Two things are noteworthy about this announcement: (1) unlike the last outing, it makes no mention of which book Cooke will adapt next (2) Cooke has given himself a deadline that could extend to two years. I think both are worthy strategies with material that is as tricky to adapt as Parker, and I look forward to the next adventure.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Erik

    Although not as sleek in narrative as his previous Parker outing, The Hunter, Cooke’s second Parker graphic novel rewards the reader who pays close attention to his multitude of characters, their frequently surprising duplicity, and a narrative structure that likes to double-back at times – and not to mention his use of several different narrative forms -- like the magazine article -- to further develop his plot. (The last time I recall this being used most effectively was in the additional mate Although not as sleek in narrative as his previous Parker outing, The Hunter, Cooke’s second Parker graphic novel rewards the reader who pays close attention to his multitude of characters, their frequently surprising duplicity, and a narrative structure that likes to double-back at times – and not to mention his use of several different narrative forms -- like the magazine article -- to further develop his plot. (The last time I recall this being used most effectively was in the additional material at the end of the individual issues of The Watchmen.) Of course, all of this can make reading this second Parker thriller both a bit of challenge, as well as joy to read when all Cooke’s cards are dealt by the story’s end. Cooke’s defection to the indie realm of comic-dom is simultaneously their gain and DC’s loss. Would that we could clone him and have him back under DC’s aegis, as too much of the men and women in tights is painfully uninspired and redundantly derivative. But I’ll follow Cooke wherever he goes, and he’s clearly one of the living legends in his medium.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ward Jenkins

    The continuing saga of Parker is another classic. Darwyn Cooke continues to cook with his excellent draftsmanship, gorgeous layouts, luscious character design, you name it. Cooke does a pretty decent job in recreating the look and feel of that mid-century era, too, while at the same time putting his own spin on it. I found it fascinating that he shows several heist jobs through a seedy, pulp crime magazine implemented into the comic format. Here, the jobs are depicted through various styles, fro The continuing saga of Parker is another classic. Darwyn Cooke continues to cook with his excellent draftsmanship, gorgeous layouts, luscious character design, you name it. Cooke does a pretty decent job in recreating the look and feel of that mid-century era, too, while at the same time putting his own spin on it. I found it fascinating that he shows several heist jobs through a seedy, pulp crime magazine implemented into the comic format. Here, the jobs are depicted through various styles, from the contemporary, lifestyle illustration look (think Rob Peak), to the very cartoony, big-nose characters (very UPA-ish). It's almost as if Cooke is showing off his versatility, which, I have to say, I don't mind at all! I'm curious to read the actual book now, just to see how Cooke adapted Richard Stark's (Donald Westlake) story. I'm looking forward to the third installment, set to be released in 2012. Highly recommended.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Maureen

    hard not to love what darwyn does. i love his art: the energy, life, and design. i just read an article they posted on his parker books that he did while he was the long beach comic con last week, and remembered that i'd never posted about these. i'm giving this one a four though initially i had a five. i have a soft spot for darwyn: he's one of my favourite people in real life, too. he sparks in real life just like his art. i saw him just the other night on his way back east and he was as feist hard not to love what darwyn does. i love his art: the energy, life, and design. i just read an article they posted on his parker books that he did while he was the long beach comic con last week, and remembered that i'd never posted about these. i'm giving this one a four though initially i had a five. i have a soft spot for darwyn: he's one of my favourite people in real life, too. he sparks in real life just like his art. i saw him just the other night on his way back east and he was as feisty as ever. and we both love to love dali :)

  28. 5 out of 5

    Fábio Fernandes

    I'm a big fan of Donald Westlake and his alter-ego, Richard Stark. I was just rereading one of his books when I found out this series of graphic novels by Darwyn Cooke, of whom I am also a huge fan because of his work in DC's The New Frontier. Cooke is not a realistic artist - so what? IMO, he manages to make Parker and his brutality all the more real in his cartoonish-ness (not to mention the femmes fatales he finds along the way, who are as beautiful and intriguing as any real flesh-and-blood I'm a big fan of Donald Westlake and his alter-ego, Richard Stark. I was just rereading one of his books when I found out this series of graphic novels by Darwyn Cooke, of whom I am also a huge fan because of his work in DC's The New Frontier. Cooke is not a realistic artist - so what? IMO, he manages to make Parker and his brutality all the more real in his cartoonish-ness (not to mention the femmes fatales he finds along the way, who are as beautiful and intriguing as any real flesh-and-blood actress, even more.

  29. 4 out of 5

    HBalikov

    Donald Westlake (Richard Stark) was one of the early sculptors of this picaresque anti-hero genre. In Parker, we have the mold that many have since used. In fact, the current TV show Vegas seems to borrow a lot from this guy. Darwyn Cooke's graphics fit well with the "throw-back" nature of the story...simple b&w renderings that don't distract from the words. This book is all about pay-back and, if that's your core interest, Parker delivers. Donald Westlake (Richard Stark) was one of the early sculptors of this picaresque anti-hero genre. In Parker, we have the mold that many have since used. In fact, the current TV show Vegas seems to borrow a lot from this guy. Darwyn Cooke's graphics fit well with the "throw-back" nature of the story...simple b&w renderings that don't distract from the words. This book is all about pay-back and, if that's your core interest, Parker delivers.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Steve Banes

    Amazing follow-up to his equally brilliant adaptation of "The Hunter", Darywn is seriously redefining what can be done with the crime comic. Visually and violently stunning, if you've never read a comic book or any of Donald Westlake's (aka Richard Stark) books, then this is definitely a good place to start. I finished it in one evening, and then stayed awake all night thinking about it. Amazing follow-up to his equally brilliant adaptation of "The Hunter", Darywn is seriously redefining what can be done with the crime comic. Visually and violently stunning, if you've never read a comic book or any of Donald Westlake's (aka Richard Stark) books, then this is definitely a good place to start. I finished it in one evening, and then stayed awake all night thinking about it.

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