Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Richard Stark’s Parker: The Man With the Getaway Face
Darwyn Cooke continues his adaptation of Richard Stark’s catalogue of books about the character called Parker with The Man With the Getaway Face. Unlike the first adaptation, The Hunter, this book is more of a traditional comic book rather than a full graphic novel length. Despite being only twenty four pages, this story is a complete one and delivers the same level of violence in a criminal setting, just in an accelerated and concise fashion. It’s an excellent read because it captures everything about the character Parker from the Hunter while telling a compelling and interesting story. At two bucks this is a can’t miss opportunity to jump on board of this amazing character study that Cooke is taking the reader on.
As Cooke explains in the opening that this book is really only a prelude to the next full length graphic novel called The Outfit. There are plot elements that are essential to future books that take place in The Man With the Getaway Face that couldn’t be ignored when they decided to pass over the full graphic adaptation of the novel. Cooke’s opening sets the stage for this book and really builds some excitement for future ones.
The bulk of this story is really about the caper. Parker, teams up with a man named Skim to pull off a robbery of an armored truck. The story becomes complicated as they involve the finger, Alma, and another man named Handy. As you might expect not everything goes smoothly but the story is full of surprises.
The beauty of the story is that Parker is a badass character that normally would always win. To give others a chance at besting him there has to be a clever deception. This story provides that and adds a weakness to Parker without damaging the character.
Another aspect of this story that is so likable is that you can come in completely cold. You don’t have to know who Parker is, have read any of the novels or even Cooke’s prior adaptation. This story really, truly is a self contained crime drama that pushes all of the aspects of noir storytelling that the Brubaker’s of the world have been inspired by.
Cooke’s art is incredible. All I kept thinking while I was studying it was “Dick Tracy” but it’s so much more than that. Cooke uses only three shades of color the entire book and it works so well as he crafts a story by using the stage setting as a pillar. Cooke truly knows how to tell a visual story where the dialogue and monologue are there as supporting features.
The only oddity is the choice of format for the book. It’s 12 inches by 8 inches and is printed on what I can only describe as thick stationary. It’s the kind of paper that is not “collectable”. My copy had a bent corner when I purchased it and so did every other copy in the store.
If you have any interest in tough guys, criminal heists, deception or just sleazy people then pick this up and check it out. Even if you don’t like this genre or anything having to do with noir pick this up. Its two bucks and you might find you like it. This is one of the best purchases I’ve made all year because of the art, story and the price. This is something to read over and over again.
5 out of 5 Geek Goggles