Here’s to Crime

Richard Stark’s Parker: The Man with the Getaway Face – A Prelude to “The Outfit”

My, my, my, looka here. Here’s how this goes. Darwyn Cooke wanted to adapt four of the “Parker” hardboiled crime novels by Donald Westlake (writing as Richard Stark). He was going to adapt the first four, but there were some of the later novels he wanted to work on more, so he eliminated two, including the second Parker novel, “The Man with the Getaway Face.” But it turned out, he kinda needed that second one, ’cause he needed to make sure readers knew that Parker had gotten plastic surgery to disguise his appearance. So instead of doing a full-length adaptation, he cut it down to just 24 pages, so he could use it as the introduction in his next graphic novel.

And because he’s so nice to us, he and IDW Publishing went and released that first chapter as a stand-alone comic.

And they made it oversized.

And they priced it as two dollars.


So what happens? Parker gets his new face to help him hide out from the Mob, but it’s taken out a bunch of his money, so he needs to heist some cash fast. He partners up with some old associates, Skim and Handy, and Skim’s new girlfriend Alma, a diner waitress who clued Skim in on an armored truck that’d be easy pickings for a job. But Parker doesn’t trust Alma — and for good reason. Will Parker be able to grab the dough and get away clean? Or is everyone looking at time in the pen?

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s a short, fast heist thriller, with artwork by the always-brilliant Darwyn Cooke. And it’s only two freakin’ dollars. The only downside? This thing is colossal, and I have no idea where I’m going to store it. Nevertheless, at two measly bucks, it’s more than a bargain. Pick it up, or you’re a stone fool.

iZombie #3

While Claire the vampire sets her sights on Spot’s friend Ashok, the monster hunters stalk her in return. Meanwhile, Spot, in full-blown were-terrier mode, meets with Gwen the zombie and Ellie the ghost to bring them some more evidence in Gwen’s ongoing murder investigation into who killed the last guy whose brain she snacked on. The investigation leads to a spooky old house, and Ellie, trusting in her ghostly status to keep her safe and undetected, goes in to have a look around. Things don’t turn out the way she was expecting. Is everyone about to get their supernatural secrets exposed?

Verdict: Thumbs up. A very fun story and really excellent art. Extra points for Laura Allred’s coloring — she’s going for an old-school comics look, with cool halftone effects. Yeah, Mike Allred’s art is great, but Laura Allred’s coloring is making this one look really unique.

Jonah Hex #57

A lot of our framework in this story comes from a couple of kids telling tall tales about Jonah Hex’s fabled exploits, like killing ten outlaws with a single bullet. They hear that Hex is going to be in a nearby town, so they sneak out late at night so they can see what he looks like. And they get more than they bargained for — namely, a bunch of old DC western heroes, like the Trigger Twins, Bat Lash, Scalphunter, Nighthawk, and Cinnamon. And of course, there’s a big gunfight. And some snoopy kids getting in trouble, but getting their own tall tale they can tell later…

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s one of the lighter Jonah Hex stories I’ve seen, but I really enjoyed it anyway. It’s cool to see all those old DC characters — and most of them aren’t just guest appearances for the sake of renewing the copyrights — several characters get some actual business and plotpoints of their own. It was a good, fun, and pretty over-the-top story — hope we get to see more of these from time to time.

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