Darwyn Cooke has put together something really special with Parker: The Hunter. The hardcover edition is absolutely beautiful. The pages are thick and heavy and Darwyn's art jumps off the page at you. I'm a big fan of crime fiction/noir comics, and this is one of the better ones I've read since Brubaker's Criminal.
The tone is dark as Parker tracks down thug after thug who has wronged him. Cooke utilizes mostly whites, blues, an blacks for all of the art to help you feel the mindset of a man who is out to get his money back and will stop at nothing to do so. The cover is full color and completely stunning.
I was unfamiliar with Richard Stark prior to this book. After reading which movies that his books had spawned, I started to get an appreciation for the man realizing that I really like those movies, so I'm anxious to check out his prose versions somewhere down the line, though I've heard that Darwyn will adapt another Parker story to be released in mid-2010.
Though over 100 pages, this book is fast paced and action packed, spurred on by Cooke not using traditional frames within the book, leaving each panel open as a fluid transition into the next. I would have loved for it to take longer to read, but truth be told, I just couldn't put it down. Before I knew it, I was on the fourth chapter, nearing the climax and I forced myself to set it down for the night, though I finished it immediately the following morning. If you're a fan of Brubaker or Bendis's crime work, this ranks right up there with the best.
Darwyn Cooke is one of those special talents who can write (or in this case adapt) a comic and do all of the art for it. It's obvious that he put a lot of heart into this adaptation and greatly respects Richard Stark. Always a pleasure to read a book from someone who has so much love for sequential storytelling.