Richard Stark's Parker: The Scoreby Darwyn Cooke, Richard Stark
Fresh from his Eisner Award-winning efforts on The Hunter and The Outfit, Darwyn Cooke now sets his steely sights on The Score, the classic Richard Stark Parker novel from 1964. ?Parker becomes embroiled in a plot with a dozen partners in crime to pull off what might be the ultimate heist-robbing an entire town. Everything was going fine for a while, and then things got bad. Considered one of the best in the Parker series, The Score is the perfect vehicle for Darwyn Cooke to pull out all the stops and let loose with a book that has all the impact of a brutal kick to the solar plexus!
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Darwyn Cooke is one of the best things happening in comics today. His take on the new Before Watchmen series – The Minutemen, as well as Catwoman, and the first two ‘Parker’ novels are nothing short of brilliant! That’s why it pains me to say that the Score is good, but not great. To be fair, I don’t think this is Cooke's fault. His two-color, noir artwork is glorious again. But the story itself is a bit ponderous. With a 12-man team, and five or six locals, and five or six others, there are simply too many characters. The Hunter moved at a brisk pace, in part because of the smallish world it inhabited. In ‘The Score’ the voluminous characters bogs things down, and this is true of the original novel as well. Not enough time is afforded to the Edgars character, for example, to make much of an impact before the conclusion. That being said, this is still on a higher level than quite a bit of what’s coming out today. If you don’t already have the first two, I suggest you get ‘Parker: The Martini Edition’ instead. It has the first two graphic novels – The Hunter and The Outfit, and also the in-between, stand-alone story The Man With the Getaway Face.
Cooke does a great job. These books are such a nice package. A true graphic novel, not a collection.