PARKER: THE SCORE

Story and art by Darwyn Cooke
(Based on the novel by Donald Westlake writing as "Richard Stark")

After much grumbling, I decided to keep buying Darwyn Cooke's comics outside of BEFORE WATCHMEN. I enjoy Cooke's work; no sense cutting off my nose to spite my own face.

THE SCORE is the third of Cooke's graphic novel adaptations of the crime-noir novels starring the amoral thief known only as Parker. It's as nicely done as the previous two. Stylish retro art. I didn't like the art's bright orange tone as much as I have the darker blue tones of the other books; but much of this book took place in a sandy canyon and/or surrounded by fires, so the color choice made sense.

The story is a great one, one of the more popular Parker novels: A dozen men rob a town. Literally, a whole town -- Copper Canyon, a small mining town in North Dakota. With careful planning, they sneak in at midnight, take over the necessary infrastructure (police station, telephone company), and then go on a quiet robbery spree. It goes exactly as planned, right up to the point that it doesn't, largely because one of the men didn't reveal his real motivation.