Jan 15, 2014
This week on The Comics Alternative, Andy and Derek review three recent works. They begin with Darwyn Cooke’s Richard Stark’s Parker: Slayground, from IDW Publishing. This is the fourth of Cooke’s comics adaptation of the Parker crime/heist novels from acclaimed writer Donald Westlake (AKA, Richard Stark). The Two Guys compare Slayground to the three other works Cooke has previously released: The Hunter (2009), The Outfit (2010), and The Score (2012). They note that while they like this graphic novel, and find Cooke’s artwork (as always) truly outstanding, they nonetheless feel that the book is a little slim, especially when compared to the earlier works. At the same time, the book also includes a reprint of the 11-page story “The 7eventh,” originally appearing in Richard Stark’s Parker: The Martini Edition (2011). What with IDW’s recent announcement that they’re going to be publishing Westlake’s original Parker novels, illustrated by Darwyn Cooke, and the promise of another Cooke adaptation of one of those novels, this is an exciting time to be reading the Parker narratives. Next, the Two Guys with PhDs discuss two new #1 issues: James Robinson and J. Bone’s The Saviors (Image Comics) and The Midas Flesh (BOOM! Studios), written by Ryan North with art by Braden Lamb and Shelli Paroline. Their discussions of these two recent comic books are complementary, and at times provide illustrations of contrast. The Saviors gets going with an Invasion of the Body Snatchers and horror kind of feel — weird creatures of some sort apparently infiltrate a small Southwestern community and pose as respected locals — MidasFleshis told from the perspective of a pothead, and ends with a cliffhanger…literally! The Midas Flesh, which will be an 8-issue miniseries, juxtaposes two different stories, one a sci-fi quest taking place in an apocalyptic (?) future and the other alluding to Greek mythology set in some distant past. What makes this title especially notable is that it’s the first for the publisher’s BOOM! Box imprint, and the guys still aren’t sure how BOOM! will be defining that imprint. Both of these new #1s leave the guys, to greater or lesser degrees, anticipating future issues and looking forward to how their stories unfold.