JOHN WICK #1 Review – A Comic Ripped Right Out of the Movies
AUTHOR: Greg Pak
ART: Giovanni Valletta
COLORS: David Curiel and Inlight Studios
COVERS: Giovanni Valletta, Deys Cowan, and John Cassaday
PUBLISHER: Dynamite Entertainment
John Wick, most of us are familiar with the name, and the brand, based on the movies. Guy loses his wife, the one person that kept him straight and away from killing. Guy is only starting to put things back in its place, when a sadistic mobster attacks our hero, steals his car, and kills his dog. After that, all hell breaks loose! John Wick 2 is based on the ending of the first movie, guess what comes next… Yep, all hell breaks loose again. We begin the comic book version kind of different, all we get is El Paso, TX and the story is off and running. Why is he there? What made him go to El Paso to begin with? Are we to believe this follows up the conclusion of the second movie? The one thing we can be sure of, all hell is gonna break loose!
How do you follow up a movie, or a pair of movies that have been loved by such a large population of people. The movie, the character fits Keanu Reeves to a T, as this “B” movie has quite the cult following! Well, you really have to dive deep into just who John Wick is supposed to be, maybe watch it a couple of hundred times. Learn speech patterns, ticks, mannerisms, then put them all down on paper. Want this book to take off? make the character look, act, talk just like Keanu Reeves himself, all to create familiarity. Greg Pak does just that with this book, and he does a fair job at bringing you in as well, getting you involved in the story line and plot. You’ll experience a quick twist, and the book is over. Seems like not enough story, way too little action, but the back story is fantastic! We don’t quite know why we are where we are right now, but answers will come. Story and set up are done quite nice.
I’m all for facial recognition, but the main character looks like Keanu Reeves was drawn straight into the book! This works quite well for facial recognition, as it now looks and probably sounds just like the movie character. The speech ticks are in your head, as you replay the exact same voice you heard in the movies. Giovanni does some great work, making sure things look exactly the way they should. One thing I noticed, and it may be a minor one to you, but to me it was pretty noticeable. Keanu Reeves is right handed, and shoots right handed. This character seems to be left hand dominant, except for one scene. Now this could be explained simply by stating that the character is ambidextrous, but if this book follows the movie so closely, John Wick doesn’t use his left hand to shoot. Maybe there are other reasons for this, as the artist had to do something to show that they aren’t the same character. Either way, it’s small enough that it won’t bother you at all.
All four covers depict John Wick, with Keanu Reeves front and center in the one just above this sentence. I find that one to be cheating a little, not that it’s a big deal, but it leans directly on the movie. If this is to be a continuation of the movie, right after the end of #2, then state that it is and let’s get moving. In my opinion, the one located at the top of the page here is my favorite. Aggressive pastel splashed covers that remind me of a few other books I’ve reviewed, but here the art is fantastic! Lots and lots of fantastic detail, very heavy on the detail, extremely heavy on the detail! You even get to see a little spittle coming from one of the characters mouth. That’s good! I love the detail.
If you are a fan of the movies, and I sure was, this might just make your pull list. Then again, this might be best purchased in Trade, as then the story will continue in a much faster pace. Still, if you’ve got an empty slot on your pull list, you could do much, much worse! Quality books should be read!