John Wick

John Wick
John Wick graphic novel review
  • North American Publisher / ISBN: Dynamite - 978-1-52410-682-9
  • Release date: 2019
  • UPC: 9781524106829
  • Contains adult content?: no
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: yes
  • Positive minority portrayal?: no

Watching the John Wick films there’s a feeling they write themselves, produced by a bunch of people infatuated with Clint Eastwood’s loners of the 1960s and 1970s. Greg Pak taps into that mood for a look at Wick settling some scores from the past. However, after running with two chapters of chaos he broadens the plot to incorporate the idea of assassins who’re handed markers and affiliated to the organisation to whom the markers represent targets.

Giovanni Valletta has a sketchy style drawing a John Wick who approximates the look of actor Keanu Reaves without being an exact replica, and that’s fine. He supplies the backgrounds and day to day scenes well enough, switching the viewpoints to ensure variety, but the left sample art highlights a problem with the action scenes. The way it’s laid out makes it seem as if Wick has grabbed the gun from the thug and used it against him, whereas what actually happens is the gun the thug’s holding in the second panel just disappears somehow and Wick is using his own gun, as briefly shown on the previous page. It’s the worst example over Valletta’s opening two chapters, but there are others. Matt Gaudio draws the final three chapters (sample art right), and isn’t as polished, but there’s a greater imagination and a greater energy that overcomes the technical problems. He has a fine way with a powerful visual statement.

While Wick seems to have completed his original business early, there’s a wildcard loose thread he didn’t know about, and Pak escalates the problems from there, but never with any sense of anything more than going through the motions. Wick fans are likely to take more away from this glimpse into his past than anyone just wanting an action thriller. For them there are far better out there. Just check the recommendations.