Greetings, Explorers! In this episode we return to the criminal world of Richard Stark’s Parker, with The Outfit. IDW published the book in 2010. The late, great Dawryn Cooke adapted and illustrated this book along with three other of the Parker novels. We reviewed the first of his adaptations, The Hunter, in Episode 11. There’s also a Catwoman story in Batman: Ego & Other Tails possibly inspired by the Parker character. We looked at that book in Episode 67.
The Outfit picks up shortly after The Hunter ended, then skips ahead a year later to 1963. Parker got the money owed to him from The Outfit, the criminal organization he went toe-to-toe with in The Hunter. Parker decides to relax in Miami after a getting a new identity and a surgical operation to change his face. Unfortunately, he’s ratted out to The Outfit by one of the few people who knows his real identity. Now The Outfit is hot on his trail. However, what they don’t realize is that while they’re hunting him, he’s looking to take the organization out, from the top down.
Dennis, Johnny, and Aubrey dive in by comparing the loads of misogyny and civilian deaths in The Hunter and the lack of either (or a reduction of) in The Outfit. Next, they compare Parker to The Getaway‘s Doc and Roland from The Dark Tower series. Finally, they question if Parker is in any way a “hero”, even an anti-hero. Additional topics include “conveniently good” vs “accidentally OK”; F-M-K Parker; and rather or not readers should skip The Hunter and go straight to this book. Last of all, but not certainly not least, they look at the storytelling and art of Richard Stark’s Parker – The Outfit.
Check out our reading lists for previous seasons by clicking here. We would love to hear your suggestions for future episodes of Graphic Novel Explorers Club.
Songe d’Automne by Latche Swing