- Written by: Greg Pak
- Art by: Giovanni Valetta
- Colours by: Inlight Studios
- Letterer: Tom Napolitano
- Editor: Anthony Marques
- Cover A by: Giovanni Valetta
- Cover B by: Denys Cowan
- Cover C by: Photo Cover
- Cover D by: John Cassady
In a world flooded with super-hero movies, it’s somewhat rare these days to find very well made action films that feel like they could take on the super-heroes, but in 2014 one particular caught the world’s attention and gave us a film unlike any other that I personally have ever seen.
Starring the beloved action film star, Keanu Reeves, who you may know from films such as The Matrix Trilogy, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (and it’s sequels), Constantine (2005 Film) and many other classic films, John Wick is a neo-noir action-thriller that felt fresh to the moviegoers, as it brings us a new world that feels fleshed out and instead of dropping us at the beginning, with John’s origins, we are instead thrown straight in to a period of time where Wick is retired and trying to escape the world he had dedicated so much of his life to, as a very successful Hitman, famed for being the best at what he does.
I won’t go too much into the film’s plot as this review isn’t for the film, it’s for the comic book adaptation, published by Dynamite Comics, that gives us the origins of Wick, set before the first film.
In El Paso, Texas, a young, but adult John Wick is on a personal vendetta mission to find someone from his past, a man by the name of Pecos who John knows from his childhood. We get a glimpse of their acquaintance as the story gives us a flash back to twelve years earlier, in which we see a young teenage John running away from Pecos and two other older guys. However, with this being a John Wick story, the situation escalates very quickly and sees Pecos blow up a building and shoot anyone who escapes, in hopes of killing John.
Back to the present day of the story and we the action take off as John uses a couch cushion to protect himself as he goes crashing through two windows to save an old friend from being shot by Pecos and his gang of thugs. After incapacitating the group of gunmen, John reacquaints himself with the victim, who you may also recognise from the films as Lance Reddick’s character, known as Charon, who is always formal and one of the only people in the franchise to constantly greet John as “Mr. Wick” despite their long history together.
After conflicts are resolved, the final page depicts that there is a larger plot going on, as we get a glimpse of a larger organisation, with the words “Now who would like to help me kill John Wick”.
The art in the book really helps the familiar characters stand out, whilst new characters are all drawn with interesting but fitting designs. None of the new characters feel out of place from the story and all of them feel like it could easily be translated into film.
John Wick looks as he does in the films and so does Charon which makes the entire book fit perfectly into the films continuity and give you that sense of knowing this is a John Wick story.
This is a great first edition for the comic adaptation as it brings us deeper into the world that was given to us in the movies, and of course we get a better look at John’s life before the version of him we know.
Below is a gallery of the various covers for issue 1