Chico Comics Page Review: John Wick #1
Created By: Derek Colstad
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Writer: Greg Pak
Art/Cover A: Giovanni Valletta
Colors: David Curiel & Inlight Studios
Letters: Tom Napolitano
Reviewed By: Michael Nunneley
Cover B: Denys Cowan
The Main cover on John Wick #1 by Giovanni Valletta is excellent. A brilliant display of pencils, inks and colors IMO. The pencils and inks were done not only well for the cover, but also tastefully and dramatically. There are a lot of inks, yet I don’t feel overwhelmed by them. In fact, the pencils and inks on the cover accentuate each other in a great way. The red lighting in the coloring gives the scene an angry/violent setting and the artwork depicts Wick in full on “you’re gonna die” mode. This things collide like worlds into a dark-themed, shadow-ridden world of secrets depicted in the blues and purples of the cover.
The interior artwork on John Wick #1 by Giovanni Valletta, David Curiel & Inlight Studios is very good as well. I am impressed with the likenesses of the characters by Valletta. John Wick actually looks just like Keanu Reeves (take a look to the left)! The coloring is alright. But its aesthetic appeal goes in and out for me. Sometimes it’s right on point and I’m loving it – like the wide shot of El Paso, Texas was really good. But as you can see to the left, the shirt is rather generically filled in. Like the pattern in the colors does not represent the angles or texture of the clothing. My only other complaint is with the choreography – which was a bit choppy. This is against the grain of the well-choreographed movies. So I found it a bit disappointing.
The writing on John Wick #1 by Greg Pak was, of course, AWESOME! I have always enjoyed his writing, though, I must admit my favorites have been Dynamite’s Battlestar Galactica & Valiant’s Eternal Warrior. But now, thanks to the storycraft of Greg Pak, Dynamite’s John Wick is at the top of my “Pak-List” (Yes that’s a term I just made up, & yes you can use it!). I am really enjoying the story so far. I love how far Greg Pak is taking us back in Wick’s world and life. I was pulled in to the story and even to unfamiliar characters right away – and I never do that. That impresses me greatly as it shows skill to be able to write dialog and story in such a way that panels and pages of getting to now them all isn’t necessary. The dialog, for at least Wick’s portion, was exactly how I would imagine him saying his lines. Pak’s ability to mimic speech patterns is sharp and precise. The pacing was also good – and similar in atmosphere to the films, so it really feels like an extension of the Wick-Verse (yes that’s another one). The story had a clear flow and momentum to it that felt compelling and natural and Pak remained true to the end.
The lettering on John Wick #1 by Tom Napolitano was good too. I like his willingness to use different fonts in his sound effects letters (as seen below). While I’ve seen similar panels before, I have not seen that font used, and that made it fresh and new to me. And with his dialog and narration bubbles and boxes he uses a slightly distorted bold lettering to emphasis certain words – expressing emotional tense in the writing. Again, this has been done before, but Napolitano tweaked it just a bit and made it his own. His layouts were great and his font types/sizes were entertaining.
Cover D: John Cassaday
JOHN WICK: BOOK OF RULES PART ONE
The story opens in El Paso, Texas. John Wick is in town to settle an old score. But this is before The Continental, before the legend of Wick was cemented in mafia-mythology. But, Wick, even younger and less experienced, still has a sheer will and crystal clear focus. However, he does find himself in the middle of a mess after he accomplishes his mission. Can he learn the rules of this new game he is in? He’s gonna have to… Find out who John Wick was before he became the Baba Yaga?
Should you buy this book? Hell yes you should!! Well, if your a John Wick fan anyway – and well, who isn’t, am I right? This book has great art, fantastic writing and it’s a good read. My only complaint is with the choreography, which was a bit choppy in places – meaning the reader must imagine a series of moves to understand what happens in between some panels. But that aside, I can’t wait for the next one to find out what happens next! I’m sure that this book will leave you on the edge of your seat wanting more like it did to me. Skully’s official awesomo-meter reading is at 8.25/10.
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