John Wick, Vol. 1 by Greg Pak, Giovanni Valletta (Artist), Matt Gaudio (Artist)

A couple disclaimers: I have not seen any of the films. And yes, I am reading the book that was made after the films were made. Does that make sense?

This is an origin story of sorts… How did John Wick become so angry? The graphic novel opens with a young Jonny stealing money that some thieves have taken presumably from the people of his village in Mexico. These men become so angry that they kill most of the people in the town. The narrative then jumps forward a couple decades to John hunting down the criminals for vengeance. He seems destined to complete his task until he becomes entangled in an assassin/ mercenary organization called The Continental that controls the actions of its members. Will Wick be able to enact vengeance?

Even though the palette is dark there are multiple greyed colors that do not conform to the night scenes. Bright reds, yellows, and even purples are used to portray the action of bullets and hand-to-hand combat. Wick has been trained, but it remains a mystery as to where he has gotten his skills. And his adversaries are a bit one-sided, but that’s to be expected in a Kill Bill plot like this.

I assume that if you liked the flicks, you will like this book… but the reverse is true for me. I’m thinking about watching a couple of them myself.

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