John Wick #1 (Dynamite Entertainment)
The real world impact of John Wick was about as explosive as the character.
It’s a weird thing to think, but original concept action movies are kind of dead. Everything Hollywood produces these days is attached to an existing property, it seems, so when John Wick was announced no one had any idea what to make of it. The advertising was not existent and it was shuffled out and, I imagine, expected to be a forgotten piece of nothing in first quarter filmic flotsam.
Word of mouth carried it further than anyone might have expected it to go. I’d say going further than it had any business going, but that would be a lie – this was a movie that was brilliantly put together, a shocking wave of violence and fury that made sense and introduced a shadowy world that co-existed with the one we know, a world where gold coins have currency and the rules of the Continental are everything.
The title character needs no establishment; the world fears him. You can see it in the weather, at the funeral, in every interaction he has with anyone that crosses his path. And, thing of it is, the world of John Wick does feel like a world. It’s lived in, a place where people play and breathe and kill. It’s a world the first and second movie only scratched the surface of, a world where John is already established, a force of nature unlike anything else in that place.
One question remained unanswered, though: how did John find himself in that world?
Greg Pak is looking to give us the answer. Yes, that Greg Pak, the writer of Planet Hulk and a list of incredible comics long enough to fill whole shelves worth of trades. He’s joining an angry young John fresh out of prison, a John with a lot of raw talent but an utter lack of refinement as he crosses over from the world we know to the one he will be a legend in.
That’s worth the price of admission alone.
John Wick‘s world is one that the movies only hint at, giving us just enough information for the sake of story but never pushing mythology over action. The mythology is there and that is enough for the need of story, but those of us with questions sometimes need those questions answered. What is the Book of Rules or the Three Bills? Who is Calamity? What was John like before the world hollowed him out and left behind the Baba Yaga?
Greg’s been paired with artist Giovanni Valletta, a name you might know from some rather moody work in the pages of Dark Horse Presents. His work shines when dealing with shadows and the nuance of expression, and this is one of those perfect pairings between an artist and a story. We’re expecting great things from this, and you should be, too.