Richard Stark’s Parker: The Man With the Getaway Face by Darwyn Cooke

The Man With the Getaway Face is a promotional item that was sold at comic stores for $2 in order to drum up excitement for the upcoming release of The Outfit. Its pages are almost entirely incorporated into The Outfit as a flashback sequence, with the approach of preserving plot points critical to The Outfit (the novel) while slashing out nearly everything not necessary to get us to that book.

It also makes a few changes to Getaway Face (the novel) in order to condense it into 24 pages. In addition to purged subplots, the heist is greatly simplified. But the important stuff is here–the plastic surgery, obviously, but also the establishment of one of Parker’s aliases and the introduction of Handy McKay. It also adds one new plot twist in order to tie the Getaway Face section to the rest of the adaptation of the The Outfit.

As a freestanding work, Getaway Face is not entirely satisfying, but it’s not supposed to be a freestanding work. As a teaser to get readers excited about the release of The Outfit, it more than accomplishes its task.

While The Man with the Getaway Face is certainly a nifty collector’s item, it isn’t anything like a lost Parker comic if you didn’t happen to score a copy when it was available retail or can’t afford the inflated prices now that it’s out of print. The key differences between this and the Getaway Face section of The Outfit are:

  • One page omitted from The Outfit that helps wrap up the story as a standalone, where Parker and Handy McKay go their separate ways after the heist is concluded.
  • A brief introduction by Darwyn Cooke.
  • Artwork colored with shades of orange rather than the blue used in The Outfit.
  • Generous 8″ x 12.5″ measurements. (I hopes the whole series will be reprinted at this size someday!)
  • An advertisement on the inside back cover featuring artwork by Darwyn Cooke for the iPhone version of The Hunter.
  • An advertisement on the back cover for the upcoming release of The Outfit.

A cool collector’s item for the Parker fan, to be sure, but don’t break the bank for it.