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Darwyn Cooke (1962- ), born in Toronto, Canada, arrived late into the comic industry. During his twenties he was a magazine art director, graphic designer, commercial production designer and editorial illustrator. At age 30 he decided to chuck it all in due to, “the stress of the job and the absolute moral bankruptcy of it… You’re paid to lie.” He decided to get back to his true loves: animation and comic books. After founding and leading the award winning Brotherhood Animation Company he spotted an ad in The Comics Journal placed by Warner Brothers looking for artists to work on the Batman and Superman TV animated shows. This resulted in him spending three years in Los Angeles working for Bruce Timm on The Batman/Superman Adventures and later Batman Beyond. This was followed with a brief stint as Director on Men In Black: The Animated Series. During his time in animation Darwyn developed a proposal for Batman: Ego, a self contained story which he wrote and drew, which finally saw print in 2000 and he has been working in comics ever since.

Essential Reading:

Parker: The Hunter
Parker: The Outfit
IDW, 2009-2010

The Hunter is the story of a man who hits New York head-on like a shotgun blast to the chest. Betrayed by the woman he loved and double-crossed by his partner in crime, Parker makes his way cross-country with only one thought burning in his mind - to coldly exact his revenge and reclaim what was taken from him!  In The Outfit, Parker is riding high, living in swank hotels and enjoying the finer things in life again. Until, that is, he’s fingered by a squealer who rats him out to The Outfit for the price they put on his head… and they find out too late that if you push Parker, it better be all the way into the grave!

Paul Gravett says:
Comics have traditionally tended to require a leanness and economy of text, pared down to avoid overly florid literariness. So Westlake’s prose almost reads like comics and can be edited and transferred smoothly. It’s a mark of the respect which Westlake developed for Cooke that he allowed him to use the name of his cherished character Parker for the first time - an honour no film-director had ever been granted… Cooke is in his element and in total control here, stripping down his drawing to brutal black brushstrokes worthy of Alex Toth, this choppy, rough-edged swagger matching the protagonist’s personality perfectly.

The New Frontier
DC, 2004

The New Frontier takes readers on an epic journey from the end of the Golden Age to the genesis of a bold new era for the super-hero in the late 1950s. World War II is over. The Cold War has begun. And the Age of the Super-Hero is in decline. But where are the heroes of tomorrow? The New Frontier recounts the dawning of the DC Universe’s Silver Age from the perspective of those brave individuals who made it happen. Encounter ‘keepers of the flame’ including Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman, who survived the anti-hero sentiment of the Cold War, as well as eager newcomers like test pilot Hal Jordan and scientist Barry Allen, poised to become the next generation of crime-fighters.

Darwyn Cooke says:
New Frontier is the story of the original Justice League members and how they came to be, told against the historic backdrop of the time period they were introduced- the 1950s. The high concept bite is The Right Stuff for superheroes. The goal is to try to successfully reflect the essence of what it means to be a hero. New Frontier is set in the Fifties because it’s the era when the characters and ideas were fresh and new. The best example is Hal Jordan; he was created as a character who reflected his time- test pilots were the NBA stars of their day. The broader reason the story fits so well into this era is it really is the last gasp of white America’s innocence. It is the time just before the JFK assassination, Vietnam, and Civil Rights issues stripped America of its faith in itself and its leaders. In other words, the last era in which a classic hero could still emerge.

Catwoman: Selina’s Big Score
DC, 2002

A mob train full of unmarked cash. A crew of professional thieves to take it down. Selina Kyle figured it was the perfect crime. But she was wrong. Dead wrong.






Catwoman: The Dark End Of The Street
DC, 2002

Last seen at deaths door, Selina Kyle has disappeared and is assumed dead. But the mysterious circumstances of her death draw the attention of a certain roughneck private eye - Slam Bradley.








Graphic Novels:
Parker: The Outfit (2010)
Parker: The Hunter (2009)
The New Frontier Vol 2 (2005)
The New Frontier Vol 1 (2005)
Catwoman: Selina’s Big Score (2002)
Catwoman: The Dark End Of The Street (2002)
Batman: Ego (2000)

Other Comic Work:
Jonah Hex #50 (2009)
The Spirit #1-6, 8-12 (2006-2008)
Solo #5 (2005)
The New Frontier #1-6 (2004)
Wolverine/Doop #1-2 (2003)
Witchblade: Animated #1 (2003)
Spider-Man’s Tangled Web #21 (2003)
Spider-Man’s Tangled Web #11 (2002)

Short Stories:
JSA All Stars #3 (2003)
Marvel Double Shot #3 (2003)
X-Force #124 (2002)
X-Static: Good Omens #1 (2002)
Legion Worlds #2 (2001)
Batman: Gotham Nights #23 (2000)

The Comics Journal #285


Official Site:
Almost Darwyn Cooke’s Blog

Parker: The Hunter

Online Resources:
Paul Gravett’s Articles
The Violent World Of Parker


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