John Wick #2
Written by: Greg Pak
Art by: Giovanni Valletta, David Curiel, and Inlight Studios
Published by: Dynamite Comics

Reviewed by: Ryan McLelland

I am a massive John Wick fan.  I think the first film is one of the best action movies of all time.  I thought the second film to be a tiny bit bloated but a great expansion of this assassin universe that John Wick is a part of.  I figured the John Wick comic would be a crap tie-in only to find that the first issue knocked it right out of the park thanks to the excellent writing of Greg Pak.

The second issue does not let up the exciting pace as we continue to follow John in some of his earliest adventures as an assassin.  After rescuing the concierge Charon in the previous issue, John Wick is introduced to the assassin world’s sanctuary: the Continental Hotel.  As we know from the movies, the Continental Hotels are zones where assassins can stay and no one can conduct business (like killing each other).  You can get a room, kick back, and possibly have a drink with the person you are there to kill.

But John isn’t here to kick back and get some room service. He has people after him, people who want to kill him. So Wick decides to enact a plan to possibly take out all the killers after him in one shot. It’s fairly ingenious. It’s very John Wick.  It leads to an explosive ending to the issue that I won’t ruin.  Let’s just say that Wick is in top form, even this early in his career.

That’s what I love about this book. It doesn’t feel like some fanboy fiction written by my 92 year old neighbor. There’s a great care for the mythology. Everything being introduced or expanded upon by Greg Pak feels like it fits perfectly into the puzzle. Like John Wick’s creator Derek Kolstad had all of this planned for John Wick all along. Maybe that is the case. Maybe this is Kolstad’s origin of the character and Greg Pak is simply the one writing the words for the printed page.

All that matters is the end result and that result is a fantastic must read for any John Wick fan. It is a brilliant comic book that builds on its luscious foundation to bring us intrigue and action that could be up there on the big screen. The best part of a comic book? There is no limit to what John Wick can accomplish. John needs to blow up a building? Don’t have to worry about the cost. Just the cost of paying Pak and artist Giovanni Valletta.

Valletta does a wonderful job bringing this world to life. You can easily pick out characters like Wick and Charon without being told who they are yet Valletta does a wonderful job making this world his own. The art is gorgeous. The whole book just looks and reads fantastic.

This is absolutely Dynamite’s best book and John Wick #2 continues to kick ass. I’m salivating to see what comes next and can’t wait to get #3 into my hands.

RATING: A+

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