By Mitch Barracuda
Guy Ritchie’s Gamekeeper #1
Created by Guy Ritchie
Written by Jeff Parker
Art by Ron Randall, Ron Chan
Color by Virgin Studios
Covers by Mukesh Singh, Dean Ormston
Cover price: $2.99; Available now
I like Snatch. That’s a sorely underrated film, and one of Guy Ritchie‘s best. Yes, some disagree and say it’s Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, but I like Snatch. I don’t know why, I just do. It has charm, humor, and just makes me feel good afterwards. I can just watch it for hours and hours on end. I guess that’s just me… me and Snatch. Sigh.
Popular film director Guy Ritchie has created a niche in the heist movie formula, usually adding a group of misfits joined together to steal something big, and then to stumble along the way to the big reveal. Who crossed who? Who’s really in charge? And how does Jason Statham become an action star from these flicks? Virgin Studios has tapped into the stylish and clever action-thriller film market, bringing in notable directors like John Woo (The Killer), Jonathan Mostow (U-571), and Guy Ritchie to expand their ideas into comic book form. As a result, we have issue one of Gamekeeper, or what I like to call, “Hollywood a No-Go.”
It’s not a bad book, written by Jeff Parker and drawn well by the two Ron’s, Ron Randall and Ron Chan. For starters, I love that cover with the crow. There’s also an interesting hook in why the “games” are being played between rich men that are bored with their money and can’t log onto a comic book message board to help writers make comic books.
No, Gamekeeper struggles in two main aspects. One: It’s not meant to be a monthly serial. This tale is best told in one piece as a graphic novel. Issue one gives us tidbits; a marksman named Raven reminiscent of Clive Owen in The Bourne Identity, a meeting of minds over espionage, and a heist from an art museum to test out the crew and the “new guy,” but none of them are established or really left with a nice cliffhanger. Ends up being more like a piece of a piece of pie; the unbitten part from Grandma. Not enough to really make the reader grab the comic book store clerk by the shirt collar and say, “Hey, I want some more damn Gamekeeper, dangit!” Two: It’s not written by Guy Ritchie. Not to take away from Parker, but that big name on the cover of the book is what gets people excited. So when you find out Madonna’s hubby didn’t write the book, well, it’s a letdown. I want to read Ritchie’s words because that’s what I liked at the movies, and want to see how it transitions to comic book land. Without his words, I find it hard to really be entranced with the idea overall.
But that’s okay, because at the end of the day, I will still love Snatch.
CONTINUE READING? Could make more sense as the story unfolds, so yeah, might have to keep reading to get the big picture, but I highly suggest to read it at collected.