Die Hard: Year One, Vol. 1 by Howard Chaykin. Art by Stephen Thompson (Canada) - (USA)
Die Hard series
Pages: 112 pages
Finished: May 9, 2010
First Published: Apr. 13, 2010
Publisher: Boom! Studios
Genre: graphic novel, crime fiction
America's having a birthday ... and everybody's coming to the party ... the bicentennial celebration in New York City.
Acquired: Received a review copy from Harper Collins Canada.
Reason for Reading: More Die Hard? A young John McClane? C'mon? How could I resist?
The time is 1976 and John McClane is a rookie cop starting out. He's been partnered with a Training Officer of the seasoned, fat and complaining variety so needless to say they do not get along but McClane quickly learns to keep his mouth shut and make backhanded remarks out of the side of his mouth. On the street a series of incidents all lead to McClane taking on a small terrorist group and cops gone bad.
I loved this! The story was a bit jerky and could have flowed smoother. Hoping to see it come together a better as the series progresses. But it is a thrill to read a good old fashioned cops vs the bad guys story in graphic format. The seventies setting allows for some fun with clothing and colours at times. John McClane is a young version of the movie character not Bruce Willis, though some Bruce Willis does creep in and I'm glad it has been presented that way. Willis' brand of humour which shows up in every part he plays is a big part of the screen version of John McClane's character, in the graphic representation, the humour is there but it's not overkill. John McClane has a resemblance to Bruce Willis and in most shots it is only faint, except every now and then there will be certain angle which is the spitting image of Willis. To me this says the author & illustrator are acknowledging the already formed Willis version of John McClane but they do not intend to be limited by it. Obviously John McClane started out somewhere and grew into the character we are familiar with in the movies. This graphic series is going to show us what happened along the way.
As usual with Boom! Studios they publish a mean hardcover book. I love the cover picture on this! The jacket has a nice matte finish (I so prefer this over glossy ones) and there is an attached sliver ribbon bookmark. Removing the jacket will show the front board has been stamped in silver with an NYPD shield and the pages inside are thick, quality. A very enjoyable read which I look forward to continuing reading.