In December 2016, Dynamite Entertainment announced that the company will produce a prequel comic book adaptation of the John Wick film franchise. The comic series will focus on the eponymous character’s backstory, charting the road he took to become the unstoppable assassin depicted in both John Wick and John Wick: Chapter 2.
Today, the publisher revealed that its series will be helmed by writer Greg Pak of Totally Awesome Hulk and Teen Titans fame, with art by Giovanni Valletta -- best known for his work on Dark Horse Presents.
"I was on-board pretty much as soon as I got the call and heard John Wick,” Pak said in a press release. “I'm a huge Keanu Reeves fan and loved the John Wick movies, which had the kind of kinetic action and intriguing mythology that seemed like a perfect fit for comics.”
The series will pick up right as Wick is released from prison and subsequently introduced to the shadow league of assassins from the films. Wick will have to learn the ins and outs of this cabal if he hopes to survive his initiation. Foreboding specters like the Book of Rules, Three Bills and a person named Calamity are just a few of the obstacles standing in Wick’s path to becoming the Baba Yaga.
According to Pak, Valletta is already hard at work designing the prequel series.
“The art I saw from Giovanni Valletta blew my mind -- he's totally nailing Keanu Reeves' likeness while creating emotional, dynamic, exciting action,” Pak said. “This book is going to be beautiful.”
The comic series will be the first time the John Wick franchise has delved into the character’s violent history. The first film, John Wick, debuted in theaters in 2014 and introduced the assassin mere moments before he loses everything of value in his life and sets out on a quest for revenge that leaves mounds of bodies in his wake. The sequel, John Wick: Chapter 2, was released in 2017 and kicked off right where the previous film left off. The movie saw Wick honor a blood debt before being inevitably betrayed.
The films have hinted at a larger system governing the sinister hitman syndicate Wick calls extended family, but the comic series looks to fully explore not only the contract killer’s origins, but also this brutal community.
John Wick #1 is scheduled to release on September 6, 2017 both digitally and on comic book store shelves.