That comic book (or graphic novel to comic book fans) in question is a three part series called "Hunter's Heart". It is superbly written and illustrated by Randy Duburke which makes the whole thing doubly impressive. It does not feature over-the-top characters with unbelievable powers. There are no men with chiseled rock hard abs and twenty four inch python arms, brother! There are no scantly-clad, enormous breasted women in skin tight leather suits (stop making that face guys.) The world is in no threat of total annihilation. What does this graphic novel series provide you ask? Only the ingredients to a great story that, in my somewhat humble opinion (after all how humble could it be if I feel confident enough to post it on the internet?), should be considered for film adaptation. It is a story with the added benefit of being appealing to comic books fans, serious readers and anyone with love for a great police suspense thriller.
Cover: Volume 1
There have been so many movies, and will continue to be many, that are based off the typical superhero genre of comic books that one could quite literally get lost. Now I know that this may be a little out of character (pun) for me, but once in a while I want that comic book movie spotlight to shine upon stories that are well written with growth and development (in characters and the story.) I want to see heroes that would be more apt to sport a trench coat, fedora and a badge while packing a revolver instead of wearing tights and a cape. That is one reason I loved the SIN CITY movie. There were simply people and their stories, not bright colored characters flying through the sky and tossing bad guys around like a hot potato (okay maybe Marv did throw a few punches and guys with the effort of someone swatting flies.) Some
people consider comic books to not be real literature or books. I can see their point and agree to a degree. In some cases they are amazing novels featuring incredible artwork. I firmly feel and believe that Hunter's Heart is an example of how a story can transcend the medium from whence it came.
Work in progress including Volume 3 cover artwork
Let me give you a run down on the story. Detective Pete Lindstrom was working on breaking the case of his career. He was hunting a deeply disturbed serial killer known as The Longneck Slasher. Things became even more disturbing when he discovered the identity of the killer. You might assume that the story ended there, but the road ahead became twisted and turned in unexpected directions ending with Lindstrom being framed for the murder of his partner and friend Sergeant Bearpaw and being pursued by the Longneck Slasher, Lieutenant Slidell a crooked officer and Mr. LaCroix a very powerful and influential man. Now the hunter has become the hunted. All of this is in the first volume which makes you beg for more.
I know that hunter becomes the hunted line was very cliché, but it gets the point across. The story starts out with an easy to swallow plot. A hard nosed cop chasing a lunatic all while he nurses a chip on his shoulder about a dirty divorce and a rich man who has corrupt politicians and police in his back pocket while a black-tooth grin adorns his smug face. Then when it settles in your stomach, something starts to churn. You are lead through a maze of plot twists and character turns leaving you to ask questions, and then answers those questions with more questions. The whole time you are wondering what is going to happen next you begin to assume what it will be. Then Duburke does something to completely make your assumptions
change. There is a great air of mystery behind what is going to happen and you really get behind Detective Lindstrom in his struggles (in his redemption, catching the Longneck Slasher and just getting through life.) Cast would be important for this movie. Not in the same sense of Wolverine has to be 5'3", Dr. Doom has to have a Slavic accent to reflect his Latverian heritage, Howard the Duck has to be foul-mouthed (pun!) and every hero/villain should look like and be dressed in costumes exactly like their comic book inspirations. I am talking about actors and actresses that have depth and can bring life to the dialog, giving it the proper delivery and justice it deserves.
Hail, hail the gang's all here.
Detective Pete Lindstrom
This is basically your John McClane character. He is a dedicated cop who has a passion and devotion for his work that eats away at his personal life. He is so concerned with doing the right thing for others; he often disregards what's right for himself. I wouldn't suggest Bruce Willis though. I think it would need to be somebody like Jim Caviezel. After seeing him as a cop in FREQUENCY, the beating he took in THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST and his sense of honor and justice in THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO I think he is a great choice.
I would choose somebody who had the ability to be slimy, but put forth the image of decency and respectability at the same time. He would be crooked, but at the same time still be a cop. I think James Gandolfini is the way to go. He's was a cop that gave you a slight suggestion of being crooked in FALLEN and been an evil gangster in The Soprano's. If you could combine the characters, Slidell might be the
More of Duburke's artwork featuring Starman and Elvis.
This guy would have to have a feminine quality to him. His character relies on appearing to be non-threatening to his victims. My idea would be someone like Jared Leto. He had that disarming and innocent quality that makes him come off as somebody you would be more likely to try to protect than run from. That would be a valuable asset in playing this character.
He needs to be a figure of power and nobility while be ruthless and evil at the same time. Patrick Steward is who I think would fit the role. He had shown a nice range of good and heroic characters from his roles in STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION, X-MEN 1, 2 & 3 AND GEOFRY. I think it is time for him to come to the dark side as it were (apart from CONSPIRACY THEORY and MASTERMINDS we haven't really seen him as a villain.) I would not be surprised to if he owned the role.
I know this column has been quite a bit longer than normal, but I am very passionate about Hunter's Heart. I read a little almost every night; whether it is from single issues or portions of graphic novels, and this series has been a highlight of my nightly reading. It has been a while since I enjoyed reading a book and not finishing it all in one sitting. I have a feeling that this would make for one of the best comic book adaptation/suspense thrillers/police story movies in a long time. How many movies can you think of that would be able to fit into all three of those categories at once. Thanks for reading true believers, EXCELSIOR!
For more on the genius behind Hunter's Heart and much more visit his site here Randy Deburke
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