John Wick gets an origin story prequel comic from Dynamite Entertainment

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Lucas Siegel
Jun 20, 2017

He may be the most incredible killer brought to screen, and this September, thanks to Dynamite Entertainment and Lionsgate Films, we get to learn how he got that way. John Wick goes from the big screen to the printed page, with writer Greg Pak (Planet HulkWeapon X) and artist Giovanni Valletta telling an all-new prequel story revealing the anti-hero assassin's origin.

John Wick the comic series sees the character coming out of his first stint in prison and, in pure John Wick fashion, heading out on a mission of revenge. This is when he meets the community of assassins that he'll later be known as being one of the best ever amongst, learns of the Book of Rules, and must answer questions like "What are the Three Bills?" and "Who is Calamity?"

Pak, who has worked in comics, film, and novels, was thrilled to be tapped to write the series, and is excited about comics being the medium to tell this particular story.

"I was on board pretty much as soon as I got the call and heard ‘John Wick.' 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. I'm also always happy to work with my friends at Dynamite, who are always a pleasure to make comics with," he said in a press release. "the art I saw from Giovanni Valletta blew my mind -- he's totally nailing Keanu Reeves' likeness while creating emotional, dynamic, exciting action. This book is going be BEAUTIFUL."

Valletta graduated from the Kubert School of Cartooning and Graphic Art in 2010, and became a teacher there in 2012. His work can be seen in Dark Horse Presents and Pathfinder: Worldscape, and he likewise jumped at the opportunity to be a part of John Wick.

"When Dynamite Editor Anthony Marques asked me if I would like to do some tryouts for this project, I immediately jumped at the opportunity," the artist said in the release. "I loved the John Wick film so much, and have been a fan of Keanu Reeves and his work for as long as I can remember. I couldn't be happier to have been picked to work on this project, and I hope the love I have for this movie shines through in my work."

The kicker, of course, is "getting the greenlight to tell a John Wick origin story," Pak said, "to actually be able to add to this character's and world's tremendous mythology!" Writer/creator of the character Derek Kolstad, Thunder Road, Lionsgate, and even Keanu Reeves have been involved, giving their blessings to the story and the way things play out (so yes, this is considered canon alongside the films).

This isn't the first time a John Wick prequel has hit the news this week, either, as a TV series called "The Continental" is also in the works, taking place before the films. While that's not yet a done deal, and would focus more on the entire world of assassins, fans can return to the world of John Wick with the first issue of the comic on September 6, 2017.