Several times in the debut season of Reacher, the titular character has to contend with a group of mooks who have been sent to put some fear into him or lay some damage on him. The inevitable result is that the big guy, played with laconic charm by DC Universe veteran Alan Ritchson, blasts through them in a heartbeat, meeting much the same resistance as a bull wading into a river.
It’s wonderfully cathartic stuff. In one diner-set altercation, he wraps some poor guy’s head in a tablecloth and then knocks him into a coma with a rapid succession of elbow strikes. I cheered. Hell, I nearly cried.
Such is the appeal of pulp lit hero Jack Reacher, the brainchild of writer Lee Child, who published the tough nut’s first adventure Killing Floor in 1997. Since then he’s starred in a further 24 novels and a handful of short stories, which speaks to his popularity. Reacher the man is a kind of wandering samurai/knight errant figure.
A former military policeman with a service record that would make Rambo flinch, he spends his time travelling by bus from town to town, getting into adventures, and basically living the life that Jules aspired to in Pulp Fiction. He’s built for it; he’s a 6’4 master of hand-to-hand combat with a keen investigative mind, his own immutable code of ethics, and no compunction about doing violence to people who deserve it. And he meets a lot of people who deserve it, which is great for us.