Monday, August 08, 2005

Ennis' Hitman Returns

I've heard that Garth Ennis is going to bring back Tommy Monaghan and the gang from DC's Hitman series for a story arc somewhere soon. The rumor is that the story will be set in the past so as not to screw up the climax at the end of the Hitman series. There are a precious few comic titles that ended in such a well-produced manner that they should not be tampered with. One is Preacher and the other is Hitman. I really hope that DC doesn't screw up this opportunity.

For those of you not familiar with Hitman, it was the only good concept to come out of the ill-concieved Bloodlines crossover event that appeared in all the DC annuals some years ago. Hitman was a series that consistently delivered wit, well-written stories and always interesting art. An assassin by trade, a biological attack by an infectious alien left Tommy with X-Ray vision and the ability to read minds. This was a talent that was useful in his work and gracefully under-played by Ennis. Tommy was also the kind of rascal that would trick his way into the JLA headquarters just to use his X-Ray vision on Wonder Woman. His ensemble supporting cast was great though I did not like the character of Six-Pack. I saw him as a cleverly-concieved yet rapidly-tiresome satire of the Golden Age sidekick.

Readers new to Ennis should know that the Ennnis-verse is usually populated by reprehensible human beings and this series is no exception. But the humor of the series balanced out the personalities and situations nicely. People often refer to the issues guest-starring Superman and a novice Green Lantern as some of their favorite stories.

I myself favored the Seaquarium Undead and Catwoman issues.

Zombie baby seals.

Tommy needing to contact the morally ambiguous Catwoman led to what is possibly the single greatest image ever to appear in a comic book...

The Hitman invents...the CAT-SIGNAL!

I don't get why DC has not collected the entire series for the trade market but I recommend that you go find the Hitman run and buy it right away. You can find some of it in the trades and the rest in back issues. You won't be sorry.


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