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View Full Version : Garth Ennis's Hitman. Any good?



Howlett
02-03-2008, 09:03 PM
I have the whole run to read, and I just finished re-reading Preacher and Punisher MAX so I was thinking of giving this a go, but I was curious what the general consensus was about it, seeing how it's an Ennis run that doesn't seem to be as specifically mature reader focused, like Preacher or The Boys, but more like the MK run of Punisher was (which honestly, I hated with a blistering passion).

Thoughts?

c. page
02-03-2008, 09:04 PM
i've heard nothing but good things about it.

NickT
02-03-2008, 09:05 PM
My favourite Ennis work. Well written, funny and with a lot of heart.


And the Superman issue is one of the best single issues ever.

Howlett
02-03-2008, 09:06 PM
i've heard nothing but good things about it.
Heh, not a recommendation I can really take to heart dude, but thanks anyway :lol:

My favourite Ennis work. Well written, funny and with a lot of heart.


And the Superman issue is one of the best single issues ever.

Thanks. That sounds promising. Think I'll get started on that in a minute then.

Magnum V.I.
02-03-2008, 09:07 PM
It's pretty great James. Knowing for certain the stuff you like, you can't not like this.

I have only read the first 2 trades but they were some of the funniest comics I read. Pretty great too man.

c. page
02-03-2008, 09:09 PM
Heh, not a recommendation I can really take to heart dude, but thanks anyway :lol:

having not yet read it, it's the best you'll get out of me.

Howlett
02-03-2008, 09:09 PM
It's pretty great James. Knowing for certain the stuff you like, you can't not like this.

I have only read the first 2 trades but they were some of the funniest comics I read. Pretty great too man.

Knowing for certain that you've known me well for nearly a year, that's not something you could ever say and bet on to be right Josh :twisted:

But jokes aside, I get your point. Looking forward to it. I just flipped through his first appearance from The Demon and it looks kinda cool.

Howlett
02-03-2008, 09:10 PM
having not yet read it, it's the best you'll get out of me.

Not good enough dammit, give me more! MORE!!! :mad:

c. page
02-03-2008, 09:11 PM
Not good enough dammit, give me more! MORE!!! :mad:

fine.

you should go see meet the spartans. i hear there's references to comic book movies in it. you like comic book movies don't you? then you'll love meet the spartans!

Magnum V.I.
02-03-2008, 09:11 PM
Knowing for certain that you've known me well for nearly a year, that's not something you could ever say and bet on to be right Josh :twisted:

But jokes aside, I get your point. Looking forward to it. I just flipped through his first appearance from The Demon and it looks kinda cool.

Hey! :mad: From what you've told me of your love for Ennis and Punisher you really can't hate this book. It reminds me of Welcome Back Frank in how fun it was. Plus the Zombie Zoo arc was pretty awesome.

The Hodag
02-03-2008, 09:11 PM
But jokes aside, I get your point. Looking forward to it. I just flipped through his first appearance from The Demon and it looks kinda cool.

It's great stuff, but a slight word of warning. The early Demon stuff is pretty uneven and it takes a few issues in general to get into full gear.

Matthew Brown
02-03-2008, 09:13 PM
Just got finished reading it for the second time in my life. The first time owning it.

Still my favorite Ennis comic. Maybe even favorite comic, period.

speedr
02-03-2008, 09:15 PM
better than punisher max, maybe even better than preacher? not sure. it's comparable though. hitman, like preacher, is a great mix of comedy, drama, romance, violence, and gross out humor. enjoy.

Howlett
02-03-2008, 09:15 PM
fine.

you should go see meet the spartans. i hear there's references to comic book movies in it. you like comic book movies don't you? then you'll love meet the spartans!
There is no power on this earth that'd make me go to that movie.

No. Single. Power. On this earth :lol:

(you suck by the way. I had something I wanted to ask you, and now I've forgotten... so you suck. Since I forgot :shifty: )

Hey! :mad: From what you've told me of your love for Ennis and Punisher you really can't hate this book. It reminds me of Welcome Back Frank in how fun it was. Plus the Zombie Zoo arc was pretty awesome.
I notice you didn't argue my point though :) It's never a guarantee and you bloody well know it :lol:

I heard about that Zombie Zoo arc. Looking forward to that :D

It's great stuff, but a slight word of warning. The early Demon stuff is pretty uneven and it takes a few issues in general to get into full gear.

Ah, slow starts never bother me. If I start this, I'll finish it, since it's Ennis. I just didn't want to start right now if the general thought on it had been that it was bad. Thanks for the warning though :D

NickT
02-03-2008, 09:16 PM
It's great stuff, but a slight word of warning. The early Demon stuff is pretty uneven and it takes a few issues in general to get into full gear.
That's a good point, the first trade isn't as good as the rest.


One thing that's great is how varied it is. One arc has mobsters, the next has Dinosaurs or zombie sealife.

c. page
02-03-2008, 09:17 PM
There is no power on this earth that'd make me knowingly go to that movie.

No. Single. Power. On this earth :lol:

(you suck by the way. I had something I wanted to ask you, and now I've forgotten... so you suck. Since I forgot :shifty: )

fixed that. i bet we could lure you to a place with booze and potatoes, and then trap you in a room and play the movie.

Howlett
02-03-2008, 09:19 PM
fixed that. i bet we could lure you to a place with booze and potatoes, and then trap you in a room and play the movie.

Uh, no. There is no fix Chris. There is no way on gods grey and polluted earth that I would ever... EVER... subject myself to that movie, or any of it's type.

There is no lure. There is no bribe. There is no anything. It would never happen. You would lose that bet. Very, very fast :)

Albert
02-03-2008, 09:21 PM
You don't like the MK Punisher?!

c. page
02-03-2008, 09:22 PM
Uh, no. There is no fix Chris. There is no way on gods grey and polluted earth that I would ever... EVER... subject myself to that movie, or any of it's type.

There is no lure. There is no bribe. There is no anything. It would never happen. You would lose that bet. Very, very fast :)

well sure, now that you know of my nefarious scheme to trick you into wandering into a room where you were subjected to "parody".

that's why i said "knowingly" in my edit. because of course you wouldn't subject yourself to it. someone would have to trick you.

:shifty:

Howlett
02-03-2008, 09:24 PM
You don't like the MK Punisher?!

I absolutely, positively, in no uncertain terms, hated the MK run of the Punisher with a passion unheard of, or even imagined.

It had a couple of issues that I thought were decent, but as a whole, I thought it was one of the worst runs of any comic I ever read. If it hadn't been for Born, which I read off a friend first, I'd never have touched the Punisher MAX series because of it. It was because of that mini that I knew Garth got Frank's character and knew he'd do good things with it.

MK Punisher I thought was a complete and utter joke. Which is not something I think the Punisher is supposed to be.

Howlett
02-03-2008, 09:25 PM
well sure, now that you know of my nefarious scheme to trick you into wandering into a room where you were subjected to "parody".

that's why i said "knowingly" in my edit. because of course you wouldn't subject yourself to it. someone would have to trick you.

:shifty:

Would you really want to attempt that though? I mean, you've known me for years Chris. You know I'd get over feeling bad about having to punch you in the teeth for trying to trick me into watching that pretty damn quick :twisted:

c. page
02-03-2008, 09:28 PM
Would you really want to attempt that though? I mean, you've known me for years Chris. You know I'd get over feeling bad about having to punch you in the teeth for trying to trick me into watching that pretty damn quick :twisted:

well, obviously it won't be ME that tricks you now. i'm just noting that it would be possible for an enterprising (and suicidal) individual to do such a thing.

Jonathan Callan
02-03-2008, 09:32 PM
This is probably my favorite ongoing series of all time and I'm shocked the number of comics fans who never sought it out. Sheer, utter brilliance and better character work than Ennis has ever done.

Petey Parker
02-03-2008, 09:33 PM
I love Hitman. Its one of my favorite books ever.

Jonathan Callan
02-03-2008, 09:35 PM
You don't like the MK Punisher?!

I actually feel quite the same way. Damn thing had no heart - every character was detestable. Just didn't have that spirit of camraderie and wonderful sense for character that made Preacher, Hitman and The Boys so damn special. Your characters need to be somewhat like-able if you're gonna have a warped sense of humor the whole time.

Albert
02-03-2008, 09:37 PM
I actually feel quite the same way. Damn thing had no heart - every character was detestable. Just didn't have that spirit of camraderie and wonderful sense for character that made Preacher, Hitman and The Boys so damn special. Your characters need to be somewhat like-able if you're gonna have a warped sense of humor the whole time.

I really like the original 12 issue mini-series. I didn't dig everything that came after that, but I still think "Welcome Back, Frank" is awesome.

Howlett
02-03-2008, 09:42 PM
well, obviously it won't be ME that tricks you now. i'm just noting that it would be possible for an enterprising (and suicidal) individual to do such a thing.
You had the idea though, so now if it happens, I'd have to assume you had a part in it and come looking for you.

Sucks, but there you go :cool:

I really like the original 12 issue mini-series. I didn't dig everything that came after that, but I still think "Welcome Back, Frank" is awesome.

Ah, when I saw MK Punisher, I mean the MK ongoing. That's what I was referring to. I keep forgetting that Welcome Back, Frank was under the MK banner too. I read some of that, and thought it was okay. Still too parodyish for my liking and a bit too similar to Preacher in places, from what I remember, but close enough to being dark that I thought it captured Frank semi-decently.

I really hated Dillon's art on it though. It seemed WAY too clean, bright and bland. Everything was way too smooth.

c. page
02-03-2008, 09:44 PM
You had the idea though, so now if it happens, I'd have to assume you had a part in it and come looking for you.

Sucks, but there you go :cool:


Ah, when I saw MK Punisher, I mean the MK ongoing. That's what I was referring to. I keep forgetting that Welcome Back, Frank was under the MK banner too. I read some of that, and thought it was okay. Still too parodyish for my liking and a bit too similar to Preacher in places, from what I remember, but close enough to being dark that I thought it captured Frank semi-decently.

I really hated Dillon's art on it though. It seemed WAY too clean, bright and bland. Everything was way too smooth.

eh. assuming you kill whomever did it to you first, i'll be fine with it. i've had a good run.

Albert
02-03-2008, 09:47 PM
Ah, when I saw MK Punisher, I mean the MK ongoing. That's what I was referring to. I keep forgetting that Welcome Back, Frank was under the MK banner too. I read some of that, and thought it was okay. Still too parodyish for my liking and a bit too similar to Preacher in places, from what I remember, but close enough to being dark that I thought it captured Frank semi-decently.

I really hated Dillon's art on it though. It seemed WAY too clean, bright and bland. Everything was way too smooth.

Ah, cool. Yeah, it's mostly Welcome Back, Frank that I have love for, but I often like it when comics are parodyish and silly (probably not a surprise). The only thing I really remember (and thought was funny) from the MK Punisher ongoing itself at this point was the issue with Spider-Man. "We had a team-up. You were great."

The only Ennis I can remember not really digging was the Fury mini-series. It kinda seemed like self-parody (and if it was, brilliant!).

Howlett
02-03-2008, 09:47 PM
eh. assuming you kill whomever did it to you first, i'll be fine with it. i've had a good run.

Kill? Pfft, why let someone off that easily? :p

And aye, you have. We'll have to have a drink to the run you had :lol:

c. page
02-03-2008, 09:49 PM
Kill? Pfft, why let someone off that easily? :p

And aye, you have. We'll have to have a drink to the run you had :lol:

well naturally, you torture them first. christ, irish, i didn't think you were so thick that i had to explain that one to you.

there's just limits to the amount of pain the human body can take.

like i said, knowing that whatever person subjected you to that died a horrible and painful death would make my own demise acceptable.

Howlett
02-03-2008, 09:56 PM
Ah, cool. Yeah, it's mostly Welcome Back, Frank that I have love for, but I often like it when comics are parodyish and silly (probably not a surprise). The only thing I really remember (and thought was funny) from the MK Punisher ongoing itself at this point was the issue with Spider-Man. "We had a team-up. You were great."

The only Ennis I can remember really not digging was the Fury mini-series. It kinda seemed like self-parody (and if it was, I sort of have more respect for it now).

See, that line I thought was hilarious. Because it fit. Frank has always been shown as having that sort of a deadpan sense of humour, so for that, it worked. But the rest of the run, specifically where other heroes showed up... the Russian with tits. The typical Ennis gross humour. The issue with Elektra (ended with him asking her out on a date). The fucking finale arc, with Wolverine, Daredevil, Spidey and the Hulk (don't even get me started on that fucking thing!). They all read like Ennis screaming from the rooftops "I HATE SUPERHEROES! I HATE SUPERHEROES! Y'HEAR ME? I FUCKING HAAAAAAAAATE SUPERHEROES!!!"... yeah? Then don't fucking write them.

Plenty of comics had fill in writers pop in for arcs around that time, you can't tell me that Ennis couldn't say to whoever "I'm sorry, I don't want to write a cameo with the Hulk. But if you want to get someone else for that story, I can focus more on this mafia arc". I think after Preacher and Welcome Back, Frank, he'd have gotten some leeway.

That was my main problem with the run. The humour was just the straw that dropkicked the camal... or something like that. It just felt forced and unfunny and completely out of place for the run. Thankfully, not something that's been true of MAX :rock:

Bryan H
02-03-2008, 09:57 PM
I'd say its the best thing he's ever done aside from Preacher.

Yes, I like it more than Punisher. But its got a much goofier tone at parts.

Jonathan Callan
02-03-2008, 10:26 PM
I really like the original 12 issue mini-series. I didn't dig everything that came after that, but I still think "Welcome Back, Frank" is awesome.

You know, weirdly, I just forgot to mention that I really did like this. But you beat me to it.

artimoff
02-03-2008, 10:27 PM
It's the best thing he's ever writen.

Kman00001
02-03-2008, 10:30 PM
I missed the boat on Hitman when it was still coming out monthly. After it concluded I swore I would buy ALL of the trades when they came out. Well...I don't think I need to tell you how well that's been working for me. :roll:

Magnum V.I.
02-04-2008, 12:22 AM
So James. How do you like it so far?

Humphrey_Lee
02-04-2008, 12:34 AM
Yeah, goddammit, this is going on the reread pile too. Fuck fuck fuckity fuck fuck...

And for the record, it's number three for me on Ennis works. Preacher, Hellblazer, and Hitman. Considering how great I think his MAX Punisher is, those are all achievements.

Howlett
02-04-2008, 12:54 AM
So James. How do you like it so far?

Only read his first appearance, from The Demon annual 2 so far, but loved that.

I needed to take a little bit though, so I'm going to fly through the rest of the Demon issues, then jump into the main series (I wouldn't bother, except for it being Ennis/ Mcrae there too).

Also, god damn those fucking cunts for not including the Hitman part of Contagion in the Batman: Contagion trade! I have that fucking trade, but I only just found out Ennis did a Hitman/ Batman story in one of the issues too. And it was never fucking collected :mad:

The Hodag
02-04-2008, 01:02 AM
Also, god damn those fucking cunts for not including the Hitman part of Contagion in the Batman: Contagion trade! I have that fucking trade, but I only just found out Ennis did a Hitman/ Batman story in one of the issues too. And it was never fucking collected :mad:

Wasn't it in one of the handful of Hitman trades? I'm pretty sure that that's where I read it.

Magnum V.I.
02-04-2008, 01:02 AM
Only read his first appearance, from The Demon annual 2 so far, but loved that.

I needed to take a little bit though, so I'm going to fly through the rest of the Demon issues, then jump into the main series (I wouldn't bother, except for it being Ennis/ Mcrae there too).

Also, god damn those fucking cunts for not including the Hitman part of Contagion in the Batman: Contagion trade! I have that fucking trade, but I only just found out Ennis did a Hitman/ Batman story in one of the issues too. And it was never fucking collected :mad:

:cry: I'm sorry.


Let us know what you think. I'm trying to be like 1 for 3 in my recommendations to you. :(

Howlett
02-04-2008, 01:08 AM
Wasn't it in one of the handful of Hitman trades? I'm pretty sure that that's where I read it.
Wouldn't know. I've never seen a Hitman trade. If it was, that's cool. But since it was part of the Contagion story, it would've been nice to see it in the trade itself, since it wasn't actually a Hitman issue, but a Batman one (whatever title it was).

:cry: I'm sorry.


Let us know what you think. I'm trying to be like 1 for 3 in my recommendations to you. :(

Why are you sorry? :lol:

And I get the feeling you'll be fine :lol: What, 1 for 3? What was the other one, apart from Y? I don't remember.

Magnum V.I.
02-04-2008, 01:09 AM
Why are you sorry? :lol:

And I get the feeling you'll be fine :lol: What, 1 for 3? What was the other one, apart from Y? I don't remember.

I don't know if it's 1 for 3. :lol: I forget what I recommended to you after Y. I think that was an ok.

Howlett
02-04-2008, 01:10 AM
I don't know if it's 1 for 3. :lol: I forget what I recommended to you after Y. I think that was an ok.

I think you recommended some stuff I'd already read a fair bit of, now that I think of it.

Didn't you ask if I'd read DMZ and Ex Machina? Think that might've been it.

Magnum V.I.
02-04-2008, 01:13 AM
I think you recommended some stuff I'd already read a fair bit of, now that I think of it.

Didn't you ask if I'd read DMZ and Ex Machina? Think that might've been it.

Ahh yes that's what it is.

Boris the Blade
02-04-2008, 03:25 AM
You'll be laughing your ass off so hard, you'll never see the hard hitting emotional moments comin'. :( Great stuff, though it takes a bit to get off the ground and find the balance between silly and serious.

changingshades
02-04-2008, 04:41 AM
I liked it. it wasn't Ennis's best, but it was solid. I think you'll like it.

Artie Pink
02-04-2008, 04:52 AM
I love it. So funny in places, but with a lot of feeling and heart as well. Very vivid friendships there. It's great to see Ennis play in a little corner of the DCU and make it all work.

speedr
02-04-2008, 05:58 AM
They all read like Ennis screaming from the rooftops "I HATE SUPERHEROES! I HATE SUPERHEROES! Y'HEAR ME? I FUCKING HAAAAAAAAATE SUPERHEROES!!!"... yeah? Then don't fucking write them.


his work definitely has that tone a lot of the time. yet surprisingly, he shows the utmost respect for superman. just wait till you get to tommy/superman issue and the jla/hitman mini.

Kefky
02-04-2008, 06:03 AM
I actually find it better than preacher in a lot of ways.

Kefky
02-04-2008, 06:05 AM
his work definitely has that tone a lot of the time. yet surprisingly, he shows the utmost respect for superman. just wait till you get to tommy/superman issue and the jla/hitman mini.

He's said that Superman is the only superhero he has any affection for.


As far as JLA\Hitman goes... Well, I know he was a fan of Morrison's JLA, and I think he wanted to surprise people and give them something unexpected, which is what any writer of his caliber thinks of doing. It's good to see him flexing his muscles like that, not writing in his safe zone. I'm loving Dan Dare because of that too.

Jonathan Callan
02-04-2008, 10:46 AM
There really aren't words for how much I love this series. The characters are better written and more likeable than anything Ennis has ever done. It just has a tremendous feel of fun to it. It's so personal - like a love letter to everything Ennis and McCrea ever thought was cool.

Roger
02-04-2008, 10:54 AM
hitman is one of garth's best!!!!

RebootedCorpse
02-04-2008, 10:57 AM
It's great. I'd put a notch below Preacher and Punisher, but better than 99.9% of everything else.

allanpat
02-04-2008, 11:16 AM
Hitman is my favorite work of Ennis. If Preacher was his Pulp Fiction, Hitman is his Reservoir Dogs.

I just happen to be reading the pre-Hitman Demon issues for the first time, and it's amazing the stuff he got away with in that book! Did you know Etrigan knocked up a female demon named Smegma? Fucking brilliant.

Oh, and they actually got away with calling Baytor "Master Baytor" in that book too - obviously editorial hadn't caught on yet, even though the tower that Baytor lived in was shaped like a giant penis.

allanpat
02-04-2008, 11:21 AM
I absolutely, positively, in no uncertain terms, hated the MK run of the Punisher with a passion unheard of, or even imagined.

agreed. MK Punisher had no soul to it. It was Ennis on autopilot repeating the same gross-out schtick he had already done to death in other books.

I've still yet to give his MAX Punisher a chance because i hated it so much. Maybe now that he's finishing it up i'll pick up the whole run.

Jonathan Callan
02-04-2008, 11:24 AM
agreed. MK Punisher had no soul to it. It was Ennis on autopilot repeating the same gross-out schtick he had already done to death in other books.

This is the only reason I avoided Max Punisher for so long. I thought I really hated the character and especially hated Garth on him. Now... he's not my favorite, but I dig some of what Frank brings to the table. He's still problematic in that he's 90% of the time not the focus character in his own book. But Ennis strikes that balance very well.

Howlett
02-07-2008, 10:06 PM
Well, that was quite possibly the best run on a book I can think of. Definitely my favourite Ennis work.



I just happen to be reading the pre-Hitman Demon issues for the first time, and it's amazing the stuff he got away with in that book! Did you know Etrigan knocked up a female demon named Smegma? Fucking brilliant.

Oh, and they actually got away with calling Baytor "Master Baytor" in that book too - obviously editorial hadn't caught on yet, even though the tower that Baytor lived in was shaped like a giant penis.
Yeah, I've read the issues of Demon that featured Hitman, not the whole run unfortunately, and it was fucking excellent! His Etrigan was just brilliant. And the whole Smegma thing was pretty damn funny too :lol:

I noticed that too :lol:

agreed. MK Punisher had no soul to it. It was Ennis on autopilot repeating the same gross-out schtick he had already done to death in other books.

I've still yet to give his MAX Punisher a chance because i hated it so much. Maybe now that he's finishing it up i'll pick up the whole run.
Trust me on this, MK Punisher and MAX Punisher aren't even anywhere close to being the same creature. The MK run was a joke. The MAX run is fucking stellar. The thing that spoiled the MK run so much, the moronic gross shit Ennis seemed to do all the time, is completely gone from MAX.

Boris the Blade
02-07-2008, 10:19 PM
agreed. MK Punisher had no soul to it. It was Ennis on autopilot repeating the same gross-out schtick he had already done to death in other books.

I've still yet to give his MAX Punisher a chance because i hated it so much. Maybe now that he's finishing it up i'll pick up the whole run.
MK Punisher is to MAX Punisher as
Naked Gun is to The Departed.

Keravin
02-08-2008, 06:38 AM
I much prefer Hitman to Preacher. Hitman is the Garth book with the most heart. Given his hatred for Superheroes you would not have expected him to write one of the best Superman stories ever. It has madness and it has the ability to stomp on your heart.