I went by my local shop today, and was surprised by the arrival of JLA Hitman #1 (of, sadly, only 2) on the stands. I suppose I knew this was coming, at some subconscious level (or, as my douchebagish new Prof would call it – while making reference to the textbook that he wrote and then made required reading for his class, which is mandatory – “nonconscious”. You’re right, that’s not a word.) but I had entirely forgotten.
As I have stated before, more than once, I love Garth Ennis. Not Garth Ennis The Man, although I’m sure there are perfectly good reasons to love him, too. I’m more interested in Garth Ennis The Write. That is, I have pretty much loved everything published with his name on the cover. I think Preacher should be required reading for any serious adult comic book fan. I think War Stories should be used in high school history classes. I think his Hellblazer makes all others seem like sad, pathetic imitations. I think his Punisher is the only readable take on the character. I think 303 is brilliant and incendiary, Kev is hilarious and heartfelt, and Hitman is just about the best thing the DCU has going for it.
And oh, how sweet it is to be able to use the present tense in reference to Hitman, if only for a couple of issues.
So yes, I loved JLA Hitman. Obviously, it’s great to see Tommy back in action again, but I also loved Ennis’ take on the JLA. I know he’ll be dragged across the coals for his representation of Flash and Green Lantern, but I, for one, prefer this to the “we’re all BFFs who get to hang out in this boss space station and beat up gorillas” that is the norm. Really, Ennis is just extrapolating, or perhaps exagerrating, the character interplay that existed between West and Rayner in the first half of Morrison’s run on JLA. His terse Wonder Woman is, for my money, better than most I’ve read, although to be fair I haven’t read very much Wonder Woman. Flash and GL actually talking about how terrible the Bloodlines heroes were was refreshing. The mention of GL giving a report after an incident in Tokyo rings true, but when was the last time you heard of a superhero filing a report? It makes sense, especially in an organized group like the JLA, but it’s a detail that’s absent from most comics.
In short, Garth Ennis writes damn fine superhero comics, even though he freely admits that he thinks superhero comics are ridiculous.
With The Boys rolling along, and Streets of Glory coming up, I’m a happy man.