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Hitman: Did Everyone Forget?

When people think of Garth Ennis they think many things, but always at the top of the list is Preacher. Sure, sometimes people will now think of the Boys or Punisher MAX when they think of Garth Ennis, but it’s always surprising when someone doesn’t know about Hitman.

Ennis has had a long working relationship with DC for many years and just after Preacher started coming out, the powers that be at DC realized that they wanted more of that Ennis essence in their superhero universe, so ressurecting a side character from his run on the Demon, Ennis and John McCrea created a sixty issue run of sweet comics that have all of Ennis’ humor and sickness and violence and yet somehow it was allowed. Okay, he didn’t swear outright, but somehow it felt right. And the violence might have been toned down for the public, but there are people shot in the face and their heads pop into spaghetti sauce bombs! Everything you love about Ennis’ writing us here; the dialogue, the tender homages to cinema (especially Sergio Leone) and did I happen to mention the amount sickness that comes out of this guy’s head? Wicked stuff!

So here’s this great series, everybody loves it (this is the nineties mind you, I speaking as though we were in the past) So how does it get forgotten? Preacher sells amazingly well! Anything Ennis sells well, let’s face it! So then why?

As it happened, for reasons unknown and that may never be revealed, DC had only ever collected half the series into tradepaperbacks. This was early on in the new trend of collecting issues into trades. Maybe people weren’t catching on fast enough and DC shelved the series. Only five books were collected and for many years now only the last two have stayed available to order. These two books are very good, but you try selling somebody on a new series when they have to start on book four!

Now, finally, DC has started reprinting these books and hopefully they’ll fulfill this reader’s dream and finish collecting the entire series for the first time! The first two books are already on shelves and volume three: Local Heroes is on the way. (Local Heroes may he of special interest to Green Lantern readers as it heavily features Kyle Raynor) You don’t want to miss out on an epic and satisfying run for Garth Ennis and John McCrea, even if it seems like a forgotten classic!

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