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Hitman Vol. 1: A Rage in Arkham
by Garth Ennis
ISBN 1563893142 / 9781563893148 / 1-56389-314-2
Publisher DC Comics
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Tommy Monaghan is an assassin; that's right, he's your standard, grade-A hit man. Well, maybe he's not so standard. Tommy also happens to have super powers--just telepathy and x-ray vision, mind you. But let's face it, those are pretty super. Writer Garth Ennis and artist John McCrea have come up with a character that has surprising complexity. By all accounts this hit man should be an antihero, and yet, Monaghan has strict rules for himself: he doesn't shoot anyone he considers "one of the good guys." Naturally, there's a lot of subjectivity here, possibly even hypocrisy, but this murky area between good and evil, right and wrong, is one of Ennis's strong points. In what is essentially a superhero setting (Gotham City, home of Batman), this book delivers elements of action, adventure, crime, and horror, all held together by Ennis's funny and believable dialogue. The blurb on the back cover sums it up nicely: "No fancy costume. No magic tricks. Just plenty of ammo, a pack of cigs, and a pitcher of beer." --Jim Pascoe [via]