Monday, 29 July 2013

Monday Memories #30 - Hitman #32

Each Monday this year I'll be taking a look back at a random comic, prestige format issue, graphic novel or collection of reprints from amongst my 3,000 or so comics that date from 1962 to 2003 - I figured anything in the last ten years would be too recent to hark back to.

The comics are chosen completely at random and apart from a four week lead-in period, even I don't know what I'll be looking at in the weeks to come!

HITMAN #32 - December 1998

Ahhh, Hitman. While Preacher was garnering all the attention and acclaim, Garth Ennis's other ongoing for DC Comics at around the same time was centred on a Gotham City based contract killer called Tommy Monaghan and his similarly employed friends.

And it was superb.

In this storyline, Tommy's Heroes, Monaghan and his friends Natt, Ringo and Hacken had gone to the African country of Tynanda as mercenaries, mostly to get away from the Mafia that were looking for them back home. The ruler of the country, though, turns out to be a total bastard who's hired super-powered thugs to terrorise the locals and it's not long before the moralistic Tommy and friends have resigned and try to leave. First, though, they have some mountains to cross and while heading to them, Hacken displays his own super-power: that of putting his foot in it when he suggests to Natt that being in Africa must be "like a sorta homecomin'" for him:

They end up being captured by the rebels and offered a chance to work for them against the Tynandan dictator. Trouble is, the rebel leader finances his activities by producing and selling heroin which causes a problem with Tommy and the others.

Eventually, though, they overcome their differences and agree to help. The rebels take them to an abandoned army outpost where they find something that will help them in their attack on the capital:

When the title was first launched, it was heavy on the humour and fantastical stories - Zombie Night at the Gotham Aquarium is a perfect example - but the storyline before this, Who Dares Wins, dealing with the fallout of Tommy and Natt's time in Iraq started a turn for the darker side. The humour's still there, but nothing's simply black and white as evidenced by the moral quandary of supporting a drug dealer who fights for the right reasons but with the wrong funding. Future stories would follow the same lead, a mixture of ridiculous scenarios tempered with beloved characters falling to the circumstances of their profession.

It was a wonderful series and, if you haven't read it, you're missing out. Go buy the trades and enjoy.


  1. It was a great series, but I preferred the more knockabout days. Still, it was always high quality.

    1. I agree, Martin - it became a little darker as it went along but it was still bloody good.


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