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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comics – Day 226

Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the comics posted so far!

Today we take a look at Garth Ennis and John McCrea’s last goodbye to Hitman in the two-issue series, JLA/Hitman…



Okay, so Tommy Monaghan, the hitman who starred in the comic Hitman, died in the last issue of Hitman.

JLA/Hitman is the untold story of how Tommy helped the JLA on a mission, as told by Clark Kent.

Tommy gained superpowers from aliens during the Bloodlines crossover, and over the years Ennis told stories where Tommy interacted with Batman, Green Lantern and, most famously, Superman (where Tommy and Superman have a rooftop heart-to-heart where Tommy helps reaffirm Superman’s faith in both himself and humanity in general).

So when the Bloodlines aliens (or worse, EVOLVED Bloodlines aliens) return, Batman knows who they can turn to for information about the aliens…

Once on the JLA’s moon headquarters, Batman is irked to learn that Green Lantern actually teamed up with Hitman…

The news really shakes Superman, and we see more of that in the second issue.

The big twist at the end of the first issue is that the aliens somehow jam the powers of the JLA (including Green Lantern’s power ring) while Superman is on their hijacked NASA shuttle.

So at the beginning of the next issue, the JLA is powerless against the aliens, who we see have taken control of the astronauts…

That’s some spooky stuff, huh?

Hitman responds the only way he knows how…

I love that line.

And once Batman is taken out of the picture…

the Tommy is actually the next most capable member of the JLA after Wonder Woman, so the JLA sort of NEEDS his help.

So Tommy and the remaining league members fight the aliens. Meanwhile, the President of the United States has ordered a nuclear strike on the Watchtower because the JLA have been neutralized, so they are working under some heavy duty time constraints.

And when Superman shows up with a parasite attached to HIM? Well, things look bad.

The series ends with an incredibly poignant tribute to Tommy from Superman. I featured it in the Year of Cool Comic Moments. Go look for it!

Meanwhile, also go look for this two-issue series. It was cool.


Tom Fitzpatrick

August 15, 2010 at 5:27 am

On the few rare moments, I agree with you.
This was a cool comic which deserves a spot on the cool moment blog.

Gawd, I really miss this book. I kinda wish that Ennis and McCrea kept on going. :-(

I’m actually happy that the run is over. Few books can go on for 60 issues and not have a single bad one(even the Final Night issue, which should have been awful but was greatness. CHICKENS!), and end the way the original creative team had in mind.

Well, where were Gunfire, and Anima, and Nightblade, and Loose Cannon, and all the other great Bloodlines characters? C’mon, those characters are CLASSIC!

You know, I have these 2 issues, and I don’t remember what happened in them. Mind like a sieve.

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

August 15, 2010 at 8:41 am

They turned up in the horrible two issue “Blood Pack” series, then vaished into obscurity until Infinite Crisis showed Superboy-Prime killing a load of them in its final issue.

I was being facetious, of course, about those characters being great. Actually, other than Nightblade, the other 3 I mentioned all had a series or mini. Plus Argent (from Flash, iirc) and … Psyba-rats? The Showcase 93/94/95/96/however long it lasted featured a few of those characters as well.

I think Gunfire was killed off in the Hitman one million issue, from what I’ve heard. It was a pretty funny way to go.

Loose Cannon was a mini written by Jeph Loeb, drawn by Adam Pollina. Why do I know that off the top of my head?

And I got Anima 0 (and Gunfire 0) as part of a mail order deal where I got all (40?) of the Zero Month issues right after Zero Hour (as well as that mini). Summer of 94, I was 15, and not the most discriminating comics reader, and even so, Anima 0 struck me as one of THE WORST comics ever. Just terrible. I think it was because it was “so alternative”, and it was just stupid. (and for some reason, I also have the New Teen Titans annual where Anima first appears. and I think I got it AFTER I got the 0 issue. Why?)

And to please T, and call back to the Loose Cannon mini, I think the WORST comic (from the big 2, let’s say) I’ve read is the 5th issue of the Heroes Reborn Avengers. Loeb wrote it, Liefeld drew it, it’s a Thor/Hulk slugfest with a lot of those “sideways” 2 page spreads, ugh. It’s a good thing I got it as part of a multipack of comics.

Were there any other Bloodlines characters that got series/minis besides the ones stated? And if so, why?

This was the best mini-series DC has put out in quite some time, even only being two issues.

That finale is just awesome.

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

August 15, 2010 at 12:56 pm

Ennis didn’t quite get to kill of Gunfire, but he did kill off a far-future imitator of him.

That was pretty cool…I’ll have to check that out…

tho my favorite part of the whole write up was the “The series ends with an incredibly poignant tribute to Tommy from Superman. I featured it in the Year of Cool Comic Moments. Go look for it!”

He’s spoon fed us for so long and normally links back to things hes previous done, so I’m left laughing who is lazier at this point…him for not doing the linking or me for being interested, but not interested enough to go digging through the archives for it…heh…


That was purposeful, Todd. I don’t WANT to give the spoiler away, but if people really want to go search for it, it’s out there. ;)

There are other ways to find the entry than the straight archive search. I found it in about 1 minute. In deference to Brian, I’ll let others look for it as well, but it’s worth a look up if, like me, you missed this series (but boy do I want to read it now). Hitman 34 is also reviewed in that archive as well for those who want it.

A lot of folks think that Mr. Ennis hates superheroes. This team-up provides strong evidence to the contrary. When Tommy Monaghan talks about him being the kind of guy that needed to do the wetwork, his observation that this was not something that heroes did, summed up perfectly Mr. Ennis’ appreciation for heroes — that they are of a specific time and place. The satire of THE BOYS is Mr. Ennis’ way of playing with characters who might look like heroes but are not. That series, and what Mr. Ennis seems to be driving at, speaks far more to the effects of power — super and otherwise — on people. And THE PRO? C’mon, even at the end, she’s a hero — does it matter what a person does if that person ultimately makes a sacrifice for the benefit of others?

catullus – spot-on.

JLA/Hitman is complete awesomeness.

Garth and John’s creation was the only Bloodlines character worth the empowering. I’ll throw Argus a bone. Gunfire was made, I’ll say, “less-handy” by Prometheus, under the direction of Sterling Gates (can I state here that I don’t think he’s really dead? Did he truly not anticipate that Green Arrow couldn’t marshal the resources to locate him?)

Garth excels, even more than Grant, in those human moments – that’s why his Frank Castle resonates with everyone so well; so it was with Tommy Monaghan and crew. I’m glad to see that almost no one got to screw with him; Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning did a creditable job with him in Resurrection Man.

Thanks, boys.

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