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Garth Ennis Kills with ‘Punisher’ and ‘JLA/Hitman’

Punisher #51 cover imageI was doing my monthly “will work for store credit” day of moonlighting at the comic store yesterday and there was one question that kept coming up customer after customer: “Do you know when Punisher #51 is coming out?” Given that #50 came out over two months ago, and given that that double-sized issue ended on a jaw-dropping cliffhanger, the slight edge of hysteria in the tone of some of the customers asking me this question was certainly understandable. The good news is that #51 will (finally) be in stores this week, and the bad news…actually, there is no bad news, as the current storyline already has the hallmarks of an instant classic in the just-keeps-getting-better Garth Ennis realization of the character.

JLA/Hitman #1 cover imageWhile I’m on the topic of recent Garth Ennis-penned comics, hey, how cool was that JLA/Hitman two-issue miniseries? Man, it’s been so long since we’ve seen Tommy Monaghan that I’d almost forgotten how much I missed Hitman. Needless to say, now that DC, Ennis and McCrea have been kind enough to bring the character back for a brief outing, it gives me hope that not only might DC finish collecting the series in TP someday but, heck, maybe we’ll even see more of Tommy, Nat, Six-Pack, Baytor and the rest of the gang again in the future.

If you’re an Ennis fan and you missed out on his classic Hitman series, I’d love to tell you to jump right in and start reading the TPs, but the first three volumes (of the five that were published, collecting roughly half of the complete series) are currently out of print. Here’s hoping that sales of the JLA/Hitman miniseries might be an agent for change in that regard … ’cause anything that brings readers more Hitman from Ennis and McCrea is, pretty much by definition, a Very Good Thing.

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