Demon, The:

Garth Ennis’s Hitman (1996-2001)

10 months after the cancellation of The Demon Vol. 3, Hitman was spun into his own ongoing series. The series was helmed by his creators, writer Garth Ennis and artist John McCrea.

While Hitman never sold fantastically, its timing was right: Ennis had begun Preacher through DC’s Vertigo imprint, and its success led many to try Ennis’s other ongoing series. Hitman had much of the same violence and humor as Preacher, only toned down and set firmly in the DC Universe.

Ennis and McCrea were able to conclude Hitman on their own terms, after just over five years, and the title did not continue following their departure. In this, Hitman seemed closer to a long-form Vertigo series (e.g. Ennis’s Preacher, Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman, or Grant Morrison’s The Invisibles) than a typical DC series.

In late 2007, Garth Ennis and John McCrea brought Hitman back for the two-issue Justice League / Hitman. The story, which took place before the conclusion of the original series, essentially tied up plot threads left by League members’ past interactions with Hitman. It was one of the best Hitman stories.

Collections of the series began in late 1996, the same year the series debuted, but then began running behind the monthly issues. To the consternation of fans of the series, DC stopped the collections with five volumes, collecting a little less than half the overall series.

A Rage in Arkham

Hitman #1

“A Rage in Arkham, Part One” -- 24 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; art by John McCrea
  • Tommy Monaghan is hired to kill the Joker

cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.25; cover-dated Apr 1996
Hitman #2

“A Rage in Arkham, Part Two” -- 22 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; art by John McCrea
  • features Batman

cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.25; cover-dated June 1996
Hitman #3

“A Rage in Arkham, Part Three” -- 22 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; art by John McCrea
  • features Batman and the Joker

cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.25; cover-dated July 1996
Hitman Vol. 1: A Rage in Arkham

collects Hitman #1-3, The Demon Annual #2, and the Hitman story from The Batman Chronicles #4; published by DC Comics; 144 pages; published Dec 1996

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Ten Thousand Bullets

Hitman #4

“Ten Thousand Bullets, Part One” -- 22 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; art by John McCrea
  • Johnny Navarone is hired to kill Hitman

cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.25; cover-dated Aug 1996
Hitman #5

“Ten Thousand Bullets, Part Two” -- 22 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; art by John McCrea

cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.25; cover-dated Sept 1996
Hitman #6

“Ten Thousand Bullets, Part Three” -- 22 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; art by John McCrea

cover erroneously states this as “part 4 of 4″; cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.25; cover-dated Oct 1996
Hitman #7

“Ten Thousand Bullets, Part Four” -- 22 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; art by John McCrea

cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.25; cover-dated Nov 1996

The Night the Lights Went Out

Hitman #8

“The Night the Lights Went Out” -- 22 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; art by John McCrea
  • ties into The Final Night

cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.25; cover-dated Nov 1996
Hitman Vol. 2: Ten Thousand Bullets

collects Hitman #4-8; published by DC Comics; published Feb 1998

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Local Heroes

Hitman #9

“Local Heroes, Part One” -- 22 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; art by John McCrea

cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.25; cover-dated Dec 1996
Hitman #10

“Local Heroes, Part Two” -- 22 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; art by John McCrea
  • Green Lantern Kyle Rayner appears

cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.25; cover-dated Jan 1997
Hitman #11

“Local Heroes, Part Three” -- 22 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; art by John McCrea
  • Green Lantern Kyle Rayner appears

cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.25; cover-dated Feb 1997
Hitman #12

“Local Heroes, Conclusion” -- 22 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; art by John McCrea
  • Green Lantern Kyle Rayner appears

cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.25; cover-dated Mar 1997

Zombie Night at the Gotham Aquarium

Hitman #13

“Zombie Night at the Gotham Aquarium” -- 22 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; art by John McCrea

cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.25; cover-dated Apr 1997
Hitman #14

“Zombie Night at the Gotham Aquarium, Part 2″ -- 22 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; art by John McCrea

cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.25; cover-dated May 1997

A Coffin Full of Dollars

Hitman Annual #1

“A Coffin Full of Dollars” (broken into three parts) -- 52 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; art by Carlos Ezquerra and Steve Pugh

participates in 1997′s “Pulp Heroes” theme; cover by Laurel Blechman; published by DC Comics; $3.95; cover-dated 1997
Hitman Vol. 3: Local Heroes

collects Hitman #9-14 and Hitman Annual #1; published by DC Comics; published June 1999

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Ace of Killers

Hitman #15

“Ace of Killers, Part One” -- 22 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; art by John McCrea
  • features Catwoman

cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.25; cover-dated June 1997
Hitman #16

“Ace of Killers, Part Two” -- 22 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; art by John McCrea
  • features Catwoman and Jason Blood

cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.25; cover-dated July 1997
Hitman #17

“Ace of Killers, Part Three” -- 22 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; art by John McCrea
  • features Catwoman and the Demon

cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.25; cover-dated Aug 1997
Hitman #18

“Ace of Killers, Part Four” -- 22 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; art by John McCrea
  • features Catwoman and the Demon

cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.25; cover-dated Sept 1997
Hitman #19

“Ace of Killers, Part Five” -- 22 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; art by John McCrea
  • features Catwoman and the Demon

cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.25; cover-dated Oct 1997
Hitman #20

“Ace of Killers, Conclusion” -- 22 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; art by John McCrea
  • features Catwoman and the Demon

cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.25; cover-dated Nov 1997

Kiss Me

Hitman #21

“Kiss Me” -- 22 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; art by Steve Pugh
  • Tommy Monaghan and begin a relationship with Tiegel

the only issue of the main title not illustrated by John McCrea; cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.25; cover-dated Dec 1997

The Santa Contract

Hitman #22

“The Santa Contract” -- 22 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; pencils by John McCrea; inks by Steve Pugh

cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.25; cover-dated Jan 1998
Hitman Vol. 4: Ace of Killers

collects Hitman #15-22; published by DC Comics; published May 2000

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Who Dares Wins

Hitman #23

“Who Dares Wins: Part One” -- 22 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; pencils by John McCrea; inks by Garry Leach
  • S.A.S. soldiers are sent to kill Hitman and Natt for their “friendly fire” killing of British soldiers during the Iraq War (Desert Storm)

cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.25; cover-dated Feb 1998
Hitman #24

“Who Dares Wins, Part Two” -- 22 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; art by John McCrea

cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.25; cover-dated Mar 1998
Hitman #25

“Who Dares Wins: Part Three” -- 22 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; pencils by John McCrea; inks by Garry Leach

cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.25; cover-dated Apr 1998
Hitman #26

“Who Dares Wins: Part Four” -- 22 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; pencils by John McCrea; inks by Garry Leach

cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.25; cover-dated May 1998
Hitman #27

“Who Dares Wins: Conclusion” -- 22 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; pencils by John McCrea; inks by Garry Leach

cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.25; cover-dated June 1998
Hitman #28

“Door into the Dark” -- 22 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; art by John McCrea
  • Tommy has nightmares after the events of “Who Dares Wins”

cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.25; cover-dated July 1998
Hitman Vol. 5: Who Dares Wins

collects Hitman #23-28; published by DC Comics; published May 2001

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Tommy’s Heroes

Hitman #29

“Tommy’s Heroes, Part One” -- 22 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; pencils by John McCrea; inks by Garry Leach
  • Tommy, Natt, Hacken, and Ringo enlist as mercenaries in African

cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.25; cover-dated Aug 1998
Hitman #30

“Tommy’s Heroes, Part Two” -- 22 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; pencils by John McCrea; inks by Garry Leach

cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated Sept 1998
Hitman #31

“Tommy’s Heroes, Part Three” -- 22 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; pencils by John McCrea; inks by Andrew Chui

cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated Oct 1998
Hitman #32

“Tommy’s Heroes (Part 4 of 5)” -- 22 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; pencils by John McCrea; inks by Garry Leach

cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated Dec 1998
Hitman #33

“Tommy’s Heroes, Part Five” -- 22 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; pencils by John McCrea; inks by Garry Leach

cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated Jan 1999

To Hell with the Future

Hitman #1000000

“To Hell with the Future” -- 22 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; art by John McCrea
  • Tommy is transported into the future by kids who think he was a super-hero
  • ties into DC One Million

cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated Nov 1998

Of Thee I Sing

Hitman #34

“Of Thee I Sing” -- 22 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; pencils by John McCrea; inks by Garry Leach
  • Hitman talks with Superman before doing a hit
  • celebrated as one of the best Hitman stories

cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated Feb 1999

Katie

Hitman #35

“Katie, Part One” -- 22 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; pencils by John McCrea; inks by Garry Leach
  • begins the story of Tommy Monaghan’s mother Kathryn “Katie” Monaghan

cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated Mar 1999
Hitman #36

“Katie, Part Two” -- 22 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; pencils by John McCrea; inks by Garry Leach
  • Tommy continues to learn about his mother

cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated Apr 1999

Dead Man’s Land

Hitman #37

“Dead Man’s Land, Part One” -- 22 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; pencils by John McCrea; inks by Garry Leach

cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated May 1999
Hitman #38

“Dead Man’s Land, Part Two” -- 22 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; pencils by John McCrea; inks by Garry Leach

cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated June 1999

For Tomorrow

Hitman #39

“For Tomorrow, Part One of Four” -- 22 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; pencils by John McCrea; inks by Garry Leach

cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated July 1999
Hitman #40

“For Tomorrow, Part Two of Four” -- 22 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; pencils by John McCrea; inks by Garry Leach

cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated Aug 1999
Hitman #41

“For Tomorrow, Part Three of Four” -- 22 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; pencils by John McCrea; inks by Garry Leach

cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated Sept 1999
Hitman #42

“For Tomorrow, Part Four of Four” -- 22 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; pencils by John McCrea; inks by Garry Leach and John McCrea

cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated Oct 1999
Hitman #43

“The Morning After, The Night Before” -- 22 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; pencils by John McCrea; inks by Garry Leach and John McCrea
  • an epilogue to “For Tomorrow”

cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated Nov 1999

Fresh Meat

Hitman #44

“Fresh Meat, Part I” -- 22 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; pencils by John McCrea; inks by Garry Leach and John McCrea

cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated Dec 1999
Hitman #45

“Fresh Meat, Part 2″ -- 22 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; pencils by John McCrea; inks by Garry Leach and John McCrea

cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated Jan 2000
Hitman #46

“Fresh Meat, Part 3″ -- 22 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; pencils by John McCrea; inks by Garry Leach and John McCrea
  • Tommy and Nat defend Gotham from the dinosaurs

cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated Feb 2000

The Old Dog

Hitman #47

“The Old Dog” -- 22 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; pencils by John McCrea; inks by Garry Leach

cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated Mar 2000
Hitman #48

“The Old Dog” (part two) -- 22 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; pencils by John McCrea; inks by Garry Leach

cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated Apr 2000
Hitman #49

“The Old Dog” (part three) -- 22 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; pencils by John McCrea; inks by Garry Leach

cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated May 2000
Hitman #50

“The Old Dog, Epilogue” -- 22 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; pencils by John McCrea; inks by Garry Leach

cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated June 2000

Super Guy

Hitman #51

“Super Guy, Part One” -- 22 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; pencils by John McCrea; inks by Garry Leach

cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated July 2000
Hitman #52

“Super Guy, Part Two” -- 36 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; pencils by John McCrea; inks by Garry Leach

cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated Aug 2000

That Stupid Bastich

Hitman / Lobo: That Stupid Bastich #1

“That Stupid Bastich” -- 38 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; art by Doug Mahnke

cover by Doug Mahnke; published by DC Comics; $3.95; cover-dated Sept 2000

On the Darkside

Justice League / Hitman #1

“On the Darkside, Part One” -- 44 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; art by John McCrea
  • the JLA needs information on people who survived the Bloodlines outbreak, so Batman captures Hitman and brings him to the JLA headquarters
  • another wave of Bloodlines aliens, stronger than the first, arrive on the moon

first issue; cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $3.99; cover-dated Nov 2007

Justice League / Hitman #2

“On the Darkside, Part Two” -- 44 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; art by John McCrea
  • with the JLA powerless and the Bloodlines aliens in the Watchtower, Hitman saves the day in a way the JLA finds unacceptable

final issue; cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $3.99; cover-dated Dec 2007

Closing Time

Hitman #53

“Closing Time: 1″ -- 22 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; pencils by John McCrea; inks by Garry Leach

cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated Sept 2000
Hitman #54

“Closing Time: 2″ -- 22 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; pencils by John McCrea; inks by Garry Leach

cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated Oct 2000
Hitman #55

“Closing Time: 3″ -- 22 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; pencils by John McCrea; inks by Garry Leach

cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated Nov 2000
Hitman #56

“Closing Time: 4″ -- 22 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; pencils by John McCrea; inks by Garry Leach

cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated Dec 2000
Hitman #57

“Closing Time: 5″ -- 22 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; pencils by John McCrea; inks by Garry Leach

cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated Jan 2001
Hitman #58

“Closing Time: 6″ -- 22 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; pencils by John McCrea; inks by Garry Leach

cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated Feb 2001
Hitman #59

“Closing Time: 7″ -- 22 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; pencils by John McCrea; inks by Garry Leach

cover by John McCrea; published by DC Comics; $2.50; cover-dated Mar 2001
Hitman #60

“Closing Time” -- 30 pages

  • written by Garth Ennis; pencils by John McCrea; inks by Garry Leach

final issue; in the letters column, Ennis and McCrea offer comments on the end of the series; cover by John McCrea and John Beatty; published by DC Comics; $3.95; cover-dated Apr 2001