Garth Ennis is one of the bravest comic book writers out there. He writes dark, controversial stories about religion, war, and superheroes, and they can be very dark and hard to read.
As a comic book writer, Garth Ennis is known for breaking new ground in places that people don’t expect. His stories are often controversial because they are full of dark, morally gray characters who go on missions of revenge, punctuated by Ennis’s signature mix of extreme violence, graphic sex, and cynical reflections on religion, politics, war, and human nature, which he has always used. In his career, Ennis has written books like Punisher MAX, Preacher, and The Boys that people will remember for a long time.
Ennis has been widely praised for taking a new look at traditional comic book stories and adding sharp, real drama and worldly themes into his comics. He’s written about everything from World War 1 to superhero stories, and he’s always been able to surprise his readers.
1. Chronicles Of Wormwood
Antichrist isn’t a bad person in this short, six-issue comic. Even though God and the Devil want him to bring about the apocalypse, he isn’t sure he wants to do it.
Ennis’ most famous comic, Preacher, is a look at religion. Chronicles of Wormwood is another comic that looks at religion. Only this time, Garth focuses on destiny, and his version of the Antichrist, Danny Wormwood, isn’t sure about his role in ending the world. It’s a comic by Ennis that’s both heartfelt and funny at the same time. It’s just as hard-hitting as it is funny.
2. War Is Hell: The First Flight Of The Phantom Eagle
He became famous in the 2000s for promoting Marvel’s MAX print, which featured sobering versions of traditional superheroes that were meant to be read by people who were older. In this 2008 comic, Ennis set out to change the character, Phantom Eagle, and make him look like he was a pilot in World War I.
Ennis has drawn a lot of attention to war in his comics, going back and forth between WW2, Vietnam, and even the Gulf War. Somber as his other war stories, this one focuses on WW1, one of humanity’s most heinous conflicts. It shows harrowing images of early airborne battles and the grim truth that war isn’t always the romanticized subject that comics and movies make it out to be.
As a zombie story, Crossed is what Ennis came up with. Ennis’s zombies, on the other hand, don’t turn into the mindless, stumbling dead. Instead, they keep their basic human intelligence, which makes them just homicidal, psychopathic versions of their former selves.
Crossed has been called one of the best post-apocalyptic stories out there because it takes a new look at the zombie story. In it, Ennis paints a terrifying picture of a huge pandemic that is ravaged by twisted, evil people who kill and eat each other freely and openly.
It was Ennis’s work on Hellblazer that made the character come alive again and paint John Constantine in a very different light than he had ever been seen before. Most people know the story “Dangerous Habits,” which is about Constantine learning that he has lung cancer. He must save himself, because if he doesn’t, his soul will go to Hell.
The cool, confident, and knowledgeable magician Constantine was when Alan Moore made him was not the same as when Ennis wrote for him, so fans didn’t know him as well. Instead, Constantine as depicted by Ennis was someone who was always close to death because of his self-destructive tendencies and clever tricks. In the DC universe, he’s a man who knows all of the most terrifying secrets. It looks like that information and knowledge is slowly making him go crazy.
5. Fury MAX
This short MAX series by Ennis may be better than the best of his Punisher days. It’s a lot more graphic and violent than the Punisher MAX.
Ennis revisits the character of Nick Fury in this series, which is made up of 13 issues. After World War II, Fury moves into espionage-heavy warfare in the Cold War. Because Fury MAX doesn’t show Fury as a patriotic superhero who loves peace, it’s a great movie. Instead, it shows Fury as a man who loves to fight and kill, who knows a lot about war, and who’s always ready for the next fight.
6. War Stories
As we said before, war is a common theme in many Ennis comic books. His interest in the subject would lead to the ongoing anthology, War Stories, which features stories about different conflicts in human history (especially WW2).
Ennis may write stories that aren’t true, but his exploration of some of the weirdest historical aspects of these real-life battles and wars is always interesting. Given that Ennis likes violence, too, he doesn’t show war in the same way that an action movie would. It’s a place where people die in terrible ways, which has a big impact on their fellow soldiers. According to Ennis, war isn’t anything special or glamorous. It’s a horrible, pointless thing that kills people without any reason, as this picture shows.
Artist: John McCrea
Publisher: DC Comics
Ennis is good at making superheroes, and he can do them. He doesn’t like it, but he can deal with it. When he tried to do this, it went well. Assassin Tommy Monaghan lives in the Cauldron, a poor Irish neighborhood in Gotham. Hitman is the story of him and how he uses his superpowers to kill people and steal their money. A lot of the time, he gets headaches because he talks to people and sees through walls. Tommy and his friend Nat decide to specialize in killing superheroes after they win this half-assed power lottery.
With Ennis’s wish-fulfillment stories, Tommy is one of the best author avatars. Most of all, I like the scene where Tommy has Batman at gunpoint and says “Tell the troops, Lord Vader has arrived.” Here’s how it went down: During the 1990s, Ennis and artist John McCrea saw a lot of John Woo movies. They wanted to make a comic book about them. And what a great outcome.
Hitman is the story of Ennis who died too soon: in fact, it’s the John Belushi of the Ennisverse. There are a lot of reasons this comic is at the top. It’s literally the funniest thing Ennis ever wrote, including a shoot-out where Tommy and his friend hide behind the body of a dead man at Burger King; the best superhero team of all time, Section Eight; a rhyming Christmas story, where a man in Santa costume is trying to escape death by reciting the “Tears in the Rain” monologue; and the most moving Superman story in the last 20 years. Fam, there are scenes like this in every single one of them.
The reason this book is so good is because of Ennis and heroes. Let’s go back to that now. People who don’t like Ennis are being used as guest characters in his comic book, about a hitman with superpowers. It works. It really does. He swims upstream, and it’s moving, funny, tragic, endlessly inventive, and unique at the same time. Man in green trench-coat in bar full of winos would not seem so unique, but it is. Hitman is also one of Ennis’ best books. It’s the one where his flaws are the least noticeable: a perfect balance between Funny Garth and Irreverent Garth, Angry Garth and Moving Garth.
That’s why Hitman is better than Preacher at this point in the game. It’s not because Preacher isn’t as good as Hitman, but because Hitman is better because he had to work for it, which makes him better. Bill Hicks is one of Ennis’ favorite people. When Hicks played in front of angry or quiet people, it was said that he did his best work. In the same way, Ennis does the same thing. What do you think? Ennis goes into something where spandex is the norm and makes it big. He’s one of the best in a genre he was born to hate.
Because the man shouts all the time, but what does it matter? When it comes to writing, there are some people who can’t be restrained. You come to Ennis because of his dark humor, the lack of good taste, restraint, and decency, and because you want to see him break free of those things. In bad times, you stay with him (as he always does). So when it comes to the end, you’re surprised by how good his heart is. Everyone. You’re a big, cute hired killer, you.
Artist: Steve Dillon
Publisher: Vertigo/ DC Comics
It’s like Ennis and Moore: if you’re reading this list, you’ve either read the book or had some kind of contact with it, like Moore. So why should I tell you what you already know? Cowboy: This is the story of a cowboy and his assassin girlfriend as they search the Earth for God. Their Irish vampire friend is also in on the search for God. A Steve Dillon face is both simple and deep at the same time. It’s hard to talk about the work that every great artist does. It’s so big and important that it’s hard to talk about. When you learn a word that means the whole world, you can’t get it out of your mouth. A man who can speak God’s word but can’t talk about it.
I won’t say that Preacher is a “mature” comic, if that’s what that word means. It’s more accurate to say that Preacher is what early Image Comics said and never delivered: comics that are both hilarious and insightful for comics-reading adults. Preacher and Sandman, a Vertigo title that is very different from Preacher in many ways, are a great match. Preacher has a lot of wild ideas and crazy dreams at its core. First, Preacher was known for being rude. Later, it was known for its ability to make people think and feel.
Preacher was the best matchup of Ennis and Dillon together. There is no way for me to say that this is Ennis at his peak, even though it is the book that people think of when they think of him. It broke so many rules and raised so many rashes. There were a lot of movies like this in the 1990s, like Pulp Fiction, Natural Born Killers, The Doom Generation, and a lot of other movies that were like this. When Preacher first came out 20 years ago, it was hard-edged and cruel and full of heartbreak and betrayal. It also had some of the funniest comics panels ever drawn on paper. When Marcus and I were younger we used to say, “CUHHH BE!” Each other: “CUHHH BE!” at each other while they were in college.
A lot of people think Preacher is a story about a tough-guy man who wants to be a good person. At the end of the story, what does Jesse do that makes him feel better about himself? We don’t know how Cool Rock Star Guy Cassidy will turn out. When the Saint was a normal person, what did he do that made him different? Is Starr still a symbol of being a dude? What about The Allfather? Odin Quincannon? Jodie? The job of a preacher is to leave everything else behind. The show, of course, has changed. There’s no surprise there. People grow up and leave things behind in this story. Describe it as “Ennis’ love letter to the United States.” Hell of a picture.