Justice League/Hitman

    (DC, 2007)
™ and © DC Comics, Inc.

Tommy Monaghan, aka Hitman, returns to the comics rack in this 2-issue mini-series that reveals a here-to-fore untold adventure with the Justice League. Originating in DC’s otherwise forgettable 1993 Bloodlines-themed annuals, Hitman was an ongoing series that lasted five years under the direction of creators Garth Ennis and John McCrea. As his name implies, Hitman was a hired killer, which makes his involvement with the upright Justice League an event that requires a little backstory.

In issue 34 of Hitman Tommy Monaghan has a heart-to-heart encounter with Superman. Superman was depressed about being unable to save an astronaut’s life and when he opened up to Tommy, whom he met hanging out on a rooftop, Tommy made him realize that even he has limitations and he shouldn’t beat himself up over it. Of course, Superman was unaware of Tommy’s occupation or that he was on that rooftop to set up a sniper hit. This issue was a standout of the Hitman series and it makes a poignant cornerstone for this story.

The Bloodline parasites have returned and infected a team of astronauts. That infection threatens to engulf the earth so Batman, who has some history with Tommy Monaghan, brings him to the JLA’s moon base to use him to find a cure for the infection. That plan proves fruitless but during the course of the attempt Superman realizes what Monaghan really is. The League’s ethics and conscientious methods are put to the test while Monaghan’s solution of simply shooting the infected astronauts is a resolution that is abhorrent to them.

There are sad, funny and moving revelations before the end of the story. This series does not tarnish any of the Hitman’s luster but those revelations justify resurrecting a character that had burned brightly and came to a satisfying conclusion.

— George Haberberger

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 Garth EnnisJohn McCrea


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Final issueGarth EnnisJohn McCrea