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Hitman (comics)

Hitman is a violent, darkly humorous, sentimental and occasionally romantic comic book published by DC Comics, written by Garth Ennis and illustrated by John McCrea (with one exception). "Hitman" is also the rarely-used code name of the main character, Tommy Monaghan.

Background

Hitman chronicles the exploits of Tommy Monaghan, an ex-Marine Gulf War veteran turned contract killer from the Cauldron, a lower-class Irish district of Gotham City. He first appears in The Demon Annual #2 (part of the "Bloodlines" crossover in the summer of 1993), when he is attacked and bitten by a Bloodlines parasite called Glonth. Instead of dying, the bite unexpectedly triggers his metagene and grants him x-ray vision and moderate telepathy. A side effect is that his corneas and irises are solid black, indistinguishable from his pupils; the sight managed to unnerve Batman when he first saw them. The inherited powers later come with limits, however, and Monaghan utilizes them selectively, both because of the difficulty of concentrating during an explosive firefight and the side effects of their extended use (which includes anything between a headache and a minor illness). (The protagonist with supernatural abilities he doesn't use is also employed by writer Garth Ennis in the series Preacher, published largely concurrently with Hitman.)

After gaining these powers, Monaghan decides to specialize in killing metahumans and supernatural threats, targets typically shunned by conventional contract killers as too dangerous or too expensive. Despite his powers, Monaghan relies most on his creativity, improvisational abilities, and impressive gunfighting skills to take down a majority of his targets. This specialty line of work gives him an edge over his competition, but also leads him to encountering a number of eclectic characters including demons, zombies, dinosaurs, gods, superheroes and supervillains, as well as more conventional, realistic characters such as CIA agents, the SAS and the Mafia. Even during the series' most ridiculous moments, the characters are realistically portrayed, if not necessarily sympathetic.

Despite its bizarre and often iconoclastic nature, the series is firmly entrenched in the DC Universe. Batman, The Joker, Green Lantern, Catwoman, Etrigan, and Superman all guest star at various points, and joking references are frequently made to then-current DC happenings (such as the long-haired Superman). The series also crossed over with many DC events, including Final Night, One Million, and No Man's Land. There was even a one-shot pairing Monaghan with Lobo, and Monaghan has made a few appearances outside of the series (see below).

Although the character adopts the moniker "Hitman" in his first appearance, he only refers to himself by that name once in his own series, in the very first issue; the rest of the time, he is referred to by his given name (although he was sometimes called "Hitman" in guest appearances).

Characters

Heroes

  • Tommy Monaghan is a hitman from "The Cauldron,", the Irish section of Gotham City. He received telepathy and X-ray vision after being bitten by an alien (see Bloodlines), something which he generally tries to keep secret. With or without the powers, he is as good as any hitman in Gotham. He was raised in Saint Killian's orphanage by Sister Concepta, spending much of his childhood with Pat Noonan and Pat's uncle, Sean. He first saw a gun when a bully pulled one on him after a fight. He always wears sunglasses to hide his all-black eyes (another side effect of Bloodlines).
  • Natt "the Hatt" Walls is Tommy's partner. Growing up in Detroit, he joined the Marines to get away from the gangs. There he met and befriended Tommy. They went to the Gulf War together, and inadvertently killed some British SAS soldiers one night in a "friendly fire" incident they never reported. After the war, he tried to return to his gang, but a policeman saved his life and the gang suspected treachery. Natt fled, settling in to Gotham with Tommy. Natt promised his dying mother that he would no longer curse, as "the air used to turn blue around" him. He starts swearing again around issue 23, due to the current situation (see below). The series uses the term "mothaloving" in place of more realistic swearing.
  • Sean Noonan is Tommy's father figure. Sean raised his nephew Pat, Tommy's best friend since youth. Sean was at one time a hitman of some reputation in the city. When he was seven, Sean fled an abusive father, but, inspired by the courage of a British soldier, he went back to save his mother. Years later, he joined the Marines and fought in Korea, where he saw every man in his platoon die. He came to Gotham, got a job tending bar, and eventually won the bar in a poker game. "Noonan's Sleazy Bar" became the resident hang out for local hitmen. Around that time, he saved a young police officer named Connolly from two robbers. In such ways, he collected many favors over the years.
  • Ringo Chen is the other best hitman in town and even more cold-blooded than Tommy (though nobody is sure who is deadlier). There is always tension between the two, as everybody expects they will square off one day. Despite this, he and Tommy get to be close. Ringo grew up in an extremely poor village in China; in order to escape, he joined the People's Liberation Army. When he refused to shoot protestors in Tiananmen Square, he was thrown in jail and tortured. He escaped and fled to New York, where he became a hitman, initially for his cousin, later freelance. Ringo believes that he met Death once, after a hit.
  • Deborah Tiegel is Tommy's love interest for most of the series. An officer in the Gotham Police Department, she eventually is thrown off the force for not participating in widespread corruption. She lives with her grandfather and her mother. She is always referred to as the only truly good person in Tommy's life, and often breaks up with him because he kills people for a living. She is an exceptional marksman, and often provides sniper cover for the heroes amid large firefights.

Notable Side Characters

  • Pat Noonan is Sean's nephew, and Tommy's best friend since childhood. The first time Tommy killed somebody was to save Pat's life. When the series begins, he is Tommy's weapon supplier. He makes fun of Hacken more than anybody else does, and the bar patrons (especially Hacken) regard him as a loudmouth. When Natt arrives, Pat grows more insecure about his friendship with Tommy.
  • Hacken hangs out at Noonan's as much as anybody (including Sean) and joins in with the killer talk, but does not seem to be a professional; they mostly just make fun of him. At one point, he refers to himself and Ringo as partners, "just like Tommy and Natt," and Ringo doesn't have the heart to dissuade him. Early on in the series, having become involved in a zombie battle at the Gotham Aquarium, Hacken cuts off his own zombie bitten hand. The entire group mistakenly fears the bite from will kill him.
  • Sixpack is a short drunk who thinks he is a superhero. He often has drunken delusions of team-ups with Batman and other heroes. He occasionally leads his superhero team, Section 8. He ends up becoming a real hero, sacrificing himself to save the city from demons.
  • Sister Concepta is a nun who works at Saint Killian's. She took a special interest in Tommy growing up, partly because she had a romantic relationship with Sean Noonan.
  • Wendy is the first woman Tommy dates in the series. She believes descriptions of his life are humorous jokes, and she dumps him as soon as she finds out they are not. She returns to the series sporadically.
  • Baytor is the Lord of Insanity in Hell, until Etrigan steals his crown. He escapes Hell, and becomes the bartender at Noonan's. With rare exceptions, he says only "I am Baytor!" He has the ability to project a liquid onto enemies, which dries. The enemies then shatter.
  • Maggie Lorenzo is a poor local woman who first meets Tommy when her son goes missing. Eventually, she turns to Tommy whenever she has a problem.
  • Kathryn McAllister is Tommy's last love interest in the series. A CIA agent modeled after Dana Scully from the X-Files TV series, she first shows up in a one-page gag in "Local Heroes" (in which she manipulates Green Lantern, as ordered by Agent Truman). In Closing Time, the final arc of the series, McAllister has left Truman's employ and enlists Tommy and Natt to take Truman down.

Villains

  • Moe Dubelz is one half of a pair of conjoined twins who share a body. His brother Joe is killed by Tommy, and he swears revenge. The brothers control one of Gotham's major mobs.
  • The Mawzir is a demon from Hell who attempts to enlist Tommy's services for its masters, the Lords of the Gun (also called the Arkannone). The Mawzir is formed from the souls of five dead Nazis who were executed by the Russians towards the end of the Second World War.
  • Night Fist is a ruthless Gotham City vigilante who wears oversized fist-shaped gauntlets on his arms. His nocturnal endeavours are less than noble as he mostly tends to attack drug dealers and steal their merchandise which he then attempts to sell for profit, all the while engaging in overblown monologues on fighting evil and cleaning the city.
  • Johnny Navarone is the best assassin in the world; he travels the world killing only the best local killers. Moe Dubelz hires him to kill Tommy. Later, his son, who is an even better marksman, is hired by Truman to kill Tommy.
  • Agent Truman is a CIA agent who is jealous of superhumans. He attempts to hire Tommy as an agent to rein in and possibly kill heroes, and later funds experiments trying to recreate the effects of Bloodlines.
  • Doctor Jackson from the Injun Peak Facility always hires Tommy and Natt to clean up his messes when various experiments his scientists are performing escape into Gotham City. Though his intentions are probably good, his scientists seem quite inept, and eventually Tommy and Natt come to regard him as quite a nuisance.
  • "Men's Room Louie" Feretti is one of the main mob bosses in Gotham. He is so named because, due to a medical condition, he requires constant toilet use, from where he conducts all business. Eventually, Tommy is falsely blamed for his death, and various other Ferettis try to take revenge.

The Series

Hitman was first published as a 60-issue comic book series with one annual, one "DC One Million" tie-in issue and one crossover with Lobo. Issues were more or less published monthly and most were 22 pages.

Since the end of the monthly series, Hitman was collected in a series of now out of print trade paperbacks which do not as yet encompass the entire series (though several early appearances are included in the first). The trade paperbacks are rumored to be coming back in print (possibly even completing the run), depending on sales of the JLA/Hitman story.

The character was due to make an appearance in an arc of JLA Classified, and Ennis had this to say about it:

I miss Hitman a lot. Preacher finished when it was supposed to, so there are no regrets with it—but Hitman could have gone on a lot longer. John McCrea and I are actually doing four issues of JLA Classified, featuring what is effectively the "lost" Hitman story, the one that we never had space for in the monthly. Writing Tommy and the boys again was sheer joy."

Because of the backlog of other stories for the series, DC decided to release the story as a two issue miniseries titled JLA/Hitman.

Trades

Vol. 1: Hitman
(collects The Demon Annual #2, Batman Chronicles #4, and Hitman #1–3)

  • In "Hitman" (The Demon Annual #2), a hitman named Tommy Monaghan is bitten by Glonth, an alien (see: Bloodlines), and gets superhuman powers. He teams up with Etrigan to fight Glonth and kills Joe Dubelz, a mob boss whose brother Moe puts a price on Tommy's head. The issue also introduces Pat, Sean, and Noonan's Sleazy Bar.
  • In "Hitman" (Batman Chronicles #4), Tommy takes a hit on a walking biological agent named Thrax who escaped into Gotham, and a "tenth-rate assassin" named Martin Eckstein attempts to earn the Dubelz reward. Eckstein, captured by Batman, reveals that Tommy is going to kill the Joker in Arkham Asylum.
  • In "A Rage in Arkham" (issues #1-3), Tommy begins a relationship with a woman named Wendy, and hides the fact that he is a killer. Batman arrives to take down Tommy, but he escapes when Tommy retaliates for a gut punch by vomiting on a stunned Batman. The hit on the Joker turns out to be a magical ruse by demons called the Arkanonne,The Lords of the Gun, and their agent, the Mawzir. They want Tommy to work for them, but he refuses, and Batman intervenes, along with Deborah Tiegel, the only police officer with the courage to go into Arkham to save the Joker. After Tommy accidentally shoots and wounds the real Joker, the Mawzir guns down Tommy, but he survives long enough to capture one of the creature's enchanted, demon-killing guns and force him to save his own nemesis' life. The Arkanonne are outraged and destroy Mawzir when Tommy next orders him to say "The Arkanonne suck." at gunpoint. The story ends with Batman, Tiegel, the Joker, and the Arkanonne all swearing to avenge Tommy for each of their own grievances while Tommy merely smokes a cigarette peacefully.

Vol. 2: 10,000 Bullets
(collects Hitman #4–8)

  • "10,000 Bullets" (#4-7) begins with Moe Dubelz hiring Johnny Navarone to kill Tommy. Navarone hires Tommy (and Natt, newly arrived in Gotham) for a hit and then injures them in an ambush. Tommy makes Natt take him to Wendy's and calls Sean to perform medical services. As soon as Tommy is healthy, she throws them out and dumps him. They go home to find Pat dying, tortured by Navarone for information. Tommy mercy-kills Pat. Tommy and Natt assault Dubelz directly, killing him and his mob. Navarone gets the drop on them, but Tommy gets a lucky shot off, destroying Navarone's hand. He kills him for Pat.
  • In "The Night the Lights Went Out" (#8), a crossover with The Final Night, Tommy, Natt, Sean, Hacken and Ringo sit in Noonan's and recount stories of the closest each has come to death. Ringo specifically tells about the time (he believes) he met Death.

Vol. 3: Local Heroes
(collects issues #9–14 + Annual #1)

  • "Local Heroes" (#9-12) opens with Pat Noonan's funeral. Tiegel is kicked off the police force because she is an honest cop, unlike the corrupt Captain Burns. CIA agent Truman offers Tommy a career in the organization as a killer of metahumans, both heroes and villains. Tommy declines his immoral offer, so Truman makes Burns send the police to arrest him. Not wanting to kill a cop, he takes a hostage and winds up being saved by Tiegel, who wants to expose Burns. Truman's operative Kathryn McAllister tells Green Lantern that Tommy is planning to kill him. Convincing Green Lantern he's been tricked, Tommy wears a wire to record Truman's plans and blackmail him out of Gotham. Truman leaves, for now, and internal affairs investigates Captain Burns' precinct.
  • In "Zombie Night at the Gotham Aquarium" (#13-14), Tommy, Natt, Ringo and Hacken take a contract from Injun Peak to stop a scientist from re-animating dead sea creatures. The group soon find themselves under assault by zombie sea animals. Hacken is bitten in the hand by a zombie and decides to cut his own hand off to prevent a zombie infection; unfortunately he is told by the rogue scientist soon after that the virus only affects dead animals, making the self-mutilation unnecessary. The scientist is eventually killed by a zombie shark, and Tommy later decides to donate his share of the blood money to Seaworld.
  • In "Coffin Full of Dollars" (Annual #1), Tommy and Natt become involved in a power struggle in a small Texan town between Sheriff Halliday and a land developer and gang leader named Santiago, who has a gunman named Manko, inhumanly fast due to an incident during the Gulf War. The struggle comes to a head when a legendary coffin full of stolen money is found in the local cemetery. As Tommy wonders how he will outdraw Manko, Natt answers the question for him by simply sneaking up on Manko and decapitating him with a shotgun. Santiago is strangled one-handed by a vengeful Marine who lost one of his arms to Santiago's torturers, while Halliday is buried alive in the legendary coffin (the money inside had long since decomposed). The story heavily references the spaghetti westerns of Sergio Leone. The art for the annual was provided by Carlos Ezquerra and Steve Pugh.

Vol. 4: Ace of Killers
(collects Hitman #15–22)

  • In "Ace of Killers" (#15-20), the Mawzir (from the first book) returns from his hiatus in Hell reborn and determined to drag Monaghan back to hell for the Arkonne. While in disguise he tricks Catwoman into stealing the Ace of Winchesters, a Winchester rifle forged in the old West to kill demons. Tommy and Natt form an impromptu alliance with Catwoman (spurned over being manipulated) a surprised Tiegel (who arrives at Noonan's to speak with Monaghan moments before Mawzir makes a reappearance) and Jason Blood, the occultist expert and keeper of Etrigan. Etrigan is sent to retrieve the firearm from the Arkanonne, the Lords of the Gun in Hell, while the group holes up in a church besieged by the Mawzir and his gangster minions. As the fight progresses and ammunition runs low, Sixpack reassembles Section 8 and counter-attacks just as Etrigan retrieves the powerful Crown of Horns and murders the Arkanonne, retrieving the Ace of Winchesters. Etrigan returns the gun to Earth and bargains the return of his heart. Tommy makes the trade, and Etrigan is made whole again. Tommy then tries to shoot the Mawzir with the demon-killing weapon, only to realize that Etrigan intentionally gave it to Tommy unloaded. Baytor is revealed to have stolen an ammo belt for the Ace Of Winchesters from Etrigan; Catwoman steals the ammo from Baytor and gives it to Tommy, who finally kills the Mawzir with it. Tommy strikes up a new friendship with Catwoman, and Tiegel tells Tommy to call her.

Note: The Ace of Winchesters was previously featured during Garth Ennis's run on Hellblazer. Jason Blood stole Etrigan's heart, with the help of Tommy, in The Demon #54, written by Ennis.

  • In "Kiss Me" (#21) Tiegel invites Tommy over for a romantic dinner, and they end up sleeping together for the first time. The afterglow is marred when her family arrives home unexpectedly. Trying to slip away, Tommy winds up in the apartment next door, amid a big drug deal involving Lefty Lugano. Everybody in the room thinks that somebody else betrayed them and hired Tommy, which leads to a firefight which only Tommy survives. Tiegel, oblivious to the gunfight, asks Tommy out on another date. This issue is the only issue of the series proper not illustrated by John McCrea; he needed a break, and the art was done by Steve Pugh.
  • In "The Santa Contract" (#22), the Christmas story, a power plant worker named Bob is mutated into a monster whose touch melts flesh. He opts to be a supervillain, steals a Santa Claus costume, and brings carnage to Gotham's streets. The plant's owner hires Tommy and Natt, who find Bob at a mall. He promises to learn to love Christmas, but they waste him anyway.

Vol. 5: Who Dares Wins
(collects Hitman #23–28)

  • "Who Dares Wins" (#23-27) involves a squad of British SAS soldiers (Captain Page, Sergeant Eddie Baker, Plug, and Whitey) assigned to kill Tommy and Natt over the Gulf Storm "friendly fire" incident. Eddie dislikes the assignment for many reasons, which only grow stronger over the arc. Meanwhile, mob boss "Men's Room Louie" Feretti is angry because he thinks Tommy killed his right-hand man, Lefty Lugano (in "Kiss Me"). The SAS men and Louie's men attack at the same moment, and Tommy and Natt escape in the confusion. When next the three sides meet, the SAS men again kill the Mafioso easily, but in a struggle with Tommy, Whitey is killed by his own gun. Tommy and Natt get away, and when Page finds Whitey, he assumes that Louie's men killed him. He plans a huge hit on Louie's criminal operations, over Eddie's objections. Tommy and Natt race to Louie's hideout, where they find Page killing Louie, and Plug being killed. Eddie wipes out the Mafia men, and saves Tommy & Natt from Page before dying himself.
  • In the epilogue, "Door into the Dark" (#28), Tommy and Natt find out there's a big contract on their heads because of the death of Men's Room Louie, and Tommy mentions his desire to leave Gotham and do something good. Tommy and Tiegel have another fight over his job.

Uncollected issues

Hitman/Lobo: That Stupid Bastich
(published around issue 53, but this is where it seems to fit chronologically)

  • In this one-shot crossover, Lobo comes to Noonan's one night, and Tommy thinks he's a jerk. Since he's has been dumped again by Tiegel, Tommy decides to take his frustration out on Lobo, and shoots his eyes out. He leads an angry Lobo all over town, getting sidetracked by a bunch of mobsters looking to avenge Men's Room Louie, before catching up with Sixpack and Section 8 at a construction site. Tommy knocks Lobo unconscious with a wrecking ball, and Sixpack videotapes the "marriage" of Lobo to Bueno Excelenté. A humiliated Lobo agrees to leave Gotham and not return.

Tommy's Heroes
(issues #29–33)

  • Looking to get away from the Men's Room Louie heat, Tommy and Natt (along with Ringo and Hacken) take a job offer in Africa. They are to train an army filled with forcibly-enlisted unskilled men to fight the rebels, who are selling heroin to fund their insurgency. Tommy befriends a British Airborne soldier named Bob Mitchell who was friends with Eddie Baker (from "Who Dares Wins"). They soon realize that President Kijaro and his super-human bodyguards, Scarlett Rose and the Skull, are evil. They meet the rebels, and Tommy is convinced to help install their leader, Christian Ributu, in Kijaro's place as long as he stops dealing heroin. The gang takes a Tiger tank (just like in Kelly's Heroes) straight into the presidential compound, and do what they do best. Ributu is warned not to be like the other rulers, or Tommy will return.

One Million crossover

  • Hitman #1,000,000 was published as part of DC's One Million crossover, and basically parodies and mocks the idea. Tommy is transported to the 853rd Century by some punks who believe that he was a hero, and he corrects their mistaken belief quite violently. Tommy also meets the successor to fellow Bloodlines hero Gunfire.

Superman

  • In "Of Thee I Sing" (issue #34), a starstruck Tommy meets Superman on a Gotham rooftop. Superman has just rescued a group of astronauts but was unable to save the final man. Everyone believes Superman will save them if need be, and he struggles under the burden of representing the power of The United States of America. Tommy tells him that the America that he represents is about the opportunity for people from all over the world to cast aside old baggage and join in the melting pot. Cheered up by the pep talk, Superman thanks Tommy and signs an autograph before flying back to Metropolis, oblivious to the fact that Tommy is actually on the roof to assassinate a local criminal.
  • Around this time, Ennis wrote "How To Be A Super-Hero!" in Superman 80-Page Giant #1. Sixpack dreams that he is patrolling Metropolis, and Superman asks to tag along. Superman lectures him about the need for proof, the downside to burning prisons, and not stabbing muggers with broken bottles.

Katie / Father's Day
(issues #35–36)

  • Tommy's half-sister Frances comes to Gotham and explains his family history. Tommy's mother Kathryn "Katie" Monaghan was an Irish whore, who had the habit of naming her illegitimate children after the townsman who fathered them. Tom Dawson, a sadist, impregnated her and then burned her house down, so she fled to America, where her cousin worked at Saint Killian's. Unfortunately, Tom followed her, and tortured her to death shortly after she gave birth. Frances takes Tommy to Ireland, where they are captured by Dawson. He tortures Frances in the same way he tortured her mother. Tommy escapes and finds her, still alive, realizing that this is how Katie had been left as well. Tommy, as angry as he ever is in the series, kills his father.

Dead Man's Land
(issues #37–38)

  • Natt tracks down Tommy, who has been stewing bitterly alone for three weeks and takes him to Noonan's. Sean introduces them to Maggie Lorenzo, whose son, Michael, is missing. They find the boy, killed by a vampire. Tommy and Natt find the "King of Vampires" in a church, and are gradually surrounded. Back-up arrives with a bulldozer to knock over the church and expose all the vampires to the sun.

* This is a crossover with the Batman arc No Man's Land. In a very self-aware moment amid the story, the characters discuss many of the then-recent huge crossovers and acknowledge how bizarre the events always are, and how they didn't notice the earthquake in Gotham (which happened during "Who Dares Wins") until now.

For Tomorrow
(issues 39–42, epilogue in #43)

  • In "For Tomorrow", Tommy tells Tiegel he loves her, and she asks if he loves her enough to quit being a hitman, theoretically. Ringo has been seeing Wendy (from the first two arcs), but she realizes he is a hitman and dumps him. He also tells his life story, including the first man he ever killed, a Chinese captain who tortured him in a prison cell and beheaded his parents. While escaping, Ringo rigged the body of a soldier with a grenade and left it in the captain's office. When the captain turned the body over, the grenade exploded.

Ringo goes to collect for killing a kid, but instead finds a short Chinese man called "The Waterman", a torturer with electrical powers. He was sent by the boy's father, Sir Richard Harcourt, who wants revenge on everybody involved in the hit. Ringo escapes, but the Waterman follows him and captures him and Tommy. They escape and shoot a whole bunch of thugs. The Waterman's men shoot Ringo and leave him for dead. Tommy rigs Ringo's body, and when the Waterman turns him over, a grenade blows all the bad guys up. Ringo leaves with Death (from "The Night the Lights Went Out"). Two weeks later, Tommy kills Harcourt on a golf course in Hong Kong. In the epilogue, Tommy wakes up with Wendy, whom he bedded in a moment of mutual drunken weakness after mourning Ringo. Tommy visits Tiegel, but she spots a hickey on his neck and slaps him senseless.
*The title refers to Ringo's speech about how all hitmen lie to themselves and say they live "for tomorrow", the time they can quit and be a normal human being again. It was probably conceived in reference to A Better Tomorrow. The arc was dedicated to John Woo and Chow Yun-fat.

Fresh Meat
(issues 44–46)

  • Collecting a paycheck at Injun Peak, Natt asks to use the bathroom. He opens the wrong door and ends up, along with Tommy, encountering a time-traveling hunting party that travels back to the time of the dinosaurs. Along with the party, Natt and Tommy travel to the time of the dinosaurs. Natt, having to still use the bathroom, causes an embarrassing and nearly fatal chain of events that leads to a pack of Tyrannosaurus rex, lead by a powerful beast called Scarback, into present day Gotham City, ruined as it is. Natt, Tommy, Noonan and Butcher, the leader of the hunting party, battle throughout the Cauldron. Eventually Scarback tires of the foul-tasting modern humans and the filthy air and leads his surviving dinos back to the time portal.

The Old Dog
(issues 47–49, epilogue in #50)

  • Men's Room Louie's granddaughter Isabella celebrates her wedding, and her uncle Benito Gallo (a knife-wielding Mafia hitman) offers to kill Tommy. Benito's attempt only wounds Tommy. While recuperating, Tommy finally realizes Sean is his 'true' father; having raised him all these years. A battle breaks out, with Tommy and his friends holed up in Noonan's bar. Eventually, Benito is taken hostage. This ends badly, as Benito slips his bonds while alone with Sean and both men end up killing each other.

The epilogue happens fifty years later; four friends are sightseeing through Noonan's, because of a book based (loosely) on Tommy's exploits. They meet an aged Hacken, who tells them that Tommy killed dozens (excepting children) at Isabella's wedding; a brief scene shows her dead body draped over the altar.

*The title is the inscription that Sean has requested on his tombstone. In the end, Tommy instead puts "Beloved Father".

Super-Guy
(issues 51–52)

  • An Injun Peak scientist and colleague of Doctor Jackson possesses his assistant with a group of demons known as the "Multi-Angled Ones". The assistant, who now has the power to literally pull any object from his rectum, goes on a rampage and Tommy and Natt are sent to deal with him. They successfully kill the assistant, only to free the Multi-Angled Ones in the process. Meanwhile, Sixpack sees the commotion and convinces a disillusioned and directionless Section 8 to rally and defeat the menace. Unfortunately, the demons promptly slaughter most of Section 8, while gloating that nothing will stop them from turning Earth into hell. Sixpack's deluded bravery still impresses them, so he is challenged to a fight for his soul, with Earth's existence on the line. Sixpack agrees, and he and the demons disappear forever afterwards; and a statue is erected in his memory. Bueno Excelente is the only presumed survivor of Section 8 from the attack (he avenges the team by sexually assaulting Doctor Jackson to death); however, a man resembling Sixpack in his civilian identity is seen at an AA meeting, seemingly at peace.

Closing Time
(issues 53–60)

  • In Closing Time, the final story, the Mafia put a two million dollar contract on Tommy's head after the wedding massacre, and many would-be assassins try to collect. Tiegel's grandfather dies, and Tommy tells her they can't see each other any more, because he's bad for her. He gives her all the money he's saved, and she goes to New York. CIA agents in the employ of Truman (from "Local Heroes") want to kill Maggie Lorenzo (from "Dead Man's Land") because she saw an escaped subject of his experiment to duplicate the effects of the Bloodlines incident. Maggie seeks out Tommy, and finds him at the bar. Kathryn McAllister (from "Local Heroes") arrives, saying that she's left Truman's employ over his growing paranoia regarding superhumans. She contacts her friends at the FBI who want to take Truman down, but they offer only a helicopter with very little support.

Truman hires Marc Navarone, the son of Johnny Navarone (from "10,000 Bullets"), to kill Tommy, whom he regards as a loose end. An aging policeman named Connolly (mentioned in "The Old Dog") hears about the CIA plots, and kidnaps Tommy to protect him as a posthumous favor to Sean. After a few flashbacks, Natt and McAllister find Connolly's apartment and free Tommy without killing Connolly. Tommy, Natt, and McCallister shoot up Truman's place, slaying many, many of Truman's men in the process. They're so overwhelmed by the horrors of Truman's experiments that Marc gets the drop on Tommy, but, having never killed anyone outside of practice, he accidentally leaves the gun's safety on. Tommy snatches the gun and shoots him.
Truman escapes and gathers his remaining two hundred men. McAllister picks up the helicopter and heads to Noonan's, where Tommy and Natt share one last beer. They walk outside, and Truman's men open fire. Tommy loses multiple fingers due to a well placed bullet. Connolly is forced to watch, but has been forbidden to interfere by the Gotham PD brass. Natt is shot in the chest but kills his attacker. Moments later he falls during the run for the helicopter. He pleads with Tommy to not to leave him alive to be experimented on. McAllister tries to get Tommy to stay on the helicopter, but he runs back to defend his friend. A line of defensive fire from Tommy catches Truman straight in the forehead, killing him. Truman's men shoot Tommy down. The series ends with a badly wounded Natt and Tommy fantasizing about a version of Noonan's where guns are not allowed and all their old friends are alive.

JLA/Hitman mini-series

  • Clark Kent is being interviewed about Superman's connection to notorious killer Tommy Monaghan. Taking the conversation off the record, he tells a story of how the JLA intercepted a rocket which was filled with a new strain of the Bloodlines virus. They needed a living being who had been exposed to the virus already and survived. Batman took the chance to grab Tommy, whom he regarded as a minor nuisance, killing two birds with one stone.

In the Watchtower, Batman criticizes the Green Lantern for having teamed up with Tommy, until Superman walks in and is pleased to see Tommy. Batman tells Superman that Tommy is a killer, and Superman is suddenly torn, because the advice Tommy had given is still helping him. The rocket arrives at the moon. The White House, in fear of the aliens, launches nuclear weapons at the Watchtower.
The astronauts come in, controlled by the Bloodlines aliens. One of the aliens dampens all of the heroes' powers, the others grant their hosts various powers. Batman and Superman are quickly captured and infected. Flash and Green Lantern are left with the unconscious, tied-up Batman, while Wonder Woman and Tommy climb the ladder to get to the control center. Wonder Woman is overcome, but holds them off long enough for Tommy to reach the top, where he manages to talk Superman into overcoming the alien. Despite the JLA's objections, Tommy feels he has no choice but to kill all the aliens -- as well as their human hosts. The President is contacted, and the nuclear attack is called off.
Superman is torn, but the rest of the League criticize Tommy for killing. Batman gives him over to the police to stand trial for his hundreds of murders. Fortunately for Tommy, the officers are corrupt, and deposit him back at Noonan's. In the present day, Superman admits that he admires Tommy's moral courage in the extreme situation, and mourns his passing.

  • This crossover takes place at an unspecified time between issues #34 (when Tommy first met Superman) and issue #39 (when certain members of the supporting cast began to die).

Other appearances

Prior to his own series, Hitman was introduced during Garth Ennis's run on The Demon. After the aforementioned appearance in Annual #2, he appeared in two later arcs:
"Hell's Hitman" (#42-45) - Etrigan, newly appointed as "Hell's Hitman", is at war with the Lord Asteroth, Archfiend of Hell, over the fate of Gotham. After being overwhelmed by his Choirboy Commandoes, Etrigan hires Tommy to take out Asteroth in issue 43. Tommy telepathically learns that Asteroth is sacrificing people to bring about Hell on Earth. He shoots the Choirboy Commandoes and Asteroth's other men, but flees rather than kill police officers. Etrigan deals with the supernatural menaces, but decides not to pay Tommy for his services. (This also featured the first appearance of Baytor.)
"Suffer the Children" (#52-54) - After Jason's Blood's daughter is born, he decides to destroy Etrigan. He hires Tommy to help him, specifically guarding him against Merlin the Magician (Etrigan's brother). Tommy only agrees because Blood promises him two million dollars. Etrigan escapes and kidnaps the baby, and, when Merlin aids him, Tommy shoots the magician. Jason saves the baby, and Tommy defends him while he steals Etrigan's heart, essentially neutering the demon and binding him to Jason's will. Tommy pinches Etrigan's cheeks, knowing Blood will not allow the demon to hurt him.

He also made an appearance in Batman Chronicles #4, building to the release of the series. The Annual and the Batman issue are included in the first trade paperback.

During Grant Morrison's run on JLA, Tommy was briefly considered for membership. The only reason he shows up is to check out Wonder Woman with his X-ray vision, after which he turns down their offer due to low pay.

He has also appeared in titles like Azrael (comics), Sovereign Seven, and Resurrection Man, none written by Garth Ennis. The majorirty of 'Sovereign Seven' is considered non-canonical due to the revelation in the last issue.

Awards

Dogwelder (from the team Section 8) was voted "Best New Character" of 1997 by the readers of Wizard.

Hitman issue 34, the Superman-starring "Of Thee I Sing", won the 1999 Eisner Award for best single issue, presented to Ennis and McCrea.

"For Tomorrow", in issues 39–42, was a top votegetter for the Comics Buyer's Guide Fan Award for Favorite Story for 2000.

The 1,000,000 issue was a part of the DC One Million storyline, which was a top votegetter for the Comics Buyer's Guide Fan Award for Favorite Story for 1999.

In other media

Tommy Monaghan was mentioned in the Justice League Unlimited episode, Double Date by the crime boss Steven Mandragora, who says that he heard Monaghan had "fallen under a train".

References

External links

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