This is not a review of this particular volume but of the entire Hitman collection. Actually come to think of it it's really not a review at all. I just wanted to write down a few things that somehow expresses the deep love I have for this series and, well, basically to say my goodbyes.
I never read these books when they were first collected, I think they went up to volume 5 only. When DC started to reprint them staring with A Rage In Arkham, I picked it up only because it was by Ennis. I have to admit after trying to read it a couple of times I gave up and it basically sat on my shelf for about a year untouched. It was McCrea's art that turned me off, I just couldn't get past the weirdness of it - the seemingly amateurish and disproportionate lines coupled with the exaggerated body languages and facial expressions - so I was about to sell it when I read Ennis/McCrea's Dicks and thought it was one of the funniest things I have ever read (actually Dicks sat on my shelf for about a year too). So I decided to give Hitman one last try. After stumbling for a few pages my eyes somehow started to adjust to the art and the rest as they say - was history. Now I can't imagine anyone but McCrea drawing Hitman, it suits the writing perfectly. Oh and in Vol. 5: Tommy's Heroes, there is a funny yet disturbing nod to Dicks. I thought I mention that since it was Dicks that led me back to Hitman.
The stories are funny, very, very funny, full of those "oh sh*t!" moments, sometimes sweet and poignant, sometimes heartbreaking and somehow, as ludicrous as they are, the characters feel real and so does their relationships with each other. Some notable DC characters show up here and there to interact with Tommy, my favorite has to be his rooftop chat with Superman. I think it's because I personally agree with everything that was said there. Tommy's powers are intermittent and sometimes confusing but I never thought that these stories were about his powers, so it never bothered me.
I started noticing last year that of all the books I await so eagerly (Hellboy, B.P.R.D., The Walking Dead, Invincible, Fables, hell...even the Goon), the release of another new volume of Hitman makes me feel like a kid at Christmas morning. I am a slow reader. I can stretch out a measly 144 page story to a week, a 350 page Hitman takes me about 2-3 days. Less if it happens to be on a weekend.
There will be no more Hitman after Closing Time and I am sad. However, it's not a "sad" sadness but more of a "sigh" sadness, if that makes any sense. Thanks to Ennis and McCrea for creating Hitman. Thanks to DC for collecting everything that there ever was to say about him in 7 beautiful volumes. Thanks to me for giving him one last chance and discovering pure awesomeness.