Hitman: Ace of Killers (Vol. 4) Paperback – 24 Jun 2011
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About the Author
Garth Ennis is the award-winning writer of The Boys, Preacher, Hellblazer, Hitman and Judge Dredd.John McCrea is the fan-favourite artist of Preacher: Tall in the Saddle, and much more.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The stories here build heavily off of previous volumes. Don't start reading here - go back to the beginning.
This collection opens with the titular six issue Ace of Killers arc. The demons Tommy turned down and their star agent he humiliated are back for revenge. The interplay of characters is a highlight as usual, and in addition to the regular cast and old foes it also features old and new "allies." The various schemes and cross-purposes are well developed and add a good amount of intrigue and development. The touches of humor are as normal - hilarious when integrated into the comic and eye rolling when singled out and Ennis goes overboard.
The remainder of the collection is comprised of two single issue stories. The first is a fantastic "day off" kind of story focusing on Tommy's new quasi-relationship and how trouble always seems to find him. The second is about a job he gets to take out a radioactive evil Santa. Seriously.
Overall Ace of Killers is a great entry in the adventures of Ennis' everyday assassin despite a couple small missteps.
First, if you have not at least read Volume 1, this will not be a good starting point. To me this is where the series really began to come together, and Ennis begins his masterful job of weaving together all of the story threads of the series thus far while setting up the events towards Closing Time. Building off of the events of Volume 1, the Lords of the Gun send the Mawzir back to confront Tommy and gain his revenge for what transpired in the first volume. Bringing together Catwoman, Jason Blood, Baytor, Section 8 (who cannot forget Dogwelder, no matter how hard you might try), and Noonan's gang, Tommy must defend against the combined forces of Hell and the mob while taking residence in a church. This story mixes together surreal elements, dark humor that could only come from the demented mind of Ennis, but also a tale of burgeoning love, and what it means to stand up for your friends. The subsequent story (the only issue not drawn by McCrea) is one of the sweetest, funniest, bloodiest issues and ultimately the catalyst for a series of events that lead to the series finale. When looking back it is amazing how Ennis set up events in the first 20 issues of the series that took 40 more issues to ultimately reach their resolution.
Ultimately, I hope you give each volume of this series a read, I do not know that I have read a series with more genuine heart and such an endearing cast, while also providing surreal and dark comedic moments. This is a truly unique series from DC that found a very interesting niche on the fringe of the superhero genre.
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