A DC Comics character created by Garth Ennis who inhabits Gotham City. Due to an attack by a strange alien, he can read people's minds and has X-ray vision, so he's veritably unsurprisable. He makes a living by killing super-powered individuals who fail to be good.

He's been known to work with Etrigan, make a mockery of Batman and Green Lantern, and claims to have seen Wonder Woman naked.

He is unabashedly Irish, much like his creator.

compiled overview of the 30ton Hitman 'Mech, from various BattleTech novels and game sourcebooks:

With the arrival of the Clans, the formidable armies of both the Draconis Combine and the Federated Commonwealth more than met their match. As regiment after regiment was lost, the leaders of the two realms saw the need to adopt new tactics to counter the technological advantages of the Clans. Some of these tactics led to the creation of the HM-1 Hitman by the Draconis Combine.

The Hitman is an extremely agile and fast light 'Mech, capable of speeds up to 118.8 kph. The 'Mech also features the MASC system, which allows bursts of speed well over 150 kph.

To ensure success of the Hitman's primary purpose, which is to sneak up on enemy units undetected, a Guardian ECM suite was installed. Because the Combine's ability to produce high-quality electronic gear is still somewhat limited, House Kurita had to contract with a Free Worlds League manufacturer to obtain this crucial component.

Once the Hitman is within range of an enemy, the 'Mech's Beagle Active Probe can help identify both the class and the equipment of an enemy 'Mech. The Beagle Active Probe has also proven valuable in minimizing the Hitman's vulnerability to ambush.

If the Hitman is intercepted, it can use its advatage of speed to escape, even from most Clan 'Mechs. With such a 'Mech, the pilot is always free to get away and fight from a more advantageous position.

The Hitman's most important role is accomplished with its target-acquisition gear, which produces a rain of accurate and deadly fire against an enemy target. By transmitting coordinates directly to the fire control of artillery pieces, human error is considerably reduced.

Once the Hitman locates a target, it paints it with the TAG system, allowing the incoming Arrow VI missles to lock on for the kill. This method of attack is what earned the 'Mech its name. To ensure survival after contact with enemy units, the 'Mech also carries a trio of medium lasers and an LRM-5 system. The accuracy of the LRM is increased by the addition of an Artemis IV fire control system.

Many have speculated that the Hitman is really a modified copy of the Capellan Raven, since both 'Mechs pack a wide array of high-tech electronics. However, the Hitman's exterior and design more resemble the shapes of the Draconis Combine's Panther or the Federated Commonwealth's Wolfhound and Valkyrie.

The Hitman is still being tested on the training grounds of the Sun Zhang MechWarrior Academy on New Samarkand .

Over a dozen 'Mechs of this class have been involved in large-scale military exercises conducted by the DCMS and Sun Zhang Academy pilots. As battalion-sized units squared off in the ruins and rural areas, these training exercises tested all possible uses of the new equipment. Both traditional tactics and newly developed tactics were pitted against those used by the Clans.

Intelligence experts predict that the Hitman will be deployed when Arrow VI-equipped 'Mechs or vehicles become available in large quantitites. The units stationed on Wolcott, deep within Clan-occupied territory, will surely be the first to receive the Hitman and its "guns".

Note: Information used here was the domain of FASA before they split the rights between Wizkids LLC and Microsoft (table-top gaming and video games respectively). Copyright of the fluff text is in limbo, but names of persons, places, & things are without any doubt the property of Wizkids LLC. Use of any terms here related to the BattleTech trademark are not meant as a challenge to Wizkids LLC's rights.

A hitman is a person who kills people for money. A professional assassin.

But that isn’t what this write-up is about.

While digging through my box of old short stories, I came across this. I probably wrote it in ninth grade. I’m sure the idea isn’t that original (now that I look at it I’m reminded of the Running Man), but I certainly enjoy it.

1 2 3 4 5 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13


(Fade in)

ERIC: Hello. I’m Eric Pardel, and welcome to Hitman, the reality show where contestants kill to get money, literally. Today we have Senator McNabb of Illinois. Senator, what was your reaction when BIGOTA Network contacted you?”

(Cut to senator)

McNABB: Surprised. I’ve always been a fan of the show.

(Cut to ERIC)

ERIC: Great because today Mr. Robert Banfil of Dallas, Texas will have the chance to win nine hundred thousand dollars if he can assassinate you.

McNABB: Bring it on.

(Cut to BANFIL)

BANFIL: I’m coming McNabb!

(Cut to senator)

ERIC: Senator, do you have anything to say to that?

McNABB: I just want to let you know that I’ve got security like you wouldn’t believe. I’ve got heavily armed MPs, all who can recognize the contestant. I’ve given them orders to shoot on sight.

(Cut to ERIC)

ERIC: And you’ll need those MPs and I’ll tell you why. In just a minute, folks, McNabb will exit the Dallas studio, enter a motor cab, and take the same route JFK took before being killed by Lee Harvey Oswald. Mr. Banfil has five hours to kill the senator. Can he do it? Will he win nine hundred thousand dollars? Find out today on Hitman. We will now switch to our contestant’s head-cam.

(Cut to head-cam)

ERIC: You can see at the edge of the view the automatic hunting rifle we got on loan from Winchester. It was originally designed for blowing the brains out of deer and other defenseless animals, but today it will serve a more noble purpose; to entertain you! The loyal fan who makes shows like this possible.

(Camera swings wildly as if the camera man is running)

ERIC: You’ll notice as Banfil runs that the streets are clear of pedestrians. To prevent civilian casualties we had the Dallas PD clear out the area. Yes, folks, WE are in control of Dallas.

(Camera tilts around and an MP comes into focus)

ERIC: Oooh… Well he won’t be serving this country any more, and I thought Banfil was kidding when he said he took a course on fire arms. You’ll notice the gapping bullet wound in the skull. You see, other lesser reality shows will censor graphic images, but not Hitman. You see this is how we deliver the pure entertainment factor. Plus, this show is endorsed by Jerry Falwel, so you know it’s family entertainment.

(Fuzzy gun shots come over the camera pickup)

ERIC: Two more of the United States’ finest taken down. For those of you just tuning in this is Hitman, your alternative to a kick in the crotch. Today we’re featuring Senator McNabb of Illinois. The assassin is Robert Banfil, a life time resident of Dallas Texas, who has a wife and two kids. Make the fam’ proud, Robert.

(Camera tilts around a fence)

ERIC: Mr. Banfil has chosen an unusual direct attack on Senator McNabb’s motor cab. This could work; Mr. Banfil has already shown himself to be good with guns. That or this’ll be the shortest episode ever.

(Another MP goes down)

ERIC: Can we zoom in on that?

(Camera zooms in)

ERIC: Would you see this kind of entertainment on HBO Family? I don’t think so!

(Camera zooms out)

ERIC: Uh oh! Banfil has to reload and THERE GOES McNABB’S MOTOR CAB!

(The gun appears on the screen again)

ERIC: Banfil is back and firing. Folks! I think the driver’s been hit! Yes! The car has crashed into a light poll. I think this the end of Illinois’ least popular liberal!

(Camera approaches McNabb)

ERIC: This looks like McNabb’s goose is cooked. Wait! Folks, the senator has pulled out a gun and has opened fire on Mr. Banfil.

(Camera tilts crazily and hits the ground. It now shows a view of the sky. Blood flecks the lens)

ERIC: Folks! The senator has just pulled off a surprise victory! Let me confirm that… Yes, the senator has killed Banfil. Senator any comments?

(Cut to a sweaty senator)

McNABB: Thought he had me there.

ERIC: So did we senator, so did we.

(Cut to ERIC)

ERIC: Well folks, that’s it for today. Tune in tomorrow when we will feature gay rights activist Lisa Annropes being chased through a dense wood by an insane Milwaukeean. Until next time I’m Eric Pardel signing off.

(Fade to black)

At some point in my high school career (senior year?) I took a creative writing class. I submitted this story for review by my fellow classmates. I wish I could find those reviews so I could put them here. They range from humorous to down right absurd. One wonders if they even read the story. The only one I remember clearly is the one from a girl who thought the whole thing was too intense. Okay, whatever. I don’t think it is intense at all, but I suppose it is up to the reader to decide.

The above story may have gotten a C or D. The teacher’s excuse was something like, “Don’t you think it’s too violent?” I told her that most of the violence is never actually described. The only thing you “see” is flecks of blood. She told me that I have talent but I need to pick better topics to write about. I replied that what I want to write about is my own business and that grading people on their chosen topic instead of quality of content was nonsense (I wanted to say bullshit, but I suspected that was a really bad idea). I don’t remember what she said to that, but I do remember it wasn’t satisfactory.

As stated above, Hitman is a graphic (and boy, is it ever graphic - this one's rated M for Mature) novel by Garth Ennis and John McCrea (both of whom are consistently credited as creators throughout the series, with writer credit to Ennis and artist credit to McCrea), about a normal guy in Gotham City. Well, sort of normal - he kills people for a living, and he seems to have obtained a few supernatural advantages over his competition: telepathy and X-Ray vision. Still, in a city where a grown man dresses up in rubber costume and punches criminals each night, that's not all that odd.

"My name's Tommy Monaghan, and I kill people for money. It's a living. Regular hitmen kill regular people. I ain't regular hitmen. I take the weird jobs. Get mugged by a cyborg? Call me. Darkseid kidnap Mom? Call me. Swamp Thingy scare your kids? Call me. Possessed by Etrigan and don't know any exorcists? Call me. Number one in a field of one. Superpowered, supernatural or just super-freakin' annoying: I do 'em all."

Hitman works partially due to the witty dialogue but primarily due to the human characters, agendas and priorities. Does Batman ever worry about having an affordable place to crash? Is Green Lantern going to get the next round of drinks (we get to find out that no, he doesn't)? Does Wonder Woman get dog shit placed in her desk drawers by chauvinistic pig coworkers? Probably not (although comic book writing has gotten better recently), but all of these things strike a lot closer to home than defusing a cosmic anti-megatron-ray to prevent the extinction of humanity for the nth time. Ennis does have Tommy rub against some genuine super powers every now and then, and each glance we get is pure gold.

Hitman ran for 60 issues, the first 28 of which are collected in the various TPBs (trade paperbacks) listed below.

Hitman TPB 1 - collects Demon Annual #2, The Batman Chronicles #4, and Hitman #1-3

Colorists: Carla Feeny, Gene D'Angelo, Glen Murakami
Letterers: Willie Schubert, Steve Haynie, Ken Lopez

Interestingly, the art style in the first book is more raw than elegant, more crude than defined. It's very entertaining to watch the book and the person evolve from the very first issue as McCrea and Ennis find the character of Hitman.

In which Tommy Monaghan, out on an assassination assignment to take out an important mob boss by name of Dubelz, makes the unfortunate acquaintance of Bloodlines Alien Glonth and his spinal fluid-sucking, Alien-like proboscis - without the benefit of flowers and dinner, even. Brief fling with property damage, a dead mob boss and police intervention follows as Glonth beats a hasty escape.

After waking up with the aforementioned superpowers, Tommy's back in business as Hitman, the semi-super-powered assassin. His first point of order is to follow-up on Glonth - so he follows the trail to Joe and Moe Dubelz, the siamese twin sons of the mob boss that the alien was munching on (2 spines are tastier than one!). As demonic occurrences draw the attention of a certain Jason Blood, the two meet up at the funeral as mobsters, aliens, demons and hitmen converge. Hijinks ensue.

We are also introduced to Sean Noonan, who owns the bar where Tommy hangs out and is a bit of a father figure; Pat, Tommy's best buddy and honorary hitman; Ringo, a stylish assassin who may or may not be Tommy's superior and Hacken, a low-rent thug who's always looking for work fitting his, ah, talents.

The book ends with Tommy taking a hit bid ... on Joker. With the million bucks offered and dreams of retirement floating in his head, he accepts. Things are not as they seem however, as events in Arkham Asylum turn out to be manipulated by the Arkanonne, the self-styled Lords of the Gun, powerful demonic beings who are seeking a mortal champion to further their cause on earth. Things go to Hell quickly, and not even Batman and the Gotham PD on the scene are enough to stop the chaos.

Hitman: 10,000 Bullets (TPB 2) - collects Hitman #4-8

Colorist: Carla Feeny
Letterer: Willie Schubert

In which the mob vendetta on Tommy Monaghan gets resolved with the introduction of Johnny Navarone, the hitmen's hitman. As the Dubelz scheme(s)* to get revenge on Tommy, he meets up with his buddy Natt (the Hat) to take out a scummy, drug-addled vigilante menace Nightfist (He Will Hit You With His Fist!). Silliness mixes with drama once again as paths are crossed, lines are drawn, declarations are made, goodbyes are made, and revenge is had.

The TPB ends with a stand-alone episode that crosses over to The Final Night, yet another of DC's attempts to cash in on crossovers in the Infinite Crisis cycles. Hitman remains outside of the craptide though, as the protagonists hole up inside Sean's bar and tell each other stories of when they came closest to death. The Saint of Killers makes a guest appearance, although he doesn't seem as pissed off as he generally is in Preacher.

* Well they are/is siamese twins.

Hitman: Local Heroes (TPB 3) - collects Hitman #9-14 & Hitman Annual #1

Artists: John McCrea, Carlos Ezquerra, Steve Pugh
Colorist: Carla Feeny
Letterer: Willie Schubert

With the local thugs taken out of the equation, a bigger agency sets its sights on Tommy Monaghan: the US Government - one of those branches that are at least 40 security levels above the President, dont'cha know. When they sic one of the most powerful figures in the DC Universe on him, you know some fur is gonna fly. With much tongue-in-cheek dialogue and scenarios at the expense of the "spandex universe", this storyline is probably one of the more hilarious ones. We also get an extended introduction to Tommy Monaghan's romantic life.

The TPB again ends with a one-off which boldly crosses the line of good taste and wanders straight into grotesque. Still a good read, and one that sees the entire Noonan's crew together in of the ah, more strange capers yet.

Hitman: Ace of Killers (TPB 4) - collects Hitman #15-22

Pencils: John McCrea
Inks: John McCrea, Steve Pugh
Colorist: Carla Feeny
Letterer: Willie Schubert

We see a lot of old friends and enemies appear in this one, with Etrigan and the Arkanonne being at the focus of the story. Turns out the Lords of the Gun didn't take very well to Monaghan telling them to "blow" and well .... this time they won't take no for an answer. In fact, they're through with asking. Things go from bad to worse when the unholy Mawzir goes rogue (can a demon even go rogue?) and decides to take out Monaghan for his own personal satisfaction. The only hope for Tommy and the gang appears to be ... Catwoman?

Over the course of the book Etrigan will go to Hell (and back), Catwoman will use an assault rifle, the hilarious dysfunctional supergroup Section 8 will wreak perverted havoc, and some undead Nazis will get their just deserts. How can you not love it?

Hitman: Who Dares Wins (TPB 5) - collects Hitman #23-28

Penciller: John McCrea
Inks: John McCrea, Garry Leach
Colorist: Carla Feeny
Letterer: Willie Schubert, Pat Prentice

The most serious book to date, Who Dares Wins brings Tommy and Natt back to earth. Seems that in their shady past, Tommy and Natt were involved in a blue-on-blue incident in the Gulf War, and the SAS isn't too pleased with the loss of their squad. In a tale having more to do with politics of terror and reprisal than tentacle monsters from outer space™, this story arc is more grim and fatalistic than any of the previous books. Not even Men's Room Louie, the Gotham godfather who runs his business from the loo, can brighten up the tone, and the series ends with Natt forcibly reminding Tommy that they're not heroes; they're killers.

And that is it. Due to some decision somewhere, we don't have any further TPBs even though the series has finished at 60. It is possible to obtain the set in the usual places and at reasonable price, but I personally buy comics to read, not to collect - and single issues are a pain in the ass. Maybe one day - in the meantime, I highly recommend you pick these up if you like Ennis' iconoclastic works.

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