Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Garth Ennis Chronicles of Wormwood TPB (2007)

Like the comic book equivalent of a hipster, I was into Garth Ennis in his early days, but dropped him with disparaging remarks after a few years once he'd gone "mainstream." I made it through a couple of years worth of True Romance Preacher, which always felt like a Hellblazer spin-off before descending into some sort of sadistic situation comedy. Ennis struck me as a pandering legend in his own mind, not half as audacious as he was made out to be, and quite the indiscriminate work-for-hire whore besides. It's been a long time since I truly enjoyed anything associated with Ennis, but I have to say that I found this book an exception.

Chronicles of Wormwood seems to boil down everything Ennis tried to convey about his views on Christianity over five years in Preacher, without bungling the execution. Danny Wormwood is the Antichrist, which has its privileges and drawbacks. He's not really into it, and has even chosen Jesus Christ as his personal pal, which vexes father Lucifer and the Roman Catholic Church alike. Joined by Wormwood's sentient pet bunny, the trio decide on a road trip from heaven to hell, while others see an opportunity afoot. Given the monkey oversaturation of recent years, I must put forth that there is a sore lack of sarcastic bunnies that this series really drives home.

Artist Jacen Burrows has never seemed to even try to transition out of Avatar Press, and I don't think his style would work elsewhere, but he's perfect for the satirical bent of Avatar wares. His Satan is among the best I've seen, and he draws a fine jackrabbit. The book is rude, sometimes a bit too obvious, and I would be surprised if Ennis hadn't given Videodrome a spin at some point. Still, it's a fun story with likeable characters that's fucked-up when it needs to be while making its points well.


mathematicscore said...

While I've yet to graduate to full on dislike, I've always though of Ennis as "usually good, sometimes great." Preacher and Hitman were big hits with me on characterization alone. I've been following the Boys Religiously, but would confess that it has overreached a bit in places with its superhero hatred. As you've said many times on this blog; deconstruction: meh.

Diabolu Frank said...

Have you read Ennis & McCrea on The Demon? Recommended for sure...


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