Tuesday, June 09, 2015

I like this John McCrea cover.

That's John McCrea's cover to Section Eight #1, a six-issue miniseries that constitutes he and Garth Ennis' return to the DC Universe and stars a couple of relatively minor characters from their 1996-2001 Hitman series. Below that is the cover of Hitman #1, which the former is clearly meant to echo.

I really like McCrea's art, and it's fun seeing the deliberate reference to a previous cover. Note the differences in the Batmans, in terms of their costuming, as well as the similarities, in terms of Batman's expression and the way McCrea draws his cape, as a sort of explosion of ink.

Ennis and McCrea first introduced the characcter Tommy Monaghan, the hitman of the title, in a 1993  annual attached to their run on The Demon (Psst! Ennis and McCrea's Demon run would make a fine collection, People At DC Who Decide What Gets Collected). They used Batman to help ease the character into the audience's eyes, which made sense not only in terms of Batman helps sell things, but because Tommy was a Gothamite (The Demon was set in Gotham City, after all).

Between the end of The Demon and the launch of Hitman, Tommy appeared in a short story in The Batman Chronicles #4, sort of tied to the then-ongoing Batman crossover storyline, "Contagion." Batman then played a fairly prominent role in the first Hitman story arc, punching Tommy so hard in the stomach at one point that he throws Thai food up on Batman's boots. Despite both Batman and The Joker swearing vengeance upon Tommy Monaghan by the end of that story arc, neither reappeared for a rematch throughout the rest of the Hitman run, which made for maybe the only loose story thread Ennis didn't tie-up.

As for Batman's presence on the cover of Section Eight this week, Section Eight's leader Sixpack is trying to revive his team, no easy feat since most of them are dead. He gets up to seven, but still needs an eighth, and Batman is his first potential new recruit.
If you're looking for this book tomorrow–and you should be!–do note that the McCrea cover above is a "variant;" for reasons that perplex me, the "regular" cover is by Amanda Conner, a fine artist whose only fault in this instance is that she's not John McCrea.

1 comment:

SallyP said...

I am SO looking forward to this book! Hitman still ranks right up there with my all-time favorite books, so this is going to be delicious.

And yes, it is a fabulous cover.