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Has Garth Ennis passed his prime?


King of Snake
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Or simply put that as far as original, long-running series are concerned, Garth Ennis was a one-trick-pony. Now i'm not trying to diss his earlier work, his current work or his future work, well maybe kinda his future work. I loved the few Hellblazer trades I've read by him, his Judge Dredd stories were alright.

 

He hasn't been too slack in the last year and a half since the end of Preacher, two Punisher runs, Fury, short run on Spiderman:Tangled Web, Adventures in the Rifle Brigade:Operation Bollock, War Story, Just A Pilgrim and I did enjoy all the above bar Tangled Web which I didn't buy.

 

But I'm going to play Devil's Advocate here and say that many people have criticised his current work, saying that Ennis is plagiarising his own work, eg Pilgrim/Saint, Fuckface/Arseface so could it be that he's used his best ideas and will just degrade in quality from now on? In the last year and a half there has been no indication that he intends to write another creator-owned epic.

 

So the question is was Preacher the pinnacle of his career, never to be bettered or can he return to his best?

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Eh...i dunno. I dont think the well's run dry, but yeah the man has his particular genres he wants to stick with: war, western, religious etc.

For every fuckface, there's some original, great shit in Punisher's plot that makes me wish the book was like that year-round, or the twist on Fury's S.H.I.E.L.D. as this altruistic black-ops group.

I dont think he's near done, but im dyin to see him back on a regular series - Hitman, Preacher, Hellblazer etc were fuckin badass. The man obviously prefers minis, which makes sense, and god knows there's been some really great ones like War Story, Pride & Joy, etc, but still, the books he works on - Fury, Punisher etc - he leaves his mark, and they usually suck after he leaves (see the current Punisher).  

But hey, even m'boy has his bad days (see his Batman books..:ill:). Wasnt a fan of his Spidey: Tangled Web stuff either, writin was ok and art really blew (not his fault but didnt help), so ya didnt miss much KOS.

I think the guy just knows what he wants to right about and likes to fuck around with older ideas is all.  Preacher's still the best shit ive read, and i honestly think ive read more comics than anyone here, for what its worth.

PS Artistic, way to contribute to the new forum....folks, never listen to the opinoin of a guy who likes Prime.

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But I'm going to play Devil's Advocate here and say that many people have criticised his current work, saying that Ennis is plagiarising his own work, eg Pilgrim/Saint, Fuckface/Arseface so could it be that he's used his best ideas and will just degrade in quality from now on?

 

If you'd read my first post properly, you'd see that I expressed no opinion on the matter, I just raised the possibility. In honesty you could speculate on anyone: Will Alan Moore ever top Watchmen? Is DK2 proving that Frank Miller's best work was the original Dark Knight Returns? I only chose Ennis to give Preachers Divinity posters a familiar topic in case they were stuck.

 

Think on the point I was making before you start threatening to chase me off the forum (of which I get the impression that it would take someone far more literate than you to do so). There is a not unsubstantial possibility that Ennis peaked at Preacher, realised this and decided to make as much money from Marvel deals as possible before his popularity wanes but this is merely speculative based on meagre facts.

 

My personal opinion is that at present he is doing some great work but below the quality of Preacher which is a very high benchmark to match. And although an Ennis Punisher or Fury, even if he's not at his best is better than most every other comic, I would be very disappointed if that was how he'd finish his career. Having seen the brilliance of Hellblazer and Preacher (haven't read Hitman, btw), I would love to see another epic of that quality.

 

 

So before you shit on someone else's topic, try using even a little intelligence, can you do that?

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Yay, our first flame battle!

Anyway...yeah, KOS raises a good point...i dunno if Ennis can top Preacher, it certainly dont seem like he wants to give it a go these days. Granted, those mins i told ya & Fury, Punisher etc are as good as those books get, but i see what youre sayin: its a different calibre.

Have you read the next few things he's lookin to do? I hear its another Just A Pilgrim series, then a book 'bout Super Powered Ho's (!), then back to Punisher for a wee bit.  Like i said, im dyin to see the man make his own book again sometime, even if it aint Vertigo.

Ill ask ya this, tho:  What do ya think of Dark Knight Strikes Again? Its still 1 book shy of finishin over here, but while i cant honestly say it tops the original, its pretty fuckin good, if it finishes strong i think it has a shot with bein on par, to be honest.  

My point is:  no, youre prolly right, i dont expect Alan Moore to outdo Watchment or Miller to top DKR, but their follow-ups were stuff like 300, Sin City, Top Ten, From hell, etc...

I think writers like these just had their opus, their be-all-to-end-all stories, got em told & off their back, and went on to still dominate the world of comic writing.  I see where youre comin from, but i just cant say theyve past their stirde yet; sounds to much to me like "lets put me out to pasture, and make way for real writers like Rob Liefeld!"...:ill:

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Hah, it’s good to see someone that gives just as much as he gets. Obviously you don't scare easily, and that good because we at Drunken Deities appreciate objective, arguing types that will tell you if you are full of shit, and not whimper off like a puppy whenever a harsh word is thrown about.

    Now for the serious reply to the comic question.

I don’t think he past his prime, I believe he’s just ran out of ideas. "Ah-ha!" You say," he’s out of ideas; he’s obviously past his prime!"  But I say we just need to wait until the well fulls up again. He is all wrote out, the man has been working terrible hard and that justifiable. Perhaps a little break from the mind numbing American comic industry will do the trick, but for now he seems to be on the wane.

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Guest Saint stimpy

Well the best stuff he has done in a long while is the war stories I know he up to something with Steve Dillion so we could all hope but Fury and other bits over the last year have ben a bit stale :D

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I heard Dillon's workin on somethin with someone else, i wanna say Azarello.  Rumored he'd be on Authority, not sure if that's still true.

Stimpy, what was your favorite War Story? Mine had to be D-Day Dodgers.

Does everyone else think Fury and Punisher were stale? I used to read the older books for those 2 alla time, and i can honestly say i dont think i say em more well done.  Was kinda hopin Fury'd turn into a monthly series...

Oh, and for those interested in Punisher during Garth's hiatus (until issue 13 or so i hear), dont be, its complete and utter shit..."taxi wars"...:ill:

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? Fuck me, Glenn Farby has a website? Why cant i find it? Argh, gimme a link KOS! Please?

Sounds cool tho, cant say ive seen Farby do the interior of many books...again, i bought Outlaw Nation largely just 'caus of his covers.  Just picked up the trade of Authority 1-7 or so, bout time i finally got into that series.

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Eh...i dunno, now.

Sure, Punisher was fuckin great, espeically by its end (and its such crap now, so sad...such utter crap), and Fury was also a great fuckin seires (parts reminded me of "Patton", i swear - Wizard says its gonna be an ongoin series later this year! Only, no Ennis - Greg Rucka instead...we'll see).

But after readin issue 1 of Just A Pilgrim - The Garden of Eden, id have to say ive seen him do this kinda stuff in the last series, in Bloody Mary etc, and while its fun, its not his strong work.  Im not sayin i expect another Preacher - tho id be so fuckin happy to see him do a new regular series of his own, much less a western - but Punisher, War Story, Fury, etc...those books, i looked forward to, asked my local comic vendor each week where the fuck they were.  Maybe its just me, but with Origin, Batman: Dark Knight Strikes Again, and again the current rosters of New X-Men and Amazing Spider-Man going, Just A Pilgrim is fun, (like Pride & Joy, Enemy Ace: War in Heaven, or even Hulk Smash -all by Ennis) but doesnt leave me waitin on the next one, ya know? And this ho book, i guess ill havta see it too...it just seems, outside of his return to Punisher, i havnet got a whole lot to look forward to from him, sadly.  I hope I'm greatly wrong here tho. ???

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Heh...he originally answered "yes" to dick with me, knowin im a huge fan of Ennis, then answered "yes" again right there at the end, but the electoral college (ie: me) decided to make an educated vote for him, so it was...uh...altered.

Anyway, again, Ennis' mediocre stuff is still way ahead of many writers, but while ill be happy as hell when he makes Punisher readable again, Pilgrim is fun but doenst get me goin like Preacher, Hitman or War Story, ya know?  I wish he had somethin more on the horizon, like maybe another regular series again one day....but again, i hope to god he proves me wrong.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Ok...just finished Just A Pilgrim # 2, and the series just picked up & got more promisin real quick, so im kinda hyped.  

Punisher was only slightly less shitty this month, 2 more months of pain then back to Ennis...

Then, that Ho's book, and i dunno what after that.  It occured to me he reads & answers to the letters in the Pilgrim letter section, so im workin on a letter to ask if he'll ever do his own series again, maybe later down the road.

Again, i loved War Story and Enemy Ace, but while his minis are great, his stint on Hellblazer stands much higher, havin given him much more issues - 40 or so - to work with.  

Hitman's still one of the best series ive read, was sad to go, and yet again, despite my affinity for such books as Watchmen and Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, nothing's topped Preacher for me, and i sometimes doubt if it will be topped.  While i dont expect another go like that one, i really cant wait for the day he decides to do another finite series of his own characters, assumin he does.

Ill get back to everyone if he responds to it.

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