Hitman: The Final Night (#8) – Garth Ennis

5 out of 5

Figures the first great Hitman issue would be one just featurin’ dudes sitting around and reminiscing – no heroic antics, no Etrigans, no explosions.

‘The Final Night’ was one of DC’s crossovers from that year, in which the sun is devoured by The Sun-Eater.  In the main series, the focus is on reigniting the sun; in the off-shoots, such as this issue, you have people dealing with the end of the world via a quiet descent into freezing temperatures.  It’s a welcome, somber change from the usual things-blow-up apocalypses, and fits especially well for Tommy Monaghan and the Noonan gang, who exchange stories about a time they each faced death.

This gives Ennis the opportunity to explore his favorite themes: Brotherhood, honor, fear, without the imbalancing overblown nature of the series this far that’s made characterization attempts stick put like sore thumbs.  McCrea similarly ropes it in, as does Carla Feeney on colors, and we get four effective tales – and of course at least one pause for a joke, via Hacken’s take on the exchange – all with that pitch-perfect sense of human frailty that Garth, on occasion, effects so god damned well.