Brian Azzarello

Brian Azzarello (born in Cleveland, Ohio, August 11, 1962) is an American comic book writer and screenwriter. He came to prominence with the hardboiled crime series 100 Bullets, published by DC Comics' mature-audience imprint Vertigo. In 2011, he became the writer of DC's relaunched Wonder Woman series.

Brian Azzarello
Brian Azzarello - Lucca Comics & Games 2016
Azzarello at Lucca Comics & Games 2016
BornAugust 11, 1962 (age 56)
Cleveland, Ohio
Notable works
100 Bullets
Before Watchmen: Comedian
Before Watchmen: Rorschach
Lex Luthor: Man of Steel
Wonder Woman
AwardsEisner Award (2001)

Early life

Azzarello grew up in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, where his mother managed a restaurant his father was a salesman. As a child, he read monster and war comic books, but avoided the superhero genre. He attended the Cleveland Institute of Art, where he studied painting and printmaking. After several years of working various blue-collar jobs, he moved to Chicago in 1989. After his move to Chicago, Azzarello became interested in the work of Black Lizard Press, a small publishing house which reprinted hardboiled detective and noir fiction.[1]

In Chicago, Azzarello met his future wife, artist Jill Thompson, then working for Vertigo (a comic book imprint of DC Comics). She also liked monster movies, and she was impressed by a werewolf story Azzarello had written. She introduced him to Lou Stathis, an editor at Vertigo who wanted to move away from the light fantasy Vertigo was publishing. He hired Azzarello as a writer.[1]


Brian Azzarello was the line editor for Andrew Rev's incarnation of Comico.[2]

Azzarello's first published comics work was "An Undead Evolution", a text article in Cold Blooded #1 (May 1993) published by Northstar. His first story for DC Comics was "Ares" which appeared in Weird War Tales vol. 2 #1 (June 1997). He and artist Eduardo Risso launched the 100 Bullets series for Vertigo in August 1999.[3] In addition to 100 Bullets, Azzarello has written for Batman ("Broken City";[4] Batman/Deathblow: After the Fire; Joker; and Flashpoint: Batman Knight of Vengeance[5]), Hellblazer and Superman ("For Tomorrow" and Lex Luthor: Man of Steel). In 2003, upon being assigned to write both the Batman and Superman titles, Azzarello told the Chicago Tribune, "DC is giving me the keys to both cars in the garage, the Maserati and the Ferrari...Somebody told me, 'Don't drive drunk.'"[6]

Mark Waid's and Alex Ross' 1996 miniseries Kingdom Come features a character named "666", who is physically modeled after Azzarello.[7]

In 2005, Azzarello began a new creator-owned series, the western Loveless, with artist Marcelo Frusin.[8] Also at Vertigo, his Filthy Rich original graphic novel was one of the two titles that launched the Vertigo Crime line.[9] Azzarello and Risso produced a Batman serial for Wednesday Comics in 2009.[10][11]

He designed the First Wave, a new fictional universe for DC Comics, separate from the main DC Universe. It started with a Batman/Doc Savage one-shot,[12] followed by the First Wave limited series.[13]

In 2011 he began writing The New 52 relaunch of the Wonder Woman series, collaborating with artist Cliff Chiang.[14] He wrote two Before Watchmen limited series featuring the Comedian and Rorschach.[15][16] In 2014, he and Jeff Lemire, Keith Giffen, and Dan Jurgens co-wrote The New 52: Futures End.[17]

In April 2015 he was announced as the co-writer of an eight-issue second sequel to The Dark Knight Returns, titled The Dark Knight III: The Master Race, with Frank Miller. The series was released twice-monthly starting in late 2015.[18] Andy Kubert and Klaus Janson were the artists on the series.[19] Azzarello and artist Lee Bermejo are collaborating on the Batman: Damned limited series for DC's Black Label imprint.[20]


Azzarello cites Jim Thompson and David Goodis among his influences.[21][22]


Azzarello and Argentine artist Eduardo Risso, with whom Azzarello first worked on Jonny Double,[23] won the 2001 Eisner Award for Best Serialized Story for 100 Bullets #15–18: "Hang Up on the Hang Low".[24]

Personal life

Azzarello is married to fellow comic book creator Jill Thompson.[25] The couple reside in Chicago.[6]


Early work

  • Overstreet's Fan #7–9: "Elementals: Thicker Than Water" (with Jim Callahan, Gemstone, 1995–1996)
  • Comico:
    • Primer #1: "The Assassin's Song" (with Vincent Proce, 1996)
    • Red Dragon #1: "Enter Red Dragon" (with Tony Akins, 1996)


  • Weird War Tales #1: "Ares" (with James Romberger, 1997)
  • Gangland #1: "Clean House" (with Tim Bradstreet, 1998) collected in Gangland (tpb, 112 pages, 2000, ISBN 1-56389-608-7)
  • Jonny Double #1–4 (with Eduardo Risso, 1998) collected as Jonny Double: Two-Finger Discount (tpb, 104 pages, 2002, ISBN 1-56389-815-2)
  • Heartthrobs #2: "The Other Side of Town" (with Tim Bradstreet, 1999)
  • Flinch:
  • 100 Bullets:
    • Volume 1 (hc, 456 pages, 2011, ISBN 1-4012-3201-9) collects:
      • "100 Bullets" (with Eduardo Risso, in #1–3, 1999)
      • "Shot, Water Back" (with Eduardo Risso, in #4–5, 1999)
      • "Short Con, Long Odds" (with Eduardo Risso, in #6–7, 2000)
      • "Silencer Nights" (with Eduardo Risso, in Vertigo: Winter's Edge #3, 2000)
      • "Day, Hour, Minute...Man" (with Eduardo Risso, in #8, 2000)
      • "The Right Ear, Left in the Cold" (with Eduardo Risso, in #9–10, 2000)
      • "Heartbreak Sunnyside Up" (with Eduardo Risso, in #11, 2000)
      • "Parlez Kung Vous" (with Eduardo Risso, in #12–14, 2000)
      • "Hang Up on the Hang Low" (with Eduardo Risso, in #15–18, 2000–2001)
      • "Epilogue for a Road Dog" (with Eduardo Risso, in #19, 2001)
    • Volume 2 (hc, 416 pages, 2012, ISBN 1-4012-3372-4) collects:
      • "The Mimic" (with Eduardo Risso, in #20, 2001)
      • "Sell Fish & Out to Sea" (with Eduardo Risso, in #21–22, 2001)
      • "Red Prince Blues" (with Eduardo Risso, in #23–25, 2001)
      • "Mr. Branch & the Family Tree" (with Eduardo Risso and various artists, in #26, 2001)
      • "Idol Chatter" (with Eduardo Risso, in #27, 2001)
      • "¡Contrabandolero!" (with Eduardo Risso, in #28–30, 2001–2002)
      • "The Counterfifth Detective" (with Eduardo Risso, in #31–36, 2002)
    • Volume 3 (hc, 512 pages, 2012, ISBN 1-4012-3729-0) collects:
      • "On Accidental Purpose" (with Eduardo Risso, in #37, 2002)
      • "Cole Burns Slow Hand" (with Eduardo Risso, in #38, 2002)
      • "Ambition's Audition" (with Eduardo Risso, in #39, 2002)
      • "Night of the Payday" (with Eduardo Risso, in #40, 2003)
      • "A Crash" (with Eduardo Risso, in #41, 2003)
      • "Point off the Edge" (with Eduardo Risso, in #42, 2003)
      • "Chill in the Oven" (with Eduardo Risso, in #43–46, 2003)
      • "In Stinked" (with Eduardo Risso, in #47–49, 2003–2004)
      • "Prey for Reign" (with Eduardo Risso, in #50, 2004)
      • "Wylie Runs the Voodoo Down" (with Eduardo Risso, in #51–57, 2004–2005)
      • "Coda Smoke" (with Eduardo Risso, in #58, 2005)
    • Strychnine Lives (tpb, 224 pages, 2006, ISBN 1-4012-0928-9) collects:
      • "The Calm" (with Eduardo Risso, in #59, 2005)
      • "Staring at the Son" (with Eduardo Risso, in #60–63, 2005)
      • "The Dive" (with Eduardo Risso, in #64, 2005)
      • "New Tricks" (with Eduardo Risso, in #65–66, 2005–2006)
      • "Love Let Her" (with Eduardo Risso, in #67, 2006)
    • Decayed (tpb, 192 pages, 2006, ISBN 1-4012-1939-X) collects:
      • "Sleep, Walker" (with Eduardo Risso, in #68, 2006)
      • "A Wake" (with Eduardo Risso, in #69–74, 2006)
      • "Amorality Play" (with Eduardo Risso, in #75, 2006)
    • Once Upon a Crime (tpb, 192 pages, 2007, ISBN 1-4012-1315-4) collects:
      • "Punch Line" (with Eduardo Risso, in #76–79, 2006–2007)
      • "A Split Decision" (with Eduardo Risso, in #80, 2007)
      • "Tarantula" (with Eduardo Risso, in #81–83, 2007)
    • Dirty (tpb, 128 pages, 2008, ISBN 1-4012-1939-X) collects:
      • "The Lady Tonight" (with Eduardo Risso, in #84, 2007)
      • "Red Lions" (with Eduardo Risso, in #85, 2007)
      • "Rain in Vain" (with Eduardo Risso, in #86, 2008)
      • "The Blister" (with Eduardo Risso, in #87, 2008)
      • "My Lonely Friend" (with Eduardo Risso, in #88, 2008)
    • Wilt (tpb, 304 pages, 2009, ISBN 1-4012-2287-0) collects:
      • "100 Bullets" (with Eduardo Risso, in #89–100, 2008–2009)
  • Strange Adventures #4: "Native Tongue" (with Esad Ribić, 2000)
  • Hellblazer:
  • El Diablo #1–4 (with Danijel Žeželj, 2001) collected as El Diablo (tpb, 104 pages, 2008, ISBN 1-4012-1625-0)
  • Loveless (with Marcelo Frusin, Danijel Žeželj and Werther Dell'Edera, 2005–2008) collected as:
    • A Kin of Homecoming (collects #1–5, tpb, 128 pages, 2006, ISBN 1-4012-1061-9)
    • Thicker Than Blackwater (collects #6–12, tpb, 168 pages, 2007, ISBN 1-4012-1250-6)
    • Blackwater Falls (collects #13–24, tpb, 288 pages, 2008, ISBN 1-4012-1495-9)
  • Vertigo Crime: Filthy Rich (with Victor Santos, graphic novel, hc, 200 pages, 2009, ISBN 1-4012-1184-4)
  • Spaceman #1–9 (with Eduardo Risso, 2011-2012) collected as Spaceman (hc, 224 pages, 2012, ISBN 1-4012-3552-2)

DC Comics

Other publishers


  • Batman: Gotham Knight (2008)
  • Batman: The Killing Joke (2016)


  1. ^ a b Borrelli, Christopher (August 8, 2012). "Brian Azzarello: Shake-up artist". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on August 12, 2017. Retrieved August 11, 2017.
  2. ^ "Brian Azzarello". Wizard World. 2013. Archived from the original on September 9, 2013. Retrieved October 4, 2014.
  3. ^ Brian Azzarello at the Grand Comics Database
  4. ^ Manning, Matthew K.; Dougall, Alastair, ed. (2014). "2000s". Batman: A Visual History. Dorling Kindersley. p. 269. ISBN 978-1465424563. Editor Bob Schreck gave two more big name creators a shot at the Batman when he hired writer Brian Azzarello and artist Eduardo Risso for a six-issue noir thriller.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  5. ^ Manning "2010s" in Dougall (2014), p. 318: "In this powerful reimagining of the Batman legend, writer Brian Azzarello and artist Eduardo Risso joined forces for a three-issue examination of Flashpoint's Batman."
  6. ^ a b Mowatt, Raoul V. (November 14, 2003), "Chicagoan takes a flier with Superman, Batman", Chicago Tribune, archived from the original on November 13, 2011, retrieved November 13, 2011
  7. ^ Cronin, Brian (April 17, 2008). "Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #151". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on July 31, 2013. Retrieved August 31, 2013. In Kingdom Come, Alex Ross DID specifically use [Jill] Thompson as the model for Joker's Daughter (and her husband, Brian Azzarello, as the basis for another character, the villain 666).
  8. ^ Irvine, Alex (2008). "Loveless". In Dougall, Alastair. The Vertigo Encyclopedia. Dorling Kindersley. pp. 116–117. ISBN 978-0756641221. OCLC 213309015.
  9. ^ Arrant, Chris (August 15, 2008). "Karen Berger on the Vertigo Crime Line". Newsarama. Archived from the original on September 1, 2013.
  10. ^ Cowsill, Alan; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "2000s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 338. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. [Wednesday Comics] contained fifteen continuous stories including...'Batman' with a story by Brian Azzarello and art by Eduardo Risso.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  11. ^ Trecker, Jamie (September 3, 2009). "Wednesday Comics Thursday: Brian Azzarello On Batman". Newsarama. Archived from the original on September 1, 2013. Retrieved September 1, 2013.
  12. ^ Renaud, Jeffrey (August 11, 2009). "Azzarello Reimagines Doc Savage". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on April 14, 2013. Retrieved October 6, 2009.
  13. ^ Renaud, Jeffrey (October 12, 2009). "Azzarello Pulps Up DCU With First Wave". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on April 14, 2013. Retrieved November 22, 2009.
  14. ^ Melrose, Kevin (August 22, 2011). "Relaunched Wonder Woman is 'a horror book,' Brian Azzarello says". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on May 24, 2012. Retrieved May 23, 2012.
  15. ^ Rogers, Vaneta (April 16, 2012). "Brian Azzarello Talks Before Watchmen, After the Controversy". Newsarama. Archived from the original on September 1, 2013. Retrieved September 1, 2013.
  16. ^ Behrens, Web (November 16, 2012). "Wonder Woman and Before Watchmen writer Brian Azzarello Interview outtakes". Time Out Chicago. Archived from the original on September 1, 2013. Retrieved September 1, 2013.
  17. ^ Moore, Matt (December 11, 2013). "DC Readies Weekly Weekly Series, Futures End for Spring". Associated Press. Archived from the original on April 7, 2014. Retrieved December 11, 2013.
  18. ^ "Superstar Writer/Artist Frank Miller Return to Batman!". DC Comics. April 24, 2015. Archived from the original on July 26, 2015.
  19. ^ Wheeler, Andrew (July 9, 2015). "Andy Kubert and Klaus Janson Join The Master Race (The Comic)". ComicsAlliance. Archived from the original on August 14, 2015.
  20. ^ Narcisse, Evan (August 16, 2018). "The Team Behind Batman: Damned Say They're Going to Fuck With the Dark Knight's Head". io9. Archived from the original on September 6, 2018. DC Comics will launch its new prestige imprint DC Black Label. The publisher is going to be kicking it off in grand fashion with Batman: Damned, which reunites the iconoclastic team of writer Brian Azzarello and artist Lee Bermejo, the same creatives behind 2009's arresting Joker graphic novel.
  21. ^ Waters, Tom (December 1, 2006). "Rapid Fire With Brian Azzarello". Acid Logic. Archived from the original on September 1, 2013. Retrieved August 14, 2013.
  22. ^ Phillips, Dan (October 23, 2008). "The Joker's Wild Ride". IGN. Archived from the original on September 1, 2013. Retrieved August 25, 2013.
  23. ^ Irvine "Jonny Double " in Dougall (2008), p. 112
  24. ^ Irvine "100 Bullets" in Dougall (2008), pp. 11-17
  25. ^ Rockford Register Star staff. (November 7, 2005). "Meet a couple of comic book creators". The Rockford Register Star. Pg. 1E

External links

Preceded by
Darko Macan
Hellblazer writer
Succeeded by
Mike Carey
Preceded by
Jeph Loeb
Batman writer
Succeeded by
Judd Winick
Preceded by
Joe Kelly
Superman vol. 2 writer
Succeeded by
Judd Winick
Preceded by
J. Michael Straczynski
Wonder Woman writer
Succeeded by
Meredith Finch
100 Bullets

100 Bullets is an American comic book published by DC Comics under its Vertigo imprint. Written by Brian Azzarello and illustrated by Eduardo Risso, the comic book ran for 100 issues and won the Eisner Award and Harvey Award.

Before Watchmen

Before Watchmen is a series of comic books published by DC Comics in 2012. Acting as a prequel to the 1986 12-issue Watchmen limited series by writer Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons, the project consists of eight limited series and one one-shot (though two were initially planned) for a total of 37 issues.

Equus (comics)

Equus is a fictional comic book supervillain, a cyborg mercenary in the DC Comics universe who serves as an opponent of Superman. Created by writer Brian Azzarello and artist Jim Lee, he first appeared in Superman Vol. 2 #206, which was published in June 2004 as part of the "For Tomorrow" storyline.

Filthy Rich (comics)

Filthy Rich is a 2009 original graphic novel written by Brian Azzarello. It was one of two books to launch Vertigo's Vertigo Crime line along with Ian Rankin's Dark Entries. The interior art was created by Victor Santos and cover was done by Lee Bermejo.

First Born (comics)

The First Born is a supervillain appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics, commonly as an adversary of the superhero Wonder Woman. Created by Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang, the character first appeared in Wonder Woman vol. 4 #13 (Dec. 2012).

A dark secret held by the elder Gods of Olympus, the First Born was in fact the very first born child of Zeus and Hera. On the day of his birth, a prophecy was recited that some day he would sit upon the throne of his father with the rest of the family as corpses around him. To prevent this from coming to pass, Zeus arranged for his infant son's death, but it survived; using its nascent power, it commandeered a pack of hyenas to bring it food. It grew to adulthood, and became strong. For thousands of years the First Born has walked the Earth, trying to earn the love and respect of his distant father while also seeking ways to destroy him.

For Tomorrow (comics)

"For Tomorrow" is a 2004-2005 comic book story arc published in Superman #204-215 by DC Comics. Written by Brian Azzarello and penciled by Jim Lee, with inks by Scott Williams, the story begins a year after a million people (including Superman's wife, Lois Lane), mysteriously vanish from the face of the earth. As the Man of Steel tries to solve the puzzle while dealing with his personal loss as well as guilt over failing to prevent the disaster, a parallel story line concerns a priest questioning his faith and serving as Superman's confessor. This eventually gives way to a plot in which a megalomaniac bent on interplanetary conquest begins his attempt to capture his targets, and fighting through a heavy heart, Superman must stop him.

Coming off of the wildly successful Batman story arc Hush, Jim Lee's involvement as penciller on this story made it very highly anticipated. Although Azzarello's story received mixed reviews, Lee and Williams' artwork was highly praised and the series was financially lucrative enough for DC to publish an Absolute Edition hardcover in April, 2009.

Freezes Over

"Freezes Over" is a four-issue Hellblazer story arc written by Brian Azzarello and drawn by artist Marcelo Frusin published by DC Comics under its Vertigo imprint. The story tells of John Constantine, an infamous English occult detective and con man, during one of his travels in the backbone of the United States. Where he gets entangled in a salon while seeking shelter from a strong blizzard. Eventually leading to murder and a revelation of a local urban myth.

One of the most well known run of the series, author Brian Azzarello was nominated for an Eisner Award together with his other influential work, 100 Bullets. The story is notable for bringing back the series trademark horror roots, while bringing themes such as social distrust, suspenseful myth, mystery, and murder.

Joker (graphic novel)

Joker is an American graphic novel published by DC Comics in 2008. Written by Brian Azzarello and illustrated by Lee Bermejo, it is based on characters from DC's Batman series, focusing primarily on the title character. It is a unique take on the Batman mythos, set outside regular continuity and narrated by one of the Joker's henchmen. The miniseries Batman: Damned is meant to be a spiritual sequel to the graphic novel, with the miniseries incorporating certain details, settings and designs that hint at the two stories sharing a connected narrative.

Jonny Double (Vertigo)

Jonny Double is a comic series written by Brian Azzarello and published by the Vertigo imprint of DC Comics. The series was based on the Jonny Double character created in 1968 by Len Wein and Marv Wolfman. It was the first collaboration of Azzarello and artist Eduardo Risso, which subsequently led to a successful and longstanding pairing on 100 Bullets.

Lee Bermejo

Lee Bermejo is an American comics artist whose published work includes interior illustrations and cover art. He is best known for his collaborations with writer Brian Azzarello including Lex Luthor: Man of Steel, the Joker graphic novel, and Before Watchmen: Rorschach.

Loveless (comics)

Loveless was an American Western comic book series for mature readers published by DC Comics as a part of that company's Vertigo imprint. It is written by Brian Azzarello and drawn by Marcelo Frusin, Danijel Zezelj and Werther Dell'Edera. There are 24 issues total.

Spaceman (comics)

Spaceman is a nine-issue, science fiction comic book miniseries written by Brian Azzarello, illustrated by Eduardo Risso, and published by Vertigo. Azzarello and Risso previously collaborated for more than ten years on the Vertigo series 100 Bullets, as well as other projects such as the Flashpoint miniseries Batman: Knight of Vengeance.

Superman vol. 2

Superman was an ongoing comic book series featuring the DC Comics superhero of the same name. The second volume of the previous ongoing Superman title, the series was published from cover dates January 1987 to April 2006, and ran for 228 issues (226 monthly issues and two issues published outside the concurrent numbering). This series was launched after John Byrne revamped the Superman character in 1986 in The Man of Steel limited series, introducing the post-Crisis on Infinite Earths version of the Superman character.

After that limited series, Action Comics returned to publication and Superman vol. 2, #1 was published. The original Superman series (volume 1) became The Adventures of Superman starting with issue #424. Superman vol. 2 continued publishing until April 2006 at which point DC restored The Adventures of Superman to its original title and canceled the second Superman series.

Tales of the Unexpected (comics)

Tales of the Unexpected was a science fiction, fantasy, and horror comics anthology series published by DC Comics from 1956 to 1968 for 104 issues. It was later renamed The Unexpected although the numbering continued and it ended at issue #222 in 1982. The title was revived as a limited series in 2006.

Zola (DC Comics)

Zola is a fictional DC Comics character, created by writer Brian Azzarello and artist Cliff Chiang. She first appeared in Wonder Woman Vol 4 #1 (Sept 2011), and since then as played an integral part in the series. Zola is featured as a young woman carrying Zeus' child, thus entering dangerous situations, the first one being of Hera aiming to punish her for sleeping with her husband. Wonder Woman takes Zola under her protection and tries to fight off forces that might try to harm her or her baby.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.