Garth Ennis (born 16 January 1970) is a Northern Irish-born naturalized American comics writer, best known for the Vertigo series Preacher with artist Steve Dillon and his nine-year run on Marvel Comics' Punisher franchise. He has collaborated with artists such as Dillon and Glenn Fabry on Preacher, John McCrea on Hitman, Marc Silvestri on The Darkness, and Carlos Ezquerra on both Preacher and Hitman.
Garth Ennis, February 2009
|Born||16 January 1970|
Holywood, County Down, Northern Ireland
Just a Pilgrim
|Awards||1998: Best Writer Eisner Award|
Ennis began his comic-writing career in 1989 with the series Troubled Souls. Appearing in the short-lived but critically acclaimed British anthology Crisis and illustrated by John McCrea, it told the story of a young, apolitical Protestant man caught up by fate in the violence of the Irish 'Troubles'. It spawned a sequel, For a Few Troubles More, a broad Belfast-based comedy featuring two supporting characters from Troubled Souls, Dougie and Ivor, who would later get their own American comics series, Dicks, from Caliber in 1997, and several follow-ups from Avatar. Ennis was later critical of his writing debut, which he describes as "the kind of thing that was doing well at the time. (...) With hindsight, what Troubled Souls really represented was naked ambition. It was a direct attempt to get published. And that was the road that seemed most likely to lead me to success".
Another series for Crisis was True Faith, a religious satire inspired by his schooldays, this time drawn by Warren Pleece. Like the two Troubles stories it was collected as a graphic novel in 1990, but religious protests led to it being quickly withdrawn from sale, apparently on the orders of publisher Robert Maxwell. It was later republished in 1997 by Vertigo.
Ennis shortly after began to write for Crisis' parent publication, 2000 AD. He quickly graduated on to the title's flagship character, Judge Dredd, taking over from original creator John Wagner for a period of several years. Ennis's most notable Dredd stories include Muzak Killer (a pastiche of mainstream pop music), Emerald Isle (a tongue-in-cheek story set in Ennis's native Ireland), and the twenty-part epic Judgment Day. Ennis also contributed the surreal Time Flies (with artist Philip Bond), dealing with time travel paradoxes and Nazis.
Ennis' first work on an American comic came in 1991 when he took over DC Comics's horror title Hellblazer, which he wrote until 1994. Steve Dillon became the regular artist during the second half of Ennis's run. The creative partnership established went on to create Preacher. From 1993 to 1995 Ennis and John McCrea worked on another DC title, The Demon, during which they introduced super-powered contract killer Tommy Monaghan, also known as Hitman, whose own series would allow their creative partnership to continue when The Demon ended. Towards the end of the initial Hellblazer run, Ennis and Dillon collaborated on a one-shot called Heartland, exploring one of the secondary characters of their run. Several years after leaving, Ennis briefly returned for the five-part Son of Man story with artist John Higgins.
Ennis' landmark work to date is the 66-issue epic Preacher, which he co-created with artist Steve Dillon. Running from 1995 to 2000, it was a tale of a preacher with supernatural powers, searching (literally) for God who has abandoned his creation. Mixing influences from western movies and religious themes, it drew plaudits for Ennis from all sections of the media; the Guardian newspaper voted one of the Preacher collections its book of the week, and film director Kevin Smith described it as "More fun than going to the movies."
While Preacher was running, Ennis began a series set in the DC universe called Hitman. Despite being lower profile than Preacher, Hitman ran for 60 issues (plus specials) from 1996 to 2001, veering wildly from violent action to humor to an examination of male friendship under fire.
Other comic projects Ennis wrote during this time period include Goddess, Bloody Mary, Unknown Soldier, and Pride & Joy, all for DC/Vertigo, as well as origin stories for The Darkness for Image Comics and Shadowman for Valiant Comics.
His work has won him a good deal of recognition in the comics industry, including nominations for the Comics Buyer's Guide Award for Favorite Writer in 1997, 1998, 1999, and 2000. Ennis is also known for his lack of fondness for superhero stories and characters, the dominant style of the American comic book industry. He prefers more "grounded" characters such as the Punisher, John Constantine, or Nick Fury. An avid reader of British war comics during his formative years, Ennis did not read superhero comics until his late teens, at which point he found them ridiculous. He has stated : "I find most superhero stories completely meaningless. Which is not to say I don’t think there’s potential for the genre – Alan Moore and Warren Ellis have both done interesting work with the notion of what it might be like to be and think beyond human, see Miracleman, Watchmen and Supergods. But so long as the industry is geared towards fulfilling audience demand – ie, for the same brightly coloured characters doing the same thing forever – you’re never going to see any real growth. The stories can’t end, so they’ll never mean anything." As a World War II aficionado, he finds characters like Captain America "borderline offensive, because to me the reality of World War II was very human people, ordinary flesh-and-blood guys who slogged it out in miserable, flooded foxholes. So adding some fantasy superhero narrative, that has always annoyed me a little bit." Although he has written a number of superhero stories, Ennis has tried to "subvert" the genre as well as he could. He does, however, like Superman and Wonder Woman. In the 1995 one-shot special Punisher Kills the Marvel Universe, Ennis has the Punisher kill every single superhero and supervillain on Earth.
After the end of Hitman, Ennis was hired at Marvel Comics with the promise from Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada that he could write The Punisher as long as he cared to. The initial 12-issue maxi-series was illustrated by Steve Dillon, who also did a 37-issue series (even illustrating it and co-writing an issue while Ennis briefly stepped down as writer) which only ended when Ennis decided to change direction. Instead of largely comical tone of these issues, he decided to make a much more serious series, re-launched under Marvel's MAX imprint. This run has inspired several limited series (such as Born and Barracuda) and one-shots (The End, The Cell, and The Tyger). The creators of Punisher: War Zone have attributed Ennis's The Punisher MAX run as one of the major influences on the film. While at Marvel, Ennis also wrote stories for Spider-Man, Ghost Rider, Hulk, and Thor.
In 2001 he briefly returned to UK comics to write the epic Helter Skelter for Judge Dredd – this series cannot be considered a success, with Ennis himself saying that there is "not a hope" to return to writing Dredd as he was generally not happy with his run. "I'm too close to Dredd, I like him too much. I can't tamper with the formula; nor can I take the piss the way I do with superheroes," he said.
Other comics Ennis has written include War Story (with various artists) for DC; The Pro for Image Comics; The Authority for Wildstorm; Just a Pilgrim for Black Bull Press, and 303, Chronicles of Wormwood (a six issue mini-series about the Antichrist), and a western comic book, Streets of Glory for Avatar Press.
In 2002, an interview with Ennis was published in Writers on Comic Scriptwriting.
In 2006, it was announced that Ennis would write a new creator-owned extended series titled The Boys, originally published by Wildstorm. After six issues, The Boys was cancelled by Wildstorm. Ennis later explained that this was because DC Comics (of whom Wildstorm was an imprint before it was disbanded) were uneasy with the anti-superhero tone of the work. The series was picked up by Dynamite Entertainment. The Boys was illustrated by Darick Robertson, who previously worked with Ennis on the Marvel series Fury: Peacemaker and Punisher: Born. The Boys ran for 72 issues, and concluded in 2012.
Ennis wrote the first arc of WildStorm's Midnighter (a spin-off of The Authority) and one stand alone issue before leaving the title. Ennis has also worked with John Woo on a 5-issue comic book mini-series called Seven Brothers for Virgin Comics.
In 2008 Ennis ended his five-year run on Punisher MAX to debut a new Marvel title, War Is Hell: The First Flight of the Phantom Eagle. The limited series, with artist Howard Chaykin, features the little-used character Phantom Eagle, a World War I pilot who originally appeared in Marvel Comics during the 1960s. In 2008, Ennis also wrote a new Dan Dare miniseries published by Virgin Comics.
In June 2008, at Wizard World Philadelphia, Ennis announced several new projects, including a metaseries of war comics called Battlefields from Dynamite made up of mini-series including Night Witches, Dear Billy and Tankies, another Chronicles of Wormwood mini-series and Crossed both at Avatar, a six-issue miniseries about Butcher (from The Boys) and a Punisher project reuniting him with artist Steve Dillon (subsequently specified to be a weekly mini-series entitled The Punisher War Zone, to be released concurrently with the film of the same name). He has also worked with Jimmy Palmiotti on Back to Brooklyn, a crime-based limited series for Image Comics.
On 19 April 2012, Dynamite published The Shadow No. 1 written by Ennis, featuring the pulp character. In a surprise move, Ennis attempted to crowdfund a children's book through the Kickstarter platform.
Ennis returned to Marvel, reuniting with artist Goran Parlov, with Fury: My War Gone By in 2013. In keeping with Ennis's subversion of superhero tropes, the MAX series stripped Nick Fury of his more science fiction trappings in favour of real-world military and CIA situations, centering on the First Indochina War. That same year, with artist Howard Chaykin, Ennis wrote the 7 issue Dynamite miniseries Red Team.
Artist John McCrea reunited with Ennis on Six Pack, a miniseries from DC in 2015, following the adventures of the supporting characters from their previous Hitman series. He also wrote a series for Marvel, Where Monsters Dwell, part of the Secret Wars event.
| Hellblazer writer
| Hellblazer writer
| Hellblazer writer
Christopher Golden and Thomas E. Sniegoski
| The Punisher writer
Battlefields is a comic book metaseries written by Garth Ennis, comprising several mini-series, each illustrated by a different artist and published by Dynamite Entertainment.Born (comics)
Born is a four-issue comic book limited series written by Garth Ennis, illustrated by Darick Robertson, and published by Marvel Comics through the MAX imprint in 2003.Fury (2001 series)
Fury is a 2001 six issue miniseries about Nick Fury written by Garth Ennis. The series was published under Marvels Max imprint and featured much harder violence and explicit material than was common at the time which caused some controversy among fans and comic creators. The series takes place outside of main Marvel comics continuity and is interconnected with other series written by Garth Ennis under the Max imprint. It was followed by a prequel and a sequel.John McCrea (comics)
John McCrea (born 1966 in Belfast, Northern Ireland) is a comic book artist best known for his collaborations with writer Garth Ennis.Ma Gnucci
Ma Gnucci (Isabella Gnucci) is a fictional character, a supervillain appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. She is an enemy of the Punisher.Martin Soap
Lieutenant Martin Soap is a fictional police officer, and ally of the Marvel Comics antihero the Punisher. He was created by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon, and first appeared in The Punisher Vol. 5, #2 (May 2000).Preacher (comics)
Preacher is an American comic book series published by Vertigo, an imprint of DC Comics. The series was created by writer Garth Ennis and artist Steve Dillon with painted covers by Glenn Fabry.
The series consists of 75 issues in total - 66 regular, monthly issues, five one-shot specials and a four-issue Preacher: Saint of Killers limited series. The entire run has been collected in nine trade paperback editions. The final monthly issue, number 66, was published in October 2000.Punisher Kills the Marvel Universe
Punisher Kills the Marvel Universe is a 1995 one-shot comic book written by Garth Ennis and illustrated by Doug Braithwaite with most inking done by Michael L. Halblieb, which depicts a story where Frank Castle kills every superhero and supervillain in the Marvel Universe including himself.Russian (comics)
The Russian is a fictional character, a supervillain appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. He is an enemy of the Punisher.Section 8 (comics)
Section 8 is a fictional comic book team of superheroes appearing in books published by DC Comics. Created by writer Garth Ennis and artists John McCrea and Steve Dillon, the team first appeared in Hitman #18 (September 1997). The team is named after the military designation for "mentally unfit for duty".Seven Brothers (comics)
John Woo's 7 Brothers is a 2006 five-issue comic book limited series published under the Director's Cut imprint of Virgin Comics. The series was produced by John Woo, written by Garth Ennis and illustrated by Jeevan Kang. In 2007, the series was followed by a sequel, John Woo's 7 Brothers II, written by Ben Raab and Deric Hughes, with art by Edison George.The Boys (2019 TV series)
The Boys is an upcoming American superhero drama web television series based on the comic book The Boys by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson. The show was developed by Eric Kripke, Evan Goldberg, and Seth Rogen.The Punisher (2000 series)
The Punisher (also known as The Punisher: Welcome Back, Frank) is a twelve-issue comic book limited series written by Garth Ennis with art by Steve Dillon and published under the Marvel Knights imprint of Marvel Comics. The series features the vigilante anti-hero the Punisher and ran from April 2000 to March 2001.The Punisher (2001 series)
The Punisher is the sixth eponymous Marvel Comics comic book series featuring the character Frank Castle, also known as the Punisher. It consists of 37 issues as part of the Marvel Knights imprint. Most of the issues in this series are written by Garth Ennis; however, Tom Peyer, Steve Dillon, and Ron Zimmerman also feature as writers.The Punisher (2004 series)
The Punisher (retitled Frank Castle: The Punisher after issue #66, sometimes referred to as The Punisher MAX) was a comic book ongoing series published under the MAX imprint of Marvel Comics, featuring vigilante anti-hero, the Punisher.