Garth Ennis/Amanda Connor/Jimmy Palmiotti
The Pro is a one-shot that deals primarily with classic themes of honesty, and what it takes to be a true hero. It's a sweeping, grand "widescreen" tale that packs in wall-to-wall action, a large cast of supporting characters, and artwork by one of the best teams producing comics today. It's also the story of a foul mouthed, ill tempered, cut-rate prostitute that gets super powers.
Anyone who hates super hero comics will love this book. Garth Ennis, the man responsible for the masterfully done Preacher series from DC, does a surgically precise job of providing a red-hot liquid metal enema for the ass of a comic book establishment that has become mired in an inescapable cesspool of mediocrity.
Anyone who loves superhero comics to the exclusion of everything else, should be strapped to a chair with their eyes pried open Clockwork Orange style, while angry Sunday school teachers read this book to them on a never ending tape loop. It's parody, pure, simple, and heartfelt, that cuts right to the heart of what's wrong with mainstream superhero comics. The brilliant script, coupled with Amanda Connor and Jimmy Palmiotti's fine traditional superhero comics style renderings, provides an entertaining and somewhat gut wrenching slide reel of flat out speed, action and dead-on comic timing. The entire package is a wonderfully entertaining head-smash, that comes with a clear and quite loud message. "Mainstream superhero comics are broken and there isn't much more to do with them than let them die a slow, torturous death." Beethoven soundtrack is of course optional.
In fine Garth Ennis tradition, The Pro is by turns nasty, shocking, insightful, and funny. Best of all, it's truthful. Ennis has taken every sophomoric trope from every major adolescent male power fantasy, and lined them up squarely under the magnifying glass of his rabid comic wit. He has concocted the perfect treatise on the current state of the comics industry, and it's just as relevant today with the current glut of superhero films, and all that fat Hollywood cash flying around the offices of the big two, as it was a few years ago when the opposite was true, and comics were trying to be more like the movies. Ennis brings the current schism between comic book fans of the same old boring crap we always get, and the fans touting violent, bloody literary revolution to light with the same comic clarity as a Richard Pryor sketch or a Lenny Bruce rant.
When The Pro first came out, it was largely ignored by most everybody. It didn't sell nearly as well as it should have, and it was a sort of one trick pony to begin with, so action figures, Happy Meal promotions, and a movie deal were right out. However, it has gone back to press several times, and copies are still out there and easily available. Track this book down and buy it. If you have any history with superhero comics at all you will most likely enjoy it, and if none of this hyperbolic pimp fest entices you, hey, it's kinda' naughty too.
Garth Ennis hasn't done much outside the realm of The Punisher lately, and I just know that all you Ennis fans are as bored with it as I am, so do a little digging and find this little gem. You will not be disappointed.