Current Reviews


The Pro

Posted: Friday, August 16, 2002
By: Craig Lemon

Writer: Garth Ennis
Artists: Amanda Conner (p), Jimmy Palmiotti (i)

Publisher: Image

I nearly didn't pick this book up.

You see, I've pretty much sworn off hitting the local shop every week, preferring to grab a dose of trades on a monthly basis, gradually working my way through my trades wants list - after all, everything decent comes out as a trade eventually, right?

Of course, something like The Pro cocks it up entirely, being a 48-page prestige format book; not gonna be collected, once it sells out it's gone (barring a reprint) - there was one copy left on the shelf. I went in on the day of release, the guy had ten copies of this book ordered - by the time I dragged myself in at 13:30, only one was left. "Guaranteed to offend" he chortled, as I handed over my cash - well, one more for old time's sake, it is by Garth Ennis after all.

And what a fucking cracker of book it turned out to be.

Check your hang-ups at the door, this book is mad, bad, and sure as hell dangerous to know. The story then - a mysterious alien being grants superpowers to a hooker, to prove that within every human lies the potential for decency blah blah blah; what he really hopes is she'll fall out of her costume on a regular basis. Think a cross between the Mekon and the Watcher, call him the Voyeur...excuse me, the Viewer...and you get the idea.

Of course, with a new superhuman on the block, who should turn up but the Justice League, er, League of Honor, and offer her a job - and a stipend...mind you, the money isn't so helpful, a hooker with super-speed can get through a lot, shall we say, in one night...

So, take one dose extreme violence, one dose gratuitous sex, one dose a hilarious piss-take of all of DC's big hitters, one dose a piss-take of comics in general, and several thousand doses of swearing, and you have The Pro. Sure, it's Garth Ennis, but it's Garth Ennis unleashed, it's Ennis treating superheroes the way they deserve to be treated, and it's even, at the very end, a morality play - how's that for a twist ending?

Conner and Palmiotti have fun with the art, my two favourite pieces are what Speedo/The Flash does in the background over the course of three panels, and the queue of whores waiting to deliver retribution of the anal variety on an abusive punter. Ouch.

And if all that is not enough to make you buy the bloody thing, just check out the scene depicting what would happen should Superman ejaculate - Larry Niven had it first, but Ennis has it funniest...

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