Chronicles of Wormwood
by Garth Ennis, Jacen Burrows (Avatar, 2007)

The road to Hell is paved with ... mimes?

That's one of the many startling discoveries to be found in Chronicles of Wormwood, a new collection by writer Garth Ennis that I hope is only the start of more good things to come.

Of course, the other big news is that the Antichrist is here on Earth, and that he doesn't want to have anything to do with his father's infernal plans for launching the Apocalypse. Oh, and Jesus is here for the Second Coming, but things didn't work out the way he'd planned.

You'll have noticed already that Ennis is not shy about treading over many people's firmly held religious convictions. His depictions here of Joan of Arc, the Pope, the Catholic Church in general and, yes, even God himself are sure to infuriate a great many of the faithful.

But anyone who looks beyond the surface of this story -- artfully illustrated by Jacen Burrows -- will find a story ripe with meaning. Danny Wormwood's reasons for avoiding the prophecies found in the Book of Revelations, for instance, will probably have you cheering, and his philosophies for saving the human race from damnation should strike a chord with many thinking beings. The road tour of Heaven and Hell is just plain fun.

There's also a talking rabbit.

Chronicles of Wormwood is a stand-alone book, but I hope Ennis will take this story further. Echoing many of the sentiments found in his acclaimed Preacher series -- and certainly matching its many blasphemies and irreverencies -- Wormwood is poised to become even better.

review by
Tom Knapp

18 July 2009

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