Black History Month 23: Best Friends, Better Brothers

February 23rd, 2008 by | Tags: , , , ,

hitman-28-18.jpg hitman-28-19.jpg hitman-28-20.jpg
art from dc comics’s hitman. words by garth ennis, art by john mccrea
I call my brother “son” ’cause he shine like one.
–Method Man

Just a quick one today. I’ve got a ridiculous weekend on tap, so I’m gonna have to let the images do the talking for me this time. Sorry! I wanted to go more in-depth on Natt, as I think he’s kind of an awesome character, but time is working against me.

Basically, Natt the Hat is an old friend of Tommy Monaghan’s. They were in Desert Storm together and formed a bond there that lasted for years. When they reconnected, they went into business together. Tommy would get a call for an assassination, he’d call Natt up, and then they’d go kill somebody.

The thing about Natt is that he’s a no-BS kind of guy. He’s very much straight and to the point. If it needs to be done or needs to be said, Natt says it. He’s big on doing what you’re supposed to do, but also in being honest with yourself.

Natt quit cursing when a loved one asked him not to on her deathbed. He went twenty-odd issues without saying a curse word, or at least Ennis’s censored curses. When the SAS came after him and Tommy, he quit quitting. The quitting was an affectation, something he did because it was nice and he was supposed to. But, he recognizes that when you get down to brass tacks, affectations have to go out of the window. You have to be able to do what you need to do to survive.

The scene above shows Natt’s personality perfectly. He calls Tommy on the idea that there’s an honorable hitman. Whether or not you kill cops doesn’t matter– you still pull triggers for a living. Pretending to be anything else is just window dressing. You have to be honest with yourself, and then work your way up from there.

Natt and Tommy are close enough to be brothers. They know each other very well, which is what prompts this scene. It’s a good one, and a good example of the character work Ennis did during Hitman. Yeah, Natt is from the ghettos of Detroit. Yeah, he’s a black dude who uses slang. Yeah, he uses guns for a living.

But, you know what? He’s fully realized. He isn’t a cardboard cutout. He’s got all 360 degrees that good characters have. He’s just as important to the book as the main character, and that’s a wonderful thing.

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2 comments to “Black History Month 23: Best Friends, Better Brothers”

  1. I always loved Natt. A good straight man to Tommy’s shenanigans. You captured Natt well in this article. You ever think about doing one on Barracuda? That guy had some ghetto stereotypes, but he was a mirror to Frank Castle in many ways as well. Keep up the good work.

  2. Nice Work. Peace… 😉