Garth EnnisAntichrist
Chronicles of Wormwood: The Last Enemy
Medium: comic
Year: 2007
Writer: Garth Ennis
Artist: Rob Steen
Keywords: Antichrist
Format: 48 pages
Website category: Comics
Review date: 16 February 2022
It's more Wormwood! Gross blasphemy and much fun. This time, the plot's comparatively domestic. No one's trying to bring about the apocalypse. Instead, Danny's trying to mend things with his ex-girlfriend, while the Pope hopes to cure his terminal dose of AIDS with the help of a Killer Eunuch.
The girlfriend stuff is ill-fitting enough to make one wonder if the core of it is semi-autobiographical. Awkward conversations and little speeches, from a guy who's just been masturbating in the toilet while thinking of his hot new secretary. We're not here for all that, obviously, although it matters to Danny and it gives the story its thematic through-line. Anyway, that was my first reaction... but I was wrong. On reflection, it's necessary. Wormwood is the story of an Antichrist who's living on Earth as another bloke like the rest of us. Given that, a plot thread like this was almost mandatory. Girlfriend troubles, everyday stuff... that's Danny's choice. No, he's not very good at it. But he's doing his best.
As for the Pope, though, he manages to be depraved in a way that trumps everything he did in the original miniseries. I laughed and I'm probably going to hell for that. Meanwhile, the Killer Eunuch fully lives down to what you're imagining right now.
The art's a bit cartoonish. That's slightly jarring after Jacen Burrows, but I can cope.
Again, it's a laugh. The book also has two 2-page gross-out stories at the end, which are best described as Viz-like. They're amusing too. Also, interestingly, Ennis is returning to those two trashmeisters from Danny's TV company, which again lets him voice opinions about entertainment media. Here, that's DVD commentaries. One's been interleaved through this book. Media discussions are turning into an unexpected sub-theme of Wormwood. To be honest, I haven't seen any big surprises in Ennis's Christianity-bashing in this series, but it's still worth reading because of how far he's taken it (i.e. beyond all limits of taste) while also backing up the vulgarity with reasonably well thought through arguments and a philosophy.