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Danny Wormwood is a popular television producer in New York City, with a reputation for creating hard-hitting if profane entertainment.
He's also the Antichrist.
Danny's having a pretty good time of things, though, and isn't interested in participating in the Apocalypse. Many people would like to convince him otherwise.
Wormwood is a horror/comedy series from Avatar Press by Garth Ennis and Jacen Burrows, which currently consists of two miniseries (the second of which, The Last Battle, took about eighteen months to ship six issues) and a one-shot, The Last Enemy. Despite Ennis's high profile, Wormwood is surprisingly obscure even among Ennis's fans.
Tropes in The Chronicles of Wormwood include:
- Affably Evil: Satan.
- Author Tract: It's not the entire reason the book exists, but the first issue of the first series has some very pointed commentary about the life and works of Christ.
- Black Best Friend: Wormwood's friend Jay is the Second Coming of Christ, although he's not often entirely lucid. Because he has severe brain damage as the result of a cop caving in the side of his head with a nightstick. Lift the dreadlocks on his right temple and you can see a three-inch scar. His daddy sent him to Earth in the freaking sixties. Police Brutality at its finest.
- Crowning Moment of Awesome: Even if you don't want to read the rest of the series, and you might not, it's worth tracking down issue #3 of the original series to see Wormwood's guided tour of heaven and hell.
- Crowning Moment of Funny: Wormwood tracking Maggie down in The Last Battle #4.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Pope "Jacko" is casually racist, spends most of his time banging women wearing habits, steals blood from altar boys, and pals around with Satan when nobody's looking, but even he gets pissed off about pedophile priests.
"...and by the way, Cardinal O'Leary, it'd be a fucksight easier for the head of the Catholic church to tell anyone anything--if CUNTS LIKE YOU WEREN'T FUCKIN' RAPIN' KIDS ALL THE TIME!"
- Not much of a standard - he's not really pissed about them being pedophiles so much as he's pissed about having to deal with the fallout.
- Flat What: To round out the page count of The Last Battle, Ennis has included two two-page shorts, both of which are in the worst possible taste.
- Fluffy Cloud Heaven: Heaven is constructed largely by its inhabitants' expectations, so it quite resembles the well-populated theme park of popular fiction, complete with St. Peter standing at the gate.
"You guys wanna come to the show tonight? We got Bill Hicks opening for Hendrix. No cover."
- Functional Magic: Wormwood can do pretty much anything he wants... but if he's trying to do it to a mortal, or if he's on Earth at the time, he can only use his power once a day. We've never seen him do anything particularly remarkable with it, but there's no stated limit to it either.
- Jesus Was Way Cool: Jay's the single most sympathetic and likable character in the book, and in the rare event that you get to hear him explain his beliefs, he actually makes a great deal of sense.
- Living Lie Detector: It's impossible to lie in Jay's presence. If you try, you simply cannot finish the sentence.
- Misaimed Fandom: In a weird sort of in-universe way. Every time a Satanist approached Danny as a kid, they turned up dead from a heart attack or brain tumor shortly thereafter, with a "traumatized" Danny unable to explain what had happened.
- Nightmare Fuel: The visions of Hell that are shown to Paul Carnovitz in The Last Battle #1, particularly if you're a parent of young children.
- Second Coming: What Jay is supposed to represent.
- Take That: The Catholic church, self-consciously "shocking" cable television shows, the Catholic church, Star Wars and its fans, right-wing talk radio hosts, shock journalism, George W. Bush, and, by the way, the Catholic church.
- Talking Animal: As Danny tells Maggie, he was down by the pier one day and saw a bunch of kids tormenting a rabbit. He hit the rabbit with his once-a-day mojo and the rabbit immediately became sentient and gained the ability to speak. The result is Jimmy: a proficient hacker and film buff with a Brooklyn accent who also happens to be a brown rabbit.