Brian Azzarello

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Brian Azzarello
Brian Azzarello - Lucca Comics & Games 2016.jpg
Azzarello at Lucca Comics & Games 2016
Born (1962-08-11) August 11, 1962 (age 59)
Cleveland, Ohio
Notable works
100 Bullets
Before Watchmen: Comedian / Rorschach
Lex Luthor: Man of Steel
Wonder Woman
AwardsEisner Award (2001)

Brian Azzarello (born August 11, 1962 in Cleveland, Ohio) is an American comic book writer and screenwriter who first came to prominence with the hardboiled crime series 100 Bullets, published by DC Comics' mature-audience imprint Vertigo. Azzarello is best known for his numerous collaborations with artists Eduardo Risso (100 Bullets, "Batman: Broken City", Spaceman, Moonshine) and Lee Bermejo (Batman/Deathblow, Luthor, Joker, Batman: Damned), his contributions to the Watchmen prequel project Before Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns sequel series DK III: The Master Race, as well as for his stints on the long-running Vertigo series Hellblazer and The New 52 relaunch of the Wonder Woman title.

Early life[edit]

Azzarello grew up in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, where his mother managed a restaurant and his father was a salesman. As a child, he read monster and war comic books, but avoided the superhero genre. He attended the Cleveland Institute of Art, studying painting and printmaking. In 1989, after several years of working various blue-collar jobs, Azzarello moved to Chicago, where he became interested in the work of Black Lizard Press, a small publishing house which reprinted hardboiled detective and noir fiction. He also met his future wife Jill Thompson, a comic book artist who was working for DC Comics's imprint Vertigo.[1]


Azzarello began working in comics in 1992, joining Comico as the production coordinator. He was soon promoted to managing editor, before becoming Editor-in-Chief—or, as he was often credited, "line editor"—the position he held from 1993 until the company's demise in 1997.[2] During this period, Azzarello's wife Jill Thompson introduced him to Lou Stathis, an editor at DC Comics' Vertigo who wanted to move away from the light fantasy stories the imprint was known for at the time, and Azzarello was eventually hired as a writer.[1] He contributed short stories to a number of Vertigo's anthology titles and penned Jonny Double, a 4-issue limited series which marked his first collaboration with Argentine artist Eduardo Risso.[3] In August 1999, Azzarello and Risso launched 100 Bullets, a hardboiled noir series for Vertigo.[4] The series ran for one hundred issues, from 1999 to 2009, and was noted for Azzarello's use of regional and local accents, as well as the frequent use of slang and oblique, metaphorical language in his characters' dialogue. Azzarello's other work for Verigo includes a run on Hellblazer, the 2005 western series Loveless with artist Marcelo Frusin[5] and an original graphic novel Filthy Rich, one of the two titles that launched the Vertigo Crime line in 2009.[6]

In 2003, Azzarello was assigned to write arcs for DC Comics' Batman and Superman, commenting to Chicago Tribune, "DC is giving me the keys to both cars in the garage, the Maserati and the Ferrari... Somebody told me, 'Don't drive drunk.'"[7] The results were the 6-issue "Batman: Broken City"[8] and the 12-issue "Superman: For Tomorrow", which was supposed to be the centrepiece of a larger storyline consisting of several interconnected mini-series, including one written by Azzarello, Lex Luthor: Man of Steel.[9][10][11] The initiative, unofficially dubbed "Superstorm" due to the fact that the mini-series were edited by the team of DC's Wildstorm imprint, experienced production problems and delays, causing Luthor to become a standalone work only loosely connected to "For Tomorrow".[12] In the following years, Azzarello continued to write more Batman-related stories such as the 2008 graphic novel Joker, a serial for Wednesday Comics in 2009[13][14] and Flashpoint: Batman — Knight of Vengeance.[15] In April 2015, Azzarello was announced as the co-writer of an eight-issue sequel to The Dark Knight Returns, titled The Dark Knight III: The Master Race, with Frank Miller and artist Andy Kubert.[16] The series, released bi-monthly, was launched in late 2015.[17] Azzarello's most recent Batman work was the Batman: Damned three-issue series for the DC Black Label imprint with artist Lee Bermejo.[18]

Azzarello was one of the architects of First Wave, a new publishing line for pulp characters then-recently acquired by DC Comics, set outside the main DC continuity. He wrote the opening one-shot for the line, Batman/Doc Savage,[19] continuing with the First Wave limited series.[20] In 2011, Azzarello spearheaded The New 52 relaunch of the Wonder Woman series with artist Cliff Chiang.[21] The pair stayed on the title until issue #35 (Dec. 2014). In 2012, Azzarello wrote two limited series for the Before Watchmen project, focusing on Comedian and Rorschach.[22][23] In 2014, Azzarello became the co-writer of the weekly series The New 52: Futures End along with Jeff Lemire, Keith Giffen and Dan Jurgens.[24]

In 2016, Azzarello launched the 12-issue maxi-series Moonshine with frequent collaborator Eduardo Risso at Image.[25] In 2019, the series resumed publication with issue #13 as an ongoing title.[26]


Azzarello and Risso won the 2001 Eisner Award for Best Serialized Story in 100 Bullets #15–18: "Hang Up on the Hang Low".[27]


Azzarello cites Jim Thompson and David Goodis among his influences.[28][29]

Personal life[edit]

Azzarello is married to fellow comic book creator Jill Thompson.[30] The couple resides in Chicago.[7]

The character "666" from Mark Waid and Alex Ross' 1996 mini-series Kingdom Come is physically modeled after Azzarello.[31]


Early work[edit]

DC Comics[edit]


  • Weird War Tales vol. 2 #1: "Ares" (with James Romberger, anthology, 1997)
  • Gangland #1: "Clean House" (with Tim Bradstreet, anthology, 1998) collected in Gangland (tpb, 112 pages, 2000, ISBN 1-56389-608-7)
  • Jonny Double #1–4 (with Eduardo Risso, 1998) collected as Jonny Double: Two-Finger Discount (tpb, 104 pages, 2002, ISBN 1-56389-815-2)
  • Heart Throbs vol. 2 #2: "The Other Side of Town" (with Tim Bradstreet, anthology, 1999)
  • Flinch (anthology):
  • 100 Bullets (with Eduardo Risso):
  • Strange Adventures vol. 2 #4: "Native Tongue" (with Esad Ribić, anthology, 2000)
  • Hellblazer (with Richard Corben, Marcelo Frusin, Steve Dillon (#157), Guy Davis (#162–163) and Giuseppe Camuncoli (#168–169), 2000–2002; with Rafael Grampá, 2009) collected as:
  • El Diablo vol. 2 #1–4 (with Danijel Žeželj, 2001) collected as El Diablo (tpb, 104 pages, 2008, ISBN 1-4012-1625-0)
  • Sgt. Rock: Between Hell and a Hard Place (with Joe Kubert, graphic novel, hc, 144 pages, 2003, ISBN 1-4012-0053-2; sc, 2004, ISBN 1-4012-0054-0)
  • Loveless (with Marcelo Frusin (#1–5, 9–10), Danijel Žeželj (#6–8, 13–15, 22–24) and Werther Dell'Edera, 2005–2008) collected as:
  • Vertigo Crime: Filthy Rich (with Victor Santos, graphic novel, hc, 200 pages, 2009, ISBN 1-4012-1184-4; sc, 2010, ISBN 1-40121-185-2)
  • The Bat-Man (with Cliff Chiang, unproduced series intended for publication under the First Wave imprint, then under Vertigo, c. 2010–2011)[32][33]
  • Spaceman (hc, 224 pages, 2012, ISBN 1-4012-3552-2; tpb, 2014, ISBN 1-4012-4270-7) collects:
    • Strange Adventures (with Eduardo Risso, untitled 8-page prelude in the anthology one-shot, 2011)
    • Spaceman #1–9 (with Eduardo Risso, 2011–2012)

DC Universe[edit]

Other imprints[edit]

Other publishers[edit]



  1. ^ a b Borrelli, Christopher (August 8, 2012). "Brian Azzarello: Shake-up artist". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on August 12, 2017. Retrieved August 11, 2017.
  2. ^ "Brian Azzarello". Wizard World. 2013. Archived from the original on September 9, 2013. Retrieved October 4, 2014.
  3. ^ Irvine "Jonny Double " in Dougall (2008), p. 112
  4. ^ Brian Azzarello at the Grand Comics Database
  5. ^ Irvine, Alex (2008). "Loveless". In Dougall, Alastair (ed.). The Vertigo Encyclopedia. Dorling Kindersley. pp. 116–117. ISBN 978-0756641221. OCLC 213309015.
  6. ^ Arrant, Chris (August 15, 2008). "Karen Berger on the Vertigo Crime Line". Newsarama. Archived from the original on September 1, 2013.
  7. ^ a b Mowatt, Raoul V. (November 14, 2003), "Chicagoan takes a flier with Superman, Batman", Chicago Tribune, archived from the original on October 21, 2012, retrieved November 13, 2011
  8. ^ Manning, Matthew K.; Dougall, Alastair, ed. (2014). "2000s". Batman: A Visual History. Dorling Kindersley. p. 269. ISBN 978-1465424563. Editor Bob Schreck gave two more big name creators a shot at the Batman when he hired writer Brian Azzarello and artist Eduardo Risso for a six-issue noir thriller.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  9. ^ Newman, Nick (August 10, 2003). "Superman Panel at Wizard World Chicago". Superman Homepage. Archived from the original on June 30, 2004.
  10. ^ Weiland, Jonah (April 9, 2004). "SUPER-STARS (PART 8): AZZARELLO SEEKS TO BRING INSPIRATION BACK TO "SUPERMAN"". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on July 25, 2004.
  11. ^ Singh, Arune (April 22, 2004). "SUPER-STARS (PART 11): JIM LEE TALKS "SUPERMAN" & LIFE ADVICE". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on May 17, 2004.
  12. ^ Cronin, Brian (November 23, 2012). "Comic Book Legends Revealed #394". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on November 29, 2012.
  13. ^ Cowsill, Alan; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "2000s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 338. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. [Wednesday Comics] contained fifteen continuous stories including...'Batman' with a story by Brian Azzarello and art by Eduardo Risso.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  14. ^ Trecker, Jamie (September 3, 2009). "Wednesday Comics Thursday: Brian Azzarello On Batman". Newsarama. Archived from the original on February 1, 2015. Retrieved September 1, 2013.
  15. ^ Manning "2010s" in Dougall (2014), p. 318: "In this powerful reimagining of the Batman legend, writer Brian Azzarello and artist Eduardo Risso joined forces for a three-issue examination of Flashpoint's Batman."
  16. ^ Wheeler, Andrew (July 9, 2015). "Andy Kubert and Klaus Janson Join The Master Race (The Comic)". ComicsAlliance. Archived from the original on August 14, 2015.
  17. ^ "Superstar Writer/Artist Frank Miller Return to Batman!". DC Comics. April 24, 2015. Archived from the original on July 26, 2015.
  18. ^ Narcisse, Evan (August 16, 2018). "The Team Behind Batman: Damned Say They're Going to Fuck With the Dark Knight's Head". io9. Archived from the original on August 17, 2018. DC Comics will launch its new prestige imprint DC Black Label. The publisher is going to be kicking it off in grand fashion with Batman: Damned, which reunites the iconoclastic team of writer Brian Azzarello and artist Lee Bermejo, the same creatives behind 2009's arresting Joker graphic novel.
  19. ^ Renaud, Jeffrey (August 11, 2009). "Azzarello Reimagines Doc Savage". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on April 14, 2013. Retrieved October 6, 2009.
  20. ^ Renaud, Jeffrey (October 12, 2009). "Azzarello Pulps Up DCU With First Wave". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on April 14, 2013. Retrieved November 22, 2009.
  21. ^ Melrose, Kevin (August 22, 2011). "Relaunched Wonder Woman is 'a horror book,' Brian Azzarello says". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on August 31, 2012. Retrieved May 23, 2012.
  22. ^ Rogers, Vaneta (April 16, 2012). "Brian Azzarello Talks Before Watchmen, After the Controversy". Newsarama. Archived from the original on September 1, 2013. Retrieved September 1, 2013.
  23. ^ Behrens, Web (November 16, 2012). "Wonder Woman and Before Watchmen writer Brian Azzarello Interview outtakes". Time Out Chicago. Archived from the original on January 19, 2013. Retrieved September 1, 2013.
  24. ^ Moore, Matt (December 11, 2013). "DC Readies Weekly Weekly Series, Futures End for Spring". Associated Press. Archived from the original on April 7, 2014. Retrieved December 11, 2013.
  25. ^ Gilly, Casey (April 6, 2016). "IMAGE EXPO EXCLUSIVE: Azzarello & Risso Make "Moonshine"". Retrieved April 6, 2016.
  26. ^ Quaintance, Zack (October 21, 2019). "Brian Azzarello, Eduardo Risso bringing back MOONSHINE". ComicsBeat. Archived from the original on October 22, 2019.
  27. ^ Irvine "100 Bullets" in Dougall (2008), pp. 11–17
  28. ^ Waters, Tom (December 1, 2006). "Rapid Fire With Brian Azzarello". Acid Logic. Archived from the original on June 22, 2013. Retrieved August 14, 2013.
  29. ^ Phillips, Dan (October 23, 2008). "The Joker's Wild Ride". IGN. Archived from the original on May 30, 2014. Retrieved August 25, 2013.
  30. ^ Rockford Register Star staff. (November 7, 2005). "Meet a couple of comic book creators". The Rockford Register Star. Pg. 1E
  31. ^ Cronin, Brian (April 17, 2008). "Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #151". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on July 31, 2013. Retrieved August 31, 2013. In Kingdom Come, Alex Ross DID specifically use [Jill] Thompson as the model for Joker's Daughter (and her husband, Brian Azzarello, as the basis for another character, the villain 666).
  32. ^ Johnston, Rich (April 15, 2014). "The Batman By Chiang And Azzarello That Vertigo Never Published". Bleeding Cool. Archived from the original on April 16, 2014.
  33. ^ Johnston, Rich (September 16, 2019). "Watchmen Killed This Brian Azzarello Batman-With-Guns Graphic Novel". Bleeding Cool. Archived from the original on September 20, 2019.
  34. ^ Weiland, Jonah (October 20, 2004). "JIM LEE SPEARHEADS "BATMAN: EUROPA" COLLABORATION". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on December 8, 2004.
  35. ^ Phegley, Kiel (October 27, 2010). "Azzarello Travels To "Batman: Europa"". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on October 28, 2010.
  36. ^ Weiland, Jonah (October 9, 2001). "CANCELED 'AUTHORITY' PLANS REVEALED". Archived from the original on November 14, 2001.
  37. ^ Darius, Julian. "Mark Millar The Authority Era (2000-2002)". The Continuity Pages. Archived from the original on November 17, 2002.
  38. ^ Doran, Michael (July 19, 2001). "Wildstorm Mature Readers Titles - Other Wildstorm News". Newsarama. Archived from the original on August 6, 2001.
  39. ^ McMillan, Graeme (July 17, 2019). "DC Unveils New 'Birds of Prey' Comic for October". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on August 21, 2021.
  40. ^ Gerding, Stephen (July 22, 2019). "DC Solicitations for October 2019 Are Huge for Gotham City Fans". Archived from the original on July 23, 2019.
  41. ^ Gerding, Stephen (August 16, 2019). "DC Solicitations for November 2019 Introduce a New Green Lantern to the DCU". Archived from the original on August 17, 2019.
  42. ^ Stone, Sam (September 19, 2019). "DC's Birds of Prey Canceled, Resolicited as Mature Readers Black Label Title". Archived from the original on October 2, 2019.
  43. ^ Johnston, Rich (August 20, 2015). "Brian Azzarello And Simon Bisley's Three Floyds Hits In November From Heavy Metal". Bleeding Cool. Archived from the original on August 22, 2015.
  44. ^ Johnston, Rich (September 20, 2015). "Interceptor From Donny Cates, Dylan Burnett, And Other Comics From Heavy Metal Magazine In December". Bleeding Cool. Archived from the original on September 22, 2015.
  45. ^ McMillan, Graeme (March 20, 2020). "'Faithless' Comic to Return in 2021 For Third and Final Chapter". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on September 19, 2021.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Hellblazer writer
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Batman writer
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Superman vol. 2 writer
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Wonder Woman writer
Succeeded by