Brian Azzarello

Brian Azzarello (born in Cleveland, Ohio, August 11, 1962) is an American comic book writer and screenwriter. He came to prominence with the hardboiled crime series 100 Bullets, published by DC Comics' mature-audience imprint Vertigo. In 2011, he became the writer of DC's relaunched Wonder Woman series.

Brian Azzarello
Brian Azzarello - Lucca Comics & Games 2016.jpg
Azzarello at Lucca Comics & Games 2016
Born (1962-08-11) August 11, 1962 (age 58)
Cleveland, Ohio
Notable works
100 Bullets
Before Watchmen: Comedian
Before Watchmen: Rorschach
Lex Luthor: Man of Steel
Wonder Woman
AwardsEisner Award (2001)

Early lifeEdit

Azzarello grew up in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, where his mother managed a restaurant 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, where he studied painting and printmaking. After several years of working various blue-collar jobs, he moved to Chicago in 1989. After his move to Chicago, Azzarello became interested in the work of Black Lizard Press, a small publishing house which reprinted hardboiled detective and noir fiction.[1]

In Chicago, Azzarello met his future wife, artist Jill Thompson, then working for Vertigo (a comic book imprint of DC Comics). She also liked monster movies, and she was impressed by a werewolf story Azzarello had written. She introduced him to Lou Stathis, an editor at Vertigo who wanted to move away from the light fantasy Vertigo was publishing. He hired Azzarello as a writer.[1]


Brian Azzarello was the line editor for Andrew Rev's incarnation of Comico.[2]

Azzarello's first published comics work was "An Undead Evolution", a text article in Cold Blooded #1 (May 1993) published by Northstar. His first story for DC Comics was "Ares" which appeared in Weird War Tales vol. 2 #1 (June 1997). He and artist Eduardo Risso launched the 100 Bullets series for Vertigo in August 1999.[3] In addition to 100 Bullets, Azzarello has written for Batman ("Broken City";[4] Batman/Deathblow: After the Fire; Joker; and Flashpoint: Batman Knight of Vengeance[5]), Hellblazer and Superman ("For Tomorrow" and Lex Luthor: Man of Steel). In 2003, upon being assigned to write both the Batman and Superman titles, Azzarello told the 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.'"[6]

Mark Waid's and Alex Ross' 1996 miniseries Kingdom Come features a character named "666", who is physically modeled after Azzarello.[7]

In 2005, Azzarello began a new creator-owned series, the western Loveless, with artist Marcelo Frusin.[8] Also at Vertigo, his Filthy Rich original graphic novel was one of the two titles that launched the Vertigo Crime line.[9] Azzarello and Risso produced a Batman serial for Wednesday Comics in 2009.[10][11]

He designed the First Wave, a new fictional universe for DC Comics, separate from the main DC Universe. It started with a Batman/Doc Savage one-shot,[12] followed by the First Wave limited series.[13]

In 2011 he began writing The New 52 relaunch of the Wonder Woman series, collaborating with artist Cliff Chiang.[14] He wrote two Before Watchmen limited series featuring the Comedian and Rorschach.[15][16] In 2014, he and Jeff Lemire, Keith Giffen, and Dan Jurgens co-wrote The New 52: Futures End.[17]

In April 2015 he was announced as the co-writer of an eight-issue second sequel to The Dark Knight Returns, titled The Dark Knight III: The Master Race, with Frank Miller. The series was released twice-monthly starting in late 2015.[18] Andy Kubert and Klaus Janson were the artists on the series.[19]

In 2016 Azzarello wrote the 12-issue miniseries Moonshine with frequent collaborator Eduardo Risso for Image Comics.

Azzarello and artist Lee Bermejo collaborated on the Batman: Damned limited series for DC's Black Label imprint.[20]


Azzarello cites Jim Thompson and David Goodis among his influences.[21][22]


Azzarello and Argentine artist Eduardo Risso, with whom Azzarello first worked on Jonny Double,[23] won the 2001 Eisner Award for Best Serialized Story for 100 Bullets #15–18: "Hang Up on the Hang Low".[24]

Personal lifeEdit

Azzarello is divorced from fellow comic book creator Jill Thompson.[25] The couple used to reside in Chicago.[6]


Early workEdit


  • Weird War Tales #1: "Ares" (with James Romberger, 1997)
  • Gangland #1: "Clean House" (with Tim Bradstreet, 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)
  • Heartthrobs #2: "The Other Side of Town" (with Tim Bradstreet, 1999)
  • Flinch:
  • 100 Bullets:
    • Volume 1 (hc, 456 pages, 2011, ISBN 1-4012-3201-9) collects:
      • "100 Bullets" (with Eduardo Risso, in #1–3, 1999)
      • "Shot, Water Back" (with Eduardo Risso, in #4–5, 1999)
      • "Short Con, Long Odds" (with Eduardo Risso, in #6–7, 2000)
      • "Silencer Nights" (with Eduardo Risso, in Vertigo: Winter's Edge #3, 2000)
      • "Day, Hour, Minute...Man" (with Eduardo Risso, in #8, 2000)
      • "The Right Ear, Left in the Cold" (with Eduardo Risso, in #9–10, 2000)
      • "Heartbreak Sunnyside Up" (with Eduardo Risso, in #11, 2000)
      • "Parlez Kung Vous" (with Eduardo Risso, in #12–14, 2000)
      • "Hang Up on the Hang Low" (with Eduardo Risso, in #15–18, 2000–2001)
      • "Epilogue for a Road Dog" (with Eduardo Risso, in #19, 2001)
    • Volume 2 (hc, 416 pages, 2012, ISBN 1-4012-3372-4) collects:
      • "The Mimic" (with Eduardo Risso, in #20, 2001)
      • "Sell Fish & Out to Sea" (with Eduardo Risso, in #21–22, 2001)
      • "Red Prince Blues" (with Eduardo Risso, in #23–25, 2001)
      • "Mr. Branch & the Family Tree" (with Eduardo Risso and various artists, in #26, 2001)
      • "Idol Chatter" (with Eduardo Risso, in #27, 2001)
      • "¡Contrabandolero!" (with Eduardo Risso, in #28–30, 2001–2002)
      • "The Counterfifth Detective" (with Eduardo Risso, in #31–36, 2002)
    • Volume 3 (hc, 512 pages, 2012, ISBN 1-4012-3729-0) collects:
      • "On Accidental Purpose" (with Eduardo Risso, in #37, 2002)
      • "Cole Burns Slow Hand" (with Eduardo Risso, in #38, 2002)
      • "Ambition's Audition" (with Eduardo Risso, in #39, 2002)
      • "Night of the Payday" (with Eduardo Risso, in #40, 2003)
      • "A Crash" (with Eduardo Risso, in #41, 2003)
      • "Point off the Edge" (with Eduardo Risso, in #42, 2003)
      • "Chill in the Oven" (with Eduardo Risso, in #43–46, 2003)
      • "In Stinked" (with Eduardo Risso, in #47–49, 2003–2004)
      • "Prey for Reign" (with Eduardo Risso, in #50, 2004)
      • "Wylie Runs the Voodoo Down" (with Eduardo Risso, in #51–57, 2004–2005)
      • "Coda Smoke" (with Eduardo Risso, in #58, 2005)
    • Strychnine Lives (tpb, 224 pages, 2006, ISBN 1-4012-0928-9) collects:
      • "The Calm" (with Eduardo Risso, in #59, 2005)
      • "Staring at the Son" (with Eduardo Risso, in #60–63, 2005)
      • "The Dive" (with Eduardo Risso, in #64, 2005)
      • "New Tricks" (with Eduardo Risso, in #65–66, 2005–2006)
      • "Love Let Her" (with Eduardo Risso, in #67, 2006)
    • Decayed (tpb, 192 pages, 2006, ISBN 1-4012-1939-X) collects:
      • "Sleep, Walker" (with Eduardo Risso, in #68, 2006)
      • "A Wake" (with Eduardo Risso, in #69–74, 2006)
      • "Amorality Play" (with Eduardo Risso, in #75, 2006)
    • Once Upon a Crime (tpb, 192 pages, 2007, ISBN 1-4012-1315-4) collects:
      • "Punch Line" (with Eduardo Risso, in #76–79, 2006–2007)
      • "A Split Decision" (with Eduardo Risso, in #80, 2007)
      • "Tarantula" (with Eduardo Risso, in #81–83, 2007)
    • Dirty (tpb, 128 pages, 2008, ISBN 1-4012-1939-X) collects:
      • "The Lady Tonight" (with Eduardo Risso, in #84, 2007)
      • "Red Lions" (with Eduardo Risso, in #85, 2007)
      • "Rain in Vain" (with Eduardo Risso, in #86, 2008)
      • "The Blister" (with Eduardo Risso, in #87, 2008)
      • "My Lonely Friend" (with Eduardo Risso, in #88, 2008)
    • Wilt (tpb, 304 pages, 2009, ISBN 1-4012-2287-0) collects:
      • "100 Bullets" (with Eduardo Risso, in #89–100, 2008–2009)
  • Strange Adventures #4: "Native Tongue" (with Esad Ribić, 2000)
  • Hellblazer:
  • El Diablo #1–4 (with Danijel Žeželj, 2001) collected as El Diablo (tpb, 104 pages, 2008, ISBN 1-4012-1625-0)
  • Loveless (with Marcelo Frusin, Danijel Žeželj 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)
  • Spaceman #1–9 (with Eduardo Risso, 2011-2012) collected as Spaceman (hc, 224 pages, 2012, ISBN 1-4012-3552-2)

DC ComicsEdit

Other publishersEdit



  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. ^ Brian Azzarello at the Grand Comics Database
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ 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."
  6. ^ 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
  7. ^ 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).
  8. ^ Irvine, Alex (2008). "Loveless". In Dougall, Alastair (ed.). The Vertigo Encyclopedia. Dorling Kindersley. pp. 116–117. ISBN 978-0756641221. OCLC 213309015.
  9. ^ Arrant, Chris (August 15, 2008). "Karen Berger on the Vertigo Crime Line". Newsarama. Archived from the original on September 1, 2013.
  10. ^ 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)
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ Renaud, Jeffrey (August 11, 2009). "Azzarello Reimagines Doc Savage". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on April 14, 2013. Retrieved October 6, 2009.
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ 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.
  18. ^ "Superstar Writer/Artist Frank Miller Return to Batman!". DC Comics. April 24, 2015. Archived from the original on July 26, 2015.
  19. ^ 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.
  20. ^ 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.
  21. ^ Waters, Tom (December 1, 2006). "Rapid Fire With Brian Azzarello". Acid Logic. Archived from the original on June 22, 2013. Retrieved August 14, 2013.
  22. ^ Phillips, Dan (October 23, 2008). "The Joker's Wild Ride". IGN. Archived from the original on May 30, 2014. Retrieved August 25, 2013.
  23. ^ Irvine "Jonny Double " in Dougall (2008), p. 112
  24. ^ Irvine "100 Bullets" in Dougall (2008), pp. 11-17
  25. ^ Rockford Register Star staff. (November 7, 2005). "Meet a couple of comic book creators". The Rockford Register Star. Pg. 1E

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Darko Macan
Hellblazer writer
Succeeded by
Mike Carey
Preceded by
Jeph Loeb
Batman writer
Succeeded by
Judd Winick
Preceded by
Joe Kelly
Superman vol. 2 writer
Succeeded by
Judd Winick
Preceded by
J. Michael Straczynski
Wonder Woman writer
Succeeded by
Meredith Finch