Garth Ennis' 303
Cover: Jacen Burrows
Story: Garth Ennis
Art: Jacen Burrows
Color: Greg Waller
Readership: Mature Readers
Format: Color, 6 issue series
Series beginning in October, available for preorder now from your local comic retailer

Garth Ennis is unleashed on his first major creator-owned series in years! Ennis and red-hot artist Jacen Burrows are going to blow the doors off 2004 with this full-color six issue action-packed epic from the twisted mind of Ennis! A very hard man leads the Russian special forces team that is investigating a downed plane in Afghanistan. But when British and US forces also get thrown in the mix, tension turns to carnage as the whole mission goes sideways. Then Ennis really lets loose. This special preview gives you a teaser of what is sure to be one of the most talked-about series of the year.



An introduction to 303 by Garth Ennis

This is the strangest damn thing I've written in a long, long time.

It's the story of a rifle, first and foremost, a .303 calibre Lee Enfield bolt-action rifle, almost a hundred years old but none the worst for it. This was the weapon that took the British army through two world wars and survived in its service until long after the second; it still shows up today from time to time, carried by tribesmen and guerrilla fighters in some of the world's most brutal conflicts. The Lee Enfield is one of the great success stories of killing technology; it's simple to use, what flaws it possesses are few and far between, and it'll withstand a good deal of very rough treatment indeed before it stops doing what it says on the tin.

This particular Lee Enfield, however, is not just some artefact long overdue for retirement. High in the war-ravaged mountains of Afghanistan, the rifle falls into the hands of a man who plans to do the unthinkable: who sets out on a journey across whole continents, who fights his way through killing grounds both terrible and unexpected, all so he can fire a single bullet at the most important target in the world.

303 begins as a war story, but changes halfway through into something I'm still not certain of myself. This is odd territory we're traversing, where the past pushes its warriors into the present with murderous intent, aiding and abetting destiny by means of numerous unwitting agents. It's the tale of a soldier who's been fighting for nothing all his life, but now believes he's found his purpose, and the one man who can stop him, a worn-out hero filled with fatal sadness. But it's also the tale of two great countries, one locked in long and terrible decline, one with a sickness in its heart; and the champions who do battle for their nations in the dark and secret places no one ever goes.

If I had to sum it up in one line, I'd say 303 was inspired by my fears for the world.

Right now I've scripted a little over half the story, and like I say, it isn't going where I thought it might. I thought about writing it as a novel, but I love comics, I believe in comics, and I still believe you can do absolutely anything with them- so a comic book it is. I'm extremely fortunate to have the excellent Jacen Burrows drawing the story for me; if you've enjoyed his work with Alan Moore and Warren Ellis, you'll know exactly what I mean. Jacen's producing some of his finest work to date on this book, and with the complete creative freedom available at Avatar Press, you'll be glad to hear that neither he nor I will have to pull our punches. Which comes in handy, believe me, when you realize that a story's taking you places you've never been before.

And you're supposed to be writing it.

Garth Ennis
Brooklyn, May 2004