Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Constantine #14 Review and *SPOILERS*

Written By: Ray Fawkes
Art By: Edgar Salazar, Jay Leisten
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: May 14, 2014

No Reservations

Last month Constantine tangled with the Mind Bender, and almost didn't survive the encounter.  What we learned in that issue is that Constantine devised a plan with Papa Midnite to take down the Cold Flame, but in order for the plan to work they needed to recruit certain mages, and Constantine couldn't know they had a plan at all.  Let's say amnesia spell and move on.  But old Mind Bender jogged his noggin loose, and Constantine's back on the trolley.  But what he doesn't know is that Papa Midnite went and sold his ass out to the Cold Flame in order to keep control of Manhattan.  I guess you can't trust anybody when dealing in magic, especially David Blaine.  Just saying.

Explain It!:

Our strange ghost story of an issue starts with a woman walking into a creepy old shack and the door slamming behind her.  Inside she finds it's identical to the house she grew up in, and even hears her father call her name.  Jump to outside where we see a woman watching the creepy shack burn, while the woman we saw previously screams inside.  Yeah that's certainly a way to get my attention in the beginning of a issue.

So the witness to the flames runs out into the road, and flags down the only car coming down the lonesome road, and inside is our resident bastard himself Constantine.  When she takes him to where the shack was burning, there's not a single clue that anything was ever there.  We learn from Constantine that this shack tries to lure him to it but when it can't it takes the first person it can, the common aspect to each of it's victims is arson.  I think that the Burger King might be luring me to it, if not me it takes someone else.  Our common aspect is a nice round shape.  The two move on down the road, and what appears in front of them?  Why a creepy old shack of course.

Constantine goes inside and we see that it's his childhood home, and John is seriously freaked out for a guy that seemed prepared to accept this mission.  John pulls out some amulets trying to break the illusion before he has to see his mother that's calling his name, and it looks like John actually pulls it off.  Instead of his mother and his boyhood home, we see a burned out wigwam and a gigantic Native American spirit of vengeance.  This spirit goes after those who have killed others by fire, just like he was a victim of fire himself, and he hopes that if he punishes enough souls the gods will allow him to see his love once again.  So now it looks like Constantine is finally where he belongs.  Of course John fights, and sticks the Moon Blade into this spirit's foot, pinning him down.  If you remember from before Forever Evil, John trapped the soul of Mister E in the blade, and now anyone who is stuck with it is pinned by the spirit within the blade trying to switch places.  I think Katana's sword and the Moon Blade should go out on play dates.  They have a lot in common.

In the end we see that John's family died when someone told him to use magic as a child which would make him a great wizard.  But the person never told him that the magic had a price, and while John was safe within the circle of the magic his parents burned alive, making him a beacon for this spirit ever since.  But before this spirit can can do that voodoo he do so well, John realizes that this curse is a twofer.  The spirit's lost love was bound to it as well, and would always have to watch the arsonists suffer.  Who is this?  Why the woman John picked up on the road of course, and once the Native American spirit sees her the two realize who other is, and when they embrace it appears the curse is broken.  We see our pseudo hero walk off after collecting the Moon Blade, and the soul of Mister E tells John that if he wants to find out who told him to invoke that spell when he was a child, he needs to see a witch in Hong Kong named Graceful Moon.  He'll find out everything he wants to know.... if he survives.  That's it for this month, and I really dug this story and think if it wasn't a Constantine issue, it could work just as well as an episode of Supernatural.  It has all the aspects of a classic ghost hunting episode, minus the Winchester Brothers.  Maybe we'll see something like this in the upcoming Constantine TV series.  One can hope anyway.

Bits and Pieces:

This was a really fun one shot for our brash Brit.  Almost like a ghost story you tell around a campfire, and for once even though it goes against his persona, he didn't come off as quite as big of a dick.  While I love big story arcs, I could do for more one shots like this, just to give us a breather before his more serious adventures.  I liked the book and so should you, so go check it out and try not to get burned.


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