Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Constantine: The Hellblazer #12 Review and **SPOILERS**

If I Can Make Hell There, I’ll Make Hell Anywhere

Written By: Ming Doyle & James Tynion IV
Art By: Eryk Donovan, Kelly Fitzpatrick
Letters By: Tom Napolitano
Cover Price: $2.99
On Sale Date: May 11, 2016


And now we’ve come to the final issue of Constan…what? This isn’t the final issue? This is the next-to-last issue of Constantine: The Hellblazer? B-but…this is issue twelve! Don’t you want this series to end on a nice round number, and be collected in two trades of equal bulk? And besides, Rebirth starts next month! Why on earth would you want this series to end on thirteen issues…ahh, I see what you did there, DC! Made it all witcherly and superstitious-like by using the number thirteen, in homage to the magic goings-on in the comic book! At least, I hope that’s the intention, otherwise the previous two issues really did have no point at all. Well, we’re pulling up to the end of this series, folks, so something of consequence is bound to happen, right? Read on and find out!

Explain It!

After returning to New York to find his boyfriend Oliver’s two little girls had been captured by the real estate demon Neron, John Constantine does his usual act first, think about the consequences later shtick and strolls right into Club Midnight, recently under new management. After blasting the hostess into hell, he strolls right into the club and demands to see Neron—but is surprised to see none other than Papa Midnite! Surprised, you see, because he left him and his ex-girlfriend Blythe stranded in hell a couple of issues back. Well, he made a deal with Neron, and gets to not be in hell and plus he got control of his zombies back. And he’s none too thrilled about seeing Constantine. Before they can get into it, however, Neron strolls over and invites John to sit down at a booth to have a drink.
There, Neron reveals that he doesn’t care about John, and before John can counter with “then why you talkin’ ‘bout me, man?” Blythe enters the scene to reveal that Neron sprung her from hell, too. She explains that since John promised to release her from hell, and then left her stranded, she can make one magical demand of him—these are the rules, which would apparently hold up in any court in Harry Potter Land and probably the Land of Oz, too. So Blythe, who looks like an absolute goon in this issue, says she wants John to take no action against Neron and remove no demons from New York City. Which is pretty lame, if you ask me, I mean I would have at least made him cluck like a chicken. This sends a defeated John back to the bar where Oliver is hanging out, drinking in a catatonic stupor, to let him know that hey, you’re not gonna get your girls back. Oliver takes this very well by flying into a rage and telling John he’s pretty much a danger to everyone that cares about him, which is like no duh, he’s John Constantine. Ollver storms out and John copes with it by hitting on some woman at the bar—but before he can close the deal, he hits upon some unspoken loophole he can use to beat Neron and Co.!
Speaking of whom, they’re all hanging out at Club Midnight while Papa Midnite explains that, oh, John’s a-coming, y’all better watch out, he’s a crafty sort. He does this for so long that one has to wonder if he’s stumping for the John Constantine Fan Club. Neron is adamant that he is smarter and sexier than John, and in this scene he is so Donald Trump, it’s hilarious. Neron gets a little heated at Papa, who defuses it by acquiescing to the coiffed demon, but mumbling, “John Constantine is no joke, I’m sayin’…” under his breath. Over in Brooklyn at the Regal, a historical landmark for having the most unreadable signage in history, Zatanna, Deadman and Swamp Thing are standing around in some room, talking about what’s to be done about this terrible demon problem. In walks Constantine, naturally, to Zatanna’s concern and the grumbling jeers of Deadman and Swamp Thing who, in their defense, have been screwed over by Constantine quite a lot. John tells them that he’s got a plan so diabolical, so complex, and so unbelievably crazy that he’s going to have to reveal it in the next and final issue!
So I’m pretty glad a thing happened in this book, and that we’re going to get some resolution to Neron owning Club Midnight and the rest of New York. I feel like it was ten years ago that Papa first asked John to help him get his club back. Is this what being drunk all the time is like? Just stumbling through alternate dimensions and various cities, no real rhyme or reason as to how you got there or what your plan is going forward? Because I only do angel dust, and that keeps me crystal clear. The art is okay for the style of this series, though there are some unique anatomy choices, and Blythe is rendered as some kind of half-chicken, half-monkey being with a porcelain mask three sizes too big. Ah well. One more issue. Then we will never ever ever see John Constantine ever again.

Bits and Pieces:

We're back in New York City with John Constantine as he tries to undo the damage wreaked by douchebag demon Neron, and it feels good to get back to the main story. The contents were a little thin, unfortunately, and the art was serviceable but not great. I'm interested to see how this all turns out, but with the stark changes in interior artists coupled with a few issues that seem like unnecessary padding, I don't know that I would recommend this run to a prospective Constantine fan. I guess we'll find out after the last issue!


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