Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Hellblazer #5 Review and **SPOILERS**

Treeing Up the Wrong Bark

Writer: Simon Oliver
Artist: Pia Guerra
Colorists: Carrie Strachan
Lettering: Sal Cipriano
Cover Artist: John Cassaday with Paul Mounts
Cover Price: $2.99
On Sale Date: December 28, 2016


Man, I kind of wish this John Constantine was like the one in Hard-Travelin’ Heroz.

Yeah, I said it. Read on for my review.

Explain It!

So if you’ll recall, there’s this Djinn that wants to destroy the world, but his nicer brother wants to let humanity flourish a little while longer before pulling the plug. Well this brother Djinn is so nice that he almost drains the life force completely from the demon club owner Clarice because she’s pals with John Constantine. He’s such a prick that I don’t entirely blame him. Speaking of John Constantine, he’s with Chas and Mecury, regarding a Swamp Thing reduced to brambles after tangling with the Rot. He tasks Mercury with finding Abigail, one time avatar of the Rot and Swampy’s ex-girlfriend, while he recuperates in the Green. Wait a minute, so Swamp Thing’s not going to be part of this adventure? Aww, that stinks. I really wanted this Dark Trinity thing to happen.

Another thing missing from this adventure entirely is adventure, because the vast entirety of the book is John Constantine talking to Mercury. They’re recalling how John came into her life, having cursed her mother or whatever like he always does with the people he meets. He even meets Mercury’s mom at the mental institution, which winds up being a very cordial visit. It’s all just so…boring. Like watching two people in a strained relationship running the most mundane personal errands. And it goes on forever. Never mind that this issue isn’t drawn by Moritat, whose look I’ve come to appreciate quite a lot. Instead it’s drawn by Pia Guerra, a very accomplished artist that nonetheless renders a bunch of stiff and expressionless figures. Though, to be fair, there isn’t a whole lot of conflict that would require any special expression. This all wraps up with the Swamp thing hanging in the Green and exchanging quips with the Parliament of Trees. I’m not quite sure this needed to be drawn in the first place.

 Folks, this series has really come to suck. It pains me to say it, but this is a terrible introduction to John Constantine as a character and Hellblazer as a book. I liked his rendition in the New 52 far more than this plodding, dull claptrap. The artwork in this issue did nothing for me, but isn’t really any reason to avoid the book. Avoid the book because the story sucks. If you can swing it, check out the Vertigo Hellblazer series that has been repackaged in serial trade collection. I swear that stuff is good, and the current title is no indicator.

Bits and Pieces:

This book is boring as hell. Even the inclusion of Swamp Thing can't bring any life to this book. Did I make a pun? That must have been fun. I've been sucked dry of emotion by this series so I can no longer purposefully experience fun or pleasure. Learn from my experience! Avoid this book like it was on fire.


1 comment:

  1. As a huge fan of John Constantine, I have to agree. The first issue in the series filled me with such incredible hope! Unfortunately, the rest of the series hasn't matched that level.