Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Hellblazer #8 Review and **SPOILERS**

The Djinn Con is In, John

Writer: Simon Oliver 
Artist: Philip Tan 
Colorist: Elmer Santos 
Lettering: Sal Cipriano 
Cover Artist: Declan Shalvey with Jordie Bellaire 
Cover Price: $2.99 
On Sale Date: March 22, 2017


When we divvy up the DC Comics among ourselves, I normally let Jim and Eric pick theirs first, then I take whatever’s left. I’m fine with that role, someone’s got to play clean-up and tackle the unloved series. The only caveat is that I normally take all the “strange” titles, ones with elementals or magic-based characters that exist a half-step outside of the mainstream DCU. And indeed, I asked specifically for the title in this review, the Hellblazer—in fact,  I believe I was already reviewing its previous iteration, Constantine: The Hellblazer, by James Tynion IV and Riley Rossmo (mostly) and simply cruised into reviewing this as a matter of course. Made sense to me. I love John Constantine and despite having been somewhat neutered by his inclusion in the DCU, I’ve enjoyed it more often than not.

Well, I’m really regretting being the “strange titles” guy about now. Read my review of the Hellblazer #8 and find out why.

Explain It!

As I remember it, John Constantine fell off a roof last issue and was caught skulking around a hospital by the Paris gendarme. Now he’s in a holding cell after speaking French poorly to interrogating police officers. At the same time, Mercury dipped into a portal, inside of a supply closet in the hospital, and on the other side is Retired David Letterman speaking cryptically about her destiny while offering her fame and power if she’s turns traitor on Constantine. Mercury is no fan of John in the first place, so she acquiesces—with a sassy smirk. Then she returns to the real world and bails Constantine out of jail.
This comic is just so bad, y’all. We’re halfway through the issue and I am so confused. What happened to finding Abigail Crane? What’s going on with Swamp Thing? What about that Djinn takeover of humanity? And the Djinn brother that was left to die in that alternate reality two issues ago? What is the story here? This has simply become a pain to read. And the artwork is very interesting, it employs a lot of techniques unique to traditional American comic books, but it just doesn’t fit the titular character. I’m sorry. He looks like a goddamned cherub in a trench coat while Mercury looks like one of Cutter John’s big-haired girlfriends from the comic strip Bloom County. But the story is the thing that just flat-out stinks here, it seems to have lost any direction and I’ve ceased caring about anything happening in this series whatsoever.
Mercury and John go to see a magical antiquities dealer named Mademoiselle Misabel Lefebvre, who knows and therefore hates John Constantine. Of course it is heavily implied that they fucked for two pages. What an utter bore. Such a waste. John makes some magic happen that Madame Lefebvre wants or something, and he tries to withhold it but it gets the best of him. Or something. If you’re reading this, I feel sorry for you. This is a case where the labors of comic creation needn’t have applied to the story.

Bits and Pieces:

Regular readers of this series will get jerked around once again as the story careens into utter confusion. I'll admit I came into this with high expectations, but what can I say? I'm a regular optimist.



  1. I won't give up on Hellblazer. I refuse to you hear me DC?????