Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The Hellblazer #21 Review and **SPOILERS**

Who Could Have Guessed

Writer: Tim Seeley 
Penciller: Davide Fabbri 
Inker: Christian Dalla Vecchia 
Colorist: Carrie Strachan 
Letterer: Sal Cipriano 
Cover Artist: Tim Seeley with Chris Sotomayor
Cover Price: $2.99
On Sale Date: April 25, 2018


Last we left things, John Constantine had been shot in the shoulder by the Huntress! I hope that didn’t damage his wand-waving arm. Find out in my review of The Hellblazer #21, stat!

Explain It!

When, excepting DC’s “Underworld Unleashed!” event from 1995, has anyone made a deal with the devil that worked in their favor? I don’t think it’s possible. Only God works on the principle of being effusively giving; Satan always requires some kind of sneaky spiritual payment for his material endowments. Indeed, the very idea that certain talentless celebrities have “made a deal with the devil” for their fame implies that they will get their just desserts in the afterlife.
This is why we find Inspector Margaret Ames, now possessed by the soul of gangster Burke Day, cutting her face with a shard of glass early on in the issue. Burke has been rescued from Hell, but only after he’d been tortured and emotionally beaten for an immeasurable length of time, and as such he’s more demon than man now. He’s back from Hades, and he wants to bring the rest of the place back with him. Which would include his brother, Lucas, but only after Burke beats up the body a little bit. As a tribute to evil, we’ll call it!
It’s unfortunate, then, that this little bit of interesting story is usurped by this conflicted scene involving Huntress and Constantine being pricks to each other and trying to avoid a street gang. It goes on longer than an average scene from the movie The Warriors from 1978. Constantine does no magic, but he does explode a leaking gas line, which is more or less the same thing. But the whole Constantine/Huntress relationship remains undeveloped, even after they’ve both resigned themselves to helping each other. It’s like we’re supposed to appreciate this pairing on its inherent merits, without explaining what those merits are. Two total cunts make a nice person, perhaps?
This story has good elements, but they’re not arranged with much care or coherence. For one thing, it would be nice of readers of The Hellblazer could get a little more information about who the Huntress is, aside from someone that name-drops Batgirl and Catwoman. It would also be keen if we got more from Constantine’s motivation aside from feeling guilty; it just doesn’t track, given that he’s condemned more friends to Hell than a caffeine-fueled Dungeon Master playing D&D. This title just sort of cruises along the Lazy River, rarely making a splash and sometimes sinking like a stone right into the filter. I think the merciful thing to do would be to pull this franchise from the pool altogether and put it back in mothballs for a while.

Bits and Pieces:

Turns out that bringing your brother back from Hell and having him possess a police officer has its drawbacks. The biggest drawback in this issue, however, is that we spend much of the time practicing our cockney accents while the script from the film Attack the Block gets pilfered. A bit too cute by 'alf, yeah? Let's get on wit' it lad. 



  1. I liked it in spite of the poor score you gave it. Seeley has done great to restore Constantine same as Doyle and Tynion did before. Simon Oliver has been the worst of the bunch who makes Orlando deserve a Pulitzer for JLA.