Wednesday, July 25, 2018

The Hellblazer #24 Review and **SPOILERS**


Izzat Et? Cor, Essa Laugh

Writer: Tim Seeley 
Penciller: Davide Fabbri 
Inker: Christian Dalla Vecchia 
Colorist: Carrie Strachan 
Letterer: Sal Cipriano 
Cover Artist: Tim Seeley with Chris Sotomayor 
Variant Cover Artist: Sean Phillips 
Editor: Kristy Quinn 
Group Editor: Jim Chadwick 
Cover Price: $3.99 
On Sale Date: July 25, 2018

**NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**

It’s the final issue! And you won’t need a tissue! No, we’re not gonna miss you, The Hellblazer comic! Here’s my final review of the series, just below!


Explain It!

I’ve said before, while reviewing this series, that John Constantine is not my favorite character. I do like him, but really I am a big Swamp Thing fan, and since Constantine grew out of a series with that character, and because Jim and Eric have no patience for the magic side of the DCU, it’s fallen to me to be ol’ Silk Cuts advocate here at Weird Science DC Comics. I don’t mind; like I said, I do like the character, I just perceived him as being a bit one-dimensional in the past: a super-powerful magician wracked with guilt over the necessary sacrifices he’s made to save reality. And a chain-smoker. One could say more than that, but it’s describes Constantine in a nutshell.
The problem with Constantine in the DCU is that most writers have concentrated on John’s guilt-complex and how he uses his friends to belay demons, and have fairly well missed the point that he’s a powerful magician. To wit: a character that solves problems by speaking in riddles for several pages as a distraction is not one that is interesting to read about. Perhaps if this series was a movie, then I wouldn’t balk at the exposition. But it’s not a movie, it’s a comic book, and a somewhat bloated one, at that. I just want to see the guy do some flipping magic in every issue, is that so wrong?
I’m in luck here, in this issue, where every-fucking-thing happens. Possessed Margaret tries to mess with Constantine, but he’s got a little trick up his sleeve: a hypodermic needle filled with vampire’s blood that he picked up a couple of issues ago. Plunging this into Margaret’s neck, she is turned into a vampire, so she can’t go traipsing around in the daylight like she might have wanted. John offers Burke Day, the criminal ghost possessing Margaret, a shiny new body: the Huntress’. Assuming the rites to make it happen, Constantine then unleashes the Huntress’ ghostly mob-connected father to seek revenge, and…you know what? I’m demeaning both myself and you, the reader by continuing to describe this crap.
This was one of the biggest comic book rip-offs in recent memory. Everything worth talking about happens in this issue, and none of it is really all that spellbinding. The previous five issues were absolute doggerel, existing to expand a story that could easily have been told in two issues into a six-issue story arc, ready to be collected for the trade. We spent all of that time with Constantine doing no magic, making alliances with demons and securing artifacts for one of the most convoluted and stupid conclusions to a story, like something from a grade schoolers’ fever dream. Davide Fabbri’s art is serviceable, but nothing to write home about. This book depended on a gripping story with coherent characters, and it has not really delivered since Constantine was folded into the DCU proper in 2011. Just give it a rest, folks. Maybe there’s a salient way to fit Constantine into regular DC continuity, but fuck if anyone at the publisher has figured it out yet.

Bits and Pieces:

Constantine saves the day by pissing everyone off, and actually performing a magic rite for the first time since this whole story arc began. This story was bloated and boring, and its conclusion is neither satisfying or amusing. Put this character back in the box until you figure out what it is you want to do with him. And "maximize his profitability" is not a good enough reason, Didio.

3.5/10

7 comments:

  1. They need to quit trying to stuff Constantine into the "regular" DC Universe. Vertigo (Where the F-Bombs fly freely) is where he belongs, period. They need to finally learn the same lesson with Punisher over at Marvel too. There are just some characters who don't play nice with superheroes.

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    1. They just keep trying and failing!

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    2. I'm the minority who likes Constantine to be part of the regular DC Universe and it appears as though nobody has thought of the probability that he hasn't found a fitting writer. Tim Seeley was actually decent and I enjoyed his work on rebirth Hellblazer. However it could be just me because I've never been let down as a reader by Seeley.

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  2. What made the original hellblazer great, was the dialogue and characterization of Conjob..not this magic stuff.

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    1. He wasn't really that great a magician, he was more of a con-man who knew magic. He mostly used his brains, guile and the old double-cross to win the day. I miss those days.

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  3. DC should use Constantine as a "guest" character, he appears, does something useful or not, says something ominous, insults someone maybe, and puff, gone until the next time.

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  4. The jab aimed at Didio was the best way to close this review. As expected of Reggie Hemingway the novelist of our hearts.

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