Thursday, October 25, 2018

Throwback Thursday: Constantine: The Hellblazer #2 Review (2015)

The Frighteners

Written By: Ming Doyle, James Tynion IV
Art By: Riley Rossmo, Ivan Plascencia
Cover Price: $2.99

Release Date: July 8, 2015

*Non Spoilers and Score At Bits and Pieces*

If you would have asked me a couple of months ago if I was looking forward to Hellblazer, I would have told you that I liked the way Constantine was and re-branding it and getting a new creative team was crazy......... Yeah, I'm tired of being wrong all the time.  After last month's first issue I was completely sold on this getting back to the roots of Constantine style that this title is taking and even though I would have told you a couple of months ago that I was afraid that the art wouldn't do it justice......... again, the wrong thing we just talked about.  After seeing the tone that these creators took in the first issue, all my worries were put to rest as Constantine hit on anything that pleased him and dicked over an old acquaintance .......... a demon, but an old acquaintance nonetheless to prove that he wasn't one to be trifled with.  Just a great tone setting issue that any Constantine fan should check out.  As the issue closed, the ghost of Gaz told Constantine that something was out there killing the ghosts that haunt him.  Let's see what our brash Brit is going to do about his ghostbuster problem.  Let's check it out.

Explain It!:

Our issue begins with John trying to rally his ghostly troops together in trying to take this soul killer down, but in the end......... the ghosts know John a little too well and don't trust his ass to not get them killed again and for good, so they do a ghostly vanishing act, leaving John alone with Gaz.  Gaz goes on to tell John that in order to do this type of magic that can stop something from killing a ghost.......which shouldn't even be possible, he'll need the help of someone named Georgie, but Constantine being Constantine doesn't want to hear any of that nonsense and proceeds to enact his own plan to take the Jake Busey wanna-be down.  In order to do this though, he'll need a lot of power.

We then begin our tour of the dark thin places of New York, as Constantine lets the mystical energy within him guide the way to the places of New York where reality is the thinnest and ghosties hover around the power that it puts out.  This is a really nice departure from the story as John fills us in on local folklore and the histories of the places that he visits and collects new ghosts along the way in order to go through with his plan.  Eventually though, after hitting up the normal thin hot spots, Constantine goes to a purchaser of thin properties in the city, Mr. Rumor and John asks him for a favor in finding the perfect energy point where he can collect the power he needs.  This leads us to an organic foods store, that decades ago was once a taffy factory that burned down, taking seventy-two people with it.  With the power of this place and his ghost bait in check, John draws a locke sigil on the wall and shows his new companions that they have nothing to worry about by having Gaz become locked in place do to the spell......... but what John didn't count on was the terrifying monster that wants to kill the people haunting him showing up at that point.  

In the end, John tries to release the sigil that was holding Gaz in place and as you'd imagine, John fails Gaz by getting him killed again, before the spirit killer dissipates completely, leaving John with his friend for a moment before he fades away forever.  Throughout this issue, Gaz tries telling John that this idea of his was no good and every idea he has is basically a bad one, but of course, John didn't listen and Gaz payed the price........again.  As our story closes, John gets in a taxi and heads to JFK because now that he's seen the monster that's plucking his nearest and dearest away from him, he knows that he has to go home and get Georgie's help.  Poor poor Gaz.

That's it for this issue of Constantine: The Hellblazer and this is certainly a different kind of comic than anything that DC is putting out right now.  Not only does Riley Rossmo's art really work for this book, but Ming Doyle and James Tynion paint one hell of a description of the dark places of New York with their narrative.  I found myself not caring if we ever got to John confronting the ghost killer, I just wanted him to keep telling me about the thin places in the city and how they got that way.  With that, the action was really brief when we finally got to John enacting his plan and I didn't mind at all because the writers made that the least interesting part, due to the world they created throughout the book.  I do hate that Gaz bit it here though, I was really looking forward to his haunting being a mainstay of the book, but who knows, maybe we'll get him back at the conclusion of this story because like Constantine says here "That's the damn trouble with the supernatural, there's plenty you don't know".  So with us not knowing how things work, Gaz might make his way back to haunt the hell out of Constantine and boy do I hope he does.  A really solid issue that's tone is something that really stands apart from the normal superhero type book that we get used to reading all the time and it's much appreciated.

Bits and Pieces:

Ming Doyle and James Tynion really outdo themselves with the narrative that they've created for this book.  I found myself getting lost in their words (in a good way), as Constantine painted me a verbal picture of the supernatural back alleys of New York City and that's all before getting to the main antagonist.  Just a wonderfully written issue, with Riley Rossmo's perfectly fitting art depicting our brash Brit as he continues to be an arrogant son of a bitch.  Everyone should be reading Constantine: The Hellblazer.


1 comment:

  1. This was really cool too. :( Give Constantine back to Tynion and Doyle! This was better than everything that came after