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Super Confused about reading order!


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#1 GM Otomon

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Posted 12 January 2016 - 03:34 AM

So I couple of months ago I bought every single issue of Swamp Thing, including cameos..yes even those issues where he teamed up with Challengers of the Unknown... it cost me a small fortune but managed to do it. It was a head-ache figuring out the reading order but eventually figured it out.

Now I decided the do the same with Hellblazer and its turning out to be even harder! I am re-reading Swamp Thing as I go, following this guide:

http://hellblazertrades.com/

But it simply does not make sense.

For example, it says to read up to volume 5 of Swamp thing and then start original sins, yet in issue 5 in original sins, Constantine is visiting Louisiana to check on Alec, but the thing is Alec is "dead" at that point in Swamp Thing...or like how in issue #7 of originals sins Constantine dreams about his friend piggy, yet he does not meet him till volume 7 of swamp thing (which is supossed to come after according to the guide)... Gaah!! its such a head-ache!

Does anyone have a guide that simply states which order to read the issues in (including cameos/spin-offs) instead of naming the volumes? Or should I just give up and sell all my trades? Because the way it is now... it is just utterly confusing me and I am not enjoying it too much.

#2 Christian

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Posted 12 January 2016 - 05:28 AM

You're not trying to place every Swamp Thing story in continuity with every John Constantine story, are you?
If so, none of us are that caught up in continuity.

Or, are you just trying to read every John Constantine appearance in order?
That can be answered easily for you.
Our very own member Qusoor was gracious enough to list every John Constantine appearance in chronological order.

Check out:
Qusoor.com/Hellblazer/JCindex.htm
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#3 Gwilym

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Posted 12 January 2016 - 07:04 AM

It's best to read Hellblazer in a vacuum - crossovers only happen occasionally, and they never matter.

Plus they never make sense. Constantine's brilliant appearance in Sandman happens at a time when his Hellblazer self is in the middle of uncovering a huge conspiracy while dressed as Neo from the Matrix. The Sandman story starts with him bumming around in his usual outfit, without any particular aims.
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#4 A. Heathen

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Posted 12 January 2016 - 08:05 AM

At the time you refer to the crossovers with Swamp Thing probably need to be read as alternate issues (chapters?) as there was often a common timeline on a monthly basis.

But trying to read the whole series that way will make your head explode.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
"But that's the whole point, it's supernatural, these things happen.
It's not supposed to be realistic in that sense."

#5 GM Otomon

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Posted 12 January 2016 - 03:19 PM

View PostChristian, on 12 January 2016 - 05:28 AM, said:

You're not trying to place every Swamp Thing story in continuity with every John Constantine story, are you?
If so, none of us are that caught up in continuity.

Or, are you just trying to read every John Constantine appearance in order?
That can be answered easily for you.
Our very own member Qusoor was gracious enough to list every John Constantine appearance in chronological order.

Check out:
Qusoor.com/Hellblazer/JCindex.htm

Well I was trying to do just that... but reading appearance in order would help a lot at least, the site sounds awesome but it seems to be offline, not sure if you typed it wrong or just temporarily down.

View PostGwilym, on 12 January 2016 - 07:04 AM, said:

It's best to read Hellblazer in a vacuum - crossovers only happen occasionally, and they never matter.

Plus they never make sense. Constantine's brilliant appearance in Sandman happens at a time when his Hellblazer self is in the middle of uncovering a huge conspiracy while dressed as Neo from the Matrix. The Sandman story starts with him bumming around in his usual outfit, without any particular aims.

So are you saying to just read all of Hellblazer in order, then go back and read all the crossovers?

View PostA. Heathen, on 12 January 2016 - 08:05 AM, said:

At the time you refer to the crossovers with Swamp Thing probably need to be read as alternate issues (chapters?) as there was often a common timeline on a monthly basis.

But trying to read the whole series that way will make your head explode.


Well it seems that some crossovers are important, to read as for example:

*SWAMP THING SPOILERS!!!!!!!!*







In the last issue of Swamp Thing Season 2, we see that Constantine is at a hospital with a few people witnessing the birth of a Messiah like figure... Swamp Thing Season 3 never even covered this thread point, but techincally Swamp Thing does not know about it. Does it affect the Hellblazer universe at all? Or should I just treat each crossover like its own loosely similar Universe? After all, that is how DC usually "fixes" any problems with continuity....

#6 Christian

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Posted 12 January 2016 - 08:29 PM

Hellblazer has never been as concerned about continuity as a DC Universe title. There's not really much in the way of actual continuity in Hellblazer from creative team to creative team until the Mike Carey run. Then, the Andy Diggle run messes up some of the continuity that Diggle uses. Cross-overs that directly tie in to the main series, like the Swamp Thing/John Constantine cross-over during the Delano run obviously do directly affect the continuity in the Hellblazer title. Otherwise, you won't see a lot being made of John Constantine's continuity within the Hellblazer series.

I might have messed up the link I posted above, sorry. This site should help you the best to figure out reading order and John Constantine chronology.
http://www.qusoor.co...er//jcindex.htm

Like others pointed out, John Constantine appears in the pages of Sandman #3 in between issues #18 and #19 of Hellblazer, which doesn't make a lot of sense, as far as continuity. John isn't even wearing the proper trenchcoat in the Sandman issue, as per the continuity of Delano's Hellblazer at the time. There's never any mention made of any of the events that occur in the pages of that Sandman story within the pages of Hellblazer. But, if you want to read all of JC's appearances in chronological order, that's when Sandman #3 takes place in the time-line.
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#7 slinker

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Posted 12 January 2016 - 08:46 PM

Honestly, like it has been said, the crossovers have little to do with the overall hellblazer arcs that you don't have to do anything but read them in order. Read all your swampthings in order, your hellblazers in order, and the other crossovers as you find them. I don't believe their are any crucial spoilers in any of the crossovers that would ruin anything.
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#8 A. Heathen

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Posted 12 January 2016 - 09:18 PM

Spoiler

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
"But that's the whole point, it's supernatural, these things happen.
It's not supposed to be realistic in that sense."

#9 dogpoet

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Posted 13 January 2016 - 01:18 PM

Has that been mentioned since Carey's run?
:laugh:

#10 GottaGetAGrip

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Posted 13 January 2016 - 08:43 PM

View Postdogpoet, on 13 January 2016 - 01:18 PM, said:

Has that been mentioned since Carey's run?
:laugh:
Spoiler


#11 GM Otomon

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Posted 14 January 2016 - 02:15 AM

View PostChristian, on 12 January 2016 - 08:29 PM, said:

Hellblazer has never been as concerned about continuity as a DC Universe title. There's not really much in the way of actual continuity in Hellblazer from creative team to creative team until the Mike Carey run. Then, the Andy Diggle run messes up some of the continuity that Diggle uses. Cross-overs that directly tie in to the main series, like the Swamp Thing/John Constantine cross-over during the Delano run obviously do directly affect the continuity in the Hellblazer title. Otherwise, you won't see a lot being made of John Constantine's continuity within the Hellblazer series.

I might have messed up the link I posted above, sorry. This site should help you the best to figure out reading order and John Constantine chronology.
http://www.qusoor.co...er//jcindex.htm

Like others pointed out, John Constantine appears in the pages of Sandman #3 in between issues #18 and #19 of Hellblazer, which doesn't make a lot of sense, as far as continuity. John isn't even wearing the proper trenchcoat in the Sandman issue, as per the continuity of Delano's Hellblazer at the time. There's never any mention made of any of the events that occur in the pages of that Sandman story within the pages of Hellblazer. But, if you want to read all of JC's appearances in chronological order, that's when Sandman #3 takes place in the time-line.

Awesome! That is exactly what I was looking for, now the timeline makes a little more sense than the guide I was following, although it is still confusing, like how sometimes Constantine has days worth of adventures, but it has only been a few hours in the Swamp Thing... Oh well this is as good as it can get, I am already in issue 10 and liking it a lot.

View Postslinker, on 12 January 2016 - 08:46 PM, said:

Honestly, like it has been said, the crossovers have little to do with the overall hellblazer arcs that you don't have to do anything but read them in order. Read all your swampthings in order, your hellblazers in order, and the other crossovers as you find them. I don't believe their are any crucial spoilers in any of the crossovers that would ruin anything.

That sounds like a good idea; for Swamp Thing, Alan Moore is considered the "essential run", although I personally love some of the story arcs before and after him (except Season 4, that was just a mess..) does Hellblazer have something like that? The one story arc that fans would say its a must read, I am planning on reading everything anyways, just wanted to see if there is some extra good issues coming up.

View PostA. Heathen, on 12 January 2016 - 09:18 PM, said:

Spoiler

I thought that was a dick move by the Swamp God:

Spoiler


#12 Christian

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Posted 14 January 2016 - 02:32 AM

John agreed to the act beforehand, so it can't be considered rape. Swampy didn't just possess John without John being aware of the fact.

John took back over his own body during the climax of the sexual act. That could be a good reason for the two to hate him.
I don't remember if John did that on purpose, or if it just happened that way. John acted like an ass about it either way.
Abby was just creeped out by him. You could understand her feelings about John. Abby is, basically, just a normal human woman outside of her uncle and love for Swampy. I think it was a good way to show how a regular person would react to someone like John. Even though he did do nothing except help Swampy, she worried about her lover.

Oh, and Dangerous Habits by Ennis is pretty much considered the definitive JC arc.
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#13 GM Otomon

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Posted 14 January 2016 - 03:03 AM

View PostChristian, on 14 January 2016 - 02:32 AM, said:

John agreed to the act beforehand, so it can't be considered rape. Swampy didn't just possess John without John being aware of the fact.

Actually you may be remembering it wrong, unless I missed something. In the ending of Hellblazer issue 9, Constantine is about to tell Swamp Thing about his plan, but Swamp just forcefully inserted himself into his body in issue 76 and spends a few panels talking about how he conned the con man, even in issue 10 of Hellblazer, Constantine initially thinks Swamps has murdered him.

View PostChristian, on 14 January 2016 - 02:32 AM, said:

John took back over his own body during the climax of the sexual act. That could be a good reason for the two to hate him.
I don't remember if John did that on purpose, or if it just happened that way. John acted like an ass about it either way.
Abby was just creeped out by him. You could understand her feelings about John. Abby is, basically, just a normal human woman outside of her uncle and love for Swampy. I think it was a good way to show how a regular person would react to someone like John. Even though he did do nothing except help Swampy, she worried about her lover.

John had to come back to his body because he was being chased by Nergal, he knew they were at the climax but had no choice, but I can totally see how Abigail may have though he did that on purpose. If I remember correctly, later on in Swamp Thing series, Constantine gets Abigail drunk, and she is shocked he did not try to have sex with her.

View PostChristian, on 14 January 2016 - 02:32 AM, said:

Oh, and Dangerous Habits by Ennis is pretty much considered the definitive JC arc.

Awesome, I think hes the one who did Preacher? Loved that series! :)

#14 Christian

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Posted 14 January 2016 - 07:33 PM

I haven't read those issues in a number of years, so I'm sure you're right, and my memory was playing tricks on me.

Yep, Garth Ennis of Preacher fame. Hellblazer was where he first made his name in comics.
"I wish it were fin du globe," said Dorian with a sigh.
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#15 dogpoet

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Posted 14 January 2016 - 08:38 PM

View PostGottaGetAGrip, on 13 January 2016 - 08:43 PM, said:

View Postdogpoet, on 13 January 2016 - 01:18 PM, said:

Has that been mentioned since Carey's run?
:laugh:
Spoiler
Gotcha. Mind you Diggle was basically impersonating Carey, so that shouldn't come as a surprise. :tongue:

#16 GM Otomon

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Posted 20 January 2016 - 11:43 PM

UPDATE:

So I been going through the series and it is some really good stuff. But after trying to follow every issue chronologically, I realized that Gwilym was rigth, some of those cameos are referenced in the Hellblazer issues, but they dont really affect the main Hellblazer story, and just plain dont make sense.. I decided its better to just get through the main Hellblazer series and any Swamp Thing cross-overs, but to read those other cameos separetly as I get them.

Also kind of off-topic, I went to a comic warehouse sale today, so I was grabbing anything that had Constantine on it among other series I follow, and I picked up a bunch of Dr Fate issues cause they had this guy on the cover:

Posted Image

Apparently is not John but some DC character called Kent Nelson, dam you DC!!! You have tricked me ;_;

#17 Christian

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 04:45 AM

See? The link I gave you would have saved you this problem, as it also serves as a list of every JC appearance. It's how I hunted down my completction of Constantine stories.

That looks like the J.M. DeMatteis written Dr. Fate series. I've got good news for you, as that's one of my favourite DC comic series. You can't go wrong with that, so it should provide you with good reading material.
"I wish it were fin du globe," said Dorian with a sigh.
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#18 dogpoet

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 01:13 PM

He's in the Phil Foglio Stanley And His Monster one shot of the same vintage as well.
Posted Image
(Not really: that's Ambrose Bierce.)

#19 Gwilym

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 08:03 PM

There was also this guy in a TV show who looked just like him. Something-teen
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#20 dogpoet

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 08:38 PM

Were you thinking of that nice young lady in Sabrina The Teen Witch?




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