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Hellblazer #300


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Poll: Hellblazer #300 (23 member(s) have cast votes)

Your marks out of 10 for Hellblazer #300, please...

  1. 10 (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  2. 9 (1 votes [4.35%])

    Percentage of vote: 4.35%

  3. 8 (1 votes [4.35%])

    Percentage of vote: 4.35%

  4. 7 (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  5. 6 (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  6. 5 (4 votes [17.39%])

    Percentage of vote: 17.39%

  7. 4 (4 votes [17.39%])

    Percentage of vote: 17.39%

  8. 3 (2 votes [8.70%])

    Percentage of vote: 8.70%

  9. 2 (3 votes [13.04%])

    Percentage of vote: 13.04%

  10. 1 (5 votes [21.74%])

    Percentage of vote: 21.74%

  11. Zero (3 votes [13.04%])

    Percentage of vote: 13.04%

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#1 JohnMcMahon

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 12:13 PM

HELLBLAZER #300

Posted Image

Written by PETER MILLIGAN
Art by GIUSEPPE CAMUNCOLI and STEFANO LANDINI
Cover by SIMON BISLEY

On sale FEBRUARY 20 • 48 pg, FC, $4.99 US • MATURE READERS • FINAL ISSUE

It’s the heart-rending conclusion of “DEATH AND CIGARETTES”—and the end of Vertigo’s longest running series. John Constantine has escaped, cheated, narrowly avoided and even reversed death on multiple occasions over the past 25 years. Now, we will test whether the old boy has one more second chance in him. Don’t miss this epic, oversized special issue celebrating everything that makes John Constantine so bloody unique.

5 Page Preview
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#2 Demon Chas08

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 10:42 PM

Oh, fuck me! This preview's just as worst as the Constantine one.
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#3 wolvy

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 10:54 PM

So is he really dead or was that some trick? Part of me wants to find out, while the other half just wants to get it over like waiting in the DMV.
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#4 JohnMcMahon

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 08:24 AM

He showed up alive at the end of the last issue.
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#5 Mark

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 10:04 AM

On its own, I don't really have any problem with that preview - nothing about it screams "special final issue!", but it seems apparent from other sources that Milligan wasn't exactly gifted with a huge amount of forewarning, so that's forgivable.

The bit with the ritual words was a nice touch - making a point we've seen before, but in an amusing way which also serves as a decent moment of characterisation for Finn - the nephew does seem to have been rather shoehorned into the book in a way that doesn't feel entirely earned, but again, I'll be generous and assume that's down to the need to accelerate through a couple of intended stories to get to the endpoint in time for #300.

The main problems I have with this preview are the same ones I've had for a while now - the dialogue and the visuals. Milligan's plotting has largely been working for me lately, with most of the recent stories being the sort of thing I'd normally be quite happy to see in Hellblazer, but so much of the dialogue is stilted and awkward, the pacing just slightly *off*. As for the art...back when I used to bother commenting on the latest issues I was always a fairly keen defender of Camuncoli, whose work I generally really like even when it seems a little tonally unsuited to this title. But over the last year or two the quality of his draftsmanship really seems to have been on the slide - I don't know if it's down to the change in inkers or something else, but there's a rough sketchiness to the line work which I don't think works with his bold, cartoonish character designs and backgrounds. The colouring doesn't help, either - I remember being excited back at the start of Milligan's run by the sudden appearance of a bright, rich colour palette after years of muddy 'Vertigo' brown, but recently that's been replaced by an increasingly bland, washed-out colour scheme which, again, doesn't mesh well with Camuncoli's style to my eyes.

So pretty much business as usual, then. Certainly not in the same league of awful as the Constanteen #1 preview (sorry, Demon Chas!), but hardly the sort of thing of which spectacular finales are made. We'll see how the rest of the issue pans out.
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#6 slinker

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 10:21 AM

I can't get past the dialogue either, but the story is crap, too (IMO).
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#7 Mark

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 10:55 AM

View Postslinker, on 20 February 2013 - 10:21 AM, said:

the story is crap, too (IMO).

Ehhn...I don't really get that, although I'm open to persuasion. The story is, at heart, fairly straightforward - Constantine appears to be killed (in a sudden, potentially shocking but non-spectacular, non-supernatural way, which is a reasonable enough subversion of expectations), and while he's "dead" we get to see how his nearest and dearest - in this instance his wife and nephew, which is a new enough wrinkle to go some way towards justifying the re-use of a plot outline which we've seen before back in Ennis' '...And The Crowd Goes Wild' (which is one of my favourites) and Azzarello's 'Ashes & Dust (which is emphatically not one of my favourites) - react to his absence. Then he reappears, suitably not-dead, and we'll presumably be seeing how friends and enemies alike react to that.

To further mark this one out as a story worth retreading, there's the additional fact that, since we know this is the final issue, there's a genuine possibility that he actually is dead this time, and that it's the apparent return which is part of some sort of con. John's line in the preview about "smoke and mirrors...the ultimate con" didn't ring entirely true to me, so I'm assuming there's going to be at least one significant twist this issue - although, given Milligan's recent record, it could just be dodgy dialogue.

On paper, there's nothing wrong with any of that. It's a story which I'd genuinely look forward to reading were it being handled by, say, Mike Carey or even Garth Ennis (again). I'm fairly sure, based on the first two parts, that I'm going to find something seriously lacking in the execution, but there's nothing about the basic outline which I can see as being notably "crap". Again, obviously, all IMO. What is it about the idea which you think is wanting?
"As we journey through life, discarding baggage along the way, we should keep an iron grip, to the very end, on the capacity for silliness. It preserves the soul from dessication."
- Humphrey Lyttleton, 1921-2008

"The Doctor remembers every Doctor Who story ever told. Every episode, Target book, comic strip and every game of companions and TARDISes that you played as a kid. The universe he lives in has no record of it, because paradoxes and divergent dimensions and the Time War have reset things... but the Doctor remembers and sometimes when he is sad it's because you've stopped being 8 years old and he can't run around the school playground with you anymore."
- some wise soul on the internet somewhere, 2009

#8 Mark

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 11:07 AM

Oh, and one more thing:

If this issue ends with John either dead or retired and Wee Paddy O'Constantine Finn taking his uncle's trenchcoat, changing his name to John and heading off to join the Justice League Dark with some made-up line of bullshit about having trained under some guy called Nick Necro, I am going to laugh and laugh and laugh.
"As we journey through life, discarding baggage along the way, we should keep an iron grip, to the very end, on the capacity for silliness. It preserves the soul from dessication."
- Humphrey Lyttleton, 1921-2008

"The Doctor remembers every Doctor Who story ever told. Every episode, Target book, comic strip and every game of companions and TARDISes that you played as a kid. The universe he lives in has no record of it, because paradoxes and divergent dimensions and the Time War have reset things... but the Doctor remembers and sometimes when he is sad it's because you've stopped being 8 years old and he can't run around the school playground with you anymore."
- some wise soul on the internet somewhere, 2009

#9 dogpoet

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 12:43 PM

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#10 JohnMcMahon

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 12:50 PM

Available now on Comixology.

[ Spoiler : It's not very good but there's a nice reveal in the opening pages - John's actually dead, Julian's masquerading as him.  Constantine doesn't stay dead for long of course. ]

It ends with....

[ Spoiler : Gemma apparently shooting John with the last of Angie's magic darts. ]

And the final page...

Spoiler

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#11 Demon Chas08

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 01:58 PM

:blink:
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#12 JohnMcMahon

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 03:06 PM

For context, such as it is, here's the last few pages together....

Spoiler

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#13 Mark

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 03:41 PM

Well. It wasn't entirely awful, but the stuff with
Spoiler

"As we journey through life, discarding baggage along the way, we should keep an iron grip, to the very end, on the capacity for silliness. It preserves the soul from dessication."
- Humphrey Lyttleton, 1921-2008

"The Doctor remembers every Doctor Who story ever told. Every episode, Target book, comic strip and every game of companions and TARDISes that you played as a kid. The universe he lives in has no record of it, because paradoxes and divergent dimensions and the Time War have reset things... but the Doctor remembers and sometimes when he is sad it's because you've stopped being 8 years old and he can't run around the school playground with you anymore."
- some wise soul on the internet somewhere, 2009

#14 Mark

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 03:53 PM

Also: I've just gone back and taken a quick look at the art and colouring on some of Camuncoli's earlier issues, way back at the start of Milligan's run - the contrast is pretty striking, and not in a way that flatters his recent work. What is it with long-running Hellblazer artists, anyway? Frusin, Manco, Camuncoli - all started out with a good run of bold, confident, stylish and distinctive issues, only to each degenerate in turn into sketchier, less detailed, uglier work which didn't tell a story nearly as well as the stuff they were doing when they started on the book. This didn't seem to be an issue for earlier artists - I seem to recall that Dillon and Phillips, in particular, were both much better storytellers by the end of their respective tenures than they were when they started - but it's been a pretty consistent pattern for the past 150 issues or so. Frustrating.
"As we journey through life, discarding baggage along the way, we should keep an iron grip, to the very end, on the capacity for silliness. It preserves the soul from dessication."
- Humphrey Lyttleton, 1921-2008

"The Doctor remembers every Doctor Who story ever told. Every episode, Target book, comic strip and every game of companions and TARDISes that you played as a kid. The universe he lives in has no record of it, because paradoxes and divergent dimensions and the Time War have reset things... but the Doctor remembers and sometimes when he is sad it's because you've stopped being 8 years old and he can't run around the school playground with you anymore."
- some wise soul on the internet somewhere, 2009

#15 JohnMcMahon

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 04:10 PM

Do you actually know what's happening on those closing pages then ?!
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#16 Shawn

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 04:14 PM

A bit of meta-textual commentary via Gemma, I'd say.


I've not been reading the book, obivously, so can someone provide a bit of background on [ Spoiler : Angie's Magic Dart. What did it do? Turn John into a normal fellow? ]. Explain it like a 5 year old :icon_wink:
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#17 Mark

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 04:18 PM

View PostJohnMcMahon, on 20 February 2013 - 04:10 PM, said:

Do you actually know what's happening on those closing pages then ?!

No idea.

If I had to guess, the obvious implication is that
Spoiler

I do like

Spoiler

"As we journey through life, discarding baggage along the way, we should keep an iron grip, to the very end, on the capacity for silliness. It preserves the soul from dessication."
- Humphrey Lyttleton, 1921-2008

"The Doctor remembers every Doctor Who story ever told. Every episode, Target book, comic strip and every game of companions and TARDISes that you played as a kid. The universe he lives in has no record of it, because paradoxes and divergent dimensions and the Time War have reset things... but the Doctor remembers and sometimes when he is sad it's because you've stopped being 8 years old and he can't run around the school playground with you anymore."
- some wise soul on the internet somewhere, 2009

#18 slinker

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 05:10 PM

Yeah, I have no idea what any of those pages mean. I'll need to see it all in context. What issue was that dart thing introduced, I don't remember it and it seems like another shitty holy shotgun or some shit.


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#19 Demon Chas08

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 06:18 PM

View Postslinker, on 20 February 2013 - 05:10 PM, said:

Yeah, I have no idea what any of those pages mean. I'll need to see it all in context. What issue was that dart thing introduced, I don't remember it and it seems like another shitty holy shotgun or some shit.


Don't forget to listen to the soundtrack as you read it.
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For Doctor Who Chronology: http://drwhocontinut...e.blogspot.com/

#20 wolvy

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 06:23 PM

I consider this ending the typical ending of a series that ends on a cliff hanger. Nothing really get's resolved and more questions get asked. Leaving the viewer/reader frustrated and rather pissed off, with a mixture of depression.
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