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Revisitations 9: Peter Milligan's finale (2009-2013)


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#1 Demon Chas08

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 05:56 AM

Now, we enter the worst four to five years the book ever endured under a writer whom had previously wrote our boy in Shade The Changing Man. At first we were thrilled (Well, I still wanted Diggle to stay) and Scab was a slight promising start to what could've been a very good run. Then came the blue-haired harpy that was Epiphany Greaves and everything went down the shitter....

*whips out the 'Come back, Azzarello! You are (sort of) forgiven!' t-shirt*
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#2 A. Heathen

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 08:58 AM

Worst three years.
The first year was quite good.
Similarly, not completely the worst of Hellblazer (maybe the single worst thing, and then 6 more of the bottom 10 Hellblazer things ever).

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

#3 Gwilym

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 09:03 AM

Also the era when Gary Busey started showing up on the covers; I'd hoped #300 might finally explain why, but it didn't. :(
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#4 slinker

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 10:53 PM

i sorta liked the wedding arc with blue hair shagging young john. suicide bridge weren't bad, neither. the rest i used to line my waste bins, then pissed in them and dumped refuse in on top of it. it seemed appropriate.
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#5 Demon Chas08

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 03:48 AM

View Postslinker, on 29 September 2013 - 10:53 PM, said:

i sorta liked the wedding arc with blue hair shagging young john. suicide bridge weren't bad, neither. the rest i used to line my waste bins, then pissed in them and dumped refuse in on top of it. it seemed appropriate.

I'd be ok with the wedding arc had Milligan not used Kit and Gemma at all; same goes for Shade's crazy ass
"Ha ha! Cookies on dowels!"- Phil Ken Sebben circa 2001

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#6 slinker

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 05:38 AM

true. i think i just liked the piffy and young john scenes. she was drawn sexy and wrapped around johnny c and his bad haircut like a rope.

as for Angie & Gemma, he got them both so wrong i still get mad when forced to see them again. i have only reread Suicide Bridge and Bloody Carnations once and they are the only interesting stories he did. no, Scab was ok, i guess. but that's it.
When you are a step ahead of everybody else, they call you a genius. When you are two steps ahead, they say you're crazy.

"If you can't say 'Fuck,' you can't say, 'Fuck the government.'" - Lenny Bruce

#7 Demon Chas08

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 06:56 AM

View Postslinker, on 30 September 2013 - 05:38 AM, said:

true. i think i just liked the piffy and young john scenes. she was drawn sexy and wrapped around johnny c and his bad haircut like a rope.

as for Angie & Gemma, he got them both so wrong i still get mad when forced to see them again. i have only reread Suicide Bridge and Bloody Carnations once and they are the only interesting stories he did. no, Scab was ok, i guess. but that's it.

I'm more pissed at how he handled them. From the man who wrote not only the Shade series but Human Target, Milligan was writing like a pissed off Terrence Dicks*


*The Eight Doctors joke
"Ha ha! Cookies on dowels!"- Phil Ken Sebben circa 2001

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For Doctor Who Chronology: http://drwhocontinut...e.blogspot.com/

#8 slinker

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 02:42 PM

i think milligan and also Lemire must write better on their own books and just take the piss on series they are contracted to.
When you are a step ahead of everybody else, they call you a genius. When you are two steps ahead, they say you're crazy.

"If you can't say 'Fuck,' you can't say, 'Fuck the government.'" - Lenny Bruce

#9 Gwilym

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 10:51 AM

Call me a monster if you will, but I just read the India trade and really enjoyed it. Whether by virtue of lowered expectations or some kind of over-flexibility about the franchise forced upon me by my wish to enjoy the TV show, I had a great time from start to finish. Even the Sid Vicious story was fun in its own silly way.

I mean it was all ridiculously OTT with giant demons and imagery/commentary so blunt that it made Garth Ennis' America story look subtle by comparison, and John's personal life was far too nihilistic (similar to when Azzarello had the helm, only nowhere near as shit), and Piff is a nob, and all kinds of other complaints. But I liked it.

Not a revisit for me, though. I am an intruder in this thread!
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#10 A. Heathen

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 08:08 PM

To be honest, Milligan's run was like Orson Welles had been writing Hellblazer.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
"But that's the whole point, it's supernatural, these things happen.
It's not supposed to be realistic in that sense."

#11 Christian

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 10:00 PM

It read like Orson Welles was reading Hellblazer over the radio on Halloween, I think you mean.
No. I don't really know what exactly that means either. Other than it made fans run in panic.

I think you'll find that our tolerance level for Milligan lasted for a little bit. You're just starting to read Milligan's HB. We were left with that feeling that things must be going to get better again soon, considering that his first story-arc (The Scab), was quite good. So, if you actually hunted down the threads for when we were reading these issues monthly, you might find a more middle of the ground response. As Milligan's run kept going and going and it kept staying at that level and then continued to worsen, the feelings of giving Milligan the benefit of the doubt got less and less prevalent. Eventually, we just got sick of him.
What I'm saying is that maybe you haven't reached your breaking point with Milligan's HB yet.
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"Life is such a great disappointment."
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#12 slinker

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 12:33 AM

would orson welles have hated the characters as much as milligan? milligan wrote hellblazer like an american, and to me as such a fan of that book, writing it like an american is bad and such a waste. the new 52 constantine seems written like an american too, an american tripping balls and playing with action figures - which is fun, i've done that recently, but it's only cool for the one tripping. those who aren't just see a mess and a person who needs help.
When you are a step ahead of everybody else, they call you a genius. When you are two steps ahead, they say you're crazy.

"If you can't say 'Fuck,' you can't say, 'Fuck the government.'" - Lenny Bruce

#13 Gwilym

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 05:10 AM

Milliganattrition. Yeah, that makes sense. It's not quite my first exposure to him; I read Phantom Pains at the start of last year, and while I know I enjoyed it less than this, I recall it had a similar low-rent feel that forced me to just sort of go along with it.

I will try to track down those older discussions; funnily enough it was an even older one that encouraged me to get the book when I saw it in the library. It was after Milligan had just been announced as the new writer - you were all so excited! I've seen more recent comments acknowledging that he's a good writer outside of Hellblazer, but back then some of you were even comparing him to Grant Morrison. I couldn't quite reconcile that with how much you ended up hating what he did, so there was a lot of morbid curiosity as I opened the book. How bad could it be?

They also have "The Devil's Trench Coat" but the premise of that is just so astonishingly dumb that it pretty much spells out exactly how bad it could be.

I also think I might kind of like the fact that Piff sucks. John's girlfriends are usally lovely people forced into the 'long-suffering' role by John's magic. It's almost a breath of fresh air to have someone tormenting John with her bullshit rather than the other way around. But I also know that they get married and she remains for the entirety of Milligan's run, which would kill that novelty dead.
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#14 JasonT

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 06:25 AM

View PostChristian, on 09 July 2014 - 10:00 PM, said:

... I think you'll find that our tolerance level for Milligan lasted for a little bit. You're just starting to read Milligan's HB. We were left with that feeling that things must be going to get better again soon, considering that his first story-arc (The Scab), was quite good. So, if you actually hunted down the threads for when we were reading these issues monthly, you might find a more middle of the ground response. As Milligan's run kept going and going and it kept staying at that level and then continued to worsen, the feelings of giving Milligan the benefit of the doubt got less and less prevalent. Eventually, we just got sick of him. ...

That pretty much sums up my experience of the Milligan era.

But "we" don't all think the same. There are people who liked the Milligan run. I was okay with Constantine suddenly falling for Phoebe. I loved Darko Macan's two-parter and didn't like Paul Jenkins' issue 120. I don't think we need an official party point of view. Even the subtitle of this thread makes me uncomfortable, like it's an immutable fact.

I hope new and old members will feel free to post here, regardless of what point of view they have.

Christian, I'm not trying to set you up as the whipping boy — it just seemed past time to say that stuff.

#15 JasonT

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 06:26 AM

It's also important for new members to know that Christian loves being a whipping boy. :icon_wink:

#16 A. Heathen

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 07:41 AM

Fair comment on the thread title, Jason.
If only you had spoken up earlier, but it's too late now.

It's true that each of the reviled writers has their good points, and also divided loyalty.
Falling for Phoebe made sense, dumping her for Mary Sue Milligan was never fully developed, explained or given depth.

Gwilym, the more developed partners for Constantine have quite different degrees of being put upon.
The short term ones are pretty much like the ghosts of the early issues.
Angie was barely a long-suffering foil to Constantine.
Oh except when her status as better character than Epiphany was dealt with by Milligan.

The other long-standing relationship JC's had was Gemma.
You are in for such delights with the way she is treated in the remaining issues.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
"But that's the whole point, it's supernatural, these things happen.
It's not supposed to be realistic in that sense."

#17 Gwilym

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 08:21 AM

Phantom Pains put her pretty far down the shit spiral; how much further could she go? ...hm, I should probably stop with these 'what could possibly go wrong' set-ups.

And yeah, Angie was definitely not a long-sufferer, but I also remember her as more of a recurring sidekick (and occasional shag) than a love interest. And of course while googling to check this, I read about the cruelty Milligan inflicted on her. More than cruel, it just doesn't make sense. Weird.
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#18 slinker

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 09:06 AM

you don't think it could get any worse for gemma, but lordy does it!


When you are a step ahead of everybody else, they call you a genius. When you are two steps ahead, they say you're crazy.

"If you can't say 'Fuck,' you can't say, 'Fuck the government.'" - Lenny Bruce

#19 Gwilym

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 01:44 PM

Haha. Well, I might see. It depends whether or not it shows up on library shelves; I'm not going to make it a priority.

But yeah, I do apologise for the inference that there's some kind of unified groupthink consensus going on. The basic concept of Milligan's run being an awful event does seem pretty much agreed-upon, though.
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#20 slinker

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 06:38 PM

what some call "groupthink" I call consensus. a more accurate term, for sure.
When you are a step ahead of everybody else, they call you a genius. When you are two steps ahead, they say you're crazy.

"If you can't say 'Fuck,' you can't say, 'Fuck the government.'" - Lenny Bruce




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