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John Waterman

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Everything posted by John Waterman

  1. But what about the First's behavior in "Stations of the Cross" he initially seemed happy that Ghant had brought Constantine to him, but then got offended when he decided (however falsely) that the wreck in front of him wasn't Constantine. If he had claim Constantine's soul, why would he care? And wouldn't he be able to tell who it was? I mean, with all the importance that's laid on souls and spirituality and whatever in this series, it seems reasonable that the DEVIL HIMSELF would be able to know who he had in his clutches, memory loss or not.
  2. He's a regular Barnacle Bill the Sailor.
  3. Just about any moment that when Garth Ennis shot for sad and wistful. I'm down as can be on his recent work, but the man had it going on during his Hellblazer run.
  4. Agreed. I love Preacher enough to forgive its weaker storylines, but Hitman is awesome all the way through. I think it was paced perfectly, and the shift midway through from silly, enjoyable gunplay to darker, heavier stories was very effective. Ennis spent a good deal of time setting up likeable and memorable characters, giving them history and wacky adventures before proceeding to tear them down. "For Tomorrow" "The Old Dog" and "Closing Time" have had me choked up each time I've read them. The only criticism I can think of levying at Hitman is the inclusion of stand-in words for "fuck." But that's pretty minor, and it might have been a good thing. Taking away Ennis' ability to spew profanity probably forced him to concentrate on other things. Like, you know, writing.
  5. Can someone who's been keeping up with the "Barracuda" arc spoil it for me? I took a look at some preview scans, and the art looked terrible, especially following the great art of the the last three or so arcs. The plot also looked pretty lame as well. I might buy it eventually if you guys say its good, though. I really liked The Slavers, but Barracuda did not look very promising.
  6. John Waterman

    Fury: Peacemaker

    Hmmm. Wikipedia says Garth's "Fury" miniseries was an elseworlds title. That doesn't sound right, especially since the same character keeps appearing in "Punisher."
  7. Very interesting couple of letters, Christian. I'm not really familiar with the Marvel timeline. When did those issues come out? Also, I think both responses from Marvel seem very callow. It is certainly not their job to stand up for all the ills of the world, but the phrase "you're entitled to your opinions, but we can't find the words to respond to them" is incredibly anemic. It's like saying, "We'd like to go off on you, but we're too scared of losing our advertisers." Surely an entire editorial staff could have come up with something a little steelier. It doesn't come off well at all. Neither does their discrepancy between stating Daniels' letter was the only negative response, and then coming back and saying he represented a "wide cross-section" before getting all moralistic about censorship.
  8. John Waterman

    Fury: Peacemaker

    Yeah, and sometimes he's just...odd. Odin Quincannon, anyone? Garth Ennis' sense of humor works best when he's making fun of British and Irish traditions/quirks, utilizing his irrational hatred of the French, tearing down superhero conventions or just letting the humor come out naturally when two characters are getting drunk at the pub. I've gotta cop to being mildly amused with the scenes of Fury pushing his retarded nephew around in the zoo. But Fuckface was just stupid. Actually, the comedy elements in the last one were all pretty jarring, given the serious nature of the overall story. "Peacemaker" looks like it'll be an interesting prequel sort of story, maybe along the lines of "Born." I'll definetly be buying the first couple of issues to see how it looks.
  9. Mike, Thanks for all your great work on the title recently, especially the last three issues. I'd say they were just as good as "Rake at the Gates of Hell," my favorite climactic story of the series. I'm not sure if "enjoy" is the right word for it, but Cheryl's death and John's fatalism and despair were perfectly realized. Anyway. One quick question, and one slightly longer one: 1. At what point in the Hellblazer timeline does "All His Engines" take place? I'm sorry if there's been an official comment on this before, but I don't think there has. 2. Issue #7 of Planetary seemed to comment that using Constantine to rail against political ills went out after the eighties and early nineites. Delano, Ennis and Jenkins all used the series to take shots at the tories and other right-wingers, but this theme was totally absent in Azzarello's work, and was used very sparingly in yours. I guess my question is whether or not you think "Hellblazer" is still potentially an effective venue for political commentary, or agree with Ellis that it's time for that has passed.
  10. Curtis Hanson (Wonder Boys) directed L.A. Confidential, which was written by James Ellroy. Incidentally, i'd thought Fincher was working on adapting another Ellroy novel, "The Black Dahlia," in which the victim is killed in a very similar fashion to the victims in "Torso." I don't know if he's still attached to that project, though.
  11. Y'all aren't liking Loveless? So far, it's the only Azzarello thing outside of 100 Bullets that I've ever enjoyed. It reminds me of "The Outlaw Josey Wales," but much darker. His writing style is much more restrained, and I'm actually enjoying his wordplay again as opposed to simply toerating it.
  12. Picked up both RSVPs at the comic book store yesterday, and what a great two issues they were. Even though this has been the third time we've had a "Chas-gets-fed-up-and-kicks-the-shit-out-of-John" moment, it felt right in terms of the story. It was also very cool to see the nods to earlier moments in the HB mythos, like the foreskin bible, Norma (who is looking much worse for the wear) and the Webley revolver that killed the family man. These cameos were worked into the story much more effectively than the characters in "Down in the ground..." I'm also very, very glad Cheryl and Tony remain dead. Cheryl's death came as a shock to begin with, and if it had been reversed in one of the last two issues...well, that would have sucked. The last few pages of the second issue were great. Liked the scene where John looked his own ghosts in the eye, and I really liked the scene before that when he violently remonstrated the magicians for doing...pretty much what he does. John's occasional sanctimonious streak, despite all of the trouble he causes, is one of the most refreshing, if not likeable things about his character. I would have liked to have seen more resolution regarding Gemma and Angie, but at the same time, Angie was a flat character to begin with, and we'll be seeing more of Gemma sometime down the line. I'd go as far to give the entrie story a 10. Can't wait to see what direction the series will take in January.
  13. I'm...really not a big fan of the Jenkins run. Apart from the "Critical Mass" and "Difficult Beginnings" stories, which are actually very good, I thought Jenkins' take of Constantine was full of lots of good ideas, but just not very fun to read. After the above-mentioned stories, I had to almost force myself through the rest of his run. Carey's run had its issues, but I found it a million times more cohesive and enjoyable than Jenkins.
  14. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Oh, fuck me, that's funny.
  15. I just breezed through Mike Carey's entire Hellblazer run upon getting the last three issues of "Down in the Ground Where the Dead Men Go" and "The Gift." It stood up pretty well upon re-read, although its weaknesses were also more pronounced. I think it's safe to say that, stand-alone issues aside, the run's quality begins to drop off after issue #200. Dragging in characters from previous authors' work is always a risky gimmick, and in the last two major arcs, it didn't come off very well. Carey wrote Map, Clarice, Albert, Map and Watford very well, and I was glad to see them again, because Ellis' aborted run left me wanting to know more about them. But the minor characters that were killed off during "Reasons to be Cheerful" were almost completely arbitrary. Hell, Constantine didn't even know that most of them were getting dead. I particularly hated to see the deaths of Mange and Helen. Mange was hilarious, and Helen's death completely cheapens the end of "Rake at the Gates of Hell," one of my favorite HB storylines. The return of Ellie and the Demon Constantine were also mishandled. There was a lot of potential in both these characters for the hell storyarc, and their appearances both flopped for me. I did like to see the First of the Fallen again. Props to Carey for writing him better than both Jenkins and Ennis. While he was an overpowered dolt in Ennis' run and too much of a goof in Jenkins', Carey struck the perfect balance of humor and true menace. But even the First's improvement is a double-edged sword. Because of his presence, the resolution to "Down in the Ground Where the Dead Men Go" is very unsatisfactory. I'm not talking about Cheryl's death and damnation. That was cool. But after a dozen issues of buildup, Constantine's troubles with Rosacarnis, his demon offspring and Nergal are resolved in three pages when the First simply zaps them all. Okay. That's a lot of complaining, but I really did like this run quite a bit. I liked that from the very first issue, the reader got the sense that something much larger was going on behind the scenes. I liked seeing John back in England as opposed to mixing it up with hick pornographers and fey billionaires who are not the least bit menacing even if you read the stories drunk with all the lights off. I liked they way the storylines flowed into each other. I really liked Manco's artwork. And I loved every single one of the stand-alone issues, especially "Cross Purpose" and "The Gift." I know a lot of people didn't much care for "Event Horizon," but I didn't see any problems with it. I would agree that it should have been placed elsewhere in the overall arc, though. Carey's development of Gemma was also deftly handled. She's getting to be as big a bastard as her uncle. I love it. Oh, a few more niggles: I didn't really care for Angie post-"Staring at the Wall" she wasn't much of a character before that, and she was totally useless afterwards. Also, Frusin's art started to really suck towards the end of his tenure. And the overall breakneck pace of the story didn't allow for many of the slower, more character-driven moments that I really liked in Ennis' run. For the most part, Carey's run was exciting and well-written. The post-#200 issues were weaker, but still very entertaining. I'm glad to see that the entire run will be traded, but its reliance on the Hellblazer mythos means it will be a bit difficult for new readers to jump in. Solid 8/10 for the whole run. Looking foward to getting both RSVPs in December.
  16. I'm not sure if this has been traded yet, but I recently was able to collect all of 303, by Garth Ennis. I had scans of issues 1-3 for the longest damn time, but had been unable to find 4-6. Anywhere. It's not a very complicated story, but the suspense is very well built up over each issue, and it shifts gears from a straight military story to a much more surreal, allegorical tale seamlessly. Some of its implications are very haunting, and I think they'll be staying with me for awhile. It's probably Garth Ennis' darkest story yet (with the possible exception of Unknown Soldier), and he's on top form here. While his "Punisher" arcs have been much gritter over the past year or so, they're still way too over the top to take too seriously. I'm not surprised that Ennis had to publish this through Avatar; some of the stuff it pulls in the final issues is very shocking, especially considering the current political climate. I only have two minor criticisms: Jacen Burrows' art, while generally very good, is a bit too straightforward for this sort of story. The characters seem a bit too square-jawed, and the colors are a little too bright. Actually, the art gets much better in issues 4-6, but I can't help but wonder how much more effective this sort of story would have been with, say, Killian Plunkett (Unknown Soldier, again) illustrating. The other complaint is that it was too damn short. I think there was a lot of wasted potential in the story's hook. Another six issues--at least--could have been spent on the main character's journey from Afghanistan to America (on foot, no less), and it would have been interesting to see him interact with more people in the states. But all in all, it was top notch. I'd encourage everybody to check it out.
  17. Well, I'm a few months late to be sounding off on this one, but here goes. I liked the artwork, liked the dialogue, and generally enjoyed the plot. Generally. While I won't say I was let down, having read so much Hellblazer already, I was sort of underwhelmed at how generic the story seemed. It was cookie-cutter Hellblazer. Actually, that's unfair. It was a fairly simple story that seemed targeted at people unfamiliar with the series. I really didn't feel that there was much to interest the longterm fan, aside from a dcecent, if a bit too familiar story. I can't really put my finger on it, but there was just too many Hellblazer staples crammed in (See John get a mate killed! See John be a snarky bastard! See John's asshole father and trouble childhood). There were some good moments though. I liked the inclusion of the Aztec Gods (although I can't figure out why they set it in L.A., other than the fact that it came out around the same time as the film). I liked Chas getting the girl. And I really like this one bit of dialogue: Chas: I'm coming, John! Me martial arts training will come in handy! Constantine: What training? Tae Kwon Wheel Wrench? Shut up, Chas. Again. Can't put my finger on it, but Carey's monthly run (I just re-read Red Sepulchre) comes across as much more original and exciting. That's not to say AHE is bad by any means; I just wish I hadn't paid $24.95 for a story I felt like I already read a dozen times throughout the series.
  18. I'm going to go with Ennis or Carey, with the possible exception of the first 12 issues of the Delano run. If I'm forced to pick only one, I'd go with Ennis because, for better or worse, I can identify with just about everything Constantine does. Every hangover, every maudlin bout of drinking, every fight friends or lovers started because of a few cruel words or actions...been there, done that. But I also love the way ol'Garth captures the lighter moments, like Constantine's party, or just page after page of good friends bullshitting over drinks at the bar. He turned Chas Chandler into a sympathetic and developed character, rather than the stooge that Delano introduced. Under Ennis, Chas came across as a fairly intelligent salt-of-the-earth guy who, while no match for Constantine's wiles, certainly wasn't stupid. It seemed that his loyalty to John was more out of friendship than indebtedness, and he showed in "Dear John" that he'd only put up with so much of his bullshit. Furthermore, I thought most of the stories worked extremely well, "Dangerous Habits" and "Rake at the Gates of Hell" being the best. One-shots like "This is the Diary of Danny Drake," "Forty" "And the Crowd Goes Wild," "Remarkable Lives" and the spectacular "Confessional" were excellent examples of how to tell a short story with an extremely limited amount of space (Again, I know some folks aren't fans of the loose ends in "Crowd," but I think they're very appropriate in the context of the story). Ennis also gets high points for the parts in the story where Constantine questions his own theatrics (appearing out of nowhere with a smoke and a witty remark). The only marks I'd take off come from the pretentious crap towards the middle of "Damnation's Flame" and the abrupt breakup between John and Kit. "Dear John" was one of the best issues of Hellblazer ever, but it would have been nice to have had an issue or two tucked in between that and "Fear and Loathing" to show their relationship deteriorating. I know a lot of people were turned off by the more foul-mouthed, harder-drinking, sentimental and down to earth take on Constantine after Delano's decidedly different take on the character, but after issues of 30-40 of his run, it was nice to see the story get grounded more in a reality that the average guy can identify with. It's not for everyone, sure. I gave a trade of Dangerous Habits to a friend who is a HUGE fan of Preacher and Punisher, and he admitted it bored him. He got a much bigger kick out of All His Engines and Red Sepulchre. Carey gets a close second because he pulled off a hell of a trick with a fast-paced interconnected five-year storyline that actually WORKED. There wasn't much breathing room, or time to get drunk and reminisce down the pub, but it was really nice to see Constantine actually doing things that were cool, magic-related, imaginative and MADE SENSE. Unlike runs by certain other authors named Brian Azzarello. Ellis was good. "One last love song" and "Telling Tales" are also great one (and one half) issues. Problem is, everything else came across as "TransmetroBlazer." "Haunted" felt padded, and all of Constantine's musings on "London is darkest, evillest, most disgusting place on earth" got tiresome. Delano's first twelve issues were awesome, but they do have the unfortunate tendacy to rely on crossovers with Swamp Thing, and they're harder to find. So. All in all, I'd still say Ennis has the most to offer.
  19. Not sure if this is the right place to ask about this, but has anyone heard anything about future issues of Garth Ennis' 303? I read the first three, and thought they were excellent. E-Bay listed a 4th as being out, but that was a long time ago, and I'd heard the series was supposed to run for at least six. Does anyone have any info?
  20. Christ, this is a tough one. If the deck is focusing on Constantine, I'd have to go with John and Kit. But I would not be disappointed to see Chantinelle and Tali either.
  21. I still have to go for Nigel Engles from Ennis' run for the fool. The idea of the goofy little ponce in the pose from the Rider-Waite deck just entertains the hell out of me.
  22. Wow. I was up in NYC for the 4th of July, and one night me and a good friend (also a big fan of Hellblazer) had an in-depth discussion on a Hellblazer Tarot after far too much to drink. For the most part, we either picked or considered just about every character discussed as a face card here. It's good to see their were others thinking along the same lines, but I'd like to offer one suggestion: Nigel Engles (Garth's socialist prat) as The Fool. I also really like the idea of changes to the lesser arcana--wands as cigarettes, pints of Guinness for cups. Also, when considering illustrations for few other cards, some specific images came to mind, like the shot of Constantine lying dead drunk, face-up on the tomb in the rain from "Dear John," for The Hanged Man and the Fabry (I think) pin-up of John and Kit in the graveyard, from the "Tainted Love" TPB for The Lovers, just to name a couple.
  23. With that said, I find all of the Azz-scripted issues highly readable. I hate his general attitude towads John. I hate how he presents him as too hardcore to be likeable. I hate how his maliciousness is never really justified. Yet I keep reading. I hated Azzarello's 30 issues the first time I read them. But on a reread, I found myself (despite myself) catching clues to what he was planning, most notably in "Good Intentions" and "Hard Time." I still dislike these stories, especially "Good Intentions," but I enjoyed the structure Azzarello put to "Good Intentions" this second time around. "Freezes Over" and "Lapdogs and Englishmen" were good fun. Wish Azz had stayed with stories like these instead of going down the path of "Ashes and Dust." Anyways. Azzarello, at his worst, manages to write a compelling story, lousy as the conclusion may be. I find myself breezing through his issues much easier than Jenkins in a heartbeat. Dude's slick more than anything. I get the feeling he was writing "John Constantine vistist the realm of 100 Bullets." It doesn't always work, and, in the case of "Good Intentions," is outright fucking disgusting, but it makes for a compelling narrative, suck ass as the conclusion is.
  24. Yeah, I liked the scene when he did for the Mongolian too. "I'm twisting his leg off like a drumstick when I realize I'm frightening the kid." Frank Castle, ladies and gentlemen. Parent of the year.
  25. I visited my comic shop for the first time in about a month and a half yesterday, and came away with 4 new Punishers: the first three issues of "Up is down and black is white," and the terrific one-shot "The Cell." So far, the new storyline looks good. I liked how there was an entire issue dedicated to Nicky Cavella. It's good to see Frank finally have a decent, and equally twisted nemesis. I do hope he stays dead when Frank gets to him, though, and doesn't come back a few issues later sporting a pair of tits. Also, I've read Hitman in its entirety, and after the newest Punisher issue, I'm pretty sure that O'Brien is meant to be McAllister, the NSA agent who wanted to run away with Tommy towards the end of Hitman--the tech guy even asks her if she wants to go back to that name. I know Hitman was DC universe, but still. "The Cell" was definetly the best of the new issues. I've been getting tired of these constant six-issue storylines, so it was nice to get a complete, compact short story for once. I haven't read many of the old-school punisher issues so I'm not sure if we ever saw Frank actually kill those responsible for the death of his family, so I don't know if this version of his revenge is retconned or not. I really don't care because "The Cell" was just about perfectly paced, and the big reveal came as a total surprise.
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