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All New Adventures of Hellblazer #1

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chamber    13

Just read Rebirth 1.

 

Return of classic Hellblazer John. Name drops a bunch of stuff from the pre-52 continuity while quietly sweeping aside and wrapping up the previous runs left overs.

 

Glad Johns old back story and relationships are back because I wasn't a big fan of the new stuff they came up with with the previous relaunch

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JohnMcMahon    562

That was pretty good, not blow-away amazing but a solid 7/10 and does just what it set out to - namely clear the deck and pretty much return John to his Vertigo status quo.

 

[ Spoiler : Mercury's a real deep cut, presumably a deliberate statement of intent ].

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Christian    734

Rebirth #1-Eh, that did nothing for me. We're back to the incorrect continuity again, even though the Paul Jenkins' run has actually been traded now. At least when Diggle was messing up continuity, there was some thought that maybe Vertigo had stricken the Jenkins run from continuity for some godforsaken reason.

This reminded me a lot of the pilot episode of the TV series. It was a very paint by numbers story.

I enjoyed the first issue of the last relaunch better, because it was something different. Of course, we all know where that went. Probably writing the same types of stories we've seen over and over, without a lot of enthusiasm, will be better than a bunch of unreadable, badly written stories.

Why did Mercury return? After all these years, this is how she returns? It seemed sort of desperate, like, "Long time readers will remember this character!". I'm not looking forward to the book moving towards co-starring Swamp Thing for the next story-arc either.

I guess I'll read the next issue, but my reaction is just boredom.

 

Actually, having read Aquaman #1 and Wonder Woman #1 as well, I get the feeling that this is the direction DC is going for...."write as boring of a story featuring this character as possible, but make sure it reads like the old DCU character". Like they're trying as hard as possible to not offend anyone by taking any chances while the writers are just going through the motions, writing "a generic Wonder Woman, or Aquaman, or Constantine story", just to get the book on the market.

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i'm starting to wonder if i should throw in the towel.i swear,one of these days i'm getting in there andre-writing hellblazer myself.i swear . again,the writers keep missing the essence of constantine,as per usual.i gotta wonder if anyof these people actually read hellblazer--or maybe our boy john's just hard to work with..idk

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Having finally read it, I didn't hate it but I didn't love it. Story was by the numbers, didn't feel all too new reader friendly (it seems to be a big problem with most of the Rebirth books) - if I was a new reader who'd never heard or only had a passing knowledge of Constantine this probably wouldn't have gotten me interested or hooked too badly, and still iffy on John's characterization. I'll probably stick with it for the next few months but it'll have to do a better job at characterization and plotting to keep me invested for the long haul.

 

I'm guessing that the only thing from the Vertigo Hellblazer that's been definitely restored to NuJohn's history is Delano stuff, given the contradictions to Jenkins' run (unless that demon/editor/writer was really bad at catching up with happenings in John's life - but John's reaction to the Astra mention implies that's not the case...). Seeing the callbacks to the old days was nice at first, but I have to wonder how much longer Big 2 Comics as a whole can continue coasting off on/reusing "the good old days." Over in the Superman line, Dan Jurgen's big new idea for his Rebirth Action Comics storyline is to have Superman fight... Walking Plot DeviceDoomsday again! I wonder how long it is before we see John take on the First or Nergal again in this series?

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I dropped the Doyle/Rossmo series after issue # 3 and fucked right off from comics in general. Read Hellblazer Rebirth off Comixology yesterday and, well, not BAD but a bit too dipped in nostalgia. And since I know there are sometimes changes between the digital and print copies, did the print version change Astra's name to "Astrid" like in the digital version? That bugged me to death.

 

I'll pick up the first issue or two of the new series, I'm cautiously optimistic.

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Demon Chas08    295

7/10 from me too. I actually wasn't expecting something big for a change like I did with last year. Kinda wish his encounter with Captain Marvel (& NO I will not call him Shazam regardless of copyright grabsies!) got removed but babysteps...

 

I trust Oliver enough to do our boy justice and he did. Now I want Gemma back so he can treat Milligan's run like a bastard stepchild the way the Carey era ignored Azzarello's follies but of course I'm getting agead of myself

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dvyoung444    3

Yeah, I'm new.

 

I'm not a Constantine scholar by any means but I kept up with the original run throughout the years and visit the forum occasionally. I thought this latest attempt was a bit like 'The Force Awakens' in that it hit all the touchstones in a nod to the old fanbase while still rooting him in whatever's going on in the DC Universe. Alas, it still feels like I'm reading a caricature of the original. OK, it's the first issue so I don't want to be harsh but the things I loved about the character - the cynical inner monologue, the slow burn realization of what's going on and what needs to be done to set things right, the guilt that you could always feel even when he wasn't giving voice to it - i can't imagine that coming back. Plus - the fate of a city? Get thee to the laundromat and creep me out again for cryin' out loud!

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A. Heathen    1,125

I know you read it, fess up.

 

No i had not until this evening, for I had not been to a comick shoppe.

 

Now I have and feel more satisfaction than some above.

Chap in comic shop made a good observation, that this was similar to the JC we first met back in Swamp Thing.

A bit more smug.

And the casual crossover with the DCU being more like when the capes turned up in Sandman, as a momentary point of reference and a bit of context for the Swamp Thing people.

He's got a point.

 

It feels like a sequel to the 52 missing a few issues.

It certainly doesn't fly from Milligantime.

Remind me, oh analists, what's the bone of contention about missed Jenkins stuff.

 

I agree it's something of a caricature.

The jokey nature seems to be the only thing retained from that ill-fated flirtation with being DC's Wicked and Divine.

I really quite liked the allusions to past stories, and apart from Astra new readers were told all they need to know and hopefully get to be lead to much better things by someone explaining this to them. You people (us people) don't get to see that as teasers, because we know the story, but an inquiring mind should relish that...

if they like Constantine.

 

Let's all ask a Hellblazer Virgin to read it without prompting them and see what they ask.

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Christian    734

I'm not sure what there is to hook a new reader to this character though. He's pretty generic, if you ask me. I don't see a lot of the specialness of the character that made us fall in love with him in this book (just like it was missing in the New 52 version).

At least with the last relaunch, John felt unique in that first issue. The writer didn't take him anywhere of interest, but I was intrigued by the character in that first issue, even if he wasn't really John Constantine.

The book still remains distinctly less than a horror comic book. I know I should just let that go by this point, as the book has rarely been a horror comic since the Warren Ellis days anyway. At least that was a hook for the character though, for fans of horror fiction.

There are just so many more books on the market that I love far more than what I read in this issue, that I'd hate to recommend anyone to check out The Hellblazer. OK, I've felt this to be the case since half-way through the Carey run actually, that Hellblazer went from my #1 must read (even during the Azzarello years, I still liked to pretend the book was superior) comic book to another comic book I was buying, to "I buy this book out of habit, because I once loved John Constantine so much I don't want to give up reading about him each month".

The thing I keep repeating about the Alan Moore version of John was that he worked as an enigma. He was intriguing because there was so much mystery around him. He wouldn't have ever worked as the protagonist of a comic book. It took Jamie Delano coming along and fleshing out the character for the John Constantine we wanted to read about in his own series.

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JohnMcMahon    562
I thought this latest attempt was a bit like 'The Force Awakens' in that it hit all the touchstones in a nod to the old fanbase while still rooting him in whatever's going on in the DC Universe.

 

A nailed analogy, right there.

 

Alas, it still feels like I'm reading a caricature of the original. OK, it's the first issue so I don't want to be harsh but the things I loved about the character - the cynical inner monologue, the slow burn realization of what's going on and what needs to be done to set things right, the guilt that you could always feel even when he wasn't giving voice to it - i can't imagine that coming back. Plus - the fate of a city? Get thee to the laundromat and creep me out again for cryin' out loud!

 

Hard to argue with that.

 

Bugger, thanks!

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Speedblazer    141

I'm not sure what there is to hook a new reader to this character though. He's pretty generic, if you ask me. I don't see a lot of the specialness of the character that made us fall in love with him in this book (just like it was missing in the New 52 version).

At least with the last relaunch, John felt unique in that first issue. The writer didn't take him anywhere of interest, but I was intrigued by the character in that first issue, even if he wasn't really John Constantine.

The book still remains distinctly less than a horror comic book. I know I should just let that go by this point, as the book has rarely been a horror comic since the Warren Ellis days anyway. At least that was a hook for the character though, for fans of horror fiction.

There are just so many more books on the market that I love far more than what I read in this issue, that I'd hate to recommend anyone to check out The Hellblazer. OK, I've felt this to be the case since half-way through the Carey run actually, that Hellblazer went from my #1 must read (even during the Azzarello years, I still liked to pretend the book was superior) comic book to another comic book I was buying, to "I buy this book out of habit, because I once loved John Constantine so much I don't want to give up reading about him each month".

The thing I keep repeating about the Alan Moore version of John was that he worked as an enigma. He was intriguing because there was so much mystery around him. He wouldn't have ever worked as the protagonist of a comic book. It took Jamie Delano coming along and fleshing out the character for the John Constantine we wanted to read about in his own series.

 

Funny you bring this up because I should confess some things.

 

Back when I was a major Hellblazer virgin and knew nothing about the character, from first glance, I thought he was a generic, loner of a character who whines about life in a melodramatic way and smokes a lot. Before I read it, I found him to be the stereotypical Brit who says bloody and fuck all the time, wearing the stereotypical British trench coat, and complaining about the government on internet forums. My only exposure to John directly was through Keanu Reeves's Constantine movie, and while impressive, didn't attach me to him that well.

 

What introduced me to Hellblazer wasn't hellblazer itself (reasons as mentioned above) but instead Supernatural, and its character Castiel. I loved his attire, and the attitude he gave off in the series (well use to anyway. Now he's just a boring hollow shell of what he use to be) Doing research on the character, there was a mention that he was based off of John Constantine. SO I looked him up, and ended up reading the series. The first issue didn't really have me invested in him at all, and it only proved my initial feelings towards him being the stereotypical brit who says bloody and fuck a lot. The rest of the issues didn't fill me with any confidence either as I just felt like he wasn't anything special. It wasn't until the storylines Hold Me and Dangerous Habits that I quickly became enamored by him. Then after that, I started to like him a lot. But with the first few issues, it wasn't John that kept me reading, but rather what was happening around him. The conspiracy theories, the political commentary, and the creepy monsters. John himself however, didn't feel all that interesting until Dangerous Habits, where I actually cared about his well-being.

 

When I got to Azzerello's run, that's when I began to feel the same way I felt back in the beginning of Hellblazer, when he felt less intriguing, and the world and events around him became more worth reading about then John in general. Mike Carey, for the most part, brought back my liking to John, but that was immediately dissipated once Milligan came into the picture for obvious reasons.

 

Then Constantine and JLD appeared and...well you know.

 

Then he was in Injustice which was a nice iteration of him.

 

Of course I enjoyed Matt Ryan's performance as him as well.

 

Then Constantine: The Hellblazer arrived. For those who know me, knew I very much hated this version of John's physical appearance to death. I found the representation of his bisexuality to be better in this version, however the story, feel, character progression, and everything else about it couldn't follow. It didn't feel like a hellblazer story at all, and was more a parody of what Tumblr thinks is a Hellblazer story by playing it safe, and taking no risk.The art style seemed aright but I just didn't feel this was the right story for John to come back to. The sneak peek pulled me in, but after that, it fell flat on its face. The rest of the series was nothing like the sneak peak, and I think it was because that's all it was; a sneak peak.

 

I always felt John was better suited for short excerpts and not full on stories anymore, since everything that could be done with John has been done already, and now there's not much new ground to tread with him.

 

So imagine my suprise when we see John back in his usual attire, meeting Chas, going back to England, and bringing back the feelings of the Hellblazer of old. I was ecstatic. Yeah, it was treading old boundaries, but I didn't care. I was just glad we were getting back to the old days of the series, which was a hell of a lot welcome for me then what Constantine and C:THB was doing.

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Christian    734

Yeah, but that's my point. You are a long-time reader, not someone who is just being introduced to JC. You are feeling nostalgia, after the crap that DC churned out to fans since Milligan's run.

I'm wondering what there is here to draw in new readers, like you were by the Ennis days or Carey days or the Gaiman issue.

 

Me? I've sort of made my peace with John Constantine. That I'm never going to feel the same way about the character again. When I look back over the Hellblazer series, I realize that I stopped caring after the Warren Ellis run, but I was just sort of in denial about it. I don't have the nostalgic feelings about John anymore, like I did back when I was reading HB, because it's just gone too far downhill for me (Milligan, New 52, Convergence). My nostalgic feelings for John are going back and reading issues of the Jamie Delano and Paul Jenkins' runs, as those are the John Constantine character that I still love. That character will never be recaptured for me. I sort of just go through the motions now, by continuing to buy John Constantine comic books. Believe it or not, I still sometimes buy a comic book with Gambit in it, just because I was sort of a fan of Gambit at one point, but haven't cared about that character in a few decades now. John was once my favourite comic book character ever created, so he's harder to let go than, say, a Gambit.

If I felt someone recaptured the genius of Delano's run, or that someone did something truly new and different with John Constantine (while still holding true to the real John Constantine), I feel that I could find the character to be positive again. Simply throwing in some trappings from years ago in Hellblazer and writing a boring, generic story is just something I'm going to react to negatively.

 

Believe it or not, I actually came to Hellblazer through Spawn!

I had quit reading comics through most of high school, and only recently started to pick up Spawn and Sandman (this was when the first issue of Spawn was being released and people still read Spawn). I asked the comic store owner, "Are there any other characters like Spawn?". I liked the angst of that character. The comic store owner pointed to a copy of Sandman #3, which I had bought. The character of JC had made no impact on me in that story, I barely even remembered who the guy in the trenchcoat was supposed to be. He said, "This guy is sort of like that. You might want to check out Hellblazer." So, I bought the newest issue, which was during the Garth Ennis run. I liked the story well enough that I went back for some back-issues, getting some stuff from the Jamie Delano run. That's when I fell in love with John Constantine.

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JasonT    438

I was pleasantly surprised by The Hellblazer 1. I've seen worse iterations of Hellblazer. Not really sure what the deal is with the title's continuity — is it a reset back to some point in volume 1, or a reboot of Tintin Constantine, or what — but I guess that ceased to matter long ago. I'll stick with it for a couple more issues.

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JasonT    438
Back when I was a major Hellblazer virgin and knew nothing about the character, from first glance, I thought he was a generic, loner of a character who whines about life in a melodramatic way and smokes a lot.

 

That's a common misreading of the character. Even amongst people employed to write him.

 

 

Before I read it, I found him to be the stereotypical Brit who says bloody and fuck all the time, wearing the stereotypical British trench coat, and complaining about the government on internet forums.

 

:biggrin: I've never encountered that stereotype before.

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Christian    734

Wouldn't that partially actually be an accurate description of Jamie Delano's John though? "A loner of a character who whines about life in a melodramatic way and smokes a lot." I was always fine with John that way.

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Speedblazer    141

Wouldn't that partially actually be an accurate description of Jamie Delano's John though? "A loner of a character who whines about life in a melodramatic way and smokes a lot." I was always fine with John that way.

I said it was my initial thoughts since I didn't read a single Hellblazer issue beforehand.

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seventhcircle    580

Wouldn't that partially actually be an accurate description of Jamie Delano's John though? "A loner of a character who whines about life in a melodramatic way and smokes a lot." I was always fine with John that way.

 

you were missing how he hated the establishment to the guts and amongst them he had this special place of pure despise for that thatcher of yours. also: he new... stuff

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Christian    734

Oh yeah, there was a lot more to the character, to be sure. I was just saying that was an aspect of the character from the beginning of Hellblazer.

It would be funny if they decided to return to the days of John hating Thatcher though. I don't mean flashing back when Thatcher was in power, but just that he constantly rants and rants about how bad Thatcher was, and people keep saying, "Thatcher is dead now! There are a lot of other slimy politicians to hate!", but John just keeps ranting away about Thatcher. That could be fun for nostalgia.

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