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All New Adventures of Hellblazer #1

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that was not really a rating, let me put it this way:

when i read ennis i feel like sitting in a bar with this great storyteller drinking for 10 hours without getting wasted and he is telling me this very human story of some really cool bloke he knew.

when i read moores good shit i feel like i am watching a maestro trying to write his greatest symphony.

with delanos hellblazer i feel like watching someone that pukes all over society, because he quite honestly and frankly hates the living shit out of this fucked up world.

gaiman stories are wonderful dreams, that he wants you to witness, because they are so enjoyable.

wooza is the guy that reads something and then comes up with a scenario in which the stuff he read about turns everything into utter shit and at some point he goes: ah you get it, it's shit, lets think about something else.

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I agree that Delano's take on John was the definitive version. Ennis' run was so early on that it wasn't jarring though. It was the second full run, so a lot of readers were choosing either Delano or Ennis' version as the definitive voice of John. As Lou said, most readers find Dangerous Habits to be the quintessential JC story. I'd say that if Ennis' run came along later, he wouldn't be in consideration for writing a proper characterization of John. It wasn't as far removed from what John Constantine's character should be as Azzarello, Milligan, "New 52", or Convergence. And, I'd prefer to read Ennis' run over anything that came after Warren Ellis, including Carey.

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i agree,i always felt delano's john was the definitive john constantine.ennis was good and that monster that azarello sent us and the fool miligan wrote. i don't think peopleare really taking delano's john into consideration

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Lou, I'm sorry, but Dangerous Habits was a good two parter stretched out to three times its natural length. He did write a better Constantine there than he did in the stuff where he was assuming the guy was turning twenty despite the fact that he was Alan Moore's age, though, no question.

(I'd say Carey had the definitive version myself.)

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Carey's John was the de-facto John, for mine. Carey knew how to write John, but he didn't experiment with the character in the way that Delano, Ennis, or Jenkins did. Carey's version became the version that other writers (until Milligan) tried to emulate. There was nothing wrong with Carey's take on John, it just wasn't very interesting. So, in that sense, I'd take Delano, Ennis, Jenkins, and Ellis over Carey's version, and would rank Delano's version at the top echelon. Delano's version had every factor, while Ennis, Ellis, or Carey's version all lacked one ingredient (whether innovation or consistency). Jenkins could be ranked alongside Delano's version also, when looking at characterization with those factors in mind.

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Finally, a little love for Paul Jenkins who has the most underrated run of the whole series. (Probably because it took so long to be traded)

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Yeah, I've always said that Jenkins' run was my second favourite, after Delano. Those are the two writers on Hellblazer that I look back upon fondly. The rest of the series, I'm not such a fan of anymore.

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i hope this title will finally remove the status quo that keeps John from progressing as a character. the whole thing about aging in real time doesn't seem so special because i felt like nothing much has changed for john

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i hope this title will finally remove the status quo that keeps John from progressing as a character. the whole thing about aging in real time doesn't seem so special because i felt like nothing much has changed for john

 

that may be part of it.there's certain mistakes you stop making at 40,50,and 60--it started to stagnant after a while.I think the later authors forgot to age him mentally and emotionally,just stuck on more wrinkles

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Yeah, Jenkins was also the last creator who really bothered to show John's aging as anything other than a number. Jenkins' John was much more mature. Then, it got to the point of Milligan, who decided to write a 60 plus year old John as more immature than any other author.

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So far, there's nothing to get excited about. Some members are more optimistic. It's just the first issue, which was pretty much a standalone story, so too soon to really say where things are going. If it keeps going in this direction, it's going to be a bland, riskless run that gets canceled with DC"s next relaunch, that's my opinion, so far.

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So far, there's nothing to get excited about. Some members are more optimistic. It's just the first issue, which was pretty much a standalone story, so too soon to really say where things are going. If it keeps going in this direction, it's going to be a bland, riskless run that gets canceled with DC"s next relaunch, that's my opinion, so far.

 

I only read the summaries of the original relaunch because fuck me if I would read one of the only long lasting DC published series relocated to fucking New York. But even what I read didn't exactly sound very exciting.

 

Which relaunch is this since the end of the original then ? The second ?

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No, the third...There was the "New 52" version, and then the "Convergence" relaunch which just ended, so this is the "Rebirth" version. It's unbelievable that a Hellblazer comic is currently on vol. 4, although three of those books only lasted for one year.

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I'd question that Ennis' take was "spot on", myself.

 

I dunno how I missed this but I completely agree. I think Ennis was actually not very good at writing Hellblazer, as he doesn't seem to be able to write the Supernatural in general. Even in Preacher the Supernatural amounts to "things to punch and or shoot with a gun while saying X sucks".

 

No, the third...There was the "New 52" version, and then the "Convergence" relaunch which just ended, so this is the "Rebirth" version. It's unbelievable that a Hellblazer comic is currently on vol. 4, although three of those books only lasted for one year.

 

Well that's uh pretty bad.

 

Also I do appreciate the Jenkins love, I liked his stuff more then anything Ennis wrote, honestly.

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ennis is just lacking subtlety.

i did not enjoy jenkins that much, mainly because of the whole camelot-stuff, that was annoying. a lot of jenkins run read more like contemporary fantasy, than lets say a supernatural horror-comic.his human characters where awesome though.

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I actually liked the Camelot stuff because Jenkins was using actual British mythology and didn't do "Story # 756466 About Hell and/or The First of the Fallen".

 

Speaking of which I miss the days before he was introduced and suddenly all of Hell boiled down to him.

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To clarify: I didn't have any beef with Ennis' use of the supernatural in Hellblazer, just some of the wrapping around that. Delano mostly used that stuff as a metaphor for social issues, while Ennis was only interested in that as a contrast to the horror elements. There was also a shift from the Campbell/Newman/Herbert school of horror where the social elements are forgrounded to the sub-King stuff where society is less interesting than the narcissistic whining of the protagonist, which has never impressed me. Even without that, as seventh says, his approach to the material was a lot cruder than Delano's

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You know, Ennis seems to have done crude for ages, and people loved him for it.

 

Of course now you look back and you see while Delano liked to experiment, Ennis mainly wanted to do two things:

 

1) Wank his Lucifer-lite, who is now the Lord of Hell, even though Sandman Lucifer exists still, but this one's even better cause he doesn't bother to be an interesting character but just swears and eviscerates people a lot.

 

2) Somehow work Ireland into things, though not in any actual interesting way given it's rich history and many legends he could make use of, just simply having someone be from Ireland and have an issue where they talk about Irish economic woes of the early 90's which, looking back, is an interesting time capsule but makes for a dreadfully boring comic book especially as Kit had all the depth of one of those cheap painting prints you buy just to hang something in the background where no one will ever care about it.

 

Mind you Ellis seemed to be basically doing the worst things Ennis was doing but ten times as much in his super-brief run.

 

However I will say this, Ennis at least had more respect for the series to have it take place in Britain most of the time and trying to have John be somewhat close to the original idea of John as a character. He may have been an underperformer overall, but at least he tried somewhat. Not like Azzarello.

 

I mean, people can say what they want about Milligan but Azzarello surgically amputated the supernatural out of the series and transplanted the whole thing to America for a long, unfunny, meandering road trip whose sole achievement was that it's idiotic final villain was a pretty good parody of Bruce Wayne.

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the timecapsule-thing can be said about a lot of what delano did too, especially politically speaking. there is nothing bad about that in my opinion, not everything has to be everlasting and in the context of constantine aging and all, it made his character have more dimensions.

ennis take on judeo-christian religion/mythology/whatever is well.. let's be real here the guy makes constantly fun of that stuff to show how stupid he thinks that shit is. at least thats how i read both preacher and his hellblazer stuff. some parts of it is: look at this, idiots. thats what you believe. LOOK AT IT! ennis is a bit like todays edgy militant-atheists-kids, except before it was cool and he is funny.

i am not sure he actually had in mind what to do with the first of the fallen when he wrote dangerous habits, imo it was a deus ex machina and he ran with it, because the premise was nice (constantine and cancer) and he could give us the fingerpanel and the solution to cancer in the hellblazer universe was above all else, as real as you could get john constantine.

he turned the first of the fallen dynamic it into the typical comic-book protagonist-antagonist relationship, put a little homoerotic undertones and some cracy on top and voila. what i want to say is: i think he intentionally went way over the top with a trope (as he does sometimes) and it reads a little shitty, because the trope is shitty. think of luther/superman, joker/batman the fact that there are comics were there is this overpowered (yeah batman is) guy that fights for good, but hesitates to kill a mass murdering maniac on every occasion is just... insane. and there is a certain homo-erotic vibe to two guys who obsess over each other as much as the batman and the joker do. coming back to hellblazer: well the only reason for a guy like constantine to not kill off some motherfucker is, apart from temporarily a little torture and social exploitation (a.k.a. fun), that the antagonist is infinitely more powerful and immortal, enter the first. maybe i am giving ennis to much credit, but i think a lot of his writing is far more self (read industry) aware, than you give him credit for.

 

i liked some of the shorts ellis did for hellblazer. some of them were actually creepy and had some nice horror-feeling to it, nothing special, but none of it was bad either.

 

i actually think azz tried to experiment, yes his hellblazer was a cringy shitshow, but i honestly had the feeling he tried. it was just really really bad. to send a british based character to the states for some time is not a bad premise. it is certainly not original, but it could have been interesting. that can be said about a lot of azzs run: could have, but fucked it up. coming back to s.w.manor, the batman analogy and all. at some point i can see an author saying: well either fuck, or kill each other. you will never be able to write a batman comic, in which this happens (which is shit btw), but you can in hellblazer. i can see the appeal in that. was it necassery: no. but azz obviously needed to get it out of his system :D

 

milligan wrote a fucking soap opera and maybe projected some midlife-crisis or whatever. his stuff was bad, really fucking awful.

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I used to not enjoy Jenkins' run that much, because of how fantasy-oriented it seemed to me. It seemed like he was writing a Sandman spin-off rather than HB, to me. However, I've completely changed my opinion over the years. It's not that I found all the Arthurian mythology to be particularly resonant with the character of John Constantine, but Jenkins' characterization is so perfect, an older, more mature John....it was the perfect follow-up to the ending of Delano's run. Remember, at the end of Delano's run, John was supposed to have been changed. Then, we got Ennis' run, which bore little follow-up to Delano's ending. Yet, if you read the Jenkins' run after Delano's run, you can see how the ending of Delano's run would have affected John, helped him move on in his life, and become more centered.

Plus, a story like Widdershins is just about the perfect HB story in my mind. Those are the type of stories I'd most like to be seen told about John. Not stories about John needing to save the world or teaming up with Swamp Thing again.

 

I can understand how some people might criticize Jenkins for beginning the trend of moving HB away from horror fiction. I lament this as well. But, Ellis did take the book back to horror, and Jenkins' doing this never bothered me as much as all the other writers who followed Jenkins who decided that HB wasn't meant to be a horror book anymore. Maybe just because it was something different when Jenkins took over after Ennis. As people have said, there was nothing subtle about Ennis.

 

I never really got that vibe from Ennis, to be fair, about religion. I got the idea that Ennis was pissed off because God wasn't what he wanted God to be in Judeo-Christianity. That he hadn't become an atheist, but he had become a very bitter believer, who was sort of poking God and saying, "Why aren't you what I wanted you to be? Why aren't you what I was told you are?". It was always quite immature to me, rather than any sort of satirical deconstruction of organized religious belief.

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I think that's a bit unfair on Azz, Dave. Sure, the whole thing dribbled away into a massively unimpressive damp squib of an ending, but Hard Time and Freezes over were both excellent stories, and a couple of the one shots mixed into the rest of it weren't bad, either.

 

As for Jenkins, the thing I most like about his run is that his John feels the most like a middle aged slob of any writer's take on him to date. You could maybe make a case for Milligan's refusal to write the guy as acting his age being an approach to that (and I rather like the idea that this was Milligan projecting a mid life crisis of his own onto the character by having him act like a paste up of Jack Nicholson and Mick Jagger), but this one was a bit more appealing in most respects.

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Hard Time is really just as full of TV show clichés as most of Azzarello's run. I don't really consider it a good story-arc, just good by the standards of most of Azzarello's run. Freezes Over was pretty good, on the other hand. I don't really remember most of the stand-alone stories from Azzarello's run, but the ones I can remember, were dreadful.

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