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dogpoet    476

If no writer since the proper Hellblazer was cancelled gives a shit about writing an ersatz Constantine (preferring the proper musky-balled dogshagger), why not just get rid of him completely and let some of the supporting cast take over as protagonists? Have Gemma as the new Constantine (and maybe even portray her as a woman in her early '40s, rather than somebody who's stopped ageing when she was 22) and actually do something with the suggestions Delano, Gaiman and Ennis made that there's a long history of people with that name sticking their noses where they don't belong and causing trouble. If Gemma's seen as too crap there's the wannabe cousin from Milligan's run, the surviving demonic Constanteenie from Carey's run, most of the Tate Club, Papa Midnite (whoever the fuck he is this year) and a fair few other supporting cast members who might be up to the approach.

(ETA some context for those who might not follow the reference: Taggart was a British police procedural drama from the '80s about a rather more hardboiled DCI than Morse or Frost. When the actor who played him -Mark McManus- died in 1994, his character was written out the series which replaced the lead by concentrating on the rest of the cast as ensemble instead. Taggart lasted a lot longer as a series without Taggart than it did with Taggart, as a quick look at the wiki page shows.)

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Christian    761

They could at the very least attempt to appeal to younger female readers with a Gemma character who is like all those popular supernatural novels, like by Laurell K. Hamilton and that. Except, they could find some better female comic creators to handle Gemma, like Marguerite Bennett.

I can't see DC sticking to the legacy of the original Vertigo series and respecting the supporting cast, if they can't even properly utilize the main character, so I wouldn't put much expectation in a totally revamped Hellblazer book, outside of something akin to Hamilton's work.

DC doesn't seem to have a problem with the direction of Hellblazer though, considering they continue to keep the book going, relaunch after relaunch. Plus, they're using John in guest-star roles again, like in an upcoming Green Lantern. I haven't seen sales figures for recent issue of the Rebirth version of HB, but I can't see the sales being very strong.

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JohnMcMahon    574

It's just grim seeing relaunch after relaunch, allow the old man what's left of his dignity and give him a year off before bringing him back under the recently returned Vertigo banner.

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43 minutes ago, JohnMcMahon said:

It's just grim seeing relaunch after relaunch, allow the old man what's left of his dignity and give him a year off before bringing him back under the recently returned Vertigo banner.

It's been a running theory of mine that John's Rebirth title will soon be bumped off and then resurrected as Hellblazer V2 or maybe even Hellblazer 301 to help hype up Vertigo's planned relaunch this year.

Though aside from putting a writer whose name alone can sell books on the comic, and given that DC seems content to keep their big-name writers on their big-name superheroes, I don't see much as capable of improving Hellblazer's financial future. I'm sure a "Return to Vertigo" will see some slightly increased sales but that's been the case with every relaunch thus far - followed by a quick plummet downwards.

(next thing you know this post will have jinxed things and DC will have put Bendis on Hellblazer :blink:)

Anyhow I had some ideas that might be more feasible as Hellblazer Presents: Minis/One-shots than full-on ongoings. King Kon-Sten-Tyn as an immortal causing chaos through the ages in his pursuit for power - basically Highlander from the Kurgan's POV. An Occult Take on Trainspotting featuring the Crack Magic guy from Ellis' run. Weird erotic horror thing with Ellie as the lead - I can see a writer like Gail Simone doing something interesting with it. And of course, the untold story of Mange!

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dogpoet    476
4 hours ago, GottaGetAGrip said:

It's been a running theory of mine that John's Rebirth title will soon be bumped off and then resurrected as Hellblazer V2 or maybe even Hellblazer 301 to help hype up Vertigo's planned relaunch this year.

Though aside from putting a writer whose name alone can sell books on the comic, and given that DC seems content to keep their big-name writers on their big-name superheroes, I don't see much as capable of improving Hellblazer's financial future. I'm sure a "Return to Vertigo" will see some slightly increased sales but that's been the case with every relaunch thus far - followed by a quick plummet downwards.

(next thing you know this post will have jinxed things and DC will have put Bendis on Hellblazer :blink:)

Anyhow I had some ideas that might be more feasible as Hellblazer Presents: Minis/One-shots than full-on ongoings. King Kon-Sten-Tyn as an immortal causing chaos through the ages in his pursuit for power - basically Highlander from the Kurgan's POV. An Occult Take on Trainspotting featuring the Crack Magic guy from Ellis' run. Weird erotic horror thing with Ellie as the lead - I can see a writer like Gail Simone doing something interesting with it. And of course, the untold story of Mange!

All good ideas (particularly the Mange one).

As for Bendis, now that he seems to have fallen out with Marvel, maybe more NotReallyHellblazer or a retro Vertigo HonestthisistooHellblazer would be just the ongoing title for him at DC. You can just see it, can't you? In the first issue the real post-Crisis Constantine is thrown out of the grim looking pub he's been drinking in since 2012, then tracks down the unconvincing stand ins who've imitated him in the various DCU series, ritually killing them one by one in order to rejuvenate himself while chanting the latin for the invocations with a separate balloon for each word...

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Christian    761

Yeah, I can see Vertigo going with that as their big flagship book. Brian Bendis writes for Vertigo for the first time ever! The biggest creator in comics Brian Bendis takes over writing Hellblazer! The big Hellblazer relaunched helmed by mega-superstar writer Brian Bendis! You know DC is taking John Constantine seriously now, because they put their hottest writer on the title.

Then, to show the revitalized nature of Vertigo, they'll publish three (count them, three!) Sandman spin-off books! Vertigo is back to the levels it only saw at its highest point with Brian Bendis deigning to work on a Vertigo monthly book, and lots of Sandman related books.

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dogpoet    476

I think it's been suggested (on this very forum, in fact) that a big part of the reason vertigo started running out of steam a while a while back was because they had to stop milking the Sandman when its tits finally fell off?

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Christian    761

Based on how well IDW and Dark Horse have done attempting to ape the Vertigo model (Bond and Berger), alongside of the success of Image allowing creators to do whatever they want (including doing no actual work for years at a time on a book!), I'd say that Vertigo's revitalization is probably going to end up being a huge disappointment to anyone who is looking back fondly on the glory days of the publisher.

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Christian    761

I thought this was an apt posting. J.M. DeMatteis on the 25th anniversary of Vertigo Comics. So, it was DeMatteis who "discovered" Karen Berger, eh?

Yes, DeMatteis wishes Vertigo a happy anniversary, when their only current title (I do believe) is the first Si Spurrier comic published by Vertigo (Motherland). I guess it could be worse....at least Spurrier is a top-notch writer.

Now, Mercy. There was a comic book worthy of Vertigo Comics. Also interesting how DeMatteis notes that Mercy is now back in-print, published by Dover (not Vertigo).

http://www.jmdematteis.com/2018/02/happy-anniversary-vertigo.html

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dogpoet    476

I find it quite amusing just how much of Vertigo's publishing history is in print by other companies at the moment: given all of the pompous talk Shelly Bond used to come out with about Vertigo's support for edgy and esoteric work no other imprint would touch, the fact that somebody else had to collect Delano's Outlaw Nation and Seagle's The Crusades is just plain pathetic, really.

Nice article, though: I love that DeMatteis is just bigging up his friend and colleague rather than having much to say about Vertigo itself...

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A. Heathen    1,150

That's because Vertigo gives work back to the owners to do what they want after the initial commitment.

Seems very reasonable since many of these would not be so successful to start with, if not for the wider promotion that a vertigo launch gives.

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Christian    761

True. In the days before Image this was true, now most creators would just deal with Image instead.

However, there was a time when Vertigo kept their back-catalog of comics in-print. Now, they let the works go out-of-print (unless it's something like Sandman or Fables, which is guaranteed to sell and they continually release over and over in new editions), so the creators just take their work to another publisher.

Plus, it doesn't address cases like Outlaw Nation, where Vertigo canceled the book due to low sales, never bothered to release on TPB collection of the title, so it was immediately out-of-print, and then Delano shopped the series to another publisher who would collect the series and allow him to add additional material.

So, Vertigo proclaimed that Outlaw Nation was a failure and they couldn't make money off of it, yet another publisher decided to take a chance to keep it in-print.

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Demon Chas08    295

Gonna have to agree with Christian. 

 

Hell, we've not even seen Tefé in the decade since Diggle and Dysart and she like Gemma (the real one as we last saw her under Carey and Mina) buggered of to the same Waffle pocket universe Stephanie Brown and Cassandra Cain were hiding in soon as DiDio and Johns got their grubby hands on our John

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