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Hellblazer Returns as Part of Sandman Universe

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Si Spurrier is set to write a new Constantine book starting this October, with a one-shot drawn by Marcio Takara that will transition to an ongoing in November with Aaron Campbell on art.

Well it was only a matter of time before DC took John's corpse of their cancelled closet and shocked him back to life. The good news is that at least DC's put a promising writer (and one off my wishlist at that!) behind the wheels though obviously as history of this character shows, a talented writer may not always translate to a good Hellblazer story.

https://www.dccomics.com/blog/2019/07/09/hellblazer-enters-the-sandman-universe-this-october-from-dc

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BURBANK, CA (July 9, 2019)—Last year DC launched the Sandman Universe, a series of books curated by legendary author Neil Gaiman, bringing in new creative voices to expand the mythos of the Dreaming. Today DC announces a new addition to this universe starring the infamous John Constantine. It all begins October 30 with a special one-shot issue, THE SANDMAN UNIVERSE PRESENTS HELLBLAZER #1 from writer Simon Spurrier and artist Marcio Takara, followed by the ongoing series JOHN CONSTANTINE, HELLBLAZER from Spurrier and artist Aaron Campbell this November. 

“Year One was just the start. Now you get to inhabit the worlds, books, and houses we built for you,” says Gaiman. “I was thrilled when I was told that John Constantine—the original, demon-haunted one who first showed up in SWAMP THING’s “American Gothic” story—is coming back to his murky and dangerous roots. More magic and more darkness and not a few gods and dreams are here for you to explore.”

 

“HELLBLAZER’s the one title I’ve always aspired to write. Ever since John Constantine slunk from Alan Moore’s brain into SWAMP THING, dropping secrets like grenades, bewildering vegetables, and spinning mysteries, I’ve been drawn to his misadventures with eerie gravity,” says Spurrier. “John Constantine is the cynic’s magician: a man of selfish drives and cataclysmic self-knowledge, who tries to do the right thing in spite of himself, in spite of the cost, in spite of the vile and violent world he occupies. He may not be the hero we need, but he’s definitely the bastard we deserve.

“In this new era, everything is different. Everyone and everything he loved and knew is dead or despises him. Alone, angry, older, and wiser, he beholds a world that is clearlygoing insane. The shadows are deeper than ever. So he does what he does. He breathes smoke. He grins to himself. And he goes to work.”

 

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Sandman presents Hellblazer?

Dearie me. Still, Si Spurrier will probably do a better Hellblazer than James Tynion IV managed, I suppose...

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Si Spurrier is a good choice. I can't see him being anything worse than what we saw on HB comics since the beginning of the Milligan run. That's not really a high bar though.

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1 hour ago, Christian said:

Si Spurrier is a good choice. I can't see him being anything worse than what we saw on HB comics since the beginning of the Milligan run. That's not really a high bar though.

Same. Considering a decade of shit between Milligan, the New52/DCYou & Rebirth (with a fraction exception to Seeley), there's nowhere to go but up* for the moment

 

 

*Unless Cacarot (DiDio) fucks it all to to the shitter for another episode of why he'll never be Jim Shooter (and Paul Levitz was a whole fool for giving him a job in Editoral in the first place all those years ago)

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An excellent man for the job, let's hope that Sandman Universe thing can save the day again.

 

(it would totally amuse me to have all the different Constantines turn out to be bad dreams caused by Milligan's Bullet.)

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4 hours ago, A. Heathen said:

An excellent man for the job, let's hope that Sandman Universe thing can save the day again.

 

(it would totally amuse me to have all the different Constantines turn out to be bad dreams caused by Milligan's Bullet.)

Shiiit. I'd take those 4 years as a coma dream at this point 

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5 hours ago, A. Heathen said:

An excellent man for the job, let's hope that Sandman Universe thing can save the day again.

 

(it would totally amuse me to have all the different Constantines turn out to be bad dreams caused by Milligan's Bullet.)

That would be truly awesome, but I can see a more soapish approach working as well...

Issue one: Piffy finds that Patrick DuffyJohn has been hiding in her shower for four years, lulling Larry Hagman and Joe Don Baker into a false sense of security...

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I've not been following any of the Sandman Universe stuff, are they mature readers titles?  Will we be getting a Constantine with the training bra taken off again?  Spurrier is an inspired choice to take on the series, so I'm hopeful.  

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“In this new era, everything is different. Everyone and everything he loved and knew is dead or despises him. Alone, angry, older, and wiser, he beholds a world that is clearly going insane. The shadows are deeper than ever. So he does what he does. He breathes smoke. He grins to himself. And he goes to work.”


This shit gets me hot, angry John stomping around a Brexit Britan in the shadow of Trump's America has so much potential. 

Constantine sat slumped over a filthy bar, snarling at a party political broadcast on behalf of Boris Johnson's Conservative party while a gang of Gammons sat next to him, bleating on about the good old days and the problems with foreigners, wear down the very last of his frayed nerves... 

Just think of all the new friends he's going to make and how they're all going to die horribly! 

  

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Yes, the Sandman Universe books are mature readers titles.

Hellblazer, unfortunately, won't be though, because DC is hoping to start a Sandman Babies spin-off line to appeal to young-adult readers, and this Hellblazer book will be the first step in that direction. No, I'm kidding.

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Yes, I would enjoy seeing the continuity be explained away as the post-Vertigo Hellblazer comics being John's version of Hell. He really did shoot himself, and he went to Hell, and that's what the New 52, Convergence, and Rebirth series were. No reason to go in to any big explanations or anything, just mentioning that he's spent the past few years in Hell, and it wasn't pretty, but it's all over now.

I'd probably remain pessimistic until the book comes out though. We've been burned a number of times before. We've heard interviews with creators talking about bringing back the JC from the Delano days before....only to get issues of John sitting around musing about a flying shoe, and story-arcs about "mysterious Djinn" stretched out to twelve chapters. So, even though Spurrier is a good writer, I wouldn't get excited about anyone's words until I saw the book.

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Since its Gaiman and Spurrier, I trust their word deeply compared to Oliver (and I wished he was given Swamp Thing instead of them putting the old guard in Len Wein for it to get the Abby stuff sorted out and close the damned Djinn shite there) and Seeley did fine despite the shoehorned capes and poor art after Merino.

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Spurrier is a better writer, overall, than Oliver. However, Oliver was coming off of the best work of his career, Last Gang in Town from Vertigo, when he took over HB. If he could have channeled even half of his rage over the current economic situation in our world in to his JC story, it would have been much more fondly remembered. Instead, writing Constantine seemed to sap all of the creative energy out of him. So, I'll believe it when I see it, I say.

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17 hours ago, Christian said:

Spurrier is a better writer, overall, than Oliver. However, Oliver was coming off of the best work of his career, Last Gang in Town from Vertigo, when he took over HB. If he could have channeled even half of his rage over the current economic situation in our world in to his JC story, it would have been much more fondly remembered. Instead, writing Constantine seemed to sap all of the creative energy out of him. So, I'll believe it when I see it, I say.

Given restrictions and mandating capes (i.e. the JL cameo both his one-shot and Seeley's 3 parter and the final issues with Huntress), sap out is an understatement 

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2000AD is all I know of Si Spurrier's work. What else would you guys recommend as something to track down?

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For continuity purposes his recent work on The Dreaming, but also The Spire and Coda.

 

I liked what I read of Gutsville although that never ended.

 

His book Contact had an air of the Constantine.

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-I would also recommend his X-Men: Legacy run, which was a solo series for the X-Men character Legion. It was quite different than any of the usual X-title fare. While I haven't watched the TV show, I'm pretty sure that a lot of the show's concept of the Legion character is based on Spurrier's reinterpretation of said character, because the show's character seems to have very little based in Chris Claremont's original characterization (besides the basics).

It's really about trying to find your place, or purpose, in the world when you feel like (or are) an outsider. It tackles the fact that David Haller deals with both mental illness and being a mutant, and his attempts to move beyond such, by making his purpose to find a way (an actual way, and not just by fighting) for a minority like mutants to gain acceptance in the "normal world" of humanity.

-Plus, Spurrier's run on X-Force was pretty good. Once again, don't let preconceptions about "X-Men" and "X-Force" make you prejudge the title. Spurrier did some quite good work with that series, using the original concept of X-Force back in the bad ol' Liefield days to create a commentary on violence. It shared a lot more in common with his Legion series than with the usual X-Men books. Also, there were some wild and crazy plots that Spurrier used. This one new mutant character (I won't spoil the plot), named Forget-Me-Not, was a very clever idea.

-And, there was his Cry Havoc series from Image, which I highly recommend, and was a good showcase for Spurrier's use of his politics, mixed with elements of mythology and folklore.

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I'd recommend Spurrier's Ghost Rider: Danny Ketch mini-series as well, it came out about 10 years ago during Jason Aaron's run on the main Ghost Rider series.  

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