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JohnMcMahon

John Constantine, Hellblazer #3

Your marks out of 10 for John Constantine, Hellblazer #3 please...  

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  1. 1. Your marks out of 10 for John Constantine, Hellblazer #3 please...

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JOHN CONSTANTINE: HELLBLAZER #3

image.png

written by SIMON SPURRIER
art by AARON CAMPBELL
cover by JOHN PAUL LEON


John has found the cause of the magical madness slaughtering gang members on Peckham Rye...and it’s just one guy! How hard can it be to stop him? Well, when the gangs get involved and the source of his power becomes clear, the answer turns out to be “Near impossible, actually!”

ON SALE 01.22.20 
$3.99 US | 32 PAGES
FC | DC BLACK LABEL

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Not a lot to say on this one, just a nice tasty serving of Hellblazer!

Constantine dealing with the woes of public transport was amusing and I guess it's nice to have another ex-boyfriend officially in the books for those who try to play silly buggers about these things ?  John's new crew are interesting but I'm looking forward to Chas showing his face down the road! 

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Sigh...It seems that Spurrier is the one who doesn't understand Blake, and not just his characters.

Calling someone "mad" in a comic featuring a main character who has fought demons and angels, and been to Hell seems kind of like an Avenger in the Marvel Universe telling Thor that someone is crazy for believing in gods....

Spurrier is making the same mistake as those who believe that George Orwell was a monster because he wrote 1984. As a writer, it seems Spurrier would be particularly well-suited to understand that an author's fictional creations don't always speak for the author.

Blake was creating a juxtaposition in his Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience work between the One, True God and the demiurge. It's about the struggle between human nature in trying to live up to our holiness (created in the image of the One, True God) while fighting against our base-materialism (our fallen human nature from the demiurge).

The Songs of Experience portion is mostly written from the perspective of the demiurge (the enemy), and that is why there is such a tonal clash between the Songs of Innocence collection and the Songs of Experience collection.

Spurrier references "A Poison Tree" in this issue. Blake seems to be making a comment on the French Revolution in this poem, actually.

There is the contrast between anger and vengeance in the poem. Blake isn't make any excuses for vengeance or murder. In fact, Blake seems to be portraying such actions as associated with the demiurge "Jehovah" (aka Satan), seeing those negative actions (as opposed to anger) as base emotions that mankind should be fighting against.

In other words, he seems to be saying it's perfectly normal for the lower classes to be angry at the ruling class, but questions where vengeance can lead.

In fact, an atheist like Spurrier would probably heartily approve of Blake's primacy of Reason when considering how vengeance is corrupting.  The revolutionaries gave in to vengeance over Reason.

Spurrier's last quote from Blake was spot-on though.

Sorry. William Blake is my favourite poet and a hero of mine. It's upsetting to see a writer that I respect (Spurrier) making such blatant misunderstandings of a creator's work.

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Outside of the annoyance about Blake, there were a number of aspects to the issue which I enjoyed. I especially like the reveal that John was playing dumb this entire story about not understanding BSL. That's classic John right there.

So, I'm staying at a 7 with this issue. This story-arc didn't really go anywhere, but it showed promise.

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On 1/22/2020 at 1:15 PM, JohnMcMahon said:

Not a lot to say on this one, just a nice tasty serving of Hellblazer!
 

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Constantine dealing with the woes of public transport was amusing and I guess it's nice to have another ex-boyfriend officially in the books for those who try to play silly buggers about these things ?  John's new crew are interesting but I'm looking forward to Chas showing his face down the road! 

 

Flashbacks or as a Ghost...

 

Speaking of Chas, its kina ironic we get Noah filling his shoes considering our reservations about Mr "DO IT!!" 15 years earlier.

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This arc was very much a safe, "back to basics" kind of story but unlike Tynion/Doyle or Oliver's ill-fated attempts to restore John to a Classic Hellblazer kind of feeling after he went full superhero in the New 52, Spurrier's actually been managing to pull it off.

Spurrier's John feels like he could've stepped off the pages of the original Hellblazer, and Spurrier writes a world for him to inhabit more like our own and less like the world of cape-filled skies John had gotten trapped in for the past decade (even with the questionable plot of Old Man John lurking in the shadows and masterminding things)

Hopefully Spurrier makes the run truly his own in his future issues, but for now, it's the most optimistic a new Hellblazer launch has made me thus far.

Though I said similar things about the last two and look how they turned out... but to Spurrier's credit, he's managed to sustain his promise for an entire arc where Oliver's promise began steadily plummeting before his first arc had wrapped.

(Benefits of keeping things contained to three issues instead of trying to stretch it out to six issues, I suppose.)

(I have not reread the Tynion/Doyle Blazer so I don't remember if it was before or after their first arc had wrapped that things all went to hell...)

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I think the Doyle/Tynion run was pretty divisive from the start.

To their credit, they didn't try to write stretched out story-arcs, for the TPB market. Most of their stories were stand-alone.

It never truly had the feel of a John Constantine comic, although I thought it started out pretty well, before it quickly seemed quite pointless.

I never felt that the "Rebirth" book was succeeding in recapturing the spirit of returning John to classic HB status, as it seemed like he was trying too hard to fool readers in to thinking it was a relaunch of the Vertigo book, instead of a watered-down DCU all-ages retread. This was even before it became apparent that Oliver's sole idea was John vs. the Djinn. I give Doyle/Tynion credit for at least trying something different.

Spurrier's book is the first time I felt like I was reading a HB story that is  continuation of the same character from the Vertigo series.

Yes, I definitely give credit to Spurrier for starting out with a three-issue story-arc. I hope to see more one or two-part stories going forward too, like the pre-Azzarello Hellblazer series.

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Gotta, you've summed up my feelings there quite nicely though I'm enjoying Vertigo John causing trouble and am looking forward to finding out what he's really up to.

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On 1/28/2020 at 10:55 AM, Christian said:

I think the Doyle/Tynion run was pretty divisive from the start.

To their credit, they didn't try to write stretched out story-arcs, for the TPB market. Most of their stories were stand-alone.

It never truly had the feel of a John Constantine comic, although I thought it started out pretty well, before it quickly seemed quite pointless.

I never felt that the "Rebirth" book was succeeding in recapturing the spirit of returning John to classic HB status, as it seemed like he was trying too hard to fool readers in to thinking it was a relaunch of the Vertigo book, instead of a watered-down DCU all-ages retread. This was even before it became apparent that Oliver's sole idea was John vs. the Djinn. I give Doyle/Tynion credit for at least trying something different.

Spurrier's book is the first time I felt like I was reading a HB story that is  continuation of the same character from the Vertigo series.

Yes, I definitely give credit to Spurrier for starting out with a three-issue story-arc. I hope to see more one or two-part stories going forward too, like the pre-Azzarello Hellblazer series.

Even if their version if different was misguided and still kissing DiDio's bald head. 

Aside from the fucking Djinn, the hunt for Abby could've been so much more too close and a way resolve it and kill two birds with one stone. But alas it wasn't nor couldn't be the case. Then again, I'd reread that over Fawkes' butchering of the Trenchcoat Brigade and Cold Flame Cult any day (long as I continuously pretend JLDark isn't a thing whatsoever,)

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