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Charlie K

Okay, they ask you to plot Hellblazer.

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Scenario: they ask you to plot/write Hellblazer for the next year or two. What do you do?

 

One thing I'd maybe try is to have the stories revolve around various supporting characters getting involved in supernatural crap, and you don't even see John except in glimpses until some kind of climax in the story. That is, Con-job would be like the monster in a horror film (or one of several monsters); you don't see him except in pieces, or in pieces of his handiwork, until late in the story. Sort of like, whatsis, the one Carey wrote recently about the kids who steal the cup for drug money.

 

Another scenario along these lines is a good con story. The main character is the person being conned and you don't even realize the whole thing is a put up job until the end when Constantine appears or reveals he's been there all along and played the main character.

 

You?

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I panic, realizing that I'm going to lose all of my new(ish) internet friends!

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I'd do a story about a Metropolitan Police officer called Angela Dodson, who's been having apocalyptic visions, dreams about angels falling from heaven and is being courted by a dark, handsome, yet vaguely menacing, stranger.

She's the key to something big but will Constantine work out what it is in time?

 

I'd also try to make the First of The Fallen a viable threat with an eerie air of menace, instead of a 2nd rate pantomime villain.

 

There would be lots of 1-2 issue stories set in Britain's dark corners where desperate people fall between society's cracks and into the seedy occult underworld.

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Yeah. Tour of the UK. Simple as that.

Occasional single issues or vignettes within issues to tell us how key characters are doing. At least one issue per year dedicated to Gemma.

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More world-touring (staying as far away from Serbia, though) John, please!

 

 

I love the "Laughing Magician" scene from the first issue, it was brilliant. I want to see a return to that greatness. 's why i'm so fond of Third Worlds by Carey.

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Tour of the UK, this sounds great, but is the UK that dire?

(Or you just mean it could be.)

 

Oh yes.

From Avebury to Zetland.

 

There's the antiquities and the old haunted mansions.

But also sinister places like Jodrell Bank, Portmeirion, Norwich and Roslyn Chapel.

We've had football stadia death sites.

But there's morose places like Lynton and Lynmouth. Exmoore. Norwich. Glasgow or Edinburgh depending on your mood. Carlisle (where they have a cursing stone). And (Tom will no doubt back me up ...) Swansea !

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I really liked the involvement of gods from other cultures into Hellblazer, like that Rainbow Serpent bit, Kali, and death-god-whose-name-I-can't-pronounce-much-less-spell in Engines. Have been an avid lover of mythology since I was a kid, and I really liked the Sandman idea of gods existing because we believe them to.

 

So it'd make me smile muchly if during suggested world tour, round two, some god of the non-monastic variety crossed his path. Or more than one, from different cultures, that'd be shneat.

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john used to have the ghost friends up to visit him... what happened to them?

i'd give john some distant relatives that are also dealing with their constantine curse in their own ways--possibly a nephew who is unaware of his history yet he's compeled to dabble in some low level magic that eventually gets him into some trouble. In the meantime, he becomes acquainted with john through the cultish and highly exaggerated tales of John Constantine thru the filter of legendary rumour. This would be an opportunity to flirt with the nostalgia of "Lapdogs and Englishmen" era Constantine and flesh out the time of JC as a singer in a punk band.

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I would definitely have Constantine do a round the world tour. I would try to incorporate as much of the local history and mythos of each stop as the story would allow. Although I wouldn't have it contain too many supernatural elements but it would need to have a certain amount of brutality in it. Honestly I would try to make it pretty much a character piece while still moving the story along. Plus I would love to see a whole issue with John and Abby Holland talking about their past and perhaps closing the door on the strange relationship those two have. Besides Abby there wouldn't be any other cameos from past characters. That's my dream Hellblazer story anyway.

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Tom and Adrian's ideas appeal strongly to me. I'd definitely get John back to Newcastle at some point (probably not play too heavily on the mythology of the Astra incident, although it'd inevitably get referenced at some point) during his tour of the UK, just because I think it's a city which'd look great in a comic. Dirty, grimy, lots of nice old buildings for the artist to go to town on, and a rich working-class culture into which JC'd slot nicely. Nothing too melodramatically apocalyptic, and I'd definitely want to keep Heaven/Hell out of things as best I could - the Ellis run would probably be the closest, in terms of tone and 'feel' to what I'd like to do, but I wouldn't want a straight re-run of what he did - I'd play with the grubby crime-noir-with-monsters idea a bit though. A vague social-commentary subtext would be nice - nothing too heavy-handed, but allow John's working-class background and innate socialism to show through, at least a little - and definitely plenty of one- or two-part 'stand-alone' stories. They'd be part of a larger story-arc in a very loose sense - there'd have to be a reason for John to be wandering around the country, if nothing else - but I'd enjoy writing a few more-or-less self-contained stories for a little while, at least (of course, there'd be nothing to stop there being a meta-arc which reveals itself after the fact, as long as the original issues read well in and of themselves). I'd keep it in the UK, for the most part, I think, simply because there are whole regions of Britain we've never really seen John explore before (err...practically anywhere north of the Watford Gap which isn't Liverpool, for a start), and his Englishness is part of the appeal of the character - I'd like to play that out against a backdrop other than just London, for a change. I wouldn't make it too self-referential, either - there'd be the occasional appearance by long-term cast members like Chas, Gemma et al, but they wouldn't dominate the book at all.

 

I've just decided, in fact. John'd be revisiting a variety of places Mucous Membrane toured back in the 70s - some decent little punk-era flashbacks, right there - clearing up messes he left behind, getting nostalgic, getting older. No pussying around - here's a guy in his 50s, and starting to feel it. It's time he looked back on his life properly, and tried to come to terms with where it's brought him.

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I've just decided, in fact. John'd be revisiting a variety of places Mucous Membrane toured back in the 70s - some decent little punk-era flashbacks, right there - clearing up messes he left behind, getting nostalgic, getting older. No pussying around - here's a guy in his 50s, and starting to feel it. It's time he looked back on his life properly, and tried to come to terms with where it's taken him.

I would LOVE to see more punk flashbacks :biggrin:

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I wouldn't want it to be over-done, but it's an era of John's life which we know relatively little about - the basic framework is there, and there've been a few glimpses of it over the years, but there's plenty of room to do a few stories which look back at that time without making everything too cast in stone.

 

Plus, I like punk John, and 70s Britain would be an interesting time & place in which to set a story. As 'consequences of youthful mistakes' go, I wouldn't follow the full-on 'Son of Man' route, but I could certainly see myself putting together a story in which John has to deal with the long-term consequences - emotional, supernatural, interpersonal, whatever - of things he did as a younger man. It's been done before, sure, but I think the theme could stand being looked at again from a different angle. If it was done properly, like.

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You're less shallow than I, punk John would be a fanservice delight to me hehe. But I also wouldn't want it to be over the top to the point where "punk" just becomes a glorified gimmick, plus we already know Mucous Membrane might have sounded like pure crap anyway. It'd just be interesting to see more of how the younger John helped to make the older John.

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I'd take him to Iraq. No, seriously, hear me out.

Some memorable moments in HB have been rife with social commentary, and the chaotic situation in Iraq (& the rest of the middle-east) could be used as a front for various occult goings-on. It could also be used to put John in opposition to "God" (who plays both sides in the war) - maybe the Forces Of Heaven want to boost religiosity, and don't care how many they have to torch to get there. They could be playing both sides, inciting Muslim terrorists and American neo-cons (and even Israeli fundies), maybe with some apocalyptic vision in mind. And of course there's lots of OTHER sects etc in the area.

 

I honestly think that could work.

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Doesn't work for me, but that's largely because I was never overly fond of the 'Forces of Heaven/Forces of Hell' stuff in the first place. It works best when it's just alluded to, or only a few small parts of the mythology are used (the 'Eden' issue was quite a good example of this, for me), rather than when the whole story revolves around some kind of cosmic conflict. To me, at least.

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Hired. Lock Mark in a room with Tom and Ade and don't let them come out until they've plotted twelve issues. We'll slip food and booze and smokes in through a hole in the door and they can piss out the window.

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None of us smoke.

 

Some grass would be nice, though. And come on - at least give us a bucket...

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I'd take him to Iraq. No, seriously, hear me out.

Some memorable moments in HB have been rife with social commentary, and the chaotic situation in Iraq (& the rest of the middle-east) could be used as a front for various occult goings-on. It could also be used to put John in opposition to "God" (who plays both sides in the war) - maybe the Forces Of Heaven want to boost religiosity, and don't care how many they have to torch to get there. They could be playing both sides, inciting Muslim terrorists and American neo-cons (and even Israeli fundies), maybe with some apocalyptic vision in mind. And of course there's lots of OTHER sects etc in the area.

 

I honestly think that could work.

I'd like this. I think it would be interesting to take him into a world where ancient Mesopotamian gods and demons are aroused by the heated conflict and devastation in the region. I'd also bring in a connection to the Hopi myths and prophecies that have odd parallels to the Sumerian.

 

I also like the idea of a tour of England and its history (possibly similar to the mystical tour of London in Alan Moore's FROM HELL). Also, I agree that it is time for Constantine to start thinking about his legacy. What is he going to leave behind?

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I'd like to see a more expanding supporting cast of friends and allies. When Ennis took over he added Nige, Header and Ric. The last few years we've got Angie and not much else. They added a character in "Engines" and killed him off within a few panels. I loved all the magicians coming together to prevent the shadow dog, but most of them are dead or gone. I like Gemma, but she's being used an awful lot lately.

 

Also, do more stories on John Constantine: The Myth. Basically showing how others view him, and really only have him as a backup player. It's been done before but not so much as other stories.

 

And I think it would be cool to see more small adventures with John. I mean, how many times has he saved the world? While I do greatly like those stories, I also like the ones where not a whole lot is at stake or he's just kind of bumming around.

 

I'd also do another serial killer story, mabye just a one shot. I loved the family man issues, and would like to see some more in that vein. Mabye mix it with what was mentined before and have John be a supporting player while the killer tells the story.

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some would argue that Jenkins did the very thing you're asking for. Most of those characters haven't really been used by the writers that followed, with a few exceptions.

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some would argue that Jenkins did the very thing you're asking for. Most of those characters haven't really been used by the writers that followed,  with a few exceptions.

 

Which thing? The supporting characters, small adventures or mythical constantine?

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