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Hellblazer #216

Your marks out of 10 for #216  

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  1. 1. Your marks out of 10 for #216

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Annoying as a few sentences in a few of those reviews are, it's nice to see HB getting so much attention, for once. :-)

 

I'm curious to see if that will have any kind of influence on the number of issues sold...

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I agree.

 

And where have you been, Hmpf?

 

 

I gave #216 a 7. I don't think the writing on this issue quite stood by itself, but I'm curious to see where Mina goes with this. If she's a crime writer, there may be mysteries to unfold, including the questions John asks toward the end of the book, which, given the length of the story arc, will most likely give way to more.

 

The situation with John being approached with a problem is a welcome convention since [who's?] run, and Chris Cole's problem is a classic "misuse of magic with too little knowledge" one, perhaps the best thing in this issue, well thought out and explicated. John's bit of magic is so familiar, odd symbols and patterns drawn with commonplace materials in a normal room, though Mina innovated with the random liquid on top of a bar. (I've seen enough circles and pentagrams drawn with chalk on the floors of flats that I'm liking this as a change.)

 

The one thing that threw me was that Mina had John kicking ass on the bad guys so quickly. I think I would've liked it better if it'd taken him some issues more to really get into that, given the length of the arc. But then I don't know what she's got planned and what's happened here may fit well into the total arc. Like for many of you, the later part of the book didn't quite work for me.

 

I'll reserve judgment on how she handles dialogue. I thought her handling of John's mood was unconventional but realistic. John's normally a relaxed man, so I'm not used to seeing him tense, bored and unable to enjoy a drink. However, I could strongly identify with him there, and thought it was logical that someone who needed an outlet for pent up energy and something to do with his mind might welcome as he did a problem like Chris Cole's. I'll be watching with interest what Denise Mina does differently with John's personality, and I might be very happy with it if Manco is as faithful to her intentions as he was here.

 

I didn't like Leo Manco's art on this as well as in previous issues, but some of the panels were very good. Because his work varies so much just from panel to panel, it's hard not to talk about it page by page.

 

Some have said Manco doesn't tell stories well, but I have no problem following his art, and I'm the guy who usually gets lost on ambiguities. The only problem I have is confusion when some characters look like others or don't consistently look like themselves (the ghosts in this issue and the last especially).

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Hellblazer #216

 

"I didn’t bother with Mike Carey’s run, which is nothing against him (I dug Lucifer), but I was simply tired of the lack of cohesion in the series through the shifting creative teams."

 

"Mina creates a sullen atmosphere, one that envelopes an unsuspecting troubled soul left with no choice but to turn to Constantine for help. It’s all old hat to Constantine, who immediately sees through the stranger’s problem to the root of the conflict, all without leaving his barstool."

 

"However, Leonardo Manco stands as one of the few artists that can make me want to check out a book solely for the art. Manco brings a grainy, darkly realistic feel to any book he graces with his work,"

 

"I would also like to note that the new cover artist, Greg Lauren, gives the book a fresh look up front, a colossal improvement over Tim Bradstreet’s colored photographs. "

 

"Lauren gives the cover a pulp feel, both in his style and in the literal crumpled grain of the cover, making it appear aged and worn, much like Constantine himself."

 

Right.

 

Lack of cohesion so I will not pick up the longest most cohesive story of the title's history.

 

Repetitive Azzarello (one thing he was not) but Mina's excellent invocation of classic Hellblazer setting (what else does "old hat" mean?) is somehow new ?

Ooh here's your cake, can I eat it ?

 

Manco makes you want to check out a book except when he doesn't?

 

This Lauren cover is pulpish, but it is not an "improvement" merely a change.

And anyone who calls Tim's work coloured photographs is merely an idiot who ought not to engage in the pretence of being a reviewer.

 

Now I agree with the enthusiasm for Mina's debut but there's no need to knock what has gone before. Especially in such erroneous terms.

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What the shite is that wanker talking about? Tim Bradstreet is the best cover artist on Hellblazer since Glen. This run is too early to call anything? I hope for the best and expect the worst. This was a good start however. She brought us into this story with some archtypical Johnny moments. Where she's going to go from there and what may yet come afterward that's going to determine where this run sits in the history. I mean not to down the man I've spent two posts praising but he and M.C. Mike, and Madman Manco didn't have a lot of competition from the creative team they followed. That being said they could have still held their own against even the greats of the Bastards previous scribes and artistes.

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Adam White wrote: Hellblazer #216

"I would also like to note that the new cover artist, Greg Lauren, gives the book a fresh look up front, a colossal improvement over Tim Bradstreet’s colored photographs. "

 

 

Wow, from the sound of that you would think I must have taken a shit in this guy's bowl of Chili.

 

Definitley NOT a fan I'm guessing.

 

*sigh*

 

- TB

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That is one of the most ludicrous reviews I have ever read and good support for my continuing view that some opinions are worth more than others (an argument I shall not get into on this thread, dont worry!).

 

I'm going to hold off making judgments on Mina too, for the time being.

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Well, that's one person's opinion, Tim B. = We like your covers.

 

But I still cant comment on this issue - have to go to several comic stores just to get a copy and i dont know what the odds are .....

sigh.

 

(yes, James - they dont want to hold a copy for me -- even if i give my cellphone number, my home and office address and numbers ... and i have no idea why. I dont think I look disreputable)

 

but .... how can I see the score, without voting? maybe i should pm John McM...

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Adam White wrote: Hellblazer #216

"I would also like to note that the new cover artist, Greg Lauren, gives the book a fresh look up front, a colossal improvement over Tim Bradstreet’s colored photographs. "

Wow, from the sound of that you would think I must have taken a shit in this guy's bowl of Chili.

Definitley NOT a fan I'm guessing.

*sigh*

- TB

 

I still laugh every time I Greg Lauren's covers thinking about a quote from Rogan somewhere on here.

"Is that a Greg Lauren cover, Rogan?"

"It will be as soon as I draw it on a crumpled up paper bag."

I'm paraphrasing.

 

First of all, that review got everything it possibly could wrong!

 

Secondly, "coloured photographs"? I'm not sure if I understand that quote correctly. Personally, it sounds like a compliment (even though it wasn't meant to be). I mean, if your artwork is so good that it can be compared to an actual photograph (unless you're an expressionist) I'd think that was a good thing.

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Here are the results so far, Gen:

 

10 [ 0 ] [0.00%]

9 [ 4 ] [15.38%]

8 [ 11 ] [42.31%]

7 [ 9 ] [34.62%]

6 [ 1 ] [3.85%]

5 [ 1 ] [3.85%]

4 [ 0 ] [0.00%]

3 [ 0 ] [0.00%]

2 [ 0 ] [0.00%]

1 [ 0 ] [0.00%]

Total Votes: 26

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See, this wouldn't happen in the good old golden days of Image comics - we'd have a Tim Bradstreet variant as well... ;)

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I think its good that there are positive reviews online about Hellblazer.

 

I dont care what comic the reveiwer likd best previously, but RIGHT NOW Hellblazer is getting good reviews.

 

Its unfortunate that some reviewers need to be negative about previous creators, in order to enhance their opinion of the current ones, rather than usuing language to decribe the positives.

 

I too ahve reviewed the comic, for an online website, I make mention of it for a column in the Bristish Science Fiction Associations magazine, and I have posted shortened reccomendations on a number of forums and my live journal.

 

Its hard to get your excitement over to new or potential readers, sometimes, and I can understand why a reveiwer would not say:

 

'The cover is nice, but not as nice as Tim Bradstreet'

 

Thats not my approach, I thought the cover was good, detailed, as I said in my comment here, and a bot different. Its not a pising contest.

 

anyhow, the most important factor, regardless of the interesting crtiques of reviews, which overall are positive, is that hopefully NEW readers may get enticed to buy the title, and if so, they will at least then have the pleasure of fining so many graphic novels to choose from,

 

James

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I agree.

 

And where have you been, Hmpf?

 

Here and there... there, mostly. ;-) I take my fandoms in waves - got too many things I'm interested in to keep up to date on all of them all the time. So, I get Hellblazer obsession month, followed by Doctor Who obsession month, followed by Farscape obsession month, followed by manga obsession month, leading up to Hellblazer obsession month again. Rinse and repeat.

 

I do lurk here, though.

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Right now I'm in "Point Blank" obsession month, since it was FINALLY released on DVD.

 

A classic example of American and British inginuity.

 

Lee Marvin and John Boorman, oh yeah.

 

- TB

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I saw that screened at the British Crime Film festival last year followed by John Boorman meeting Don Westlake for the first time (!)

That was a great experience.

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The review by Adam White came across to me as a puff piece that DC paid to have published. It says all the things that you'd expect for someone trying to lure readers in who were former readers or people that are aware of Hellblazer but never read it.

 

But I'm very happy that Hellblazer is getting good reviews and coverage seemingly more than there was around at the time of the movie's release.

 

Personally I liked this issue a lot, a solid 8 from me. The pacing could have been tighter and a couple of panels seemed disjointed and unclear as to what was supposed to be depicted in them. But the story was very good, a terrific horror tale with enough mystery about what the deal with Steve Evans is and why he's fucking with Constantine to keep you hooked for the next issue.

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That is one of the most ludicrous reviews I have ever read and good support for my continuing view that some opinions are worth more than others (an argument I shall not get into on this thread, dont worry!).

Nobody would disagree with you on what you just wrote here.

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I saw that screened at the British Crime Film festival last year followed by John Boorman meeting Don Westlake for the first time (!)

That was a great experience.

 

How VERY fucking cool. And he's still a master in my opinion.

 

On another note - I just had to contact Adam White at ComicsCritique.com to ask him why he decided to take such a swing at me and my work. Adam was very sorry to have spokun thusly and assured me that the review that was posted was a draft that got put out on the net unexpectedly - That it was an early draft. He took pains in assuring me that the comment pertaining to me was simply filler that he intended to clean up before publishing.

 

Who's to know for sure? But it would explain why the piece may seem inaccurate, or puffy, or rude.

 

All I know is that honor is restored. I accepted his apology and that is that.

He seems like a good bloke. No harm done.

 

I too am glad to see that HB is getting some positive press, Hell, any press at all.

Hopefully Mina and Manco will continue to raise their game and provide us with a quintessential

chapter in the life of our favorite con artist.

They seem off to a good start.

- TB

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More reviews :

 

Impressive debuts abound

 

 

 

Hellblazer #216

Vertigo/DC Comics

$3.75 ($2.75 US)

**** 1/2 (out of five)

 

John Constantine isn’t an easy man to know, but Denise Mina can read him like a book.

 

The award-winning British crime novelist behind such titles as Garnethill, Deception and Field Of Blood debuts this month as the new writer of Vertigo’s flagship title, Hellblazer and she kicks it off with a classic.

 

Settling in for another rotten night in another rotten pub, Constantine is tracked down through a “friend” of his by a man named Chris Cole who has a problem of a dark, magical nature.

 

Cole tells of how a miscast spell he learned from a girl he met one night at a party has led to a string of deaths and how the pain of each of those dead is crushing him with emotions. Constantine offers Cole a way out, but is also curious as to why this “friend”, a man he’s never met would involve him.

 

Peppered with possibilities, with part one of Empathy Is The Enemy, Mina has set the stage for what will no doubt be another classic in the Hellblazer library.

http://www.metronews.ca/books_review.asp?id=13517

 

Hellblazer #216

 

Anyone following Mike Carey was going to have a hard time convincing me to stick with this book with my limited budget for comics. But newcomer Denise Mina has managed the impossible with this issue. The story is reminiscent of classic stories by Garth Ennis and Warren Ellis in that it starts out in a bar with a novice to the world of magic telling John a story of something that needs sorting. But it goes someplace else entirely and where it will end... well, I can't say just yet. But I'll be sticking around to find out.

http://www.insidepulse.com/articles/46030

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Hellblazer #216

DC/Vertigo, Out Now

 

 

Good ‘Hellblazer’ writers are hard to come by. John Constantine is (in comics if not at the movies) a British character owned by an American company with very distinctive character traits and voice, who inhabits a world that’s part working class underworld, part magical fantasy. It’s a hard trick for a NY based company more accustomed to putting out books about Superman or Batman to find the writing talent for such an odd ongoing series.

 

Vertigo lucked out, then, with Mike Carey, whose long run on the title ended last month. A British writer who had given the company a successful ‘Sandman’ spin-off in the rather good ‘Lucifer’, Carey took elements from previous versions of Constantine, along with aspects of related Vertigo titles, to create stories that felt like classic ‘Hellblazer’ and touched on numerous aspects of the series’ history. Carey’s writing pleased long-time ‘Hellblazer’/Vertigo fans, and remains a hard act to follow.

 

#216 is the first issue by Scottish crime writer Denise Mina, and makes for a confident debut. The first instalment of a seven-part story, ‘Empathy is the Enemy’, this issue nonetheless works as a satisfying single issue story to hook any newcomers trying the book, or tempt back anyone considering dropping it post-Carey.

 

Mina’s script ticks all the boxes, a story of an ordinary man who learns a little ‘harmless’ magic, which leads to a whole world of pain. He starts with good – well, fairly neutral – intentions, and ends up weighed down with guilt for the terrible series of events that follow. This is typical ‘Hellblazer’ magic, no whizzy lights and power bolts but unnerving consequences and a heavy cost manifested through grim domestic horror. There’s some really nasty, disturbing stuff in here – just as it should be.

 

Constantine solves the poor guy’s problem, but that too has consequences of its own, and opens up a bigger story. Mina’s characterisation of Constantine is spot on – an aimless individual who doesn’t look for trouble, but is perfectly willing to hit back hard when trouble finds him. Most importantly, this is John’s voice we’re hearing – Mina nails the character from the very first page.

 

Art wise, Leonardo Manco carries over from the back end of Carey’s run. A change from either the scratchy Vertigo house-style of old or the usual post-Mignola look of most horror comics, Manco’s artwork has a fuzzy realism, like smudged newspaper photos. It’s a good fit, glimpses of the horror emerging from deep patches of black ink.

 

Long time ‘Hellblazer’ readers can rest easy, while newcomers could well find themselves impressed – the book is in safe hands. Here’s hoping that, providing Mina can keep this quality level up, this team will stay on the book for a good long run.

 

Mark Clapham is co-author of the book 'Who's Next: An Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to Doctor Who', which is available from Amazon.co.uk in Britain or from Amazon.com in America.

http://www.shinyshelf.com/article/3/4/1183

 

 

HELLBLAZER #216: Ahhhh, Scottish writers, how I love thee. Denise Mina’s first issue of the long, long-running horror title starts things off with a short story about a man who gets himself in over his head with magic, which is fairly traditional around these here parts. It’s done well, though, and starts off a longer storyline which seems to be about some Scottish version of Constantine being a bastard to the Sting who manages the tantric without the sex. Leonardo Manco’s art is nice but unclear, and the whole thing feels like a Good but unspectacular start to something that has the potential to be much better. That said, what the hell is going on with Greg Lauren’s cover, with the leggy brunette in the background who seems to have no connection to the story whatsoever?

http://www.comixexperience.com/savblog/savblog.html

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Comic Review by Dana Place

 

Hellblazer #216

 

Writer: Denise Mina

Artist: Leonardo Manco

Colorist: Lee Loughridge

Letters: Jared K. Fletcher

 

 

 

Plot: A man is guided to John Constantine hoping that he can help him solve a unique problem with the black arts. A seemingly harmless chant has horrible consequences for its user and pulls John together with an old friend.

 

 

 

Review: Hellblazer #216 takes the series into unfamiliar territory bringing in Glasgow born crime fiction writer, Denise Mina, to mold the world around John Constantine. She is also the book’s first female writer. A book almost exclusively written by English men, (except for the Brian Azzarello run) priding itself on keeping John’s world very, very, English. But, I am happy to say, that if this issue is an indication, Hellblazer will be fine, better even. While John is the same old dirty, bitter, living just under the surface, Englishman he has always been, Denise Mina brings a depth and sincerity to the characters around him that can only help but enhance the series. You can see her crime novel experience coming out in the way she describes her characters, their experiences and their lives. Pick this book up and follow her run. I think you will most definitely be glad you did.

http://www.stumblebumstudios.com/comic-rev...lblazer-216.htm

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Comic Review by Dana Place

 

A book almost exclusively written by English men, (except for the Brian Azzarello run)

 

 

(and the Grant Morrison 2-parter)

(and the Garth Ennis run)

(and the Eddie Campbell 4-parter)

(and the Paul Jenkins run)

(and the Darko Macan 2-parter)

 

(in fact, a book only ever written for more than one consecutive issue by 3 English men - Jamie Delano, Warren Ellis, and Mike Carey, in stories comprising considerably less than half of the book's run)

 

 

Yep. Spot-on in all key regards.

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Comic Review by Dana Place

 

A book almost exclusively written by English men, (except for the Brian Azzarello run)

 

 

(and the Garth Ennis run)

(and the Eddie Campbell 4-parter)

(and the Paul Jenkins run)

(and the Darko Macan 2-parter)

 

(in fact, a book only ever written by 3 English men - Jamie Delano, Warren Ellis, and Mike Carey, in stories comprising considerably less than half of the book's run)

 

 

 

 

Smartypants.

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Not so smart. I had to go back and correct myself, when I thought about it for a minute.

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Not so smart. I had to go back and correct myself, when I thought about it for a minute.

 

 

The Paul Jenkins part, right? I was going to correct you, but I thought that someone would point out some weird loophole about Wales, and I would get pwned.

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