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tweak

TPB Suggestion?

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I haven't touched Hellblazer since I was in HS, and I'm looking at picking up a TPB to get back into it. I'm really looking for a good read, not to have every issue ever printed.

 

Any suggestions?

 

thanks,

 

tweak

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Dangerous Habits is the old standby, or Haunted if you fancy something really gruesome. Son of Man is an absurd comedy that's nothing much like Hellblazer at all, but if you keep that in mind it's worth picking up...

 

The order of TPBs (just for your own knowledge, not saying you should buy them all):

 

JAMIE DELANO

Original Sins (ends on an uncollected cliffhanger)

 

GARTH ENNIS

Dangerous Habits (good standalone, read the rest of his in order though)

Fear and Loathing

Tainted Love

Damnation's Flame

Rake at the Gates of Hell

 

Son of Man (standalone from previous issues)

 

WARREN ELLIS

Haunted (this and the next one are standalone)

Setting Sun

 

BRIAN AZZARELLO

Hard Time (A fresh start, but read in order after this one)

Good Intentions

Freezes Over

Highwater

 

Coming soon:

All His Engines (a Hellblazer graphic novel, hardback)

Rare Cuts (a "best of" featuring issues by Grant Morrison and Jamie Delano!)

Constantine: The Hellblazer Collection (a fucking ripoff)

 

Welcome to the boards, by the way! Feel free to go Down the Local if you want to chat about things other than Hellblazer. And come back to let us know whether it lived up to your memories.

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Thanks. I'm gonna grab Dangerous Habits, Fear and Loathing, and Rare Cuts since I'm a huge Neil Gaiman fan.

 

Is the current run worthwhile picking up? If so, is now a good time to start? Or is the run in the middle of a story arc right now?

 

tweak

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Just remember that there are some uncollected issues between Dangerous Habits and Tainted Love, in which John and Kit fall deeper in love.

 

The current run is really great, but it's in the middle of a storyline right now (part 2 of 4) and the writer (Mike Carey, you might know him from Lucifer) is pretty into continuity. Each issue usually follows on from the last, so that each new story is built on the bones of its predecessors.

 

I'd recommend picking up issue 200, 201, 202 and the latest issue, 203. All you need to know about the plotline before issue 200 was that John lost his memory and was forced into giving up a day of his life in the service of a demon named Rosacarnis, and that long ago he defeated a demon named Nergal. If issue 200 seems really bizarre, don't panic - it's supposed to be a mystery, with John finding himself trapped in parallel-universe lives with some of the women he's been attached to during the comic's 15-year run. The reasons behind this become apparent by the end of that issue.

 

That leads through 201 (a standalone story that will probably be important in the future) to the latest storyline, beginning in 202.

 

If you have any more questions, feel free to ask them on this board. We can do a good job of answering them.

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Errr...hate to break it to you, Tweak, but our usually reliable James appears to have gone vaguely loony toad-quack on us here. Neil Gaiman's single Hellblazer issue to date does not appear in the 'Rare Cuts' trade. It's in the rip-off 'Hellblazer Collection', which features the comic adaptation of the upcoming motion picture Constantine, along with Hellblazer issues #1 (part 1 of a 2-part story, already collected in 'Original Sins'), #42 (part 2 of the 6-part 'Dangerous Habits' storyline, also available in a trade elsewhere), and #27 (the aforementioned Gaiman issue, also available in Gaiman's own Midnight Days story collection). 'Rare Cuts' should still be worth picking up, though - it's got a load of as-yet uncollected standalone stories, by Grant Morrison, Garth Ennis, and Jamie Delano.

 

The current run is eminently worth picking up, incidentally, but if you start right this month you may well be more than a little confused. If your local store has back issues, and you can get the issues from #200 to date (the latest issue, #203, is out this week), people on this 'ere site should be able to fill you in on all the background information necessary to understand what's going on. If not, you may be better off waiting for Mike Carey's run to appear in trade (as we're vaguely confident it will do over the next couple of years), or seeking out a load more back issues, as while you'll be able to pick up on what's going on pretty easily, Carey's been very open about the fact that his run is intended to stand, when completed, as a single lengthy story.

 

Welcome to the forum, by the way.

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Hey! The man says he LOVES Neil Gaiman though!

Neil Gaiman's issue of "Hellblazer" is collected in the "Midnight Days" TPB also. It features a whole bunch of GREAT Neil Gaiman stories! He should just buy that Trade to get issue #27.

It has a never-before-printed "Swamp Thing" story, the "Swamp Thing" Annual that has Neil's take on Brother Power the Geek, "Sandman Midnite Days" (which is quite rare).

Very much worth buying!

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Errr...hate to break it to you, Tweak, but our usually reliable James appears to have gone vaguely loony toad-quack on us here. Neil Gaiman's single Hellblazer issue to date does not appear in the 'Rare Cuts' trade. It's in the rip-off 'Hellblazer Collection'

 

You're quite right. I'm cracking up. Edited the post.

 

If not, you may be better off waiting for Mike Carey's run to appear in trade (as we're vaguely confident it will do over the next couple of years)

 

I'm not sure I'd recommend that. The first trade's not out till early/mid 2005 and I wouldn't expect Vertigo to put them out with any kind of frequency. The issues leading up to the latest storyline fit comfortably into four TPBs of six or seven issues each, so even if they do them once every six months they'll only reach the current storyline in early 2007.

 

And a lot of the fun comes from sharing speculation about what's going on, especially with Carey's use of little mysteries (the invisible narrator, the true threat behind the Shadow Dog saga, the hidden Red Sepulchre) so by going the trade route, tweak'll be missing out on that.

 

I'd recommend trying to jump on with this storyline, and picking up past Carey issues in trade as and when they come out.

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Actually a fair point. If you can get hold of #200-203, you shouldn't have any trouble following what's going on. So what are you waiting for?!

 

;)

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I read Haunted last night. And it was pretty good. Jumped around a lot, which gave me a headache. Some of it seemed rushed. Overall, the story felt a lot like the current run of Punisher. The story just had the same feel.

 

tweak

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Glad you liked it. Which bits do you think felt rushed?

 

After all the struggles that John went through with the "familars" of the aleister crowley wannabe, John had no problem just catching the guy at the end. I had hoped for some more action between John knowing who the guys was and the capture of him.

 

tweak

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Tweak, a word of caution. The first trade ends in a cliffhanger of sorts and the follow up IS NOT collected yet and nobody knows when. However, having recently been in your position of being new, I have greatly enjoyed discovering Hellblazer.

The rest of the trades are good and could appeal to a variety of tastes.

Personally, I am not interested in Brian Azarello run on Hellblazer, he just couldn't seem to get John dialog right, though decent stories.

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Far and away my favourite, is "Hardtimes". There is just something about it, he is RIGHT IN CHARACTER the whole time, imo.

 

I really liked it how the white supremacists got told where to get off. And how he got them all hesitating just with his confidence. Also it was one of the few times I have actually seen him use magic casually. I have not read the whole works, not by any means, but what I have read, he resorts to trickery more often than magic.

 

And the idea of the jungle that is a prison, really interested me, dropping a magic user into it.

 

 

:unsure: anyway justmyfivecentsworthi'msorryiwillleavenow :sad:

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So, are we thinking six issues per TPB in future ?

Or twelve ?

Because Mike's run does not break easily after the first six.

 

RED SEPULCHRE

High on Life, 1 175

High on Life, 2 176

Red Sepulchre, 1 177

Red Sepulchre, 2 178

Red Sepulchre, 3 179

Red Sepulchre, 4 180

 

 

BAD TO THE BONE

The Game of Cat and Mouse 181

Black Flowers, 1 182

Black Flowers, 2 183

The Wild Card 184

Ordeal 185

The Pit 186

Bred in the Bone, 1 187

Bred in the Bone, 2 188

(I still say this sits better after Staring at the wall though.)

 

 

STARING AT THE WALL

Staring at the Wall, 1 189

Staring at the Wall, 2 190

Staring at the Wall, 3 191

Staring at the Wall, 4 192

Staring at the Wall, conclusion 193

 

Ward 24 194

Out of Season, 1 195

Out of Season, 2 196

 

 

BORN IN HELL

Stations of the Cross, 1 197

Stations of the Cross, 2 198

Stations of the Cross, 3 199

Happy Families 200

Event Horizon 201

 

 

REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL

Reasons to be Cheerful, part 1 202

Reasons to be Cheerful, part 2 203

Reasons to be Cheerful, part 3 204

Reasons to be Cheerful, part 4 205

Chas SMASH! 206

etc

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I disagree.

 

RED SEPULCHRE (6 issues)

175 - High on Life Part One

176 - High on Life Part Two

177 - Red Sepulchre Part One

178 - Red Sepulchre Part Two

179 - Red Sepulchre Part Three

180 - Red Sepulchre Part Four

*** Ends with John walking away through the cemetary.

 

ORDEAL (6 issues)

181 - The Game of Cat and Mouse

182 - Black Flowers Part One

183 - Black Flowers Part Two

184 - Third Worlds Part One: The Wild Card

185 - Third Worlds Part Two: Ordeal

186 - Third Worlds Part Three: The Pit

***Okay, bit of a rough ending here - but John and Angie kissing is a nice, "happy" way to end the book before the all-out misery of the next couple. Plus, it neatly caps off the upward arc of John's "luck", with everything starting to go wrong in the next one.

 

 

STARING AT THE WALL (7 issues)

187 - Bred in the Bone Part 1

188 - Bred in the Bone Part 2

189 - Staring at the Wall Part 1

190 - Staring at the Wall Part 2

191 - Staring at the Wall Part 3

192 - Staring at the Wall Part 4

193 - Staring at the Wall Part 5

*** Ends with John confused about what's really going on. A cliffhanger, but not an unreasonable one, since at least the initial Shadow Dog story is wrapped up. A collection marred by shit art, but it does have a really solid story.

 

STATIONS OF THE CROSS (7 issues, one extra sized)

194 - Ward 24

195 - Out of Season Part 1

196 - Out of Season Part 2

197 - Stations of the Cross Part 1

198 - Stations of the Cross Part 2

199 - Stations of the Cross Part 3

200 - Happy Families

*** Good ending to this one. "The war was just beginning." The TPB neatly encapsulates the amnesia arc, with the next one apparently containing the entire "John's kids" story.

 

REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL (6 issues)

201 - Event Horizon

202 - Reasons to be Cheerful Part 1

203 - Reasons to be Cheerful Part 2

204 - Reasons to be Cheerful Part 3

205 - Reasons to be Cheerful Part 4

206 - Cross Purposes

***Er, probably, though it depends how the CHAS SMASH story finishes, and how many issues the following arc has. Still, the gloomy cover to 202 with the sub-title "REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL" would be pretty funny.

 

And this way the TPBs are more regularly sized, rather than having eight issues here and five there. I've never been comfortable buying a TPB with less than six issues in it.

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I think it's awkward ending that second one with the otherwise lovely snogging scene, because although we know that John and Angie have been preparing for something, Bred in the Bone serves as a poor intro to Staring at the Wall.

 

Also the tacked on page of John arriving at the airport teases nicely for the next volume.

 

The intro of all the violence at the beginning of SatW is rather perfect - and by current rate of publication, it would come out the same week as "Constanteen 2" which as we all know will be based on this arc ;-)

 

I really do not like the idea of separating "Happy Families" from "Reasons to be Cheerful", but I suppose it depends how long the Three Kids story goes on.

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Tweak, a word of caution. The first trade ends in a cliffhanger of sorts and the follow up IS NOT collected yet and nobody knows when. However, having recently been in your position of being new, I have greatly enjoyed discovering Hellblazer.

The rest of the trades are good and could appeal to a variety of tastes.

Personally, I am not interested in Brian Azarello run on Hellblazer, he just couldn't seem to get John dialog right, though decent stories.

 

I honestly enjoy Mike Carry's writing style far more, and I would like to go back and pick up all the issues in his run. I just finished reading issue #201 and #202, and Mike somehow crams so much into his comic.

 

tweak

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You might consider getting issues #189 to now, because they make a continuous larger story arc that works well together. Staring at the Wall (#189-193) explains Ward 24, Out of Season and Stations of the Cross (#194-199), and those explain Happy Families (#200), which explains Reasons to be Cheerful (#202 onward). #201 works well as a standalone story.

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I think it's awkward ending that second one with the otherwise lovely snogging scene, because although we know that John and Angie have been preparing for something, Bred in the Bone serves as a poor intro to Staring at the Wall.

 

I can see where you're coming from, but it doesn't work particularly well as an outro, either. I'd rather make that a nicely rounded off John 'n' Angie six-parter than a whopping huge eight parter with a final two issues that don't particularly add anything to the mix.

 

Bred in the Bone is a bit of an odd fish, but I'd rather use it to pad out the Staring at the Wall trade than stretch out its predecessor.

 

It would work better after Staring... but that's not really an option.

 

Also the tacked on page of John arriving at the airport teases nicely for the next volume.

 

Might be a bit frustrating, though. John and Angie's roll in the hay is preferable to that cliffhanger. That's what I think, anyway.

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I honestly enjoy Mike Carry's writing style far more, and I would like to go back and pick up all the issues in his run.  I just finished reading issue #201 and #202, and Mike somehow crams so much into his comic.

 

Mike's run started with issue 175. Each issue builds on the last one, so if possible try to read them in order rather than working your way backwards. It can be a pain, though...

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