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Hellblazer after Jenkins

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Hey everyone,

 

I've been catching up on Hellblazer since issue #1. HB was the first comic I ever read and I absolutely loved Delano and Ennis. But I'm sorry to say-- Jenkins is simply dreadful. I've been slogging through his run, hoping things eventually get better. But after just reading #115, I've nearly lost all faith.

 

I've lurked on this forum for awhile and noticed that some people actually enjoyed Jenkins' run. I'll never understand how that's possible, but I can respect differing opinions. My question is only for the people who really liked Ennis and Delano... does Hellblazer get better after Jenkins and does it ever again approach the quality of Ennis&Delano? Or should I just stop reading now and move onto something else? (If so, what other comics are in the same vein as the first 70 issues of HB) I am a bit discouraged to keep reading since I've noticed that Azzarello also doesn't seem to get much praise around here.

 

 

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You're not alone. I found Jenkins run to be incredibly boring, even though Sean Phillips has been one of the best artists on the series.

 

Azzarello had his moments (his first arc was good), but he was really off base. He didn't write John all that well and the endings to his stories are confusing (as usual).

 

After Jenkins I'd say the best writing for the series has been done by Mike Carey. I'm sure you'll find that to be a pretty popular choice 'round these here parts so keep readin'!

 

Also, if you liked Garth Ennis' work, I do recommend the Son of Man story arc. I really liked it but I know a lot of folks didn't.

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Hi

 

what don't you like about Jenkins' run ?

 

My big problem with Jenkins is that in every story Constantine is always confidently in control of the situation and he is never seriously tested. In contrast, my favorite part of Ennis's run was after Kit dumped John, seeing his downward spiral until #71 (which I think was a great story and conclusion). With Jenkins, John never seems very troubled at all about much of anything. Even in Sins of the Father, which might have detailed an interesting emotional conflict, it takes John what-- a dozen pages for him to reconcile with his dad? I mean come on... there's just never any suspense at all with Jenkins.

 

Never mind the most oft-cited gripe which is the mind numbing dullness and forgetability of Jenkins' supporting cast--which I completely agree with.

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Then, like Lou I would recommend Carey's run, some of Azzarello's and perhaps Andy Diggle's although there's a touch of Constantine being on top of his game again, so you may not be so keen.

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Jenkins run is my favorite because it's mostly set in Tooting, Rich the Punk is possibly the worst HB ancillary character though.

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In contrast, my favorite part of Ennis's run was after Kit dumped John, seeing his downward spiral until #71 (which I think was a great story and conclusion).

 

See, I found that arc entirely forgettable and silly. Don't get me wrong, I thought there was some great stuff under Ennis, but it sounds like we've got very different tastes--Jenkins is my favorite writer so far. Out of curiosity, what qualities do you really like in a Hellblazer story (art aside, because that's a completely different ballpark)?

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In contrast, my favorite part of Ennis's run was after Kit dumped John, seeing his downward spiral until #71 (which I think was a great story and conclusion).

 

See, I found that arc entirely forgettable and silly. Don't get me wrong, I thought there was some great stuff under Ennis, but it sounds like we've got very different tastes--Jenkins is my favorite writer so far. Out of curiosity, what qualities do you really like in a Hellblazer story (art aside, because that's a completely different ballpark)?

 

I enjoy the gloomy, depressing atmosphere of the book along with John's pervasive cynicism. You don't often see protagonists in fiction being such contemptible bastards. Delano's bitter social commentary is what got me hooked on HB in the first place. For me Ennis was a worthy successor to Delano... the transition between Delano's world and Ennis for me was smooth.

 

On the other hand, when Jenkins took over it was just a jarring change in the character and setting. I don't think Jenkins ever got what HB was supposed to be about and I think that's what alienated a lot of readers. Jenkins' kinder, gentler John never squared with me. Beyond all that, Jenkins' sense of humor just became self-indulgent, obnoxious and tiresome.

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Yes, I think the "Ages" as portrayed by the various writers work very well, and I would hope we are done for good with the moping AND the bastard.

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I think Jenkins pulled together a very good run with everything considered. The only trouble I had with his writing was mainly the supporting cast (but I think Danis is a character that should be returned to), and The First of the Fallen. Under Ennis, John was kind of the ultimate bastard who bested the "Devil" and look where it got him ie: loosing Kit, homeless, etc.

 

Jenkins, really, pulled together Delano and Ennis in his run and gave John something he never had...a steady life. Sure it was boring in some parts but there were some good stories there. Critical Mass is a fan favorite, but I find myself rereading Undertow and Desperately Seeking Something when I can. I also liked the way he tied in Eddie Campbell's mini-arch as well. Jenkins brought a little more humanity in Constantine that is often seen, but not nearly enough.

 

I'm with the rest of the crew though, if you're looking for something beyond Paul Jenkins with good story telling I'd suggest Mike Carey, especially his first two years on the title.

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Hi

 

what don't you like about Jenkins' run ?

 

 

I like his run, he did some great moves and adds on Hellblazer. His first arc was excellent, the last man stand and # 120 and how to play with fire are my favourite. I´d like to see him back some day.

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It sounds like you'd enjoy what came after Jenkins, but tastes vary greatly.

I love the Jamie Delano run. It's one of my favourite runs on a comic series, period.

Then, I really enjoy the Jenkins run also.

I think that Ennis' run had a lot in common with everything that has come after Jenkins, except for Azzarello's run. So, if you liked Ennis' work, you'll probably enjoy the latter Hellblazer.

But, no, the series never gets back to what it was like under Delano, in my opinion.

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Jenkins run is my favorite because it's mostly set in Tooting, Rich the Punk is possibly the worst HB ancillary character though.

 

 

Mine too. those characters were perfect through his run.

 

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I think Jenkins pulled together a very good run with everything considered. The only trouble I had with his writing was mainly the supporting cast (but I think Danis is a character that should be returned to), and The First of the Fallen. Under Ennis, John was kind of the ultimate bastard who bested the "Devil" and look where it got him ie: loosing Kit, homeless, etc.

 

Jenkins, really, pulled together Delano and Ennis in his run and gave John something he never had...a steady life. Sure it was boring in some parts but there were some good stories there. Critical Mass is a fan favorite, but I find myself rereading Undertow and Desperately Seeking Something when I can. I also liked the way he tied in Eddie Campbell's mini-arch as well. Jenkins brought a little more humanity in Constantine that is often seen, but not nearly enough.

 

I'm with the rest of the crew though, if you're looking for something beyond Paul Jenkins with good story telling I'd suggest Mike Carey, especially his first two years on the title.

Josh, how are you? I don't think I've seen you here for quite a long time.

 

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Josh, how are you? I don't think I've seen you here for quite a long time.

 

I haven't posted in awhile, yea. Since Joyride I haven't been buying Hellblazer (laziness I suppose) but I'm aching to get back into it.

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Slowly been reading them as I find them. I would have to say that I thought 120 was super cool but the surrounding stories, not so much. If there were a couple more like 120 that would be great...I took the back page, copied it with printer and have it as my background ...such a wickedly nice quote. About reality I mean...

 

Virginiatiger

 

Goes back to lurking now

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Then, like Lou I would recommend Carey's run, some of Azzarello's and perhaps Andy Diggle's although there's a touch of Constantine being on top of his game again, so you may not be so keen.

Seconded. John gets kicked around a hell of a lot during Carey's run. Can't endorse Azzarello though, except for Freezes Over, which is ace.

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Yes, I think the "Ages" as portrayed by the various writers work very well, and I would hope we are done for good with the moping AND the bastard.

 

Speaking for myself, Jenkins' mid-life crisis John was the perfect follow-up to the brutality of the Ennis years.

 

I agree with both of these sentiments. I once skipped over a large part of Jenkins' run because it seemed stagnant when I was flipping through pages after Critical Mass. And frankly, it looked boring, but it wasn't really at all. I wasn't just a huge fan of Phillips' art--I love some of his more recent stuff, like Star Wars, but back then, I just got tired of looking at his John. It's strange because now, I have such an affection for Jenkins run that it amazes me I once didn't like it.

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It definitely grows on you with age, yeah.

I was just buying the Jenkins' run to keep up with the series as I was buying Delano back-issues, and every so often, I'd like a Jenkins story, but mostly I found it boring.

When I went back to re-read the entire series, being older myself, it worked far better than most of Ennis' run.

I'm still not a fan of the artwork though.

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Interesting that quite a few folks seem to have come to appreciate Jenkins after initial misgivings. I've only read his run once. I agree that 'boring' is a fair adjective for some of his issues and I too found myself flipping through issues to get them over and done with. I will have to see if it holds true that you appreciate him more on second glance. Not ready for it at the moment.

 

His supporting characters were not fleshed out or agreeable.

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That was the one weak point in Jenkins for me. I didn't like the supporting cast (they were annoying), outside Dani.

 

My only complant regarding Dani is her dialogue was a tad off at times. Kinda like one Perpugilliam Brown...

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Jenkins's supporting cast were real.

This was a problem.

 

Take a look at Denise Mina's worst character.

See?

 

There's no place for real people in The Hellblazers.

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Jenkins's supporting cast were real.

This was a problem.

 

Take a look at Denise Mina's worst character.

See?

 

There's no place for real people in The Hellblazers.

 

Less said about him the better. Then again, I'd sooner revisit Chris Cole and Steve Evens before Epiphany and that pedo mobster for a father.

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