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Hellblazer #247

Hellblazer #247 ranking  

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HELLBLAZER #247

 

Written by Andy Diggle; Art by Leonardo Manco; Cover by Lee Bermejo

 

Lord Burnham and the cannibalistic war mage Mako have joined forces to hunt for the legendary Laughing Magician. But first, they must find John Constantine, who is himself about to realize that he finally may have met his match.

 

Vertigo | 32pg. | Color | $2.99 US | Mature Readers

 

On Sale September 17, 2008

 

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Well, darn. Everything copied from the DC site except for the cover image.

 

My thoughts?

Hey, cool! John Constantine ODs on a dead body!

I gave it a 6.

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I thought it was a good place to come back to the story, but it's a stepping stone rather than a decent issue in its own right.

I liked the Mako / Burnham partnership much more than I expected to, Burnham's old school money can buy you anything attitude and Mako's ease of accepting the deal are very well written. If only SW Manor could see this.

 

On the whole, Scratchy Manco works okay, but the Monty Python cameo is just too distracting to the scene.

Besides they were already nuns in Glasgow !

 

Constantine's part of the plot was an amusing bit of myth-raking that Andy's been quite good at too.

There's going to be snow at Christmas !

 

Was also going to give this 6. But then I remembered the last two issues and have given it six and a half.

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I'm honestly starting to feel like I'm the only one consistently enjoying Andy's take on the title--which is ironic, since I was probably the mos vocal in my displeasure that he was taking the job in the first place, given my dislike for his brief Swamp Thing run. I've loved every Hellblazer issue he's done so far, and have found none of it disappointing, and I'm scratching my head over what has got so many people dissatisfied. Different strokes, I guess.

 

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There's just nothing that's catching my interest month after month.

Looking backwards to Jamie Delano plots that were supposed to be solved years ago (later writers can be at fault for John not properly moving on from those stories, of course) isn't something I'm interested in seeing in Hellblazer anymore.

I just feel very much about Diggle's run as I did about Mike Carey's run. The first story-arc was a great read, the Vatican two-parter was great, the rest hasn't been consistent for me. It just shows what types of stories I want to see in Hellblazer.

Shorter, stand-alone stories based in horror that focus on John's personality.

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My complete agreement with everything Christian just said notwithstanding, I liked this issue a lot more than I was expecting to. 5.5 from me, rounded up to a 6 for the sake of the poll.

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I might go for this "6" too, personally Manco's sketchy art was...um...well sketchy.

After the haitus I was expecting a very much rejuvinated Manco on alevel just sub All His Engines.

So that dropped a point for me.

 

A definite stepping stone issue yes, but it feels like there have been one too many of these issues already.

 

Again I like Andy's magiphage idea, but Mako would work so much better without the "scary" eyes and teeth business.

Carey's menacing black character just prior to Stations of the Cross is a far better model.

But I agree that as polar opposite badguys they work rather splendidly together.

 

Anyway after the last few issues, it's a bloody relief having Andy back (Even if it's not for long).

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I thought Manco's art was messier than usual, but I gave it a 7. I enjoyed it. And how about John snorting Santa's bones? Noice!

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I must say I expected y'all to be snarkier about the 'snorting Santa' element. I enjoyed this thoroughly but, as usual, it all depends on where the arc goes from here. 6 from me.

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I must say I expected y'all to be snarkier about the 'snorting Santa' element.

Both sides of my brain battled on the quasi sensationalism.

It is quite an Ennis-ism.

But it does works well to outside readers though.

 

I'm just glad to have Andy back.

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Difficult to call this one. If the second one is shit it'll be a 4 or a 5. If the second one is ace it'll be closer to 7.

 

It didn't do a lot for me and the art was pretty bad.

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Oooh. I thought Chalice was dead?

 

Lovely writing throughout this in terms of scenes, characterisation visual vs. voices etc.

 

Artwise, I didn't have a problem with it and I actually like Mako a bit darker and shadowy than all muscles and vests made out of skin etc. I do see what you were saying about Leo's art considering the break but did I just make it up or was the Jason Aaron filler two parter a pretty last minute thing for Andy and Leo to get the very ending right so Leo might have already drawn this 'un by the time they inserted the two-parted into the schedule? Either way, still okay artwise!

 

Cover art wise - the online pictures didnt do that one justice! Lovely!

 

The one thing that did bother me was how the Santa bit didn't work for me as being spread out across the issue around Burnham re-explaining his plan to us...and Mako...who he made the plan with.

 

If John'd snorted Santa by the end of page five I would have been so revved up for the rest of the issue/storyline but I felt it was a weaker ending for it so I thought something else could have been squeezed in. As much as storylines ending with John narrating into the darkness has become a trope, so it would seem has John ending issues with a 'ah, I might actually do something now' moment.

 

Still, appearances from Clarice are always exceedingly welcome, despite the re-exposition, Burnham and Mako in cahoots was some very nice character-y stuff and some extra points for John's arsey storytelling at the beginning equals a big, fat 7 for this issue.

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I had fun reading this issue, and the Santa-snorting had me snickering. Good idea, that, and very parallell with Mako's doings.

I gave it an 8. That might have been too kind, but I genuinely thought this was a fun read.

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I still haven't seen it so have no idea what all this "snorting santa" stuff is about yet. I'll buy it either tomorrow or Friday. Very glad to hear Clarice makes an appearance, she's a game old biddy.

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I think Manco's art has finally gotten better, except I still think he overuses the scratchy and blotchy ink. Andy's stuff so far has been great. I like the beginning of the book, perfect little nuggets like that piece of info make the book and character great. I'm just glad to see John doing some stranger than usual magic. Snorting St. Nick has to be a good way to immediately hook into the power of belief but I think there has got to be better ways.

 

Though the power of belief has always been his best weapon, from Swamp Thing destroying the monsters, to the twig he gave that feller in the last one.

 

Anyway, that's all I've got for now.

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I think Manco's art has finally gotten better, except I still think he overuses the scratchy and blotchy ink. Andy's stuff so far has been great. I like the beginning of the book, perfect little nuggets like that piece of info make the book and character great. I'm just glad to see John doing some stranger than usual magic. Snorting St. Nick has to be a good way to immediately hook into the power of belief but I think there has got to be better ways.

 

Though the power of belief has always been his best weapon, from Swamp Thing destroying the monsters, to the twig he gave that feller in the last one.

 

Anyway, that's all I've got for now.

 

Finally got to read it and liked it. At last the "snorting santa" remarks make sense! I liked the naughtyness of that. I got the impression that Manco's art was more deliberately sketchy and scratchy than in his last couple of issues when they often looked a bit rushed. It looks like he is trying for something new and not quite achieving it. Some very interesting panels, some less so, but for my money no real lows.

 

I felt more aware that Andy Diggle leaving will be a sad thing, especially as he seems to have lost the joy of doing Hellblazer, but you wouldn't know it from this. Reading Chas made me aware that Simon Oliver is capable of good writing, but I hope more than ever that his characterisation of Constantine will not be like it is there. It looks to me as if Andy will leave him JC in a very interesting state and well worth developing and changing according to his own vision, whereas the Chas verion of Constantine is just an arsehole.

 

 

I was wondering what will happen to Tate's after this issue. If there's a waiting list for membership I guess they'll be taking on quite a number of new members very soon, maybe with a special discount! A while back I went to the real-life equivalent of Tate's for a talk and some nutter gave me an impromptu history of zoroastrianism while I queued. In retrospect Mako seems to have had the right idea...

 

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I liked it, Am wondering if on the page where it shows his smokes when using the pestal, before he talks to Map, about the lighter, that says John. When did he get that? That that was a brilliant touch.

 

Trav

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I had fun reading this issue, and the Santa-snorting had me snickering. Good idea, that, and very parallell with Mako's doings.

I gave it an 8. That might have been too kind, but I genuinely thought this was a fun read.

Late to the party (as usual) but I agree with the Norwegian on all points. Its a nice way to push the plot along, and its great to see John taking action. I wish Andy weren't leaving as his run has been truly entertaining for me.

 

How many times does this make that the Tate Club has been massacred like that? Twice? I'm thinking of the time Clarice chained the demon to the dead body here. Speaking of whom, nice to see her and Map again.

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