Jump to content
aardvark

Hellblazer #253

  

26 members have voted

  1. 1. So, how was it for you?

    • 10
      1
    • 9
      1
    • 8
      13
    • 7
      6
    • 6
      2
    • 5
      2
    • 4
      0
    • 3
      0
    • 2
      0
    • 1
      1


Recommended Posts

Hellblazer #253

 

post-7477-1237402006_thumb.jpg

 

Written by Peter Milligan

Art by Giuseppe Camuncoli & Stefano Landini

Cover by Lee Bermejo

 

Confronting the demons of one's past should be familiar ground for John Constantine. But some vicious memories are so horrible and buried so deep that digging them up could leave no one to pick up the pieces.

 

 

So...what did you think?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll give it a 7. In hindsight, 9/10 probably was a little bit high for #252. I don't know what to say really; perhaps I expected more of a twist to the story in this issue, which was more about things reaching their logical conclusion, and didn't have the same amount of quirky weirdness to it than the previous issues. Also, I don't know if the political commentary really managed to meld in with the mystery-part of the story.

 

The way the flashbacks were made in a different style was a nice touch.

 

Judging from the end this seems like the last we'll see from Phoebe. Booohoo. I liked her.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmmmmmmm. I think I'll have to re-read the entire arc to get a better feel for the material. My initial response is to give it a 6.5 (half a point for the clean break at the end).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I gave it an 8. That was just about the perfect Hellblazer story for me, or as perfect as a non-Delano Hellblazer story can be I should say.

I just don't buy that John would "sell out" like that though. It's out of character.

Otherwise, this was a very strong opening story-arc.

Having said that though, I don't see it as being as good as Diggle's or Carey's opening stories.

I am looking forward to seeing where Milligan takes the book from here.

I wish I was as certain about the future of Capitalism as John/Milligan seem to be. heh

I'd agree that the story doesn't perfectly meld into one complete whole.

 

OK, yes, I admit it. I just gave it such a sterling review because it unrealistically raised my hopes and used the word "proletariat". So, I'm easy.

What I really want to know is why the ad for the Chas Trade states that the series was "acclaimed". Who acclaimed the thing?

(Vertigo describes every one of their series as "acclaimed".)

 

I found it a very down-beat story, lacking that "weirdness", and I like to see these types of stories in Hellblazer. But, the uncle walking in on two men in bed; John perfoming the magic ritual, was the "quirky" scene for this issue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for starting the new thread Alcoholic!

 

Crikey but I really enjoyed this issue and the story as a whole, though I was getting a bit worried there when the continuity-tastic uncle showed up.

 

That bit with Chas at the end, and Constantine's accompanying "over it line" was pure Hellblazery-goodness as far as I'm concerned. It's pretty clear that this was originally an in-and-out job for Milligan, now that he's staying around though we might see Phoebe again at some point.

 

Like Christian I didn't quite buy that Constantine would sell out the working man like that but then he's always been a bit of a cock and we all did stupid things when we were young...so maybe.

 

Oh and as an aside, the art style used in the flashbacks was better suited to Hellblazer than that used for the rest of the story.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
But, the uncle walking in on two men in bed; John perfoming the magic ritual, was the "quirky" scene for this issue.

 

That scene was hilarious.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I liked that a lot. Not a lot to say which hasn't already been said, except to restate - yet again - my fondness for the art. Ade's point last month about Camuncoli's splash pages not really being up to scratch is a valid one, but his storytelling is very strong, and there's more subtlety to the emotions of his characters than one might expect from such a broad, cartoony style. He does a lot with very little on the page, and that's something I appreciate in a comic artist.

 

Like John, I was a bit iffy about the late-stage introduction of yet another member of John's family who he betrayed in days past, and the mention of Dani & Rich gave me momentary pause, but it turned out that it was (hopefully) just there to set the flashbacks in a specific time and place, which is a different matter. That's the way I wish continuity were used in Hellblazer more often. Then again, at this early stage I don't think any of us were expecting for Diggle's run to turn into a nostalgia-addled call-back to a largely-forgotten story from over two decades ago either, so I'm prepared to be disappointed.

 

I also share JMac and Christian's doubts about John's involvement in the strike-breaking action, but it's not entirely irreconcilable. Given where Milligan places it in the title's history, it should probably be slipped in between the end of Jenkins' run and the start of Ennis' 'Son Of Man', which is one of the occasional gaps-of-unspecified-length in the ongoing Hellblazer narrative which can be used to cover a multitude of sins. Given his state at the end of 'How To Play With Fire', and what we see of his visit to Uncle Roy during the same period, it seems reasonable to hypothesise that he went into another downward-spiral drink-and-despondency bender, and "John does uncharacteristically dickish stuff while drunk and feeling sorry for himself" isn't exactly wildly out-of-character.

 

There, that was easy.

 

Not quite as strong a story overall as the first couple of issues led me to hope, but definitely not a letdown at the end - it was a solid opening to Milligan's run, as well as being a strong standalone story. Hopefully he's got some good ideas in mind to build on this very solid foundation. He's introduced some decent ideas to the mix (I certainly hope we see Julian again), his grasp of Constantine's character and mannerisms seems strong, and his work seems in keeping with the established tone of the title, while still offering some freshness and accessibility to appeal to the completely non-existent throng of new readers who'll doubtless be turning up at any minute now. Failing those guys, though, it at least appeals to those of us who've been bored by the book for the last few years. I'm enjoying Hellblazer more right now than I have been at any point since the first half of Carey's run.

 

I'm vacillating between a 7 and an 8 right now - I think I'll go with the 8, because I'm feeling generous.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It seems like the artist worked really hard at including John's scar in some frames and totally forgot about it in others. In one, it was like big and pink, like some larva hanging out John's eye.

 

I gave it an 8 because even though it was slightly less entertaining than the other two, it was a solid ending that left me satisfied once all was said and done. And yes, it did include that hilarious "whoa! wrong room!" moment. And the scab creature might be the creepiest thing I've had to consider for a llong time (well, apart from myown scabs, scars, splintered bones and all). Though, I'm a bit down about Phoebe standing John up like and all at the end. I liked her. She could have been a real Yin to John's Yang, being all sciency and medical and all, if you get my drift. Pity...

 

It seems to me that over the last few years or so, the different writers who have penned the adventures of our naughty mage, for the most part, started their story arcs off strongly and seemingly on the right foot, so to speak, but few of them could finish with any kind of a payoff. Diggle started off strong in his first couple of stories, but I think he didn't enjoy writing HB for very long or got distracted and left his details in a mess. And Mina, bless her heart, she could make John talk the talk, but she couldn't make him do anything cool.

 

So, I'm very pleased with Milligan's first effort, and with Camoncoli's art, but I'm still pissed they haven't got a proper editor for the book yet--in fact, I think what made part 3 inferior to parts 1 & 2 was the pacing. In the first two issues, the pacing was smooth, like a nice ride on a bike or in a boat: quick but smooth. This last installment felt like a ride in a bumper car, all jerky and stoppy-starty, or like riding in a car with a student teenage driver who hasn't learned the finesse of break handling yet. Still, like I said, it didn't take much away from the overall enjoyment of the story, to me, so I don't sweat it.

 

YAY! I wish for more creative prosperity for these entrusted with the care of our John and his adventures. May they be the team to lift Hellblazer back to its prominent role as the only title left in the Vertigo catalog.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Crikey but I really enjoyed this issue and the story as a whole, though I was getting a bit worried there when the continuity-tastic uncle showed up.

 

I kind of thought the same there for a moment. But,

wasn't the uncle pretty much of a sadistic asshole in "Dead Boy's Heart", which I take it this issue refers to?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A 5 for me.

That was simply poor, predictable and yet still out of character.

 

All three issues only served for the quite effective

Phoebe dropping punchline

.

 

Personally that was the poorest Hellblazer start...ever?

Both Ennis and Azzarello opened stronger and 3 issues into Mina's run and I was far more engaged and interested.

Just a few issues in and Diggle was owning the title.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
and the mention of Dani & Rich gave me momentary pause

This actually threw me a little - the Jenkins run is so neglected that I was really taken aback to see two of its mainstays mentioned!

 

Dani was such a great character, bring her back Mister Milligan!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please God, no. I liked her too, but the last thing the book needs after the last few years is yet another character from decades past turning up out of the blue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't know what to say really; perhaps I expected more of a twist to the story in this issue, which was more about things reaching their logical conclusion, and didn't have the same amount of quirky weirdness to it than the previous issues.

 

I don't even know what to think of it, quite frankly.

 

Not quite as strong a story overall as the first couple of issues led me to hope,

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was confused by the mention of "Dani and Rich" at first.

I recognized Dani's name from Jenkins' run pretty quickly, but I reread the panel a few times for it to make sense, and at first thought Milligan was talking about from the American Gothic gang, but I sorted it after a minute.

Also, no to a Dani return.

 

I'll just mention that I initially loved Denise Mina's run. I liked the slice-of-life elements and didn't have a problem with how slow it was moving. I hoped Mina's run might actually be lacking in supernatural adventure. How wrong I was....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having not been as bowled over as other folks were with parts 1 and 2, I liked this a lot better than anyone else.

 

I was tempted to subtract points for the art, but I've dealt with that before and this issues is better apart from the awful exploding ectoplasm bed scene, so 9/10 for the story.

 

The only real problem I have with the timing is that Thatcher and the Miner's strike would have been a better target AND would have given a much more "in character" reason for Constantine's behaviour. Mark's sorted that out though.

 

I like that continuity here is in between the gaps in the story rather than the story itself, and that bodes well for the mentions of past characters ... but we'll have to see. Doesn't one of the solicits mention Constantine pondering on all his "ill-fated" romances? I hope that we do see the exes as long as it's in flashback only.

 

What I liked

The misdirection /misattribution of guilt.

Docker beating "exorcism" of that guilt.

Phoebe's reaction and denouement.

Lady Downing's rant.

The political slant.

"Say one word about Bloody Everton" (eh, J.Mac ?)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I liked this. It had a good feel, flowed nicely, had a nice distrurbing slightly homoerotic exoercism scene, and resolved itself nicely.

Not too chuffed about the Phoebe-ending at the end, but otherwise quite a decent story.

8/10 for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An 8 here. The first reading didn't blow me away despite a couple of funny moments. I reread it the next day, paying more attention and not expecting anything. Turned out i really like this issue and the whole arc. Milligan puts a lot of warm humor and true creepiness into the book. I 'm not sure what to think of Phobe's disappearance in the end, but it seems like a part of a bigger plot that will send John interesting places.

 

I am also fond of Camuncoli/Landini team. The storytelling feels pretty strong. There are some interesting shots, like showing Mal from inside of the fridge when he was getting drunk. Colors are bright for a Hellblazer, but consistent and appropriate to the events. Indoor settings have warm shade and outdoor there's usually a cool blue, which creates visual contrast. I'm curious to see how this team will tackle more supernatural events that tend to surface now and then. Manco was very inconsistent but his Hell was always great.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really liked the whole arc.. the art wasn't bad, but it's ill-fitting. Would be better with a crime story or something. But yeah, I really enjoyed this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't really been bothered with Hellblazer for ages until this arc, which I've found enjoyable. I really like the art, as well. If this keeps up, I may actually continue reading it on a monthly basis.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
... I 'm not sure what to think of Phobe's disappearance in the end, but it seems like a part of a bigger plot that will send John interesting places.

You don't think she just stood him up because she didn't want to see him anymore?

 

Welcome to the forum, by the way! Have you seen The Introduce Yourself Thread?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
... I 'm not sure what to think of Phobe's disappearance in the end, but it seems like a part of a bigger plot that will send John interesting places.

You don't think she just stood him up because she didn't want to see him anymore?

 

Welcome to the forum, by the way! Have you seen The Introduce Yourself Thread?

 

Thanks! I wasn't aware of mentioned thread, i will get there soon.

 

I didn't think anything about it at first, until someone pointed out the Phobe-ending. I got back to it and all of a sudden it feels like a Twin Peaks episode. John thinks he is "over it"? Yeah right. And his answer about a love affair was a bit hesitant. Maybe i'm reading too much into it, but she seemed to like JC. And knowing that Milligan is into Greek mythology, i'm thinking Orpheus and Eurydice (welcome back to Hell John). I may be completely wrong here though.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...