Jump to content
JohnMcMahon

Hellblazer #254

  

18 members have voted

  1. 1. Your marks out of 10, for #254

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


Recommended Posts

HELLBLAZER #254

Written by Peter Milligan

Art by Goran Sudzuka & Rodney Ramos

Cover by Lee Bermejo

 

In a mad fever dream, John Constantine wonders why he’s always cursed to fall for the wrong girl. And if you think that’s a distraction, wait

until you see what the London city fathers have unearthed in the developing Olympic Village!

 

hlb_cv254.jpg

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

See, here's a thing. I remain to be convinced by the story as solicited. We've discussed Constantine's chicks before, and everyone has their favourites, but I fail to see how any of them could be described as him falling for the wrong girl to the extent of a curse.

 

Now there could be some mileage in it being bad luck for one or two of the girls, but that's just an extension of his general Jonah-type friendship. Kit and Angie could certainly be said to be exactly the right people for him, and he chose to alienate them. Phoebe in the last story may not have ended up dead in the refrigerator but she was certainly in the pantry.

 

This suggests a better question would be "John Constantine wonders why he’s always cursed to mess up his relationships with the right girl".

 

Perhaps he's gay.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...and then Dani comes back in the end and they all live happily ever after, with Rich serving as the best man at their wedding!

 

Another really good issue for me, it's still a little Hellblazer-by-the-numbers so maybe I'm just losing myself in the warm, comforting glow of nostaglia but it ticks all the right boxes so I don't care!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let it be known that solicitation is poor.

 

I don't really have much to say about this issue.

It's a workable horror story, dealing with usual horror motifs in a topical socio-political context.

Not bad, but doesn't really have my interest.

The art still bugs me. I'm not sure about Phoebe returning, although it's not unexpected.

I give it a 6. Maybe I should've given it an extra point for the Banksy reference.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Banksy reference kind of annoyed me, more because the new girl is lauded as being ace yet all we see are a couple of crummy slogans tagged onto the odd building.

 

Thought the art was much improved over the last arc, not perfect but a lot less cartoony - Phoebe in particular benefited from looking a little more realistic. Speaking of, her return did feel a little bit artificial, but again that could be my own bias knowing that Milligan was only originally intended to do the one story.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I prefer the last arc's art. And I dunno... I like the mood of the story and it's very interesting, but I have no opinions of it. It's just... there. I felt like that for the last arc also.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The Banksy reference kind of annoyed me, more because the new girl is lauded as being ace yet all we see are a couple of crummy slogans tagged onto the odd building.

 

ha! Good point. Didn't even think about that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Really enjoyed the story (reminding me a lot of classic Jenkins or Delano Hellblazer), but I hated the art. man, what happened to Goran Sudzuka? He was fucking awesome on Outlaw Nation, but here the art is truly, awfully generic. I'm guessing it's the inker or something?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm more-or-less in Sethos' camp here - the story was alright, in a slightly-by-the-numbers-but-still-enjoyable way, but the art didn't really do it for me. Competent, if unremarkable, storytelling, but terribly bland draftsmanship. I've enjoyed Sudzuka's work in the past as well, but this was pretty weak.

 

Not as good as the first arc, but still pretty solid. I agree with JMac's comment about Phoebe's return - given the way that conversation played out, it could have done with at least one or two issues inbetween the last one and this - but since, based on the interview he gave a couple of months ago, Milligan clearly has plans for the character, I can't argue too much if he wants to dive straight into the meat of his run.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
See, here's a thing. I remain to be convinced by the story as solicited. We've discussed Constantine's chicks before, and everyone has their favourites, but I fail to see how any of them could be described as him falling for the wrong girl to the extent of a curse.

 

 

Agreed, 100%. The solicitation makes no sense whatsoever, given that Constantine DOESN'T have a history of falling for the wrong girl. Whoever wrote the solicitation clearly has only a limited understanding of the series and the character. The women he ends up with are never Constantine's problem--it's that he's a complete dickhead and always screws it up. The woman are fine, and in fact are usually better people than he is.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Agreed, 100%. The solicitation makes no sense whatsoever, given that Constantine DOESN'T have a history of falling for the wrong girl.

 

Perhaps more crucially, at no point in the issue does the issue of Constantine's history with women come up at all. There's a brief reunion with Phoebe, during which he briefly reflects on his relationship with her, but that's a stretch even by the standards of Vertigo solicitations, particularly because he very definitely isn't in a fever dream at the time. We could certainly quibble about whether or not the solicitation demonstrates a limited understanding of the full history of both series and character, but it hardly seems worth bothering when it doesn't even describe anything close to the actual contents of the issue in question.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Agreed, 100%. The solicitation makes no sense whatsoever, given that Constantine DOESN'T have a history of falling for the wrong girl.

 

Perhaps more crucially, at no point in the issue does the issue of Constantine's history with women come up at all. There's a brief reunion with Phoebe, during which he briefly reflects on his relationship with her, but that's a stretch even by the standards of Vertigo solicitations, particularly because he very definitely isn't in a fever dream at the time. We could certainly quibble about whether or not the solicitation demonstrates a limited understanding of the full history of both series and character, but it hardly seems worth bothering when it doesn't even describe anything close to the actual contents of the issue in question.

 

So... what would be a good solicitation? As far as I can see from what you two have just said almost anything.

 

"While at home with piles and an ingrown toenail John Constantine broods, questioning why he always chooses the wrong dog."

 

Tell me it is worse...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
"While at home with piles and an ingrown toenail John Constantine broods, questioning why he always chooses the wrong dog."

 

I would not only buy that comic, I would buy multiple copies and share them out among my friends.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't really like the fact that we knew nothing about Phoebe or how they met. She was just randomly introduced and all we knew was that her friend hates John or something. Then that was pretty much it.

 

Also isn't John supposed to be around 50-65? Phoebe looked like she was in her 30's or 20's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agreed on the second point: I found it a bit hard to accept that Phoebe's friend would say "he's cute" instead of "he's fifty!" In almost all of the art, Constantine looked like a lantern-jawed young superhero. No scar, of course.

 

As for your first point, I liked that we didn't get pat, cheesy introductions to the new characters. I reckon finding out who they are is something that will add to the book's appeal. More and more comics, TV shows and movies are doing it that way these days.

 

Hopefully we'll even get to know Phoebe's mate's name one day, since IIRC this is her third appearance and we still haven't heard it. :wink:

 

As for the comic itself, I started out thinking the story was clumsy and padded, with unnatural dialogue. By the end Pete had piled on enough good stuff to turn my opinion around; he pretty much had me by the time Emil talked about the Olympics displacing society's undesirables. (We had that happen here too, but I accept the issue might not resonate as much with other readers.) Unfortunately the art never worked for me.

 

Maybe this issue was written and drawn more quickly than the last three. This could have been a rush job after Pete found out he was taking over the book, yes?

 

Incredible cover from Lee Bermejo, as usual.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't really have a problem with it besides that he was drawn like he was in his 20's. This would have been fine if it was a flash back or is it was Hellblazer #1 (which I think he had to be in 30's by that time.) So him constantly being drawn young is ridiculous sense he's been the ONLY comic character to actually age. He's had like 5 or 6 birthdays since the book started.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As for the comic itself, I started out thinking the story was clumsy and padded, with unnatural dialogue. By the end Pete had piled on enough good stuff to turn my opinion around; he pretty much had me by the time Emil talked about the Olympics displacing society's undesirables. (We had that happen here too, but I accept the issue might not resonate as much with other readers.) Unfortunately the art never worked for me.

 

I'm not sure who the "other readers" are you're referring to, so feel free to ignore this.

But, the United States is also represented by the scourge of destructive evil sometimes known as the Olympics, as Milligan even mentions the Georgia Olympics in the story, which is the southern state not the country.

Of course I enjoy Milligan's politics, but it just seemed too topical in this instance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By "other readers" I meant "readers who are not me". I wasn't trying to imply that Australia was the only nation to recognise the downside of the Olympics. It's not even a majority viewpoint here; just a pet issue for me.

 

As for the level of topicality, I thought it was spot-on. But, like I said, I'm biased.

 

Is John Constantine bi-assed?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that there's been a conscious decision by the Vertigo editorial staff to make John younger to get him more in line with the Keanustine flick (which this week was said to be in active sequel development right now. SHITE), I'm sure they'd blame it on the demon blood and all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think that there's been a conscious decision by the Vertigo editorial staff to make John younger to get him more in line with the Keanustine flick

Never lay at the feet of deliberate design anything which can more easily be explained by incompetence.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It didn't suck, but it didn't arouse me either. I suppose most things fit somewhere in there. It cou;ld turn out quite exciting or it could flop like so many Hellblazer endings recently. I shall hold my breath and see.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm enjoying the story but Goran Sudzuka does nothing for me. Never has. Reminds me of when Alfredo Alcala was pencilling. Very staid.

 

 

I usually like his stuff, but in the modern parts of this he was very pedestrian.

Not even a welcome respite from Camuncoli.

Besides me wondering what sort of medical treatment Constantine was getting for his suspected fit, I'll accept Phoebe doing work that a junior member of staff would so because she fancies him. However, that Banksy wannabe was very poor all round.

 

I liked the historical back story though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After having really enjoyed the first two parts of 'Scab' I was kind of underwhelmed by the ending. The more I thought about it the more I got the feeling that the ending was kind of rushed. This issue isn't nearly as interesting as Milligan's first two issues, but still interesting.

My main dislike is probably Goran Sudzuka's art: I've never been especially thrilled by his work, and this felt kind of bland. His interpretation of Constantine doesn't work for me.

I do like the fact that Milligan digs a little deeper into the past of London; I've always thought that there are suprising few plots in Hellblazer based on historical backgrounds. And the plague doctor is a nice creepy plotelement. Also, I get the feeling Milligan is building a new supporting cast with Emil and the return of Phoebe, which is nice, since few writers since Ellis has introduced any major characters in the stories.

 

7/10

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...