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JohnMcMahon

Hellblazer #254

  

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

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Milligan's keeping me more interested in the book than I have been for a long time, but this was a bit too by-the-numbers. Didn't we just have the plague stuff in the Chas mini-series?

 

Emil appears to be the second Iain Sinclair analogue in the Hellblazer world, albeit in a rather different way to Warren Ellis' 'Irvine St John'. Given that Sinclair's also apparently appearing in the new 'League of Extraordinary Gentlemen' in his 'Norton' guise, he's risking going the same way as Jerry the Dealer...

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Didn't we just have the plague stuff in the Chas mini-series?

Heh. They'd have gotten away with it, if they hadn't used the exact same artist. And those meddling kids.

 

Emil appears to be the second Iain Sinclair analogue in the Hellblazer world, albeit in a rather different way to Warren Ellis' 'Irvine St John'.

Emil struck me as a potentially useful character from a writer's point of view. If the character only exists as a tool to introduce certain Issues, I'm okay with that; it's a comic book after all.

 

Welcome aboard, Tim. Have you been to ye olde Introduce Yourself Thread?

 

 

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Emil struck me as a potentially useful character from a writer's point of view. If the character only exists as a tool to introduce certain Issues, I'm okay with that; it's a comic book after all.

Bit of a clumsy way to do it, though.

Don't know if people are aware of Sinclair's own library-ban, but here's his account - Banned in Hackney - for going off-message about the Olympics

 

Welcome aboard, Tim. Have you been to ye olde Introduce Yourself Thread?

Just have. Cheers!

 

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I, for one, don't really mind that John isn't drawn to look his age for the entirely silly and self-serving schoolgirl reason that I have a crush on him and don't mind him looking pretty. :tongue: Really though, they'd have to do something at some point. Suppose the comic went on for another 30 years or so and then, after all he's been through, John died of old age? Fuck that! The only other options are that they not expect the book to make it that long (a rather defeatist attitude that might lend itself quite well to the who care's anyway style of writing and drawing, in which case it would likely become a self-fulfilling prophecy), or eventually be required to come up with some kind of wanky excuse for why John is 130 and not dead yet, let alone still able to run around doing anything at all interesting. I do kind of wonder though what might happen should his timeline eventually catch up with that 4 issue limited series about the Dianna cult and what not, in which he was depicted as an old man. What year was that supposed to be in anyway? I don't recall and can't be bothered to go dig it out.

 

Seriously though, isn't the age old complaint of 'why doesn't John look his age and why would that hot 20-something find him attractive?' getting a bit tired? It can happen. I have a friend from the Middlesex area who is 53 and looks damn good! Hell, I'd do him. So if it can happen in reality, then why not in a comic?

 

None of this however, should be taken to mean that I liked the art in the latest issue, but sadly I must go to bed, so I will put in my two cents about the actual issue at a later point. [/ girlish defense of silliness]

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Milligan's keeping me more interested in the book than I have been for a long time, but this was a bit too by-the-numbers. Didn't we just have the plague stuff in the Chas mini-series?

 

Emil appears to be the second Iain Sinclair analogue in the Hellblazer world, albeit in a rather different way to Warren Ellis' 'Irvine St John'. Given that Sinclair's also apparently appearing in the new 'League of Extraordinary Gentlemen' in his 'Norton' guise, he's risking going the same way as Jerry the Dealer...

 

I once went to an academic conference where a drunken geezer, Charlie "bad Boy" Mitton, talked about becoming a fictional character (he had been featured in Sinclair's novels as such.) he then produced a guitar and sang a slightly tuneless blues. Much of his talk centred around the factor of strange coincidences. When he'd finished he came and sat next to me. I prompty produced a pamphlet I'd picked up the previous day on coincidence, which freaked him a bit. Guess I'd stopped off at a Little Chef on the syncronicity highway!

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Seriously though, isn't the age old complaint of 'why doesn't John look his age and why would that hot 20-something find him attractive?' getting a bit tired? It can happen. I have a friend from the Middlesex area who is 53 and looks damn good! Hell, I'd do him. So if it can happen in reality, then why not in a comic?

You still notice that your friend is 53. I'd have been perfectly happy if, in that scene from #254, Phoebe's mate had at least made some mention of the age issue — just like your friends would if you did, uh, do him. But she completely ignored it, which seemed unrealistic to me.

 

Unless of course Phoebe is 45, and she's just drawn really young-looking. :wink:

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Even if you go for that interpretation, I feel it's a bit contrived.

 

I do understand why Vertigo doesn't want to draw the buyers' attention to the fact that the star of the product is middle-aged; it's just that it doesn't sit well with me.

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I don't get how it's contrived. I'm 21 and been involved with way older folk. So have a few other friends of mine. It comes to the point where we could discuss about our current relationships or flings and about who we're involved with without age being an issue at all even if they're older and twice our age.

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How many times now has Johnny-boy been killed and reborn; infused with demon blood or other potential revivifier or rejuvenant; sundered from and/or amalgamated with his good/evil twin/self; or just been generically reconstructed or magically overhauled? All that probably does wonders for the complexion, eventually. It's no wonder his tattoo can't always keep up.

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You still notice that your friend is 53.

 

Actually, I don't. I overheard him answer someone who asked how old he was, and frankly I was shocked. I wouldn't have put him out of his 40's. He only has a few slight wrinkles around the eyes and a bit of a salt and pepper thing going in his hair. Furthermore, it seems I was wrong. I just noticed that his myspace page lists him as 57. I don't know. My friend just quit smoking about 2 years ago. Maybe cigarettes smoke-cure the hides of some Englishmen. :tongue: More likely though, maybe some people just have really stellar genetics. If that could account for my friend looking about 10-15 years younger than he is, then I could easily buy that snazzy genetics + demon blood could = a 25 year face lift.

 

I'd have been perfectly happy if, in that scene from #254, Phoebe's mate had at least made some mention of the age issue — just like your friends would if you did, uh, do him. But she completely ignored it, which seemed unrealistic to me.

 

I suppose that depends on your reality. My friends wouldn't mention it, in fact. He's only about twice my age, which is not the biggest age gap I've been involved in. Many of my friends have flings and relationships involving large age gaps, and it's never really been an issue. What matters is how they treat each other and how they feel about each other. Sometimes spring and winter can have quite a bit to learn from one another.

 

Unless of course Phoebe is 45, and she's just drawn really young-looking. :wink:

 

Very possible. She'd likely have to be at least in her 30's to have finished med school, internship, etc.

 

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How many times now has Johnny-boy been killed and reborn; infused with demon blood or other potential revivifier or rejuvenant; sundered from and/or amalgamated with his good/evil twin/self; or just been generically reconstructed or magically overhauled?

 

 

Actually...not very often at all.

 

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Off the top of my head: once, twice, twice, and it depends on your definition of "magically overhauled", respectively. Which may not be a lot, depending on your frame of comparison, but I think it's enough to lend some credibility to the point Tim was making.

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I'm not very intrigued by this one, which is disappointing. It's a little too "B-movie Horror": modern development on ancient burial ground, the ancient souls are disturbed and become angry and do horrible things. Which can be done well, but it can also be done terribly. We'll see...

 

I did like the historical background, though.

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Well, at least we know Chas is a grandfather so he can't really be too much under forty.

 

Mr Bennett/HRG from 'Heroes' is in his fifties I discovered recently. Looking pretty fine too. Also, on the scars front, John slit his throat open at one point too and I don't see any nagging there about where the big near fatal scar is.

 

Mostly though, I'm just bustin' some chops. :smile:

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John's comments on being alone cracked me up and Milligan has some timing here with the plague thing. There's some good writing here (no comment on art) and it's nice to see some supporting cast show up. Hellblazer seems to read quickly at times, but seriously, how much can a guy talk to himself. New characters should bring some good dialogue and situations, if they stay around.

 

So far, 7/10, pleasant read, but didn't feel like much happened here.

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Finally read #254 Very nice. Really enjoying Milligan's take on the character as he really has a sense of not just being buffetted around - but like he's trying to get somewhere else but things keep getting in the way.

 

It's great that contemporary London is being tied in with London's history. Plus I think there's a real ease to which Milligan's doing all of the characters. To an extent it means that there doesn't feel a great deal of jeaopardy in this story so far (the way I worried for Phoebe in 'Scab') but I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop as to how this'll hit John.

 

Artwork-wise, all of this colour and style is a bit of a shock to the system after so many years of Leonardo Manco. I don't dislike any of it but it's taking a little time to adjust. Good art though and certainly tells the story. Does anyone think the shift in artwork (interior and cover) is to try and find a different audience?

 

Generally, I'm not being blown away by this yet but am just really really enjoying it - particularly as a monthly comic. While Diggle's stuff had hit higher highs by now, it increasingly smacked of writing for the trade and the stories didn't seem to fit easily into monthly issues, either feeling too compressed or too padded in order to put cliffhangers every 24 pages. So if Milligan's run stays at this 'seven out of ten' level for his whole year, I will be perfectly happy reading month by month.

 

Plus I really do feel like he's sewing seeds for something far more subtlely than a lot of writers usually do.

 

7/10

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I did like the historical background, though.

 

Me too. I recognized the plague doctor immediately since another student in my creative writing class this last semester wrote a story set in Mary King's Close in Scotland that mentioned a lot of that stuff.

 

I'm reserving judgment until the story moves on a bit. I wasn't thrilled by the last arc, but we'll see about this one. What else has Milligan done?

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What else has Milligan done?

 

Do you mean ever?

 

If so, definitely check out 'Enigma' - the miniseries/tpb that blew my mind back when I was first discovering comics.

Also check out 'Shade the Changing Man' and 'The Eaters'.

 

He was very much one of the British invasion but isn't as big as the others as he can be very hit and miss. But when he's good...

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Here's a list of what you've been missing by Peter Milligan:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Milligan#Bibliography

 

As Venkman says, not all of it is worth reading. He recommends Milligan's (arguably) two best works, Shade & Enigma, and I'd start there to discover the creative genius of Milligan.

The Eaters is fun, but not essential.

There was a time when he was my favourite (at-that-time) current comic writers. He hasn't been at peak form for the last couple of years though.

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Finally read #254 Very nice. Really enjoying Milligan's take on the character as he really has a sense of not just being buffetted around - but like he's trying to get somewhere else but things keep getting in the way.

That's an interesting observation. I hadn't spotted it, but I guess you're right. I agree with you about Pete's ease of handling the other characters too.

 

 

What else has Milligan done?

I refer you to this post: http://hellblazer.ipbhost.com/index.php?sh...st&p=282329 :wink:

 

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Nice, thanks guys. I know less than shit about comics, so I need to fill in some of the gaps in my knowledge (which are much more numerous than the islands of information I actually have).

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I'd keep an eye out for The Extremist and Face if you're looking for old Milligan comics: Face could well be the best thing he's ever done.

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