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Hellblazer #255

  

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  1. 1. Your marks out of 10, for #255

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HELLBLAZER #255

Written by Peter Milligan

Art by Goran Sudzuka & Rodney Ramos

Cover by Lee Bermejo

 

Dreams of what could be and the nightmares of what is clash in John Constantine’s mind as he slips in and out of fevered consciousness while past and present collide. A journey through the darkness of his heart discovers fear, regret and the most terrible emotion of all – love.

 

HLB-Cv255.jpg

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It would be, except....

Why is John's face being sucked inside out on the cover? It's imploding!

 

I don't know how I feel about where this is going. On the one hand, I can easily relate to John, but on the other, it seems woefully out of character if this is going where it seems to be. John has always gotten off on control, but as the ending of this issue shows, not at the expense of other innocents. It'd be a bit strange to see John's characteristic attitude towards the father in this story-arc followed up by hypocrisy.

Based on solicitations for upcoming issues, I can only assume that the book is going in that direction.

Besides the ethics issue, I'm not even sure if that direction (as far as John's thoughts and emotions) isn't mischaracterized, period.

Maybe he's just bored?

 

As far as this issue, it wasn't really a story about John Constantine, but the by now classic Hellblazer ending made it enjoyable. So, I'll give it a 7

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I'm looking forward to where this seems to be going. I don't know where that is, but I trust Milligan enough that it'll be somewhere interesting. I like that last ambiguous 'Right'.

 

Solid enough issue, I thought. Nothing groundbreaking, but nothing cringeworthy - actually, the biggest surprise was that none of the plague-era characters turned out to be Constantines... With purpler prose, it would have fitted into the Delano era well enough. Sudzuka's Rayner-ish art worked much better in the plague-era parts than in the modern - the first page seemed particularly stiff. Still, a long way from the worst art we've seen in the title.

 

I like the cover more than most - Bermejo's been a quiet constant on the book for a while, not too much that's been really attention-grabbing, but nothing too shoddy. Unlike what we've seen of Bisley so far...

 

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Meh. Unless this stuff comes up again later, I'm not sure what the point was.

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I'll give it an 8. Have to say besides some stuff here and there, I haven't been enjoying Milligan's run too much, but I did really like this issue.

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Meh. Unless this stuff comes up again later, I'm not sure what the point was.

Haven't read it yet, but sometimes (most times) it's ok just to tell a story that has a start-middle-end without it playing into some grand over-arc or leaving its protagonist forever changed in some way.

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No, I think what Jay was implying was that this issue felt inconsequential. It certainly felt inconsequential to me. If nothing more comes of these events, we've just seen one issue's worth of material stretched to two issues, without much to offer.

 

The only thing that might have been significant, a lesson learnt from the ghost, was reduced to a throwaway final page ("THE END"). Unless, as Jay said, that final page leads somewhere later.

 

Once again, I'd have found this a lot more palatable if the art had contributed more than the bare minimum. It seems "Regeneration" was basically a ghost story; personally I think the style of art here was a poor match for a ghost story.

 

I'm sticking with the title because I believe this second arc was the one Pete would've had to come up with at short notice after learning he was staying on as regular writer. Hopefully what comes next will seem more polished.

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Finally got it today. I don't think I could award a single mark, so here's a breakdown:

Cover: 8-9. Not wholly original, but subtly done with plenty of feeling. Bisley take note.

Story: 7-8. Not overwhelmed, but I liked it. I have enjoyed the sort of low key horror that Milligan has given us so far, ut it has yet to really knock my socks off.

Art: 6. I really would not wish to imply that Sudzuka is anything less than very competent. I liked the backgrounds, liked the Plague Doctor, didn't like any of the other figures, they still seem bland to me. If I was basing my score just on the rendition of JC I'd only give it 4.

 

I'm intrigued as to where the story is going and looking forwards to the next issue despite the cover!

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Another 7 from me. Not really much to discuss on it. Quite a fun read but not really any jeopardy and it wasn't really much as a ghost story as it was overpowered by John and Phoebe.

 

Still, enjoyed reading it.

 

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Really liked this issue. There are some creepy moments here and the usual real life struggle for JC. Ghosts? No problem. Girlfriend? That's harder. The Plague Doctor is one of the more haunting bastards i can think of. Constantine looks like an adolescent playboy, but the rest works fine. Some images are really strong, i like the angle in one where the girl is dragged by the doctor. Architecture of 17 century London also looks convincing and quite detailed. Enjoying the run so far. 9

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Quite enjoyed that myself - granted, there didn't seem to be quite enough story there for two issues but at the same time there was too much for just the one. Simple little ghost story with John being John around the edges and setting up his continuing relationship with Phoebe.

 

Y'know if Milligan just wants to keep telling small little stories with John pottering around for a while then I'm quite happy with that.

 

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Reader idenfication, very important that.

 

Next month, Constantine rummages down the back of his sofa in the hopes of scrounging enough copper together for some fish'n'chips.

 

Alf_chips.JPG

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Didn't do much for me, but considering where this title has been over the past few years, it's still on the right track. I will be hugely disappointed if JC isn't tapping that Pheebs regularly by next installment. Call me an old lady who likes her stories, but I miss Angie, and Phoebe would make a nice Yin to John's Yang. I never got into Kit or Zee or any of those roughly sketched women he banged in the 80s-90s, but Angie was a slice of nice and so is Phoebe, and John's already expressed his interest after being a douchebag. She needs to be naked and sweaty by page 4 of #255.

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Well that grander plot could simply be 'they sleep together', which is a long way removed from Shadow Dogs and Returned Golden Boys.

 

Well, I hope so....

And while I love Peter Milligan, I'm afraid the days of post-Ellis Hellblazer have left me feeling that somehow John making out with the dead corpse that has a hard nipple will figure into all this and that's never good.

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making out with the dead corpse that has a hard nipple will figure into all this and that's never good.

Don't knock it until you've tried it, Christian.

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making out with the dead corpse that has a hard nipple will figure into all this and that's never good.

Don't knock it until you've tried it, Christian.

 

How do you know he hasn't tried it? Personally I was wondering what other kinds of corpses there are apart from dead ones. Not all have hard nipples, that much is certain, or so I have read...

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I was really disappointed with this issue. It seamed like a decent enough idea badly done. I am hoping this is simply due to a rush job and will not be characteristic. The whole thing just felt really dead, or at least like an unfinished rough draft. I didn't even really feel like John was in the too few scenes that were supposed to include him. It was like he had a stand in or something. Mostly disappointing because I really liked the scab story.

 

I too think I know where this is going, and am not too overly thrilled with the idea, but anything can be fun if done well, so I'll stick in there.

 

The art has got to be the worst aspect of this issue. I don't think this artist is a very good actor. I mean, technically everything is good, even if I may not be that crazy about the style, but the poses and expressions just sort of feel 'stock'. It tells the story adequately, but doesn't do even the tiniest bit more. Again, no life, no flavor, except ironically on the cover. Thankfully that at least was worth the three bucks. I think I'd have to give this a 4 bumped up to a 5 by the cover.

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