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Hellblazer #256

  

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HELLBLAZER #255

Written by Peter Milligan

Art by Giuseppe Camuncoli & Stefano Landini

Cover by Simon Bisley

 

Featuring the debut of new HELLBLAZER cover artist Simon Bisley! “Biz” joins the crew, bringing his fan-favorite and dynamic painting style to Vertigo’s longest-running title. John Constantine never knew what he had until it was taken away from him, and maybe he still doesn’t know. But that won’t stop him from selling his soul to get it back. Part 1 of “Resurrection” begins here.

 

HLB-Cv256.jpg

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I really liked this issue, for whatever reason it really clicked to me, perhaps it was the addiction angle. I look forward to seeing where this is going.

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John Constantine never knew what he had until it was taken away from him, and maybe he still doesn’t know. But that won’t stop him from selling his soul to get it back.

 

Really? John's selling his soul again? Who even owns that at this point? Are they taking out shares? Should we be watching the stock market?

 

As a side note, I actually kind of like this cover, and continuing on the theme of addiction, I am looking forward to reading the issue. Although I'm not getting my hopes up.

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As far as i could tell, there was no selling his soul in this issue. There was however his usual manipulativeness that is sure to bite his arse later.

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Loved it. I think I can guess where it's going, and it's not going to be pretty. In a good way.

 

 

And again, I really do like Camuncoli's art for this story.

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Really, really liked this one. The addiction subtext was more than a little heavy-handed, but "supernatural plot device as skull-bludgeoningly-obvious metaphor for social/personal problem" is very definitely in the Classic Constantine Tradition, so I'm inclined to be forgiving. I also like the fact that, instead of a basically decent guy with a dark-and-sarky sense of humour who's willing to let the ends justify the means on occasion, Milligan's actually writing Constantine as a properly amoral selfish bastard, like wot he used to be back under Moore and Delano, and only very rarely since. It's been a long time since that was a regular feature of the character, and I suspect that at least a few people are going to have a problem with it, using phrases like "out-of-character" and "lack of satisfying continuity with recent events/characterisation". And they'll not be entirely without a point. But I still disagree with them, because this is the sort of Constantine I wish I'd been reading about for the past few years, and I'm chuffed to see him back. If the lack of a smooth transition between writers is the price we pay for that, then it's a price which I'm personally more than happy to pay, particularly since that sort of smooth transition hasn't ever happened in the past, Campbell-Jenkins aside, so I don't think it's a problem that it's not happening now either.

 

Too early to comment on where the story's going or how it's likely to turn out once it's done, but after a disappointing sophomore effort, this is much closer to the sort of thing I was hoping for from Milligan's run, and based on part one, it's shaping up to be a definite improvement on his opening arc. A lot depends on where it goes from here, but for now I'm happy.

 

Loved the art - ace colouring and Camuncoli continues to improve at a rate of knots, and it isn't like I wasn't a fan to start with - loved the creeping sense of impending doom, loved the return of Julian, and with a well laid-out trade dress, I even liked the cover a lot more than I did when the image was first previewed. Hurray!

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Not much to say after Mark there, who sums it all up quite nicely - unlike himself though I've been enjoying this run since the first issue, but this still stands out as a really strong effort.

 

There's shades of my favourite Constantine in there - Jenkins' mid-life crisis one - but mixed with that meaner John from the olde days.

 

Tip of the hat to the supporting cast too, early doors but already up there with the lot introduced by Ellis.

 

Oh and as for the soul-selling, well that looks like being more metaphorical than anything going off this issue anyway.

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I was loving the run from the first issue, there was just a bit of a lull there. I didn't actively dislike the last two-parter, but I thought it had a definite "filler" vibe after a nicely-pacey first arc, so I'm glad to see things ramping up again nicely. Still, based on what he's set up so far, I'm definitely starting to pour myself a big ol' jug of Milligan Kool-Aid, and if this story pays off as satisfyingly as I'm hoping it will, I'll be drinking it in big, heaving gulps before long.

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Hmmmm...as mentioned, the art's choice. And this Julian bugger makes a right slimy new villain. And as thrilled as I am about John and Phoebe sitting in a tree, the whole potion angle seems counter to John's bag of tricks. If he were looking to hire a temp for to shagiing, I'd say it were a right fine idea, but he wubs her, and this can only end badly, so forboding have I. But I'm really into this book again, and that's swell if anything can be.

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Loved this issue as well. I spent 10 minutes just looking at the cover alone, colorful but dark. The story gives us John doing something we haven't seen him get into before, which is messed up enough on its own, but in addition there's a parallel plot that makes things even more interesting. Julian seems to be as big bastard as Constantine, not in a stupid way, but a plotting unpredictable backstabber.

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Also liked this issue a lot. Like a few previous Milligan issues, it really started to work for me about halfway through; in this case, when JC found he had a second use for that potion.

 

I'm gutted that a major plot mechanism is very close to that of a webcomic project I've been working on for a long time, but that's the price of dragging your heels. :sad:

 

Still don't like the art.

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I was loving the run from the first issue, there was just a bit of a lull there. I didn't actively dislike the last two-parter, but I thought it had a definite "filler" vibe after a nicely-pacey first arc, so I'm glad to see things ramping up again nicely. Still, based on what he's set up so far, I'm definitely starting to pour myself a big ol' jug of Milligan Kool-Aid, and if this story pays off as satisfyingly as I'm hoping it will, I'll be drinking it in big, heaving gulps before long.

 

I'm not always convinced when Mark is unenthusiastic, but enthusiastic and excited happy Mark is always a good sign, so I'm looking forward to seeing this issue hugely.

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It's horrible when he goes on in Americanisms though.

 

I enjoyed this more than any Milligan issue so far, and Camuncoli's art having improved in dribs and drabs took a great stride here.

It feels to me like the

Phoebe / Julian hair in the drink thing could be a bit of misdirection on the storytelling level.

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I'm not always convinced when Mark is unenthusiastic, but enthusiastic and excited happy Mark is always a good sign, so I'm looking forward to seeing this issue hugely.

 

So Happy Mark is like a genetic marker but for producing a quality product? Hmmm...maybe there's money to be made by charting the number and dates of appearances made by Happy Mark and prospecting accordingly.

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I don't have a lot to add to what others have said. I like everything here, I even like Bisley's cover more than I did when I saw it on this forum, it isn't great, but it fits.

 

I agree that Camuncoli's art has come on, he seems more comfortable with Hellblazer now, or maybe it is some kind of sympathy between him and Landini that has come to the fore. The writing is good and is taking us places, I wasn't very convinced by the demon either in the writing or the artwork, he seemed to be a bit of comic effect more than real menace. I'd be far more scared of Julian if it were real.

 

My only problem with really getting into the whole thing is I prefer Phoebe's friend to Phoebe herself. Trouble is, she's not keen on middle-aged men with blonde hair who can't drive, so no point in becoming a fictional character then...

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The cover is simply stunning. The interior art works for me though it is done in a different vain and at first for me it looked like it belongs in a comic centered around 20-or-so-year-olds. I guess I'm pass that first impression and can enjoy the work artists (who should I credit?) put in those. I especially like the transition between pages giving the story a smooth flow. Can't wait for the next one.

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I'm afraid I was disappointed again. I wouldn't say it was horrible or anything, but it didn't really pull me in either. For one thing, it went where I thought it would, which I wasn't crazy about in the first place. That being the case, the story so far is pretty predictable, but I am still holding out hope for some unexpected plot twists later on. For example, I am wondering if

Phoebe even drank John's tainted wine. We never actually see it consumed, and it might be interesting if her friend had it instead. Phoebe seems smart enough to possibly catch on and play dumb for alterior motives. Then again, it might not be that interesting. I would have been really interested to see how it would play out if John had picked up the love potion to use on himself.

The stuff with Julian is much more fun, and I am looking forward to finding out how John deals with

the glowey skin addiction. Kind of cute that his answer so far is to get the demon addicted to

him. Lol.

We shall see.

 

Over all though, it's just missing something that the first story had. Scab felt more alive. I can't quite put my finger on it. John seems kind of flat lately.

 

As for the art, I too liked the cover, but I'm still not crazy about the interior. Over all I think I'll give this issue a 6.

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I'm afraid I was disappointed again. I wouldn't say it was horrible or anything, but it didn't really pull me in either. For one thing, it went where I thought it would, which I wasn't crazy about in the first place. That being the case, the story so far is pretty predictable, but I am still holding out hope for some unexpected plot twists later on. For example, I am wondering if

Phoebe even drank John's tainted wine. We never actually see it consumed, and it might be interesting if her friend had it instead. Phoebe seems smart enough to possibly catch on and play dumb for alterior motives. Then again, it might not be that interesting. I would have been really interested to see how it would play out if John had picked up the love potion to use on himself.

The stuff with Julian is much more fun, and I am looking forward to finding out how John deals with

the glowey skin addiction. Kind of cute that his answer so far is to get the demon addicted to

him. Lol.

We shall see.

 

Over all though, it's just missing something that the first story had. Scab felt more alive. I can't quite put my finger on it. John seems kind of flat lately.

 

As for the art, I too liked the cover, but I'm still not crazy about the interior. Over all I think I'll give this issue a 6.

 

Don't put your finger on it - you'll get covered in glowy skin stuff and get addicted!!!

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Don't put your finger on it - you'll get covered in glowy skin stuff and get addicted!!!

 

:laugh: Too true.

 

Actually, I think it's the art. I got spoiled by all the subtlety and eye-acting in Manco's stuff. (Well, OK, his earlier stuff.) In no way do I mean to belittle writers at all, I have a deep respect for them, but in this context, if it wasn't for the artist we'd just be reading a script. Scripts are all well and good, but they are not finished pieces. It is just as important for a comic book artist to bring something more to the characters as it is for the actors to do the same for a screenplay. I think that's why I've been feeling like John's been falling a bit flat lately.

 

To be honest though, I re-read this issue on my way back from work this morning, and I did find it more enjoyable the second time around. Mostly I found the writing more enjoyable, soooo... I suppose my major issue is with the art.

 

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A very solid 8.

 

Exactly the right mix of bastardy and desperation I want from this book and it's title character. Nary a Guiness or a theological panto villain in sight.

 

The art is fine and dandy by me. I've said it before and I'll say it again; it's so much better than Manco's last year or so on the book.

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John Constantine never knew what he had until it was taken away from him, and maybe he still doesn’t know. But that won’t stop him from selling his soul to get it back.

 

Really? John's selling his soul again? Who even owns that at this point? Are they taking out shares? Should we be watching the stock market?

 

As a side note, I actually kind of like this cover, and continuing on the theme of addiction, I am looking forward to reading the issue. Although I'm not getting my hopes up.

 

There is definitely a major demand on John's soul these days, a demand that far outweighs supply. I think John's soul is going to go bankrupt soon. Also it would seem that John's soul is actually part of a joint ownership at this point, definitely unstable, I would recommend avoiding any investment in John's soul at this time.

 

For some reason that I can't quite nail down I enjoyed this issue. I agree that the addiction theme is fun, especially since it seems the multiple parties involved are being equally screwed over in that department, it makes it hard to figure out who will come out on top. I mean, John's the "hero" but in Hellblazer that simply means that all the fucked up shit happens to said "hero". It's not a title one would apply to one's self in John's world.

 

Even though I liked the issue, I was also disappointed. I dunno. Guess I'll have to see how this particular story arch develops before I have any solid opinion.

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It's horrible when he goes on in Americanisms though.

 

I enjoyed this more than any Milligan issue so far, and Camuncoli's art having improved in dribs and drabs took a great stride here.

It feels to me like the

Phoebe / Julian hair in the drink thing could be a bit of misdirection on the storytelling level.

I agree, but its only shades better--I'm still not warming up to this John as much as some. And it has nothing to do with the amorality--I'm one of the biggest Moore/Delano fanboys here--its that the amorality seems so...reluctant? And his voice is still too soft. And subcontracting a love potion? John?

 

I agree Ade, but your supposition could also be a sketchy bit of illustrated story telling not properly expressing the action taking place.

 

I do like the supporting cast quite a bit, especially Julian. But I hate the matter-of-factness about the supernatural. The scene at Julian's seemed more out of Chas: Book of Crap than my preferred ethereal, hard-to-pin-down, psychological representation of other writers.

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