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londonsurrealist

Hellblazer #263

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  1. 1. On a scale of 1 to 10 etc etc

    • 10 (Vindaloo)
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    • 9 (Jalfreizi)
      1
    • 8 (Xacutti)
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    • 7 (Madras)
      1
    • 6 (Dhansak)
      2
    • 5 (Dopiaza)
      0
    • 4 (Biriani)
      0
    • 3 (Dhal)
      0
    • 2 (Korma)
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    • 1 (It Ain't Half Hot Mum)
      0


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http://www.dccomics.com/vertigo/comics/?cm=13879

 

From the look of this it is the Bisley cover I've like the most so far. I suppose that means all the Biz fans will say they hate it! Looking forward to reading it.

 

I've not seen #260 yet, but am wondering about the emphasis on the bastard aspect of John's personality. He obviously isn't JUST a bastard, can even be quite nice (once in a blue moon!) and does have standards and morals. What's more, Milligan has made this clear in his version. So, the question arises why he is being SUCH a bastard and does he just shift away from the extreme or does he find some (presumably temporary) redemption?

 

The blurb suggests the latter, as does the logic of the whole Milligan arc.

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From the look of this it is the Bisley cover I've like the most so far. I suppose that means all the Biz fans will say they hate it!

 

No, we hate you.

 

:tongue:

 

:wink:

 

The early episodes of the Milligan arc remain patchy, but the more recent issues have been more satisfying to me as the story rolls on.

There have always been moments when the bastardry oversteps the mark - notably Azzarello's S&M stories (even allowing for possible distorted perceptions of the various characters) - but the recent moments have been in keeping with his current mental state.

I am still not completely convinced by how he got there though the flashbacks have helped a bit.

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I'd certainly agree with that. The basic story Milligan's chosen to tell is a fairly decent one, but he really seemed to mess up the initial setup - particularly the establishment of John and Phoebe's relationship, as we've discussed before. If it continues as it has been for the last couple of issues, though, I'll be happy - this was a cracking little story, and I'm reasonably intrigued by the solicitations for upcoming issues (it helps, of course, that I like Camuncoli's art and am looking forward to his return, although I certainly wouldn't be averse to more Bisley in future as well).

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There's always been a fine line with John's being a bastard.

That aspect of the character had been missing since Carey took over the title. John acted far more heroic for a few many years there.

Perhaps that is why it seems more jarring with Milligan, although Milligan's aspect of this is far more pronounced than at any time except Azzarello's run.

But, if you go back to Alan Moore's creation of the character, John showed a particularly self-sacrificing characteristic.

He didn't just sacrifice others for the "greater good", he was willing to sacrifice himself also. Perhaps playing upon the initials of John Constantine. Or, also, because the stakes Moore was playing with were the fate of the universe, which is why John has always worked in more personal and localized stories, rather than cosmic dramas.

Moore's John was manipulative, but he was manipulative because he had a higher purpose which went beyond individuals, and he was so consumed with his own self-importance that he only trusted in his own instincts to not make mistakes. The "control freak" aspects were more pronounced from the start than the "bastard" aspects, I'd say.

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I'd go with that. In my opinion, the whole "John Constantine is a bastard" thing is a myth based on a very simplistic reading of some earlier stories. Apologies if we've already been over this.

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I'd go with that. In my opinion, the whole "John Constantine is a bastard" thing is a myth based on a very simplistic reading of some earlier stories. Apologies if we've already been over this.

 

I suspect that by now we've been over most things quite a lot!

 

I think the point is he IS a bastard, or he can be, but he isn't JUST a bastard. He's capable of doing terrible things either for the greater good or because his moral compass doesn't always point south. What did he say? "I'm not the nicest bloke you'll meet, but I do me best". And of course, sometimes, when he is doing his best, that is when all his friends start to drop like flies...

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Yes, but doing "terrible things for the sake of a greater good" isn't the definition of acting like a "bastard".

Constantine does act like a bastard a great deal of the time throughout different writers runs (Ennis, Ellis Azzarello, Milligan).

But, it really isn't the inherent part of his character that it's become so greatly made out to be, or at least not based on original conceptions of the character. By this point, it has become an accepted part of the character though.

Carey's run, for all the aspects I disliked about it, was probably the closest to playing off Alan Moore's original ideas about Constantine.

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... doing "terrible things for the sake of a greater good" isn't the definition of acting like a "bastard".

Constantine does act like a bastard a great deal of the time throughout different writers runs (Ennis, Ellis Azzarello, Milligan).

But, it really isn't the inherent part of his character that it's become so greatly made out to be, or at least not based on original conceptions of the character. By this point, it has become an accepted part of the character though.

Exactly that.

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I think the surrealist's on the money: Milligan's obviously been making Constantine act worse so that he can set up some sort of expiation over the next story arc.

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Very good. Really upped the ante. The reappearance of Epiphany was cool, and I had sort of gotten tired of her in the previous arc. But this time it works and I won't say why, because that's TOO much of a spoiler. My favorite issue of this India arc, and this arc is my favorite post-Carey arc of Hellblazer, and I liked Diggle's run, so that's saying something for me. I give it a 9 with a headstand. Two toes up!

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Thought I was reading a J.M. DeMatteis (blessed be his name) comic with all the references to Kali Yuga, didn't I?

I must admit, I'm getting bored with this story-arc now.

Milligan could've compressed this plot into one less chapter, I'm sure. "Western view of India", "old British colonist takes form of Hindi spirit and rapes young Indian women"....we really didn't need it spelled out for another entire issue.

I'll give this one a 6. It's fine, but it's gone too long without really revealing much new.

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I liked this issue more than last issue, which I liked a lot. Pete's JC is hitting the right notes — "Being sneaky is the closest thing someone like me gets to Nirvana, Charles."

 

The cartoony art still leaches all the gravitas from the proceedings IMHO, but the script is strong enough not to rely on the art.

 

This issue is a contender for "worst reaming of a cover illustration by an ugly logo". Can anyone think of a worse offender in the previous 262 issues?

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I don't know what happened with the cover logo since Milligan's tenure started.

They're trying to drive reader aways I believe, as I find the book harder to find on the racks with that garish police tape inspired homage.

Plus, it's difficult to find the issue number now.

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It's there at the top of this thread, Christian.

 

:sherlock:

 

I really quite liked this.

That's a fair point about horror and let's be honest, just because it's a creative variation on the same old "Devil", this is still a demonic entity tale.

However, it's got a decent element of the political horror.

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The early episodes of the Milligan arc remain patchy, but the more recent issues have been more satisfying to me as the story rolls on.

There have always been moments when the bastardry oversteps the mark - notably Azzarello's S&M stories (even allowing for possible distorted perceptions of the various characters) - but the recent moments have been in keeping with his current mental state.

I am still not completely convinced by how he got there though the flashbacks have helped a bit.

This perfectly captures my feelings. I just read my recently acquired #259-263, so I don't have each issue completely separate in my mind, but its taken a definite step forward, as of around 258 or so.

 

ETA: Just checked back to my feelings about 258, and I hated it. A quick reread confirms the fact. So, 259 seems to represent a step in the right direction for me.

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I am rather liking this Hellblazer jaunt to India, its a bit different from the normal stomping grounds.

 

Although with Epiphany back in the picture, i can't help but go back to my pet theory that we are about to be served up a bait-and-switch in terms of Hellblazer casting. At the end of the day, Phoebe's role is little better than a McGuffin. The little alchemist on the other hand may end up on that notorious list of John's accomplices and liaisons.

 

Has this all been one big elaborate setup for the character i wonder?

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