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Hellblazer #267

  

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  1. 1. Your marks out of 10 for Hellblazer #267, please...

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HELLBLAZER #267

 

Written by Peter Milligan

Art by Giuseppe Camuncoli & Stefano Landini

Cover by Simon Bisley

 

Starting a new arc! John Constantine is a bastard. But just how much of a bastard? Haunted by what he might have done, John struggles to find his feet in a world that seems to have turned against him. Have the gods finally decided to punish our urban trickster?

 

hb267.jpg

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It's an interesting issue, I'll give Milligan that.

Too soon to say much, but it definitely peaks my interest.

I hope it doesn't end up as another mind control plot.

Going in a direction like Grimjack took at the end of the series wouldn't be a bad thing right now.

John having a total breakdown, whether precipitated by something external (not mind control!) or internal, would help explain some of the plots that I less than enjoyed during Milligan's run, shall we say.

The issue reminded me a bit of "Sundays Are Different".

I'll give it a 7, as the issue did pull me in, and wait to see where it goes.

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Well, I liked that a fuck of a lot. Fast-moving, unexpected (I went 'Whoa!' at least twice), and suchlike wonderful things that this comic hasn't been known for for quite a while now. And another cracking performance from Camuncoli (have I said how much I like his vertically-sliced pages?), an artist who seems a natural fit for Milligan's writing. Right now, I'd say it's quite possibly the best issue since late Ennis. But I am quite drunk.

 

9/10 from me. It loses a point for some clunking dialogue (a common trait in recent Milligan, notably 'Greek Street', which I've just about lost interest in), and for a couple of niggling details on the last page - the hackneyed cruifixion pose, the rather cheesy use of the old Shade logo in the dialogue bubble, and the description of Shade as a 'ponced-up hippie' (a fair description of Shade in the first 30-odd issues of the run, but not when the 1979-vintage JC met him).

 

Yeah, 'Sundays are different' is an all-time favourite of mine.

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Goodness me that was the blinking cock's bollicks.

 

Yes. That is right.

 

10/10

 

even allowing for clunky Shade Logo and rubbish shagging doctors.

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Goodness me that was the blinking cock's bollicks.

 

Yes. That is right.

 

10/10

 

even allowing for clunky Shade Logo and rubbish shagging doctors.

 

 

Anything with shagging doctors can't be all bad, can it?... I'm looking forward to this now!

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That was certainly different. Loved the art, and the story was interesting. I'm a bit undecided though, especially since the

ending, with the glitzy "Shade"-logo felt really, really off to me.

 

 

But if it pans out well, I'm prepared to upgrade my current vote of "7"

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What Red said sort of bothered me, too. Milligan wrote [ Spoiler : Shade ], too, right?

 

 

Seeing as how I thought Epiphany made an excellent match for John, [ Spoiler : I was disturbed when he socked her--particularly when we see her face afterward. ] The whole John going mental aspect had me worried seeing as how we had just returned to Ravenscar recently, but I got over that.

 

This was a nice beginning. 8.

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9/10. Fantastic start to a story, although I'm reserving judgment on the rest, since a few of Milligan's earlier arcs have gone awry after strong beginnings, but this was about as close to perfect as any first issue in a long, long time. Even with the two caveats Ade mentions, which were, indeed, rubbish.

 

Camuncoli continues to be my favourite series-regular artist since at least Azzarello-era Frusin, possibly earlier. The art here was perfectly-matched to the story - my initial impression was that I'd have preferred Bisley on this issue, as his twisted grotesquery could have enhanced the "world falling apart" sequences, but on reflection, I don't actually think that would have worked as well overall.

 

Most importantly, though, Milligan is continuing to write a Hellblazer which feels fresh and different, for the first time in years. His run hasn't been smooth - the story-to-story pacing has been jarring at times, not helped by the wild tonal differences between Camuncoli and Bisley as artists - but that's not inherently a weakness, particularly with stories like this one. The abrupt, shocking start was terrifically effective.

 

If the rest of the story will maintain this level of quality, we're in for an all-time classic.

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This issue pretty much blew me away, i don't even have to think about whether i liked it or not. I also went "Whoa" a couple of times, especially when John tried to go to the bathroom and painted his face blue, something brilliantly absurd about both things, just shows you his state of mind.

 

Camuncoli and Landini really make the best out of their art, the paranoid expressions on John's face and the collapsing surroundings look great. Also the colors are more toned down to fit the overall feeling of the book. A 9 out of ten and hopefully this story continues to be as good as it started.

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Mark, did you not like Carey's approach to Hellblazer? I didn't care for Frusin on Hellblazer, but he kicked ass on Loveless.

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Mark, did you not like Carey's approach to Hellblazer? I didn't care for Frusin on Hellblazer, but he kicked ass on Loveless.

 

Carey's run doesn't seem to be that well regarded in this forum. I loved it. It was what made me a Hellblazer fan, though I've enjoyed Delano's issues I've read a lot more.

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What Red said sort of bothered me, too. Milligan wrote [ Spoiler : Shade ], too, right?

 

 

Seeing as how I thought Epiphany made an excellent match for John, [ Spoiler : I was disturbed when he socked her--particularly when we see her face afterward. ] The whole John going mental aspect had me worried seeing as how we had just returned to Ravenscar recently, but I got over that.

 

This was a nice beginning. 8.

 

Yes, Milligan wrote Shade. The modern, redefined Shade of the 1980s-1990s.

It's probably what Milligan's most famous for to this day. He did great work on the book. It ranked very highly as one of Vertigo's best books during one of Vertigo's peak periods.

I wasn't totally sold on using Shade either...especially in the way Milligan reintroduced him here...but there is a history between John and Shade already established, so it works.

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Mark, did you not like Carey's approach to Hellblazer? I didn't care for Frusin on Hellblazer, but he kicked ass on Loveless.

 

Carey's run doesn't seem to be that well regarded in this forum. I loved it. It was what made me a Hellblazer fan, though I've enjoyed Delano's issues I've read a lot more.

 

 

Is Mark not referring to how shite Frusin was during most of his run with Carey?

I know that opinion is split on some of the longer arcs and not everyone likes Constantine vs The Monsters and Dead Supporting Character of the Month, but this poll

http://hellblazer.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=5019&hl=poll&st=0

suggests the idea that Mike's run is not well-regarded is not quite correct.

 

Time for an update to account for Diggle and Milligan perhaps.

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Mark, did you not like Carey's approach to Hellblazer? I didn't care for Frusin on Hellblazer, but he kicked ass on Loveless.

 

Carey's run doesn't seem to be that well regarded in this forum.

You would be wrong. Also, AFAIK Mark quite enjoyed Carey's HB, however, he, like most of us, didn't like the direction Frusins art took during his latter days on the title. For me, Starin at the Wall is one of the best HB arcs ever, but it would have been so so so much better if Frusin was on the same form as when he worked with Azzarello.

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Ah, my mistake. I wonder what gave me that notion. :shrug:

Your intense need to feel like an outsider? :laugh:

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Mark, did you not like Carey's approach to Hellblazer? I didn't care for Frusin on Hellblazer, but he kicked ass on Loveless.

 

Carey's run doesn't seem to be that well regarded in this forum.

You would be wrong. Also, AFAIK Mark quite enjoyed Carey's HB, however, he, like most of us, didn't like the direction Frusins art took during his latter days on the title. For me, Starin at the Wall is one of the best HB arcs ever, but it would have been so so so much better if Frusin was on the same form as when he worked with Azzarello.

 

I really loved all of Carey's run, BUT I have only read it in the trades and I think I'd probably have lost patience with it if I'd read the comics. When you have them in nice thick volumes it all makes good sense, but surely there'd be entire issues when John doesn't even appear as Carey builds the detail of life in Hell and so on.

 

I agree with the general judegement on Frusin's work, great in Red Sepulchre, with a different twist to his work with Azzarello, great moments throughout, but a general and rather steep decline in quality as if he'd got very bored and occasionally remembered why he wanted the job in the first place.

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This issue pretty much blew me away, i don't even have to think about whether i liked it or not. I also went "Whoa" a couple of times, especially when John tried to go to the bathroom and painted his face blue, something brilliantly absurd about both things, just shows you his state of mind.

 

Camuncoli and Landini really make the best out of their art, the paranoid expressions on John's face and the collapsing surroundings look great. Also the colors are more toned down to fit the overall feeling of the book. A 9 out of ten and hopefully this story continues to be as good as it started.

 

I found the whole thing rather astonishing, not sure if I'm really wholly sold on it, but it does look a lot more promising than I first thought. Bisley went bonkers with the impastoed white paint on the cover though, very out of tone with the rest of the picture, would have really liked the painting of the Thames seen from the Eye if he'd not fucked it up with that crude white paint.

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I still think Carey's run sucked like a Dyson, I'm afraid. Frusin's art was a big part of that, though - I was on the verge of dropping the comic, but decided to stick around when Manco joined (at least the book looked good, for a few months at least).

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I loved Carey's run - Ade's right, my comment was solely about Frusin's art, which I thought was absolutely superlative for most of Azzarello's run, and went into a startlingly-steep decline very shortly after Carey took over the writing duties. Manco, despite a promising first few issues and the excellent 'All His Engines', didn't do it for me at all.

 

I like the first half of the Carey run a lot more than the second half - mainly due to some extremely weak pacing in the post-#200 dead-friends-and-trip-to-hell arc (although, as has been pointed out, it reads a lot better in trade than it did month-by-month) but on the whole, it's still one of my favourite periods of Hellblazer, with the good-to-great stories far outweighing the not-quite-so-brilliant ones. Nothing since has come close, for me, although I'm enjoying Milligan a lot more than his two predecessors.

 

So far as I can recall, my opinions on Carey were pretty much in-line with the consensus around here - there were a few dissenters, but on the whole, people seemed thoroughly-satisfied. I can see why some people wouldn't be so keen, and he did do a few things which I'd normally be very down on - mainly the heavy use of/reliance on previously-established characters and plot elements - but those were largely redeemed by the execution, which I found tremendously entertaining.

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Yeah, I mean I have to admit, not being a huge fan of Lucifer, when Carey took over writing, I had huge reservations, but they were diminished as his run progressed, peaking with not only my favorite Hellblazer, but one of my favorite comics/graphic novels I've read, All His Engines. I mean, sure there were some Mina-esque arcs once or twice a year for Carey, but (and I apologize for using a baseball analogy here, but it's applicable and since I'm not a sports fan, I love when I can correctly use one AND its relevant, too). Carey would be the kind of batter who hits a lot of home runs, but not many base hits. He doesn't hit for average, he scores a ton of runs with men on base. His errors are hitting into double plays or fielders' choices or pop flies, but he seldom strikes out. He's a power hitter, not a base hitter. Some of his story arcs were outstanding and had me riveted. Some of his lesser arcs or single issues, meh. But I put up with those because I knew what he was capable of, and had faith that he had a lot more of the good stuff in him. I think Carey's stories could also sometimes overcome the detriment of a sub-quality effort by any particular artist.

 

I'm sorry if only 4 or 5 of you understand that analogy. I think I channeled my gandpa because I don't understand some of it.

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