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Rassmguy

Comin' Back to Hellblazer

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Hi, folks!

 

I've not been around in a long time, as I'd stopped buying comics a couple of years ago. However, I've decided to come back to Hellblazer, as I miss the ol' bastard. So my question is this: In the past couple of years, other than the monthly title, Pandemonium, Dark Entries, the Chas miniseries and the House of Mystery annual, are there any other stories I need to track down?

 

Thanks, guys. It's good to be back. :)

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I'm going to say no. I don't remember buying any other Constantine appearances in that period.

EDIT:Wait, there was a Zatanna one-shot from Vertigo. I don't remember when it was released. That, if you don't have it.

 

There's a new Hellblazer mini-series starting this month called "City of Demons", and this year's House of Mystery Annual will feature a new HB short story and will be coming out next week.

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There's a new Hellblazer mini-series starting this month called "City of Demons",

:blink: There is? No bugger told me.

http://vertigo.blog.dccomics.com/2010/07/19/hellblazer-mini-series-to-begin-this-october/

 

... In the past couple of years, other than the monthly title, Pandemonium, Dark Entries, the Chas miniseries and the House of Mystery annual, are there any other stories I need to track down?

Hi Rich. You're getting the Chas miniseries for the sake of completism, right? 'Cause I wouldn't bother otherwise.

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Thanks, Christian! Do you recall the title of the Zatanna one-shot? And was his involvement significant?

 

 

I'm going to say no. I don't remember buying any other Constantine appearances in that period.

EDIT:Wait, there was a Zatanna one-shot from Vertigo. I don't remember when it was released. That, if you don't have it.

 

There's a new Hellblazer mini-series starting this month called "City of Demons", and this year's House of Mystery Annual will feature a new HB short story and will be coming out next week.

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Thanks, Christian! Do you recall the title of the Zatanna one-shot? And was his involvement significant?

 

 

I'm going to say no. I don't remember buying any other Constantine appearances in that period.

EDIT:Wait, there was a Zatanna one-shot from Vertigo. I don't remember when it was released. That, if you don't have it.

 

There's a new Hellblazer mini-series starting this month called "City of Demons", and this year's House of Mystery Annual will feature a new HB short story and will be coming out next week.

 

It was called "Zatanna:Everyday Magic", and the entire plot hinged around John Constantine and his poor love choices.

Not essential, but a fun little read, with plenty of John (not just a few panels).

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What was in the House of Mystery annual?

 

It was a pretty poor short story written by Milligan.

The annual was themed, all the stories centered around a certain cursed mask, which was a death blow for creativity, as far as I was concerned based on the quality of the stories.

I don't remember the story anymore (my short-term memory being messed up), something about a teen suicide I want to say...Julian was involved with the mask in some manner, I think.

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Well, I've begun reading the final Diggle issues that I'd missed, and I also read the two-parter about punk Constantine and Norfulthing. I'm curious: Does Diggle's storyline have a good payoff? I do enjoy the characters of Burnham and Mako, and I like how Diggle ties in aspects of John's past. Did you all enjoy how it ended?

 

The Norfulthing two-parter was pretty pointless, I thought. All this buildup to a Newcastle sequel... and then the battle between John and the demon happens OFFSCREEN? What the heck??

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The Jason Aaron two-parter is widely loathed around these parts.

 

I don't even remember the Diggle finale, honestly. That's how memorable it was.

I'm going to say it wasn't great, because I remember Diggle's run starting off as pure love and then ending up as "this again?".

The Mako stuff wasn't highly praised around these parts either.

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I don't remember the plot details of Diggle's finale too clearly, but I haven't forgotten that my reaction to it boiled down to "GRRAAAAAGGGHHH CRUSH KILL DESTROY".

 

Most people seemed to respond with a slightly more measured "meh", as I recall.

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The ending to the Mako storyline (#248) was good enough, IMHO, but the finale to Diggle's arc, the final issue (#249), was awful.

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Oh, lovely. No love for the Diggle finale. Great. Issue #248 is the next one I'll be reading. I guess I'll find out how my opinion compares with that of others on this board. My opinion often seemed to be comparable to what others here said before I stopped reading Hellblazer, so I have a bad feeling about this now that I'm aboard again.

 

How about Milligan? What's the general consensus of his run? Will I like it? Hate it? Say "meh" a lot? Lose interest and start daydreaming about Penelope Cruz and Selma Hayek?

 

I read the first two issues of "Chas" last night, and I actually really like this one. Chas is such a great character--seeing him in the spotlight is always fun. (Though I had to smack myself in the head upon seeing "Morbidly Obese Chas Chandler With Pendulating Abdomen" in the Newcastle followup--what the HECK was up with that??)

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If you like the Chas mini-series, your opinion may not match the consensus here.

All I remember about the Chas series now is that it was the single most misunderstood reading of John Constantine's characters, ever. Of course, the mini wasn't about John...but that's what stands out for me.

 

That's the problem with asking about stories. Unless something is just poorly written to the point of ruining the basics of plotting, yu'll always see different opinions. I know that there are plenty of people here who don't agree with Mark, Red, and myself. Opinions are personal, it depends on what you're looking for in a HB story.

Vertigo hasn't been delivering what some of us want to see in this particular book.

Which is a roundabout way to say that Milligan's run is like Diggle's (starts out really good...)...only instead of the "meh" reaction from myself to Diggle, there's the hair pulling "God, what is this?" reaction I've been having to Milligan's plots lately.

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If you like the Chas mini-series, your opinion may not match the consensus here.

 

It turns out that I didn't. I liked the first issue, but then it all just went south. John was WAY out of character, the story was boring, and the ending was pointless. Yike.

 

All I remember about the Chas series now is that it was the single most misunderstood reading of John Constantine's characters, ever. Of course, the mini wasn't about John...but that's what stands out for me.

 

I agree. John laying out on a beach in a trenchcoat, sipping Zombies... WTF??

 

That's the problem with asking about stories. Unless something is just poorly written to the point of ruining the basics of plotting, yu'll always see different opinions.

 

True. But I was interested in hearing 'em, nonetheless. :)

 

Vertigo hasn't been delivering what some of us want to see in this particular book. Which is a roundabout way to say that Milligan's run is like Diggle's (starts out really good...)...only instead of the "meh" reaction from myself to Diggle, there's the hair pulling "God, what is this?" reaction I've been having to Milligan's plots lately.

 

You're not alone. I'm four issues into Milligan's run and I have yet to enjoy it. It seems like he's trying too hard to be Jamie Delano. The only problem is that he's NOT Jamie Delano.

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Don't worry - he starts being Peter Milligan again pretty quickly.

 

I disliked the Diggle run at the time (save for the opening arc and the ace urban myth one shot) but on catching up last month it really grew on me. I think it suffered from being the third massive, cliffhanger-packed arc in a row.

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Don't worry - he starts being Peter Milligan again pretty quickly.

 

I hope that's a good thing. Because right now, John's cooking up a love potion to give to Phoebe, and all I can do is shake my head and wonder what the hell happened to this series while I was on hiatus from reading it. He gets a lot right, but his stories just don't pull me in. A love potion? Really?

 

I disliked the Diggle run at the time (save for the opening arc and the ace urban myth one shot) but on catching up last month it really grew on me. I think it suffered from being the third massive, cliffhanger-packed arc in a row.

 

That's an excellent point, and that may be what made me give up on the title halfway through Diggle's tenure, despite having LOVED his opening issues. But now, having re-read his entire run in full, I like it a lot more. I just wish Milligan's run would start growing on me as well, because reading his issues is dampening my enthusiasm at coming back into the fold.

 

I also read Dark Entries today, and I have mixed feelings about it. It's interesting to note that the first half of the book has a white bleed to the edges of the paper, and the second half has a dark bleed to the edges. Why? Because the lighthearted first half pulled me in and had me enjoying it... and then it lost me once the darker "they're dead and in hell" twist was revealed, which happened just as the black bleed kicked in. Suddenly, I was no longer reading a clever send-up to reality shows, and was instead reading a very cliched story with very cliched characters. (Characters being dead, or in hell, has been done to... excuse the pun... death.)

 

I've read about 2/3 of Pandemonium, and for some reason, I'm not entirely hooked on it. The art is fantastic, and John's character is dead on (naturally, since it's Delano writing it), but I keep finding my attention wandering while reading it. It's as if I've developed adult ADD. I think I might read it a second time upon finishing, to see if I enjoy it more on the second pass.

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I would suggest reading Dark Entries as a pastiche of the haunted house movie.

Then the characters are less of what you call a cliche and more a reflection on that type of story.

 

I am also not keen on the "crisis of infinite midlife" Constantine, but as it goes on Peter Milligan tells some good stories.

If I were ever going to do my patented Hellblazer timeline (and I am not) I would mischieviously choose to place most of Milligans issues in the same bubble* as the Chas miniseries story.

 

And the Spencer-Murphy tale can be the Constantine Prime time line.

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I would suggest reading Dark Entries as a pastiche of the haunted house movie. Then the characters are less of what you call a cliche and more a reflection on that type of story.

 

It's a good suggestion, thanks. When I finish reading Milligan (only six issues left), I'll re-read Dark Entries with that in mind.

 

I am also not keen on the "crisis of infinite midlife" Constantine, but as it goes on Peter Milligan tells some good stories.

 

I do think he gets better. The India storyline had some good moments to it, for example.

 

I think what's killing it for me with Milligan's run is that his cast of secondary characters (Phoebe, Epiphany and Julian) don't thrill me. Delano, Ennis, Jenkins, Ellis and Carey each came up with some fantastic characters that enriched the mythos. These characters, though, I only find mildly entertaining. (Well, Phoebe and Epiphany, at least. Julian annoys me.) I do like the covers, though--the "Bollywood musical" cover did make me laugh.

 

There are also some continuity issues that cause me to cringe. For example, Constantine is wanted for murder and is being pursued. There's discussion about the possibility of his going to prison. But not once does anyone--not the police, not Constantine--mention that he has already been in prison, and that it was for murder. Granted, he was released, but that's not the point--it seemed a big omission to me that no one mentioned it. Another one was the idea that Constantine and Mucous Membrane were still performing in 1979--I was always under the impression John was at Ravenscar from 1978 to 1980.

 

If I were ever going to do my patented Hellblazer timeline (and I am not) I would mischieviously choose to place most of Milligans issues in the same bubble* as the Chas miniseries story. And the Spencer-Murphy tale can be the Constantine Prime time line.

 

I like it. :)

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The thing is that Milligan's supporting cast is so very important to most of his stories (excluding Julian now).

I'm not a huge fan of Ennis' cast, although it had some good characters, and Jenkins' supporting cast (other than Dana) was one of the things I actively disliked about Jenkins' run (which I found to be some of the best HB work). Yet, in spite of that, the supporting cast wasn't integral to most of the Ennis or Jenkins stories. The stories were still about John Constantine.

If you remove Phoebe or Epiphany from Milligan's run, what would the stories be about? There's be a huge plot hole. Milligan's cast is what holds up the majority of his themes.

 

You could argue that Jenkins' cast would fall closely into this slot. That Jenkins' biggest theme was the contrasting of John's former life with his new "mature life".

But, Dana could fill that role perfectly well by herself, and there was only the need for jutaposition in Jenkins, as the supporting cast was only part of the equation, not the whole.

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There are also some continuity issues that cause me to cringe. For example, Constantine is wanted for murder and is being pursued. There's discussion about the possibility of his going to prison. But not once does anyone--not the police, not Constantine--mention that he has already been in prison, and that it was for murder.

 

In the US though. Actually it's the latest in a long line of 'being wanted for murder' stories. The last one was in Carey's run and I don't think that ever got satisfactorily resolved.

 

Another one was the idea that Constantine and Mucous Membrane were still performing in 1979--I was always under the impression John was at Ravenscar from 1978 to 1980.

 

Yeah, that bothered me as well. It's all a bit vague but when New Vegas stops eating up my life I intend to work out a proper Mucous Membrane timeline for the Hellblazer wiki.

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In the US though. Actually it's the latest in a long line of 'being wanted for murder' stories. The last one was in Carey's run and I don't think that ever got satisfactorily resolved.

 

Right, that one as well! {{{head shake}}} That's sloppiness, not only on Milligan's part but on the part of Vertigo's editors.

 

Another one was the idea that Constantine and Mucous Membrane were still performing in 1979--I was always under the impression John was at Ravenscar from 1978 to 1980.

Yeah, that bothered me as well. It's all a bit vague but when New Vegas stops eating up my life I intend to work out a proper Mucous Membrane timeline for the Hellblazer wiki.

 

That's something I'd love to see.

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Another one was the idea that Constantine and Mucous Membrane were still performing in 1979--I was always under the impression John was at Ravenscar from 1978 to 1980.

He was in and out till at least 1982 (the Brian Talbot annual), but the really grating thing is that we've already seen Constantine in 1979. It was when he met Shade in the first place (to be precise, the election night of 3 May 1979), ie when he was seen in flashback in Helblazer just a couple of issues ago. He didn't look like Bisley's twat punk version then.

 

But there's absolutely no reason why this 1979 diversion shouldn't be 1976, say. I'm taking it as a consistent misprint.

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He was in and out till at least 1982 (the Brian Talbot annual), but the really grating thing is that we've already seen Constantine in 1979. It was when he met Shade in the first place (to be precise, the election night of 3 May 1979), ie when he was seen in flashback in Helblazer just a couple of issues ago. He didn't look like Bisley's twat punk version then.

 

You're right! Arrgh. This just gets more annoying. Where's the editorial quality control?

 

He was in and out till at least 1982 (the Brian Talbot annual),

But there's absolutely no reason why this 1979 diversion shouldn't be 1976, say. I'm taking it as a consistent misprint.

 

Yeah, from a timelining perspective, that date pretty much has to be ignored.

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