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Hellblazer 275

  

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  1. 1. Your marks out of 10 for Hellblazer #275, please...

    • 10 -Keep this book going forever!
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    • 5-Give it another 100 issues, max.
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    • 1-Cancel it now.
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HELLBLAZER #275

 

Written by PETER MILLIGAN

Art by GIUSEPPE CAMUNCOLI & STEFANO LANDINI

Cover by SIMON BISLEY

 

Many things have conspired to stop John Constantine from getting married, not least of which is John Constantine himself. But this time it’s different – this time it’s the young, beautiful alchemist Epiphany Greaves. Even as the church fills and the blushing bridegroom slips a carnation into his buttonhole, things can go horribly wrong. Uninvited guests from Heaven and Hell threaten to ruin the wedding of the year. In this issue, confetti and brimstone and the smell of blood fill the air for an extra-sized nuptials issue.

 

http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=30072

 

What do you think makes John and Epiphany a good couple? How do you think they compare to some of the other famous couples in comics, like Superman and Lois, Reed and Sue or Mr. Miracle and Big Barda, just to name a few?

 

John and Epiphany have an interesting and healthy balance of differences and similarities. I mean, they're different genders but the same species. Not that being the same gender should stop you getting married, you understand. There's the age difference, but I think that keeps the whole thing intriguing. Of course, John has a pretty cynical and pissed off attitude toward most of the universe and Piffy certainly holds more positive views. Maybe she needs to be a bit more cynical -- and maybe, just maybe John allows some of his nihilistic fuck everybody-ness to abate a little when he's around her. God knows how they compare with Superman, Lois and those others, but at least John and Epiphany have sex. Lots of sex. I was never entirely convinced that any of the above mentioned characters did.

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Well, Reed and Sue obviously did...unless Reed is much more naive than we thought, and Sue was sleeping around with Namor back then.

I'm sure Reed has vast knowledge of biology though, so he could figure that out for himself.

I believe Sue has a lot of patience, so it probably wasn't until after Franklin was born that she started calling up Namor in furstration.

Sure, I can see how that relationship probably went though...Reed would plan a certain time every few months to take time off from his experiments and shut Sue up for another couple of months.

While Reed could surely please a woman with Kama Sutra style moves, his emotionless manner and continually checking his watch to see when he needed to get back to the lab would surely be unfulfilling.

 

Now, Mr. Miracle and Big Barda...those two crazy kids were just wild!

 

Superman and Lois? Didn't some sci-fi nerd with too much time on his hands actually take the time to write an essay about that?

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Yeah, there's a difference between doing it and shoving it down our throats all the time.

 

(Probably something in the Vertigo rules too)

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Yeah, that was fun. With an uncomfortable twist, obviously.

 

The change of inker at the critical moments was a distraction. Though, to be fair, these occasions do often seem a little unusual.

 

A Frobisher and Gleeson raspberry ice lolly for the first person to identify everyone on John's side of the church.

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There were a lot of ways that could have gone horribly wrong, but on the whole, it didn't. A good issue, and I'm very glad to be back on board. I won't be rating it until I've read it another couple of times, though. There's still a lot about Milligan's Hellblazer which really doesn't work for me, but there's a sort of weird, day-glo unpredictability which I'm enjoying - if nothing else, the book is well and truly out of that samey rut I've spent so much of the past half-decade complaining about.

 

First impression is that I might actually like the fill-in inker more than the regular guy, but the shifts were jarring.

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Notes taken as I read through the issue.

Wow! Hellblazer got the shiny cover treatment for the first time ever...although for $4.99 it needed something extra.

Geez, some of this stuff just annoys me...like the bit about "Aleister Crowley designing the ring".

I was glad to see there was a scene between John and Kit, that was needed. On the other hand, we didn't need a Kit who seemed to still have a thing for John....Kit is well over John, ok? I was hoping she'd have been married. Some of the scene worked, other parts, well, annoyed me.

I liked that John hardly had anyone filling up his side of pews at the wedding. Those are touches I still enjoyed in Hellblazer.

And....ha, ha! Angie! I couldn't help but laugh at that scene!

Oh, nevermind about the Crowley ring. I still think Epiphany's speeches are too "Goth", but the whole ring business ties into the Hellblazer Crowley....

OK, it was predictable...I still don't know about John being married....

So, it's make or break time...Do I want to keep reading this book or is this the drop point? Still not sure. That last scene doesn't prefigure good things ahead for this book...but I'm intrigued by where that will go now....Magical duel using the magic powers of Dr. Fate, maybe?

So, I give this issue a 6 and it's a pretty sucky anniversary issue, but I'll stick around a little while longer.

Maybe I'm just an addict....not an adrenaline junkie like John, but an addict to sub-par comics that I stopped liking years ago.

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A Frobisher and Gleeson raspberry ice lolly for the first person to identify everyone on John's side of the church.

 

Yeah, someone needs to do this.

U'm really wondering who the older gentleman wearing a suit in the front row, to the left of the white corpse, is meant to be.

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I enjoyed the hell of it until the last page. The whole bit with Gemma just felt tacky and now it's a segue to another story arc, probably about vengeance. Gemma was such a great character in Carey's hands, as was Angie, who was my favorite of John's GFs until Epiphany. I've been smitten with her since John pined for the redhead doctor he was shagging and tried to reanimate. But as much as I liked this story, I dread what it will lead to regarding Gemma, who has always been one of my favorite characters in the Hellblazer mythos.

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Agreed. It catches my interest and makes me want to read more, but at the same time, as I said, it doesn't look good.

 

On the other hand, I never liked Angie, so I found that funny.

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I enjoyed the hell of it until the last page. The whole bit with Gemma just felt tacky and now it's a segue to another story arc, probably about vengeance. Gemma was such a great character in Carey's hands, as was Angie, who was my favorite of John's GFs until Epiphany. I've been smitten with her since John pined for the redhead doctor he was shagging and tried to reanimate. But as much as I liked this story, I dread what it will lead to regarding Gemma, who has always been one of my favorite characters in the Hellblazer mythos.

 

Milligan brought me back to the book after a long absence (started around Family Man back in the day and left early Carey after just losing interest during the Azzarello run)*, and I liked everything about the issue except the Gemma stuff. I hope it has some pay off which leads her back around to Gemma Constantine again and not into an emotional fridge.

 

Was trying to place the guests.

 

Considering Diggle fixed what I saw as the biggest error of the Jenkin's run (turning Ellie into a villain, yawn) I rather missed her at the wedding. It was, after all, a deconsecrated church. The big green guy and Abby could have made an appearance to, but I suspect new editorial "back to DCU" policy would not have let them (or say "vertigo-style" in her early 40s Zatanna).

 

*have bought the Carey, Diggle and Miligan trades to catch up. As well as going back and reading Delano, Ennis and Ellis. Not a fan of the Jenkins run.

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Considering Diggle fixed what I saw as the biggest error of the Jenkin's run (turning Ellie into a villain, yawn)

 

I'm fairly sure Carey actually did that with her brief appearance in 'Down In The Ground Where The Dead Men Go', although I forget the details.

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Yep, quite liked that. A fuller consideration to follow when I'm back home, but basically: good stuff, although having Gemma raped (or at least sexually assaulted) and turning Angie into a fat, bitter has-been seemed somewhat mean spirited. Both of them really seemed to be acting out of character, too. I wonder whether Milligan was worried about them seeming too similar if they were all portrayed as headstrong, intelligent women? Actually, bearing in mind that Gloria and Phoebe were murdered and that Epiphany's role in the series so far has generally been a damsel in distress (or at least a girl that all the boys are fighting over/passing around) I'm not sure how well women are doing under Milligan's pen.

 

Still enjoying it, though. I'm far more interested in the comic now than at any time since Carey hung up his hat.

 

From memory, I think the only identifiable people on John's side of the church were Thomas Constantine, Uncle Roy and Faeces.

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having Gemma raped (or at least sexually assaulted) and turning Angie into a fat, bitter has-been seemed somewhat mean spirited. Both of them really seemed to be acting out of character, too. I wonder whether Milligan was worried about them seeming too similar if they were all portrayed as headstrong, intelligent women? Actually, bearing in mind that Gloria and Phoebe were murdered and that Epiphany's role in the series so far has generally been a damsel in distress (or at least a girl that all the boys are fighting over/passing around) I'm not sure how well women are doing under Milligan's pen.

 

I'd agree with all of this, although by way of counterpoint, at least the last few issues have given Epiphany enough screentime to establish her as a character in her own right, rather than the feisty young plot device she was for far too long. Not sure that's enough, though. The human women in the cast have rarely been handled well in latterday Hellblazer (I recall having a bit of a discussion with Mike Carey about the way the initially promising Angie ended up as just another by-the-numbers interchangeable love interest - although in his defence, he did an excellent job with Gemma - and that was the only time anyone even tried to establish a significant new female supporting character between Jenkins and Milligan), but "everyone else was shit at it too" isn't much of a defence.

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Considering Diggle fixed what I saw as the biggest error of the Jenkin's run (turning Ellie into a villain, yawn)

 

I'm fairly sure Carey actually did that with her brief appearance in 'Down In The Ground Where The Dead Men Go', although I forget the details.

 

Ah yeah I forgot that.

 

That brief scene was sympathetic, but it gets played off by Nergel so fast it seemed oddly placed.

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having Gemma raped (or at least sexually assaulted) and turning Angie into a fat, bitter has-been seemed somewhat mean spirited. Both of them really seemed to be acting out of character, too. I wonder whether Milligan was worried about them seeming too similar if they were all portrayed as headstrong, intelligent women? Actually, bearing in mind that Gloria and Phoebe were murdered and that Epiphany's role in the series so far has generally been a damsel in distress (or at least a girl that all the boys are fighting over/passing around) I'm not sure how well women are doing under Milligan's pen.

 

I'd agree with all of this, although by way of counterpoint, at least the last few issues have given Epiphany enough screentime to establish her as a character in her own right, rather than the feisty young plot device she was for far too long. Not sure that's enough, though. The human women in the cast have rarely been handled well in latterday Hellblazer (I recall having a bit of a discussion with Mike Carey about the way the initially promising Angie ended up as just another by-the-numbers interchangeable love interest, and that was the only time anyone even tried to establish a significant female supporting character between Jenkins and Milligan), but "everyone else was shit at it too" isn't much of a defence.

 

Yeah. She kind of got forgotten after Staring at the Wall. But I vaguely recall Mina continuing to develop her as an independent figure who's off doing her own thing. She certainly seemed to be with John for the sex and excitement rather than being in LURVE. Having her comfort-eating and bitching during the wedding was just a bit cruel, really. The cynic in me says that it's an attempt by Milligan to make Epiphany seem better than the competition but that's probably quite unfair.

 

Also: I used a variation of 'seem' three times in a row in the first quoted paragraph. Shocking.

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But I vaguely recall Mina continuing to develop her as an independent figure who's off doing her own thing.

 

 

Yeah, I remembered that after posting, which is why I amended my original post - which you obviously quoted before I got round to doing so - to say "new female supporting character", as well as throwing in an acknowledgement of the generally fine work Carey did with Gemma.

 

Still not much of a line-up, though. I was genuinely glad that not only has Epiphany thus far been spared the fridge, but the way it was presented made it clear that Milligan was firmly aware of how bad an idea that would have been. Gives me some hope, at any rate.

 

I'd definitely agree that I'm far more interested in the book now than I have been since at least the end of Carey's run. That interest is semi-frequently taking the form of extreme frustration, but at least it feels like it's trying again, which is a vast improvement over the gritty-by-numbers bollocks which Diggle's run descended into fairly quickly. There are major elements to Milligan's writing which aren't working for me much of the time, but the stuff which is hitting the mark feels fresh, distinctive and unpredictable in a way which Hellblazer really hasn't been since...ooh, ages ago. Probably Azzarello, to be honest (much as I loved Carey's run, most of it was very firmly based in the familiar). Everything about Milligan's Hellblazer seems to be drawn in brash, broad strokes - tone, plotting, characterisation, even the art - it's not especially subtle, and nor is it trying to be, but there's a bold day-glo pop sensibility which, now that I've finally made the necessary mental adjustments, I'm finding rather entertaining.

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Yeah. She kind of got forgotten after Staring at the Wall. But I vaguely recall Mina continuing to develop her as an independent figure who's off doing her own thing. She certainly seemed to be with John for the sex and excitement rather than being in LURVE. Having her comfort-eating and bitching during the wedding was just a bit cruel, really. The cynic in me says that it's an attempt by Milligan to make Epiphany seem better than the competition but that's probably quite unfair.

 

 

 

I have been pleasantly surprised that I liked Epiphany as much as I did Kit back in the day. I looked into it since I had just reread Lucifer, which lead me to picking up the Carey trades i missed and realizing I missed reading Hellblazer generally. I had read the interviews about the wedding plot point and rolled my eyes, but then really took to the character after reading the Milligan trades. I suspect this is working in part because it was not intended according to interviews. She was not created to be anything more than an actual sidekick from what Milligan has said and this is just sorta of emergent direction.

 

As for Angie, yeah it is the other point of the issue which made me groan, but I do not think it was for Epiphany I think it was to highlight Kit as the only other one who mattered. I liked Carey's run as a deconstruction but Angie did seem uneven at best; wanting to be in the thick of it until it really got bad and then coming back to help but not with a clear relationship (good friend or otherwise) to John anymore. I have not read Mina's run at all, so she appeared in those issues as well? They are the only trades of material I did not already own I skipped mostly because of the near universal bad word of mouth I was seeing.

 

Same reason, as much as I would have liked to seen either of them, Zed (she should be alive somewhere, yes?)or Zatanna would probably have weighed down the narrative a bit. Less so Zatanna of course.(I really do wish DC would let the Hellblazer/Books of Magic Z in her now 40s still exist as a separate character so she could interact a bit. Dini could always ask his wife if its ok).

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I enjoyed the hell of it until the last page. The whole bit with Gemma just felt tacky and now it's a segue to another story arc, probably about vengeance. Gemma was such a great character in Carey's hands, as was Angie, who was my favorite of John's GFs until Epiphany. I've been smitten with her since John pined for the redhead doctor he was shagging and tried to reanimate. But as much as I liked this story, I dread what it will lead to regarding Gemma, who has always been one of my favorite characters in the Hellblazer mythos.

 

Milligan brought me back to the book after a long absence (started around Family Man back in the day and left early Carey after just losing interest during the Azzarello run)*, and I liked everything about the issue except the Gemma stuff. I hope it has some pay off which leads her back around to Gemma Constantine again and not into an emotional fridge.

 

That or end up on the list of dead family members (I hope not). Speaking of that, fuck knows how Dani would react to seeing John again after the demonic offspring debacle

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Yeah, I have to say I didn't like the treatment of John's exes, not a one. And this is coming from someone with quite a few exes I wouldn't mind seeing gain a few pounds or wind up a spinster. They were mean, but pretty and if that's all you got going for you then I don't mind seeing you get old from a safe distance (the only reason I still have a facebook). Of course, they probably wouldn't have minded seeing me all fucked up in a wheel chair, either.

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Actually, reading this thread, is John ever gonna finish the Lovers section on the main page? Because I'd really like to read that.

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Not really sure what to make of this issue.

 

Kit's reappearance after so long was an even bigger disappointment than I'd expected (and the artists appeared to have gone to no trouble with her likeness). Angie got a comedy treatment from the same writer who expected us to take Phoebe seriously.

 

As for where the title is going, I'll have to wait and see if I like it. And frankly I'm sick of having that reaction to all of Pete's issues. Can I like it yet, please?

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It was somewhat enjoyable, although the whole wedding thing and all its (painfully predictable) complications took the main stage. I felt like this issue was more of an exercise in "what could go terribly wrong, as it should in Constantine's wedding, but still end up with 'I do'?". The big picture was all there, but somehow it wasn't very original.. maybe that's how weddings go, all expectations and hope that it will go the right way, but the ceremony itself is rehearsed and kind of stiff? I don't know, it was ok, a 7 from me, but i was hoping for something crazier from Milligan. Why the hell did Vertigo not give him the book after Garth Ennis, or even Delano? At least next issue is by the mighty Biz so it should be good..

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