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Hellblazer #278

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Hellblazer #278

Written by PETER MILLIGAN Art by GIUSEPPE CAMUNCOLI & STEFANO LANDINI Cover by SIMON BISLEY

 

After welding the thumb of a nearly dead car crash victim onto the lonely stump on his hand, our morally ambiguous London mage finds his new appendage has a life of its own. Following where the stranger's restless thumb takes him, John Constantine hears a name he'd rather not. Meanwhile, Constantine's young bride, Epiphany, grapples with an old addiction and a bizarre former tutor, while John's damaged niece Gemma continues her quest for vengeance.

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No, sir. I didn't like it.

I'm not buying into the marriage, so far. It doesn't seem real.

Will John be rescuing Epiphany on a monthly basis, much like Superman and Lois Lane? I can only hope!

The Gemma thing is just so far out in left field, coming out of nowhere and not matching anything in her personality we've seen before, I can't even believe this is the same person.

Now, if that's Malphas on the cover of the next issue, I will absolutely love this book again. "Someone's been messing around in their Goetia again"....

On the other hand, the whole weird Milligan hates Angie dangling plot thread might just be some sort of game that Milligan and Carey are playing as fellow comic writers.

OK, so for this issue, it gets a 4.

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I gave it a 4 also, 2 points up from what I've normally given lately. I like Ephiphany's tutor, that was sorta creepy. Other than that it's a big, fat yawn fest.

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I loved it. It was weird as fuck, each set of events led to an unpredictable next phase. The physical disfiguring of Gemma to match the mental/soul disfiguring she's also gone/going through. And what was the shit with the "Lady" bleeding all on Piffy? That just made my skin crawl. It was seedy and weird. I suppose the only dodgy part for me was the thumb wanting to dial the phone. As for John and Piff's marriage, yeah, I'd say it's meant to seem uncomfortable and shortlived. At first, I thought the lady was Julian for some reason, but she looked like the SAW puppet. I probably overshot my rating--I'm obviously the 10 picker--but I have been waiting so long for this comic to go all weird and inexplicable SANS Shade, or fuckevil aristocrats or financiers or brokers. When I first got into this comic, it was for the weird random bizarre freaky shit--as long as it goes somewhere. See, the biggest problem with this book over the past couple of years is that it has no problem winding you up, but it hasn't set anything spinning in any of the finales. The last chapter comes, and the top falls over still, or the wind-up robot falls off the table into the dogs water bowl--it's just always a let down. So, that in mind, I should've tempered my enthgusiasm a bit, but I just so enjoyed reading this issue. I got it earlier today and I'd been waiting to read it after I accomplished some things, and when I did, I just enjoyed the snot out of it.

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It's just lost focus at the moment. Too many unsatisfactory chunks of story.

All the wild and crazy strands will no doubt be bought together, but there's just too much unexplained coincidence involved in everything at the moment.

 

The tutor thing and the Gemma thing just feel undeveloped.

I would not agree with Christian's contention that Gemma's behaviour is completely out of character, as I noted after the wedding issue, she had resolved much of this and appears to have randomly reverted to the version before Mike Carey reintroduced her.

 

I hope Shade comes back at the end of Peter Milligan's run.

Perhaps he can walk out of the shower and say it was all a dream like when Constantine had those children.

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I'm really digging this current Hellblazer run. Love Piffy with John and am very interested in seeing where this goes. I think Milligan writes them very well together and I loved this back and forth between Milligan and Carey about Angie, haha! The stuff with the Lady was definitely really cool and I'm sure it may not be the last we see of this. Despite my overall enjoyment of this, the stuff with Gemma seems so awkward and weird. Since it was first presented with Demon John, I was a tad wary of this plot line but I'm curious to see where Milligan goes with this.

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I liked that. Some very weird and pleasing stuff in there.

 

The Lady was reminiscent of Morrison-era Doom Patrol. JC said he suspected something was up with Epiphany "lately", but I don't recall the reader being given any such foreshadowing, unless you count Epiphany's whole character; not sure how I feel about the Lady appearing out of nowhere in narrative terms.

 

Not so fond of the overall soap-opera structure either. The division of the Milligan era into arcs with individual titles is fairly arbitrary and meaningless.

 

I literally laughed out loud at the final panel. Classic moment there.

 

 

...The Gemma thing is just so far out in left field, coming out of nowhere and not matching anything in her personality we've seen before, I can't even believe this is the same person. ...

Yeah, I'm still having trouble with that. But in a way, that makes it all the more uncomfortable to watch her descent.

 

 

I loved it. It was weird as fuck, each set of events led to an unpredictable next phase. The physical disfiguring of Gemma to match the mental/soul disfiguring she's also gone/going through. And what was the shit with the "Lady" bleeding all on Piffy? That just made my skin crawl. It was seedy and weird. I suppose the only dodgy part for me was the thumb wanting to dial the phone.

With you on all of that (Milligan's game sure is hard to predict) up till the bit about the thumb dialling the phone: I thought that was bloody clever as a plot element and (despite the concept not being original) quite unexpected.

 

As with 277, something about this issue worked for me a lot better than most of Pete's run so far.

 

In the letter column, it was sweet of him to give a straight reply to the (presumably young) girl who asked where he gets his ideas. It also might suggest how few letters they receive. :wink:

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I should say that the weirdness of this issue reminded me more of Milligan's work that I liked the most - when Shade was at its best.

But as I keep saying, I'd like some of the containment of story that we had even in Azzarello's run, the soap stuff just doesn't do it for me.

 

And there was at least one obvious foreshadowing of Phanny's tutor, and perhaps some more subtle.

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I loved this back and forth between Milligan and Carey about Angie, haha!

I enjoyed that myself, if we're going to have letter cols then that's the kind of thing that makes them worthwhile.

 

As for the issue itself, it was alright, loved the look on Gemma's face as she ran off with John's coat.

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Word.

 

And there was at least one obvious foreshadowing of Phanny's tutor, and perhaps some more subtle.

Obvious? I can only assume you mean issue 277. For my money, that shadowing isn't fore enough to satisfy the requirements.

 

Then again, Conjob has a history of friends, enemies, soulmates and nicknames appearing out of nowhere for story purposes, so why not Epiphany?

 

In fairness, I guess it's a bit naff of me to say

I dunno what to think of the hints of things happening in the background that are hallmarks of Pete's run. By the time we find out why that driver sold his soul, I'll have forgotten he did it, just as I've forgotten whatever someone was doing summoning a demon or some shit a few issues ago, and probably some other thing ...

... and then complain about a lack of foreshadowing.

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I'm not ever going to be happy about the Gemma thing, but going weird on her is better than taking the piss (did I get that right?)

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I'm not ever going to be happy about the Gemma thing, but going weird on her is better than taking the piss (did I get that right?)

 

:laugh:

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Not brilliant, but pretty entertaining, and I like watching Milligan bring in stuff that's going to get developed later, particularly if it's as barking mad as Gemma's newfound taste for body piercing and undead demonic teachers.

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The Lady was reminiscent of Morrison-era Doom Patrol.

 

Heh, I thought something similar - it reminded me of The Umbrella Academy, it seems like an interesting concept, though I fear it's been given too little time so far and is explained away pretty matter-of-factly, that I'm not sure if Milligan will pull off some of the promise the idea of Lady Lazarus holds for me.

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Hey, folks, did anyone else end up with four pages printed twice in their issue? Am I missing four pages of story, or did this happen in every copy??

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I don't remember mine having that problem.

 

Crap. That means I'm actually missing pages in mine. Unfortunately, the thought of paying for two copies of a Milligan issue makes my knuckles clench, so I guess I'll never know what I missed.

 

If I posted the last word bubble of each page, would anyone be willing to scan any missing pages for me? Pretty please? :)

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I don't remember mine having that problem.

 

Crap. That means I'm actually missing pages in mine. Unfortunately, the thought of paying for two copies of a Milligan issue makes my knuckles clench, so I guess I'll never know what I missed.

 

If I posted the last word bubble of each page, would anyone be willing to scan any missing pages for me? Pretty please? :)

 

You're on the web, right? Getting free comics is not a difficult thing. I'll PM you in a couple of days (v busy right now).

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