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Hellblazer 279

Part 3  

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  1. 1. How is it?



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Hi Trace!

 

 

Not a bad issue, it had some funny bits and i like the developing relationship between John and Terry, ... I can barely remember what happened in the previous issue, and nothing in the one before that. All the pieces seem to be present, but something is missing.

Hope there is some direction to all the plot points. Milligan is usually good at developing themes throughout his stories, but so far the arcs seem like a series of random weird things that happen to John.

My reaction exactly. Stop stealing my thoughts!

 

 

It seemed mostly like the story was setting up later plots.

All of Pete's issues seem like that.

 

 

Man, I like Terry. And John and Terry together is pretty damn cool.

+1. Much to my surprise, I'd like to see him stay.

 

wait...what was Johns young wife's terrible secret then? :blink:

We're not supposed to know yet. She woke up before she could quite grasp the dream-revelation.

 

Does anyone get what was alluded to by JC's inner monologue beginning with "Only it's not luck. Not exactly..." ? Were we supposed to understand that? 'Cause if we were, I'm at the bottom of the class.

 

 

... The conclusion to the thumb/Darren/Leo storyline (assuming this was, indeed, the conclusion) was a bit flat, though. Nuking the mystery with one line of clumsy exposition and having Terry pull John out of the fire? Sad stuff, ...

I briefly received that impression too, but then again I don't think Leo's story really needs to go any further — if he's just a minor dick who created market demand for John's severed thumb, that's okay with me; in fact I'd find it a bit hard to swallow if the severed thumb just happened to have been snaffled by the one person (Darren) who could make it lead to Something Very Significant.

 

Darren's story, on the other hand (badoom-tish), better not be over. We still don't know what he was doing with that vintage supporting character (Gary Lester?) a few issues back.

 

But I'm not sure whether Milligan's outlandish, cartoony Hellblazer has the dramatic weight to pull something like that off.

That's my take on almost the whole run.

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But I'm not sure whether Milligan's outlandish, cartoony Hellblazer has the dramatic weight to pull something like that off.

While I'm quite enjoying Milligan's run, I think this sentence sums up why I'm not exactly an avid Hellblazer reader these days - it feels like the title's strayed too far over that outlandish line. Not just under Milligan either, the problem (such as it is) stretches back further than that for me.

 

I think rereading The Pub Where I Was Born has me pining for Ennis' John Down The Pub bits.

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I'd find it a bit hard to swallow if the severed thumb just happened to have been snaffled by the one person (Darren) who could make it lead to Something Very Significant.

 

I dunno, this story ended with Constantine going on about synchronicity. It's not like Hellblazer is exactly a stranger to that concept.

 

Darren's story, on the other hand (badoom-tish), better not be over. We still don't know what he was doing with that vintage supporting character (Gary Lester?) a few issues back.

 

Don't that guy was Darren; he had long brown hair, not short red/blonde. I do hope that scene is elaborated on at some point (although we are only on the first major arc since that scene was shown, so there's plenty of time yet... I hope).

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But I'm not sure whether Milligan's outlandish, cartoony Hellblazer has the dramatic weight to pull something like that off.

While I'm quite enjoying Milligan's run, I think this sentence sums up why I'm not exactly an avid Hellblazer reader these days - it feels like the title's strayed too far over that outlandish line. Not just under Milligan either, the problem (such as it is) stretches back further than that for me.

 

I think rereading The Pub Where I Was Born has me pining for Ennis' John Down The Pub bits.

 

I think Azzarello was the beginning of the end in that regard. He was the one who dialled down the character stuff in favour of a focus on plots (on account of not really knowing the character that well, I'm guessing, though he's very much a plot writer anyway*). Carey continued that, but bumped up the magic-using too. Mina's extended storyline didn't allow for much downtime and Diggle is another plot-over-character writer. By the time Milligan was on the scene, the non-crime, non-supernatural elements of Hellblazer had atrophied away almost completely. He's just continuing the theme.

 

 

 

 

*I think you can make a decent diagram for writers using a triangle, with 'characters', 'plot' and 'ideas' at the three corners. Ennis is way up in the 'characters' end of things; Carey's further down the 'plot' end. Nothing wrong with any approach, of course.

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Hi Trace!

Hello Jase!

Does anyone get what was alluded to by JC's inner monologue beginning with "Only it's not luck. Not exactly..." ? Were we supposed to understand that?

Yes and no.

Basically, all those events JC refers to aren't just luck or coincidence but, as James alluded to, this is a bit of the ol' Synchronicity Highway and we'll see where it takes JC in the coming issues.

 

I wonder what kind of ancient Babylonian gods will come from the stolen Iraqi loot....

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Don't that guy was Darren; he had long brown hair, not short red/blonde. ...

Ah. For some reason I'm remembering them both as bald, and I've only recently read 279. Ahem. :blush:

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My reaction exactly. Stop stealing my thoughts!

 

 

 

I will, as soon as you stop planting them in my head! ;) but seriously, i do recall one or two things i commented on being mentioned before, but that's how i feel about the book right now. Funny how someone mentioned, Christian i think, that Milligan's stories tend to turn into parodies of themselves, and to me that is a bit of the case with Hellblazer. Recent story lines have a similar feel to the first ones, but it's just hard to take them seriously.

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Speaking of Afghans, they were last mentioned in #275, when Terry was buying off O'Reilly, and was subsequently killed by Nergal. Maybe that sent them into hiding, for now?

 

 

Not bad - plenty going off, and while it was as much a middle section as last month's, it was far more entertaining (any conversations between John and Terry are usually fun). The conclusion to the thumb/Darren/Leo storyline (assuming this was, indeed, the conclusion) was a bit flat, though. Nuking the mystery with one line of clumsy exposition and having Terry pull John out of the fire? Sad stuff, and really made that element of the storyline

 

Yeah, really weak, though since the storyline is (in name at least) centered around John's thumb, and this was one of the middle chapers, I still think we might get more mileage of the whole art-scene crowd.

 

Still interested to see where the Gemma storyline will go, though she's still acting waaaaaay out of character (not a new observation, but I'm sure Milligan is unconsciously weakening all the female recurring castmembers to make Epiphany look better) and giving her one poxy piercing on her cheek feels like a bit like they were wimping out on a more serious/gruesome body modification.

 

Too true. While reading the issue, i half-expected Gemma to come into view sporting one of these on her cheek.

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Yikes! How the hell do you eat with one of those in?

 

I'm not sure O'Malley was actually killed, though his boys were possessed. That whole aspect of 275 was weirdly glossed over, and while I get that flicking from 'John' and Epiphany kissing in front of the fire to the reception party was supposed to be abrupt, getting rid of a potentially interesting plotline that quickly and obliquely just to replace it with another, near-identical one is really weird.

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Yikes! How the hell do you eat with one of those in?

 

 

I believe there is some sort of plastic cork that fits inside the metal ring, sealing it.

 

 

I'm not sure O'Malley was actually killed, though his boys were possessed. That whole aspect of 275 was weirdly glossed over, and while I get that flicking from 'John' and Epiphany kissing in front of the fire to the reception party was supposed to be abrupt, getting rid of a potentially interesting plotline that quickly and obliquely just to replace it with another, near-identical one is really weird.

 

I thought it was implied that Nergal killed them off, but yeah, now went back and checked there were no on-screen deaths. Huh. Hope this won't turn out to be another Gemma-is-owed-a-favor-by-bat-children, who-stole-the-book-in-Azz's-run type of thing.

 

 

And regarding Nergal, wasn't Crowley's magical ring too convenient? Why didn't John use it the past six bloody times he had dealt with Nergal? And even though him knowing Nergal's new moniker gave him great power over him, the bit with the spine-ripping was a bit gratuitous and too easy. Hopefully we'll see him back soon. Though I'd be a sucker or another FotF appearance, if handled well.

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And regarding Nergal, wasn't Crowley's magical ring too convenient? Why didn't John use it the past six bloody times he had dealt with Nergal?

 

Well he only bought it about two issues before...

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Yeah, but why didn't he try to track it down sooner? I know he got it specially for the wedding and as a means of protecting Piphy/Phanny, but it seemed too powerful/convenient an item.

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Well between Delano's run and Carey's John thought Nergal was dead. And again, between Carey's and Milligan's. Man's got enough crises to worry about without adding Nergal to the list (or perhaps he only found out about it recently...).

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Yeah, it's a minor nitpick, more along the lines of - why didn't he get the ring during Delano's tenure, or after Nergal came back for the umpteenth time. It was more to illustrate the fact I dislike the all-powerful target-specific magical items that suddenly appear and solve everything.

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If you ignore Pandemonium, Nergal's only been 'back' twice. It's a testament to Carey's writing that he feels like he ought to have been a fixture for years.

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When was it first implied that he was a human-turned-demon? Was it during Delano, or was it Ennis's First who had some comment regarding that?

 

 

And I still feel that Milligan kinda dropped the ball, if this is all there is to his resurrection of Nergal.

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Yeah, it came to me mid-sentence, but wasn't completely sure.

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