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Hellblazer Annual 2011

Was It Good For You?  

17 members have voted

  1. 1. How Much Did You Enjoy It?

  2. 2. Which Annual Was Better?



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Hellblazer Annual 2011

Written by: Peter Milligan

Art by: Simon Bisley

Cover by:Simon Bisley

 

A dying woman's desperate need to see her long lost son sends John Constantine on a mission in 'Suicide Bridge,' a haunting tale of evil and melancholy that finds John using his occult connections to learn why so many young people are going missing. It's a story full of strange places and desperate lives that leads Constantine to unearth his own connection to the mysterious disappearance of a boyhood friend.

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Oh, damn. I thought this was going to be a flashback story, but it's using current continuity. At least it's a stand-alone story. Phoebe didn't hurt the story, at all.

Not impressed by the old, "someone from John's past you never heard about does something and now John must get involved" stock plot....but, it is someone from John's early childhood. Sure, I'm a bit peeved that it messes with Delano's continuity, that John didn't have any friends as a young child, but....

Another continuity blunder is that Phoebe says she is surprised John didn't run away from home. While you could argue it's technically factual in the sense that he didn't leave for good, it's been established that John did run away from home a number of times, he just got caught and ended up back at home.

I really enjoyed this story though. This is the type of story I'd like to read in Hellblazer on a regular basis. A ghost story. John playing the role of a detective-type character. Believable magic. A human John Constantine.

OK, there's some really weak writing towards the end, when the teenage girl shows up on the bridge. I could've done with some more believable dialogue in that scene.

Oh, and I really like the cover.

 

I give it a solid 8.

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Quite enjoyed that, central conceit was interesting but the execution didn't quite live up to it - some of the blame's probably on me mind as I was reading it this morning through bleary eyes.

 

Art was excellent, yeah I like Bisley's hulking private eye Constantine but still gripe about that chap who gave him the zipper-sleaved jacket!

 

Gave Milligan the nod in your poll, the Arthurian Constantine story never did much for me.

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Very well done.. while the plot was not the most original, the characterization, dialogue, mood and Biz artwork are very solid. I enjoyed Constantine as a private eye, the tone early reminded me of James Ellroy's crime books. It felt like Milligan wanted to put quite a bit of pieces in here, a theme of teenage alienation, nostalgia towards the past and a haunted video.. I mean photograph. Oh, and facebook.. I liked the story but I wonder if I would like it more if I was a teenager myself.. I think the effort is there, Constantines voice is great, I enjoy the narration a lot, especially the humor. I give it 8.5, because I appreciate the effort Milligan and Biz put into it, but I don't feel like it qualifies as a true classic due to a slight lack of originality.

 

Milligan gets my vote as the better Annual, because I never read the Delano's one, but couldn't skip the poll.

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So far I'm the only one who voted for the Delano annual.

Of course there are only four votes total.

 

This annual would rank as probably my second favourite Milligan story, after his initial story-arc. I'd have to re-read that story to guarantee which I liked better though, as a lot of time has passed.

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I'm about to sit down with it and read it while the dude across the alley from me is playing an accordion (one of the most offensive instruments ever) in an almost soothing melancholy and unoffensive manner. I'm glad to know it does not suck. That has me looking forward to it.

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I have to say that's the best hellblazer I've read in over a year. since Pandemonium, I think.

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I'm going to overrate it slightly with an 8, simply because it's such a pleasant surprise to have a Hellblazer issue (sort of) which I actually liked. It wasn't perfect, but it was pretty damn good - atmospheric, decent characterisation for John and most of the supporting characters alike, good use of familiar tropes in a context which didn't feel overly familiar...good stuff. More like this, please, Mr. Milligan.

 

Still prefer the Delano annual, but that's at least partly because Bryan Talbot >>> Simon Bisley.

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This annual would rank as probably my second favourite Milligan story, after his initial story-arc. I'd have to re-read that story to guarantee which I liked better though, as a lot of time has passed.

 

This was quite good! Why can't the monthly be this good?

 

I have to say that's the best hellblazer I've read in over a year. since Pandemonium, I think.

 

+1 x3.

 

I like Biz's art but would have preferred this story illustrated in a different tone. As an example, when JC says he has a 23-year-old wife, he actually looks vile, which changes the meaning of the panel. Apart from that, very good stuff. Nice one Mr Milligan.

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... good use of familiar tropes in a context which didn't feel overly familiar...

Well said.

 

I didn't care for the 1989 Hellblazer Annual #1, and was very pleasantly surprised by this'n. But I won't vote the Milligan annual as better than the Delano one, on general principles. :smile:

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Still prefer the Delano annual, but that's at least partly because Bryan Talbot >>> Simon Bisley.

 

I considered that quite a lot before deciding that in context it is better

 

Then: Hellblazer monthly was good and it was an interesting aside

versus

Now: I am not reading Hellblazer monthly and I would if it were more like this.

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Still prefer the Delano annual, but that's at least partly because Bryan Talbot >>> Simon Bisley.

That isn't fair on the Biz, though as Bryan Talbot>>>every other living comics artist, even Howard Chaykin and Carlos Equezzera...

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Solid, on a par with the monthly. Bisley's interior art still isn't very good, though.

 

And I'm kind of disappointed at the lack of a Fatima Mansions reference.

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This annual would rank as probably my second favourite Milligan story, after his initial story-arc. I'd have to re-read that story to guarantee which I liked better though, as a lot of time has passed.

 

This was quite good! Why can't the monthly be this good?

 

I have to say that's the best hellblazer I've read in over a year. since Pandemonium, I think.

 

+1 x3.

 

I like Biz's art but would have preferred this story illustrated in a different tone. As an example, when JC says he has a 23-year-old wife, he actually looks vile, which changes the meaning of the panel. Apart from that, very good stuff. Nice one Mr Milligan.

 

Shouldn't Epiphany be 25 by now?

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Maybe the reason Constantine is so cranky is because he's the only person in his comic who ages in real time, not comics time?

 

Having finally got around to reading this, a big +1 to everyone who's said "why can't the main series be this good?". A nice, clever and solidly thought out story. It was nice to see a supernatural plot device that wasn't tied into any religious iconography* but was just there for a change as well...

 

 

*(And yes, I am counting the Avatar of Sidney and Funny Coat stories: poonk is far more a form of religion than a type of music for a lot of dim people under thirty.)

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I actually don't remember which story is the Delano annual, but I voted for it anyway, since I really, really didn't like this story. It left me completely cold. The only part I marginally liked was the interchanges between John and the old woman. And the internal monologue captions feel completely off for me.

 

2/10.

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The Delano annual was the Arthurian flashback story that might have been a drugged hallucination: the one that Ade put in one of the reading threads back when those were still being done?

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