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HELLBLAZER episode 290

  

11 members have voted

  1. 1. how was it?

    • good (10)
      0
    • less than good
      0
    • more less than good
      1
    • better than mediocre
      1
    • mediocre
      4
    • worse than mediocre (5)
      1
    • better than bad
      0
    • bad
      2
    • worse than bad, better than ugly
      0
    • ugly (1)
      0
    • I have no idea, since I did not buy it
      2
  2. 2. Bonus Question! Did you even know this issue was due out ?

    • Yes!
      5
    • No!
      4


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I picked up 289-290 this week, but I fear I'm only buying for the sake of completionism.

 

A non-comics reading friend of mine mentioned a couple of weeks ago that he'd picked up one of The Walking Dead graphic novels - he'd never heard of Hellblazer before, but had watched Constanteen. I lent him Original Sins and Dangerous Habits which he read in a weekend and really enjoyed, so I ended up lending him a few more - he's now read them all up to #50, and still seems keen on reading more. I wondered to myself at what point will he start to tire of reading?

 

This got me to thinking - is Hellblazer really so poor nowadays, or is our nostalgia for the earlier issues masking their true quality in comparison? I started rereading a few issues myself. The earlier issues have really dated, but the writing, particular in Delano's era, just seems more polished, and still works well despite its age.

 

John nowadays seems a Millar-esque parody of himself, and while I approve in general of the Epiphany relationship, I just wish they had a little more downtime to explore character outside of plot. Something just isn't hitting the mark right now.

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I picked up 289-290 this week, but I fear I'm only buying for the sake of completionism.

 

 

This got me to thinking - is Hellblazer really so poor nowadays, or is our nostalgia for the earlier issues masking their true quality in comparison?

 

 

 

It really is a poor comic book in general. Just very poorly done. It's not like comic books are a dollar anymore either. For $4 DC can kiss my ass. Let go, my brother. You will feel so much better.

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Heh, maybe I should! But each time I've not bothered buying regularly I only relapse 6 months down the line and batch-buy the missing issues anyway.

 

I don't go to comic stores any more (none left near me) so I need to remember for check ebay to see if a new issue is out.

 

At least I'm not picking up any of the DCU Constantine appearances - I saw enough of The Search for Swampy to make me weep. Maybe this was Vertigo's plan - to make the main title look like a gem in comparison.

 

On the plus side it's nice to see you and so many of the old guard still here on the forums despite the comic itself.

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Yeah, we don't have to talk about Hellblazer much.

 

Here's a thing about missing issues.

When I dropped Azzarello, I later bought those four or five issues from the bargain bins at a mart.

On reading them, they were mostly as bad as I had expected.

 

I dropped Milligan after the first talking coat issue. I am pleased that this moment is immortalised in the forum banner what I made, although that was because I liked Bisley's art. As it happens I have liked the covers less and less during the time I have not been buying Hellblazer.

I quite like the 293 cover apart from the incredible growing scar.

But seven months without buying it and no chance I will do so while Milligan is writing (disclaimer: a special guest artist will get me to glance at the book, and I may relent for issue 300).

 

Actually talking about #300, I hope it's a multiple writer issue and marks the arrival of a new regular writer.

 

Oh. Almost forgot, I NEVER expected to be in this situation, but I have been buying Justice League Sweary Smoking throughout this time.

By rights I should have dropped it two months ago (those issues still available to anyone who wants them, or I will burn them if someone posts a photo of themselves with a bin or bucket on their head).

 

But Jeff Lemire is going to be writing it, so it is likely to be nice.

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I will burn them if someone posts a photo of themselves with a bin or bucket on their head

 

 

Really? Will you post a photo of you burning them?

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I will burn them if someone posts a photo of themselves with a bin or bucket on their head

 

 

Really? Will you post a photo of you burning them?

 

Of course.

I offered to give them away and nobody wants them.

This will increase the financial speculator value of all the copies you all bought.

In fact I will video this event.

 

Hmmm, I was hoping that JasonT would be here when this happens, but Summer Solstice seems more appropriate.

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Heh, maybe I should! But each time I've not bothered buying regularly I only relapse 6 months down the line and batch-buy the missing issues anyway.

 

I don't go to comic stores any more (none left near me) so I need to remember for check ebay to see if a new issue is out.

 

At least I'm not picking up any of the DCU Constantine appearances - I saw enough of The Search for Swampy to make me weep. Maybe this was Vertigo's plan - to make the main title look like a gem in comparison.

 

Except, they've failed to accomplish this. In my estimation, they're just sick of HB and want a totally creator-owned imprint for Vertigo, so thy have to find some way to sabotage HB. They're clever though, they can't be too obvious.

First, they hired Chuck Dixon to write Hellblazer...but, of course, there'd be a huge outcry from the loyal readers about one of comicdom's worth taking over their favourite title. So, they paid Peter Milligan enough money so he could retire to a warm, tropical island, where no one would ever hear from again, in return for selling his name to DC Comics. Dixon, writing under the nom-de-plume of "Peter Milligan" took over Hellblazer, and step #1 was complete.

Next, they had to bring Constantine into the DCU. Hardcore Hellblazer readers would bemoan the fact that Constantine wasn't in a "mature readers" book.

This, plus the horrid writing of the monthly title, would alienated many long-time followers from Hellblazer.

Hence, the stage was set to cancel Hellblazer and make Justice League Dark the official home of Constantine.

Too complicated? A conspiracy, you say? Ah, but I got these facts from a guy telling me about the Jews controlling the media in the name of their space alien masters....so, I feel it must be the truth.

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must...resist...prevent...burning...and requesting...free...copies of JLD...from Ade...for sake...of....constantine...completionism....

 

 

One of the things I initially liked about Hellblazer was the grounding in reality (social, political, real-time aging, downtime) and the continuity arising from such a reality. This becoming more irrelevant to the title, and the continuity has been buggered up in so many ways over the years. Note I said "irrelevant to" rather than "ignored by", as there's now a tendency to use the use the title's history as a playbox to bring back characters and situations just for the sake of it.

 

I was reading an interview with the creator of Breaking Bad where he talked about the way the writing team approached the series, and how this differs from many other shows - by always starting with character, and letting situations happen as a result of character actions - and to make sure that character is always the main focus of the writing. On the downside, it means they don't always have a tight plotline to focus to, but on the upside, it takes them places they don't always expect, and they have Emmies and WGA awards to back up their approach. Anyway, I'm rambling again...it's not even as though Milligan's plots are that tight in the first place so maybe he does take this approach after all! I just wish I could believe a lot of his character motivations.

 

Maybe we should just switch to a Legends of the Dark Knight style series about Constantine - let creators go wild with continuity-based or apocryphal tales about Constantine and don't worry about the day-to-day title. That way we can get a fix of the con-job Constantine, the mopey Constantine, the social constantine (both in terms of having a social conscience as well as spending time with mates), etc. Some stories can be standalone, others can be multiple parts, but there would always be something new around the corner if you start to get bored with that creator's approach. I'd even like to see an anthology a la Batman Black and White.

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jackstarr, PM me your address, and i will post you any issues from the last two years, that you want. Your end of the deal* could be you find something amusing from your local part of the world and post it back, doesn't have to be anything flash mate, just inventively funny local thing. Some LEGAL, not to be atttracting the Attentions of Her Majesties New Zealand Customs Services to me thing, that is. :tongue:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* If you can't just send me an extremely rich and even tempered girlfriend through the post, of course.

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I was reading an interview with the creator of Breaking Bad where he talked about the way the writing team approached the series, and how this differs from many other shows - by always starting with character, and letting situations happen as a result of character actions - and to make sure that character is always the main focus of the writing. On the downside, it means they don't always have a tight plotline to focus to, but on the upside, it takes them places they don't always expect, and they have Emmies and WGA awards to back up their approach. Anyway, I'm rambling again...it's not even as though Milligan's plots are that tight in the first place so maybe he does take this approach after all! I just wish I could believe a lot of his character motivations.

 

I think for a dramatic series, that's the best way to write. Think about it-most people watch a show because of the appeal of the characters. Typically, shows are what--26 episodes a season? (13 on pay cable) So, episode 1 is point A and episode 13 (or 26) is point B. That's a long path in which to develop characters through their interactions with each other and the activities they participate in. In BB's case, the relationship between Walt and Jesse is the driving force and everything else orbits that bizarre relationship.

 

You're right that interesting characters used to be the appeal of Hellblazer. How else could Ennis write whole issues where the only action taking place are two guys bullshitting in a bar? Those conversations those characters had were revealing, whether by foreshadowing, or by uncovering a past event which contributes to the dynamic of the unfolding story, etc.

 

Milligan's dialogue isn't so bad--it can be god awful at times--but overall, it suffers due to the situations he puts the characters in, his revision of Hellblazer history, and his too often used shortcuts, corner cuts whatever.

 

I thought Milligan's best effort on the title was the arc leading up to the wedding--though the demon Constantine rape of Gemma, while feeding into a multiple issue string of story arcs, didn't appeal to me. In fact, I hate what Milligan has done to Gemma, who once had the character potential, the guile and charm, and latent understanding (is latent the right word?) of magic that she was on a path to become a powerful magician in her own right. Now, she has been reduced to this shallow, vengeful, stricken victim-a one dimensional redshirt beamed down with the away team only to become that episode's first casualty. The reduction of her character is sad and disrespectful of canon. And to me, Milligan's lack of adherence to the Hellblazer "timeline" is akin to the awful "Enterprise" is to the Trek timeline. Milligan is Enterprise,complete with the lame opening theme song.

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Charles in Charge?!

Ohhh...You didn't write "Scott Baio"...Nevermind.

 

Slinker, that seems to be a problem with a lot of comic books today. There was a time in comic books when people cared about the characters. That characterization was as big a part of a comic book story as building action (or, etc.), and that seems to be lost today. I used to care about comic book characters as something akin to friends...Friends I could actually stand, anyway.

And, the funny thing is, I don't know what's replaced it either.

Villains certainly haven't improved.

The stories take up multiple months worth of issues now, while they used to take up solely one or two months.

By all intents and purposes, there should be so much more room for character building in comics today, yet writers used to be able to pack character-building, supporting casts, and actions all in one 28 page comic book, while today, it doesn't seem writers can manage to put any of those things into one issue of a comic book.

I don't know what happened.

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It's the same thing that ruined everything else-the cost of doing business. It's all about how to squeeze the most money from the least bit of overhead-like healthcare in the US. At some point, someone decided "action, not words." but the action we get is half-assed or over-the-top crazy. The dialogue is stupid serious or horrible one-liners. It was like that with most mainstream comics for a while, but there used to be a fairly brisk current of indies or titles with former indie creators, or at least the odd mainstream yet creative team to offset banality. But not anymore, it seems. Or a whole lot less common they are.

 

On a movie forum I hit about as often as this board, someone asked "if every movie that comes out sucks, does that mean all the stories have been told? and everything from here on out happened before or was told before, and life and its creative process is now in perpetual syndication of reruns."

 

I hissed through my clenched teeth (lockjaw) to my typing fingers, "Yessss."

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Every Story Ever Told.jpg

 

DISCLAIMER: SATIRICAL POINT, NOT TO SCALE.

 

In simple logical terms, the initial proposal is (wildly) erroneous, but even if it were true, you teeth-clenching answer would be wrong. :icon_gun_2:

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Remember, there's that old joke (which as far as I'm aware is a true account) that archaeologists found graffiti on a wall dating from ancient Egypt, and the translation read, "Every story has already been told."

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unless it threatens children. i'm not sure about europe, but in the US, over the course of TV and cinematic history, it has long been against decorum to show or insinuate harm to children. there were the occasional exceptions but for the most part, it was frowned upon. lately i've seen a notable increase in the number of productions in which children are imperiled. Is it a coincidence that they increase when we've run out of stories or just a new spigot for storytelling once gauche but now embraced?

 

I have enjoyed re-reading this thread, btw.

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What about Willy Wonka? An entire movie based around the torture of children.

Such a thing hadn't been seen since the days of fairy tales.

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Yes, they existed, but they were not as common as today, sez I. Just because you throw up an example to counter my claim, one example does not an avalanche of kiddie torture pron make! :tongue:

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