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Royal Blood - Best Ever

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But when I re-read (Carey's) run in one go, I could see there's genius in the setup and structure of it, and I'd love to see him back in the driving seat.

 

As for Paul Jenkins, I adored his run on the title, right up until his last (IIRC) two stories. What do other forumites think of the idea that he's only for completists?

 

I came in very late to the Hellblazer saga. I discovered it in 2006 or 7, and I read most of the entire run up to whatever issue # was current back then--back to back to back (I found the motherlode download vault of everything Hellblazer to 2006 which was ajust after Carey's midway point, I believe). This meant swallowing whole runs by the various creative teams in big chunks. And Carey's run was when I first began to buy it monthly. My initial reactions to Carey's and Jenkins' runs were not favorable. Carey's entire run was linked together as one big long story, except for All His Engines (and I concur with Red and think it is John's finest tale). I HATE when writers do this, but upon my second reading, and as JasonT said, I found so many things I had missed--so much brilliant foreshadowing to the end from early on in his run, so many great set-ups, so many perceived "throw-away" lines that were really set-ups, and so many things that fell into place seemingly naturally as events caused other events (like the elaborate mousetrap contraptions on which that game was based) and I think on a monthly basis, those things can be missed or forgotten when they've taken place 8 months ago, but when you read it and they've only taken place a day ago, the freshness helps. Carey's run does not factor as a good monthly serial, his run is the very definition of graphic novel because his run was an epic novel one must read in larger chunks than 22 pages at a time. And JasonT is correct. There is so much genius in Carey's run that for me, more than any other writer, Carey's run is the flagship, the defining story arcs of John COnstantine's comic history.

 

As for Jenkins, the way he is being discarded is almost criminal in my opinion. Again, when I first read his run, I wasn't duly impressed to the point that I skipped most of it, to my shame. But fairly recently, I read his entire run in a short period of time and have the same criticisms as others. It led off strongly and petered out toward the end. But for Diggle and MIlligan to rewrite Hellblazer canon which disregards Jenkins' run and reshapes John's history is as insulting to the audience as it is to Jenkins. At its darkest motivations, you could think DC did it in order to not have to trade Jenkins' runs since Milligan and Diggle basically rewrote the end results in order to sell their runs on the title since they obvio8usly couldn't come up with anything interesting on their own.

 

 

At the time, I enjoyed (Jenkins' run), not sure I'd favour another period of settling down with friends, but the contemporary John could certainly look back with regret that those days are gone.

 

That is a fine way to sum that up.

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I'd actually question that Carey's run didn't work in monthly chunks. The set up for the metaplot is a lot more obvious going through it in a rush, to be sure, but the individual stories all worked (some much better than others, but none of them were actively bad), Carey had a good grasp on the protagonist as a character, and did some nice tricks with the supporting cast. What else do you need on a monthly basis?

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I'd actually question that Carey's run didn't work in monthly chunks. The set up for the metaplot is a lot more obvious going through it in a rush, to be sure, but the individual stories all worked (some much better than others, but none of them were actively bad), Carey had a good grasp on the protagonist as a character, and did some nice tricks with the supporting cast. What else do you need on a monthly basis?

 

You misunderstood me. I just said on a monthly basis, the subtleties of Carey's writing can be missed or forgotten after a while before they come into play. When you read his stuff in larger chunks than the number of pages in a floppy, those things are more easily recalled or brought into play by the reader, since they are more recently passed than if you read 22 pages each month. I didn't say they didn't work as a monthly, Mr Critic!

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To be fair, almost anything Carey writes reads better as a collected story. One of his main strengths as a writer is his ability to contruct complex, long-winded narratives.

Although there are several exceptions - "The Game of Cat and Mouse" being a notable one.

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The two parter with Gemma on Grauniad worked very well in isolation as well.

(I suppose The Gift is a standalone story technically as well, but it loses a lot of its impact without reading the story that comes before...)

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