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Shawn

Hellblazer ends! Constanteen begins.

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Seems like I'm on my own here, but I'm very sad to hear this news. I picked up Hellblazer 1 on my first visit to a proper comic shop and it's been the only constant in my comic buying life since 1988, I feel like I'll be loosing a friend, (albeit a friend who I sometimes wonder why I even see them anymore). I will buy the new book, even if it's rubbish just for my OCD with all things John Constantine.

 

No, friend. I'm there with you. I won't be picking up Constantine. I might download it, guilt-free. I found Dark Knight Returns online before it was released to the public, so did Cunningman. I think I'll be able to find the comic online and Dark Horse, IDW, Oni, Avatar, Dynamite and Image will get my money. And when Jesus and Unwritten end, so will my patronage with DC. But I have to follow those two to their end, I can't boycott Vertigo yet, just shitty DC kids comics.

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I get all the (valid) arguments for ending Hellblazer but, damn, this gutted me. I am feeling quite unexpectedly sad about this. Been hanging over me all day. I guess I'm a nostalgic sort of person. Been reading Hellblazer as long as I've been reading comics.

 

Slinker: Has it been reported anywhere that JC is going to be 'Yankified'? I'm sure he'll still be British in the PG title.

 

No, it's pure conjecture. But watch. It's been set up. Why even introduce Nick Necro who is already a Yankified John? Why else? Hello cheesiest of ALL cliche gimmicks. The old body switch. It's not my idea but I'll run with it.

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Hellblazer has been mediocre for so long that I figured I'd be kind of happy when they finally put it out of its misery. I was wrong.

 

Just out of curiosity, how many books now have been cancelled while Peter Milligan was writing them?

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Here is your new 'Constanteen' (I bet they start pronouncing it that way, too).

 

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Just been thinking - when Hellblazer finally goes in Feb, what will that make this place?

 

We'll be the comics equivalent of Grimley Colliery Band from Brassed Off.

 

We're gonna need more Yorkshiremen.

 

No we will be like all the thriving online communities that surround the great dead poets and scousers.

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I really wish they would give it a proper send-off. Not just conclude with Milligan's story but do a small run of issues written by some of the great writers who have been on Hellblazer in the past. I would love to see a nice little series of shorts done by Carey, Gaiman, Ellis, Delano et al. At the very least, the series deserves to go out on a high and not just wrapping up Milligan's latest effort.

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Is this really surprising news...Hellblazer has been slowly dying for years and this is the perfect time to end it. I've been reading it since 1988, over half of my life but I'm actually relieved it's now over. Funny once I hit my mid/late 30s (the age John Constantine was when Hellblazer began) the character didn't feel as real to me and about midway through the Denise Mina era the title didn't excite me as much as it once did. I've still bought every issue even though I can barely remember a thing about Andy Diggle's insanely boring run and the Peter Milligan stuff is at least interesting although it's not the John Constantine of my youth. So as old timer I'm content to let the character move on with its life and I'll move on with mine. I won't hang around and talk about the good old days of Delano and Ennis. I won't be burning comics in an alley or making angry posts on-line about how DC owes me for over 20 years of me buying their comics. I realize that all fictional characters must evolve or die whether I like it or not. I could be like one of those Ian Fleming fans in 1964 who complained that the movies were ruining the James Bond novels or those old Doctor Who fans who complain that the new series is doesn't look cheap enough.

 

So I'm perfectly happy to have John Constantine do his thing in the DC Universe. I like the idea of the Justice Leage Dark even if I may not always enjoy actual content but frankly at this point having a John Constantine who is flying the House of Mystery with Frankenstein and a magic troll or whatever is more interesting and a fresher take on the character than another run around with a demon serial killer in a London backstreet.

 

So goodbye Hellblazer. You were my favorite thing for many years but eventually there's always going to be one last cigarette.

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I would say that Mr Slinker is prone to hyperbole and catastrophising, but filtering our collective disappointment through the wildly exaggerated "hatred" of DC and saying that Keanu is shite (here we go again) is not going to help matters.

 

(1) DC own the character, not every likes what we like, and even here there are dissident views on each writer (even the more excellent writers have their detractors, even Azzarello, Mina and Milligan have their good points). It's bloody good that they let Hellblazer have such a long run as a real time real world character when he's plainly more interesting than the majority of their DCU population. And the sooner proper comics writers and artists are unfettered by DCU/MarvelU constrainuity the better.

 

(2) Whatever happens does not detract from your favourite Hellblazer works. The Original Star Wars is every bit as moderately entertaining as it was back in the day, Jar Jar Binks or not.

 

(3) Let's try and get that re-reading project going again.

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I really wish they would give it a proper send-off. Not just conclude with Milligan's story but do a small run of issues written by some of the great writers who have been on Hellblazer in the past. I would love to see a nice little series of shorts done by Carey, Gaiman, Ellis, Delano et al. At the very least, the series deserves to go out on a high and not just wrapping up Milligan's latest effort.

 

This. Still, hopefully, they'll keep Hellblazer brand going with the odd OGN/anthology, which might actually sell well, and have great, short-but-sweet takes on the character.

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Ade, it's called venting. It's mildly cathartic, you should try it. And I'm not as bad as some people (look who I quoted!).

 

But Keanu's fate is he stumbled into our world and didn't play by our rules. Bless his heart.

 

And even though DC own the character, they own Vertigo too. It's not like Vertigo were holding him back (that was Peter Milligan). But, even though they own the character and can shit all over him again* (*don't see movie), the character of John Constantine, Hellblazer deserves much more respect than what DC have shown. DC own the trademark, but they have NO idea who the character is or how to write him. They'll go all Twilight on John before his full on Yankification, which is coming, or they wouldn't have introduced Necro. It will have summink to do with the Books of Magic story being scratched in the pages of Justice League D-. Mark our words, we are the Propheteer. Won't someone agree with us?

 

 

Does it say in the articles that they will continue with OGNs or are we supposing that, too? I'm about to go read them. I was mainly responding to what you wrote and what's being written on the Facebook.

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On the upside, maybe this'll bring a few new/old people back to the boards.

 

You called?

 

Jesus, this thing... I'm torn. It's really sad to see Hellblazer go, but it also seems like it's a good time to end it, it hasn't been properly good in a long time.

 

As for the Constantine title... I've liked JLD's John so far, but as a side-dish. I've enjoyed it safe in the knowledge that the real John was the other one. But now? I don't know, man, I don't know.

 

And yeah, it's totally gonna get cancelled by issue 10 or so.

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I found some of the comments over on the CBR article quite interesting - people musing on how central Constantine has become to the DC Dark line, how they've enjoyed his portrayal in those comics and how it makes perfect sense to give him his own title routed in that setting.

 

I'm with Abhi myself, by all means wrap the title up and see if you can reinvigorate your property but have a heart and give it a decent send-off, having it go out on such a low is bloody rubbish. The reaction on Twitter from people who write comics for a living has really surprised me, so much love out there for Hellblazer - do a #301 jam issue you [over-used word]s!

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But see, it's not so much of a cancellation as it is a "rebranding". It's DC's John Constanteen for "teens." If they were cancelling it, it would be more of a euthanizing act. But it's not a cancellation, it's a mainstream makeover rebranding to make Constantine's trademark more viable to marketing and advertizing. The corporatization of ConstanteenTM.

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But see, it's not so much of a cancellation as it is a "rebranding".

 

No need for quotes, that's exactly what it is and in and of itself that's not a bad thing - just give the current title a proper send-off before you fail at trying to revamp it.

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yeah. just give it the respect it deserves after 25 or so years. there is no room for nostalgia or appreciation for something small and personal in the global corporate destruction of everything that ever meant anything to anyone. This is just today's example of the latest craze of modernizing and watering down an idea so that it appeals to more and more uninteresting people who prefer concepts being spoon fed to them in portions they don't have to chew. The just swallow it or let it dribble down their chins on to their chests. It's not the least bit sticky or threatening, no small parts to choke on, nothing at all that could subvert the monoculture. And white Jesus took a break from his rebranding of Global Christianity 2.0 to smile down on it. I'll bet John even gets born again in the the pages of his new book, as in the kind for xians.

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Yay! It's finally over!

It lasted far longer than expected, when Vertigo moved to all creator owned books, plus Hellblazer.

 

It's Hellblazer NOW!

 

I think Slinker does have something with the Nick Necro thing. I actually get the feeling that DC is going somewhere with that. It's just too coincidental that Nick Necro actually looks a great deal like John. I don't know why they'd be so interested in a Keanu Reeves version of John without a movie sequel, but I'm thinking they're going for something more in the back-story than what JLD #0 revealed.

I don't know exactly where they're going, but I do think that somehow the two characters are going to merge, and it's going to be revealed that they had a much closer back-story.

I'm not sure of any details, because it's sounding too much like "Demon John", and I might be totally wrong, but I've gotten that idea somehow.

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Hellblazer has been mediocre for so long that I figured I'd be kind of happy when they finally put it out of its misery. I was wrong.

 

Just out of curiosity, how many books now have been cancelled while Peter Milligan was writing them?

 

I don't think that many.

I mean, are we going to count Shade? Yes, that was canceled while Milligan was writing it, but he wrote the entire series.

I can think of some books that Milligan wrote that didn't last, but the series was flawed, and doomed to failure, and Milligan was the only writer.

You could say the same for HB. Milligan's been writing the book an awfully damn long time now, and Vertigo seemed perfectly happy with it. I think they just want to get all the company owned properties out of the Vertigo imprint, and figured HB #300 would be a good stopping point.

The DC "New 52" books he was writing are all still being published. None of them were on the chopping block, surprisingly even StormWatch.

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Thank you, Christian.

 

Here is from DC:

 

Titled Constantine, the upcoming series promises to keep many of the strongest elements that have helped to define the character in the past while adding additional twists too as he finds his way in the New 52 universe.

 

And those twists being? A new look and removal of accent? Maybe?

 

"He's going to be the same age that he is in "Justice League Dark" and the same character that people know and recognize —the drinking and smoking, the con man aspect of him — that's going to be very much part of the series," said Robert Vendetti. "It's my goal to have the new CONSTANTINE series be equal parts familiarity and surprise. This will be the Constantine we all know and love, but facing new and unexpected challenges from both inside and out."

 

I mean, it's right there, folks.

 

So his drinking, smoking and conning, but probably not his nationality or appearance? No more "innits"?

 

 

David Gallaher

"Bummed about the loss of Hellblazer. Image Comics has largely made Vertigo irrelevant. Can't say I'm surprised."

 

 

Tim Seeley

"That's kinda the nail in the Vertigo coffin, yeah?"

 

 

Sonia Harris

It was obvious then that DC was gearing up for something stupid, and today they did it. the comic book publisher has become a bastion of tired ideas and restrictively tedious comic books. In this brave new world, there is obviously no space for a renegade division like Vertigo, and the gradual dismantling continues apace, as they hand the reigns of Constantine over to an American writer...

Realistically, how is it possible that Superman, Spider-Man, and Batman have ALL been played by British actors, yet they cannot make a film with a British actor playing John Constantine?

 

Josh Flanagan of iFanboy

"The comic book series I've been reading longer than any other just got Poochie'd."

 

 

Vertigo IS doomed. The whole "Dark" failure of the New 52 was just Vertigo lite. And that's why it sucks ass and is a failed bit. Everything new sells well at first, right? Then peters out once interest wanes.

 

According to ICv2, in September Hellblazer 295 sold just 9,143 copies (far below recently cancelled New 52 titles like Frankenstein [18,122]). So, Hellblazer was meant to die, not to be re-animated as babyfood Heyo-bwazuh: Johnny Constantine, Tim Hunter's mentor in the Big Brothers, Big Sisters Program.

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Does John smoke in the "New 52"? Yeah. I guess he does. I remember him mentioning that he wishes he had tobacco in the new Swamp Thing issue.

 

I don't agree with the reader comments. At all.

Hellblazer wasn't keeping Vertigo afloat. It's been "that book that's been part of Vertigo since day 1, so they don't want to get rid of it, even though it doesn't fit".

Well, OK, maybe there is a point though, as Vertigo lost most of its best titles recently (Scalped, Northlanders, DMZ).

It has The Unwritten. Fables should have been gone years ago, in my opinion. Saucer Country I like, but I could see it going any day now. Synder has some books there. Lemire has a new sci-fi series coming that looks good. We'll see.

But, to say that "Image replaced Vertigo", that's like saying, "Gee, there's already Top Shelf Comics, we don't need any other creator owned comic books on the market!".

Image has been the spawning ground of Marvel's next top writer, actually. Anyone who looks to be making a name at Image, Marvel quickly attempts to snatch them and put them under contract, and stick them on X-Men or Iron Man....

Vertigo will be just fine without HB, as long as they find some more strong titles to replace what they've lost in the three I mentioned.

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Someone who thinks a little like I do.

 

http://betweenthepan...with-issue-300/

 

 

and someone else who saw the writing on the wall a year ago, like we did

 

http://www.charlessk...azers-john.html

 

 

The fact that Vertigo are adapting novels now, instead of creating new stuff, is also a bad sign

 

Maybe they can launch a "Willoughby Kipling" series at Vertigo instead.

 

tumblr_md6rdxOKCV1rd8l5lo1_500.png

 

 

the big thing that sucks about a House Style DC CONSTANTINE book is that it’s going to be just another IP farm. This means it’s quality as a work of art is going to be diminished by the DC machine. Eventually, someone like Ed Benes will be drawing the book. Or, some awful/overworked/underpaid/rushed artist from a third world nation with no legal representation is going to be hopping on Constantine (if it even lasts) for peanuts, and people might just eat it up anyways because “It’s something different from just superheroes you should support it!”.

 

This cancellation of Vertigo’s main non-Fables title also spells either imminent doom for new on-goings from the imprint or a DISTINCT and FOCUSED move away from ~~magical-realism~~ books. DC saw something they could really sell (as anyhthing but a comic because you don’t rich on comics), and moved to make it sell. John Constantine is about to get diluted, hard. If he sells, he’ll end up quite a bit like Wolverine. But, it’s probably just going to be awful.

.

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... by all means wrap the title up and see if you can reinvigorate your property but have a heart and give it a decent send-off, having it go out on such a low is bloody rubbish. ...

 

Yeah. I hope this won't be interpreted as some kind of fantwat conspiracy theory, but it makes me wonder if Pete Milligan was allowed to have his way with the title because management knew it was winding up and it didn't matter what he did. Not that that would mean anything... just wondering.

 

 

Not a #301 but a Hellblazer 2013 annual.

 

That'd be nice. But we're not due another annual for 23 years yet. :smile:

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