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Master Pernath

Are you a Milligan or a Milligant?

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Boyo, you're in for the cold hard truth:

  • His storylines range from mediocre to abysmal (save for Scab and Suicide Bridge) and the resolutions are half-assed. Plus rehashing certian scenarios (i.e. JAIL)
  • Enter the Mary Sue: Epiphany Greaves
  • (Supporting) Character Assassinations: Making Angie Spatchcock into a bitter fatty, the pointless return of Kit to remind the audience why Epiphany is THE one for our boy and worst of all, the terrible characterzation of John's niece Gemma (as you may recall was independent and was just as ruthless as her uncle during the Carey-Mina(?) period) who now, under the hack Milligan is reduced to a weak-willed pansy who got sexually assaulted by Demon Constantine and mistook him for the real John and gets with some emo bitches to exact revenge on him and later fucks the Mary Sue's mobster father; The talking trench coat....'nuff said there...
  • The shitty handling of Nergal, TFOTF, Cheryl's soul.
  • The fucking long lost nephew that never, repeat, NEVER​ existed

Best to tell it now before you subject yourself to that form of abuse. The others will be in soon.

 

Welcome aboard, btw

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When he took over, we were quite pleased due to that previous work of his.

Mostly disappointing, some parts horrid.

Some people like it. Apparently.

 

Scab (1st arc) is okay, Suicide Bridge is good.

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I'm in agreement with Adrian. Milligan was once my favourite writer working in comics, for a period of time.

He's gone downhill since that point, but nothing as offensive as his HB, really.

I was expecting great things when he took over HB, after Diggle's run ended up going nowhere. He started very strong with "The Scab", but it was pretty much downhill from there.

 

His characterization of John is seriously lacking.

He doesn't seem to take the stories he's writing seriously. Milligan has had a tendency to use self-mockery in his stories, to comedic effect. I've always felt he's been very good with subtle humour like that, a lot of readers don't seem to get, or even to catch. But, it doesn't work with Hellblazer. It doesn't need to be a serious plot all the time, but Milligan has dealt with some serious topics, that he doesn't follow through in a logical manner, seeming to not even care about the plots he's writing.

Worst of all is that he doesn't respect any of the characters (except perhaps John, who I pointed out he's writing out-of-character). They're cardboard and puppets. They don't act like real people. They act like creations of Milligan's that he's pulling on the strings to get them from Point A to Point B, regardless of how believable it would be for the characters to move in that direction.

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The faults have been covered in previous posts, his first trade (Scab) is a good read though and promised so much but once the Epiphany stuff kicks in in earnest though it all quickly goes to shit.

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Let's not forget the fact that Milligan turned John into a [ Spoiler : cold blooded murderer for a ritual in which he also cavalierly cheated on his brand new wife ] - like her or not, as far as John is concerned, he's very loyal to those he loves: Zed, Kit nearly destroyed him, Angie was nearly his equal in magic at least in the knowledge of what does what, then Milligan came in, [ Spoiler : had John fall for Phoebe, killed her off, and he marries Epiphany (and I might be the only one who doesn't have a problem with her, she's scrappy). He's saved the world half a dozen times, but in order to kill his demon twin who raped his niece at his wedding (let that last soap opera phrase sink in really good), he has to fuck a prostitute and kill an abusive husband in order for - oh, hello! It's fat Angie come back to help (help?) and her dark magic needs John to fuck a prostitute and kill a guy in order to destroy demon Johnny. ]

 

Feh!

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The reasons are varied and many:

 

* He displays very little understanding of what makes John Constantine tick.

* He shows only a cursory knowledge of Constantine's history and gets the details wrong when he tries to mine it.

* His plotlines are dull and uninspired.

* His new characters are one-dimensional and lifeless.

* His use of established characters, particularly Gemma and Angie, is usually very off the mark.

* Epiphany is one of the worst characters in Hellblazer history, and easily the least interesting love interest.

* His stories go nowhere and often lack a proper resolution.

* He rarely goes beneath the surface of John's psyche, although I think he believes he does.

* He made John time-travel, the trenchcoat talk, Gemma become a boring emo loser, and Cheryl have a never-mentioned son.

* He made John time-travel, the trenchcoat talk, Gemma become a boring emo loser, and Cheryl have a never-mentioned son. (I know I already listed that bullet point, but those developments were so stupid that it's worth repeating.)

* He goes for the cheap gag instead of skillfully developing a story.

* His run is very forgettable. I recall details of Ennis' and Delano's issues far better than the Milligan issues I read during the past six months.

 

I'm sure I could come up with more, but I've lost interest with his run and don't want to give it much more thought. I used to say that Azzarello's and Mina's runs were the worst, but I no longer do. Azzarello made some major mistakes, but his storylines were creepy and his side characters were often quite cool. And Mina, while failing to live up to the hype of her story, had a great grasp of John's character and how he speaks. Milligan utterly fails in both respects.

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Well, that's a shame, Enigma and Shade are some of my favorite comic books ever, and Milligan's Batman tales are pure gold.

 

Speaking of Shade, he turned up midway when John cut his own thumb off leading up the diarrhea fest that was the wedding issue (as this point ties into Rassmguy's point listed about the time travel).

 

Speaking of Azz and Mina, shall we have a re-appraisal thread?

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Yep, those are all great stories, and Milligan doing bad work certainly doesn't take away from his best work.

 

Rassm-You mentioned that Milligan had John time travel. Funnily enough, he already did that years ago during Shade; the three-parter guest-starring Constantine. Although that used Shade's madness powers to explain John going back in time.

 

I've found every writer's run since the end of Azzarello's to be forgettable, honestly.

I remember the entire Delano run to this day, so well. After Azzarello left the book, I don't remember a lot of stories. (Not that I want to remember Azzarello's plots!). OK, to be fair, that could be because I've re-read Delano's run about five times, while I haven't re-read anything after Ellis left.

Honestly, I do remember some of Milligan's run too. There are some things in there that are just hard to forget, and I mean that in a negative way. Although, the less (shall we say) offensive plotting is much less memorable, sure. I've forgotten a large chunk of Milligan by now also.

A reason for that could be that I've been speed-reading the latest HB issues for a number of months now. It can be a chore to bother reading the book, so I've been making it go as quickly as possible.

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I've found every writer's run since the end of Azzarello's to be forgettable, honestly.

Then you've gone bonkers, Christian: Carey's run is pretty great and (some have argued) the series' last run that actually works before the nosedive into drivel that started with Mina and has got steadily worse ever since.

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Yeah, Christian, you don't have to be bonkers to read Hellblazer.

But it helps.

 

The league table of writers compiled from Expert Opinion, suggests that there was not a nosedive,

but a series of plateaus (even a peak midway through Diggle's and Milligan's runs).

 

I found a chart that represents my view.

 

1109-chart_full_600.jpg

 

2007 is Ellis

early 2008 is Azzarello except those two upward blips should be downward and me not reading the end of Azzarello's run

end of 2008 is Carey with obvious Mina in early 2009 (though the trough should be lower)

end of 2009 is Diggle, late 2010 is Milligan's promising start

2011 is my prediction for Constantine's first arc.

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No.

It is clearly the graph of Hellblazer quality.

Perhaps that is a major factor in the downturn of the financial industry.

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Milligan killed the economy! He's worse than Obama! Waahhh!!!!

 

I just never really got into Carey's run either. There were some high points during it, but overall, I was bored by it. I understand it's not the popular consensus, but I haven't really been that interested in HB since the Ellis run. There's nothing outright to complain about from Carey, and it's better than what came after, certainly, but it seemed to be the point where HB went into repeat mode.

Now, this isn't the "slight disappointment with Carey" thread, it's the "Milligan hate" thread. So, let's get back to blaming Milligan.

 

Personally, I heard that Milligan was the reason that John F. Kennedy was killed.

Milligan is responsible for every war in history.

Milligan is the leader of the Freemasons.

Milligan will steal your child and eat him or her.

Milligan was the one truly funding of the Nazis.

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Yep, those are all great stories, and Milligan doing bad work certainly doesn't take away from his best work.

 

Rassm-You mentioned that Milligan had John time travel. Funnily enough, he already did that years ago during Shade; the three-parter guest-starring Constantine. Although that used Shade's madness powers to explain John going back in time.

 

I've found every writer's run since the end of Azzarello's to be forgettable, honestly.

I remember the entire Delano run to this day, so well. After Azzarello left the book, I don't remember a lot of stories. (Not that I want to remember Azzarello's plots!). OK, to be fair, that could be because I've re-read Delano's run about five times, while I haven't re-read anything after Ellis left.

Honestly, I do remember some of Milligan's run too. There are some things in there that are just hard to forget, and I mean that in a negative way. Although, the less (shall we say) offensive plotting is much less memorable, sure. I've forgotten a large chunk of Milligan by now also.

A reason for that could be that I've been speed-reading the latest HB issues for a number of months now. It can be a chore to bother reading the book, so I've been making it go as quickly as possible.

 

What the fuck, guy?! The one thing Azzarello's run never did was make me throw up my hands and say "Fuck this shit" and give up. Milligan succeeded in that area.

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Is Andy Diggle's run any good?

It is. The only two bad things about it was Jason Aaron's two parter midway and it's too short (though Ellis's stint still remains the shortest run to date).

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I respectfully disagree. He ignores and rewrites plots that jenkins addressed in his run - anyone remember Jenkins, the only long-term HB writer who didn't get ANY of his run traded at all? You don't? Oh, that's why you like Diggle's run. Joyride was OK and I liked that British govt. conspiracy shit, but the Ravenscar Casino bullshit was ridiculous. I think I might have liked it when it first came out just because Mina's run had so much promise but was ultimately a letdown. I've recently re-read Diggle's run and that whole Laughing Magician/Roots of Coincidence arc was a mess with no resolution to speak of whatsoever. I've read interviews with Diggle where he said he was disappointed in himself regarding the latter part of his run. I think it was meant to be a meta-story, a la Carey, but he had to leave the book sooner than he'd planned which made for an incomplete story with lots of buildup, some drama and no resolution. It's a shame he left because had he stayed, we might not have ever been forced to endure Milligan. And I'm one who is so put off by what Milligan did to one of my favorite comics that I will avoid him from here on out. I have no interest in anything else he does unless it's an early retirement from the comics biz. Then I'll buy the fucker a gold watch with a very special engraving on it.

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I'm leaning closer to Slinker.

It wasn't horrible. It wasn't as bad as Milligan's or Mina's or Azzarello's. But, it doesn't have a lot to recommend it either. It ends in a completely disappointing manner.

In some ways, it seems to be going in circles, or killing time, just to get the HB book on the stands. Most of what Diggle was trying to do on the book was unnecessary, because it had already been done before.

I haven't read the interview with Diggle.

It starts out pretty well though.

 

If I wasn't such a hardcore collector, I would have dropped the title with Azzarello.

Back then, my pull list had about four comics on it, so I had a mind-set to read the comics, regardless of how bad they were, and never even consider dropping them, because I was having a hard time finding ANY comics that interested me at the time.

I kept reading Uncanny X-Men through the Chuck Austen run. Man, you think Milligan's HB is bad, try sitting through month after month of Chuck Austen stupidity.

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I didn't really get into HB until Carey had started, but I loved it so much that I read it from the beginning concurrently to reading Carey's run. Had I begun with Azzarello, particularly the godawful cliche-ridden Ashes and Dust in LA, I would have dropped it back then and never given it another look. I wouldn't be here annoying you good people with my abusive language and crazy conspiracy theories...(CROATOA!)...what? Blanked out for a second, anyway Ashes and Dust was such a dealbreaker that it easily could have become an ender. The whole noir innuendo cliches back & forth between Turro and the lady cop was nauseating at best, and probably responsible for murder sprees at worst. And see, I'm in to the whole BDSM thing, so I should have loved it. But it's obvious that Azz maybe went to a BDSM club once as a tourist and figured he had the whole thing down well enough to write it with confidence, but giiiiiirl! He did not! Everything about that culture he got wrong or relied on Hollywood cliches - and to this day, Hollywood has only gotten that lifestyle more or less accurately one time in its long history - in the film, Secretary with Spader and Guillontillinhomeobobo, whatever her name is - Donnie Darko's sister in Donnie Darko and real life.

 

But prior to Milligan's abortion filled run, that had been HB's previous lowest point, IMLtHO.

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