John and the Huntress race time and the forces of Hell to save the soul of Margie Ames. A return to The Good Old Days continues.
Writer: Tim Seeley
Pencils: Davide Fabbri
Inker: Christian Dalla Vecchia
Colorist: Carrie Strachan
Letterer: Sal Cipriano
Cover Art: Tim Seeley With Chris Sotomayor
Variant Cover: Sean Phillips
Editors: Kristy Quinn and Jim Chadwick
Publisher: DC Comics
What You Need to Know:
John former lover Margie Ames has been possessed by Burke Day, the deceased and damned former head of a crime family, through the help of Burke’s priestly brother, Adam. The Huntress has been dispatched by the church to deal with the possessed creature, and she and Constantine team up after a bit of a scuffle to stop whatever the two have planned. We also see the return of Nergal, the demon that dragged John to Hell many years ago and the source of Constantine’s demon blood. He’s planning to use Margie and the Days to wreak havoc on Earth, and more importantly, on John’s life.
What You Will Find Out:
We find out through Nergal’s narrative to Burke the events of the Inspiration Game a couple of arcs back have left Margie Ames changed and open to demonic possession. Nergal shows Burke a bit of the history of Constantine, and his trail of demon enemies. It is revealed that Margie Ames has become an Annunaki, avatar of Tiamat. It’s not entirely clear exactly what that means except that Margie is now a conduit for releasing demons on Earth.
Meanwhile, John and the Huntress use a tracking spell to locate Margie’s body but finding Sips along the way. Sips, you may remember, was the vampire we saw at the very beginning of the arc who attacked John and before running afoul of the Bruvs, a London street gang that’s been popping up. John…helps?….Sips out in typical Constantine fashion, then he and the Huntress are back on the trail.
We also hear some of the Huntress’s backstory as Helena Bertinelli, about her father (Frank Bertinelli) and how she came to serve the church as she does. As the issue closes, the three Day brothers – Adam, Burke, and Lucas, are reunited and begin their move to bring back “The Good Old Days” by reclaiming London’s criminal world.
What Just Happened?
This arc is serving up its namesake in a number of fashions. The Day family seeks a return to glory now that the brothers are resurrected and together again. The return of Nergal, arguably John’s oldest nemesis, recounts some of Constantine’s early history in the Hellblazer books. We also have John’s former lover Margie Ames, returning and now paying for knowing Constantine, as so many others have.
It’s nice to have Nergal back in the pages of the book. I’ve always had a fondness for Nergal and his ability to torment John in ways that no other demon quite can. Constantine manages an escape (usually with a good knife twist) in the end, but when it comes to Nergal, he has a way of turning the taste of victory into the foulest ashes in John’s mouth. I’m interested to see which one of them gets the upper hand this time.
The Huntress continues her guest starring role. I can’t say I’m fond of having one of the “tights-job heroes” in Hellblazer, it rarely works well, but the Huntress’s background allows her to shift from standard action hero books to one like Hellblazer pretty well. At first, I felt like her appearance in the book was kind of random. But given Helena’s own family’s past with the criminal underworld, it’s likely her not so good old days will figure into the story somehow.
Final Thoughts: I have to admit, I’m not enamored with the crime family/mafia theme all that much, but Seeley does an excellent job working it into the theme and feel of the Hellblazer world. Similarly, the art is a bit on the cartoony side, which can be tricky for a book that has a darker tone. But Fabbri still brings the gravitas and a nice range of emotion and expression. In general, this book continues to maintain interest and lead down twists and turns that make for a good story and a solid read.
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