John Constantine: Hellblazer #1
John Constantine is back and trying his best in 2019. The bars and cigarettes might have changed but it doesn’t look like Constantine has. Recruited (or kidnapped) by a mysterious and spooky gang leader, Constantine is tasked with an angel problem in the park.
John Constantine: Hellblazer #1 immediately has me hooked. The one-shot was great and had me really excited for the series but Spurrier hits it out of the park with this issue. The opening panels could not have set a more appropriate scene: “The haruspex consults his meat” overlaid on a closeup of intestines. It’s nice to know that things are still spooky and mythical in 2019. Through the guts we see angels absolutely massacring a couple of drug dealers. All of this cuts to an exterior of a pub with some bad jokes being told. Of course it is Constantine delivering them. Outside of the pub, Constantine meets the bouncer, Nat. I have a feeling this will not be the last time we see her. She is tough as nails and immediately calls Constantine out, so obviously I like her.
Constantine is knocked out the most British way possible: a hit to the head from a cricket bat. I love that even without context you know that John probably deserves it. We find out that the haruspex wants Constantine. So far we have angels ripping people apart, Constantine getting thrown out of a pub, knocked out, and brought to a haruspex. Constantine’s trip to the park to deal with the angels for the haruspex goes exactly as expected: more people are ripped to shreds. The plot so far is fairly simple and does a great job of introducing Constantine and the line of work he is in. There are laughs and scares, which I am hoping will be recurring things in the series.
Aaron Campbell and Jordie Bellaire an excellent pair for a Hellblazer book. The angel sequences were a highlight for me. It is hard to depict angels and their heavenly glow feel so dark. What should be the most comforting sight becomes an absolute living nightmare. There are so many little unsettling details that sell the book, such as, the haruspex’s guts, Barry outside of the pub’s pox ridden face, and of course the angels and the corpse they leave behind. Matched with Spurrier, this is the perfect team for the series.
Sandman Universe is quickly becoming one of the strongest series of titles in comics. Spurrier is at the top of his game with both The Dreaming and John Constantine: Hellblazer. Whether you are new to the series or a seasoned fan, this issue jumps right in without leaving anyone out. Pick up a copy at your local comic book shop or however you get your comics.
John Constantine: Hellblazer #1: Walk in the Park
Writing - 8/108/10
Storyline - 7/107/10
Art - 7/107/10
Color - 8/108/10
Cover Art - 8/108/10
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