John Constantine: Hellblazer #2
John's return to London isn't going as smoothly as he'd hoped... though it's already been just as bloody as he could have expected! Enormous angels straight from the mind of William Blake are tearing people to ribbons in Peckham Rye Common, and the gang lord who's pressed John into service is getting increasingly impatient about John's inability to deal with them.
In the second issue of John Constantine: Hellblazer, the grand return to London only gets worse, bringing to light once again the tormented angels and setting off a potentially deadly chain of events.
Inspired heavily by the poems and other artwork of William Blake in the Romantic Age who often merged philosophical and mystical elements in his work, John Constantine: Hellblazer #2 continues a stunning return to form for the character. Heavily English, full of accents and cultural nods that many will undoubtedly miss, it’s an exciting example of how to honestly cater to the roots of this character.
Constantine’s stories often thrive on not only the dark recesses of magic, but also of society. The gritty aesthetic that punctuates the bars and park that we inhabit really helps to ground the series so far in a world that feels natural. Aaron Campbell and Jordie Bellaire have an obvious knack for pulling off this stylized artwork that suits the character. I would be very happy to see this team stick around on this title for quite a long time. So far, it’s only getting better with each issue.
The real strength of John Constantine: Hellblazer #2 comes from it’s powerful storytelling. While it of course couldn’t be pulled off successfully without such great visuals, the story is starting to feel like an instant classic. The use of English Romanticism literature as an inspiration sets the stage for a unique story that only this character can facilitate.
While the local gang and the “Bloodrunning” feel a bit stereotypical with their dark magic twist, it does frame the story for Constantine quite well. His help with the underbelly of society is never black and white, and he even mentions to Noah that there is always a cost to this type of magic, and they best you can hope for is it isn’t YOU that has to pay it. This is such a classic Constantine moment that encapsulates almost everything this character brings to the table.
Ultimately, John Constantine: Hellblazer #2 is a smart step forward for the new series. It’s pure Constantine, through and through, with plenty of twisted magic and dark humor to satisfy any fan of the chain-smoking occult detective.
John Constantine: Hellblazer #2 is a smart step forward for the new series. It's pure Constantine, through and through, with plenty of twisted magic and dark humor to satisfy any fan of the chain smoking occult detective.
John Constantine: Hellblazer #2: “The Countenance Divine”
Writing - 9.5/109.5/10
Storyline - 8/108/10
Art - 9.5/109.5/10
Color - 9/109/10
Cover Art - 8.5/108.5/10
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