John Constantine: Hellblazer #3
John Constantine runs into some setbacks while dealing with some trouble in the park: a William Blake obsessed man armed with deadly angels. Forced to come up with a plan B, John does some research and calls in some favors in the most Constantine way possible.
John Constantine gets his groove back. He is still kind of a mess but now he has some friends. After John must flee the park I was not sure what he was going to do. He seemed to be up to something but he was doing it in such a Constantine way that I wasn’t sure. Maybe it was his interactions on the bus that pleasantly threw me off. It’s not every day I get to read a comic where someone gets called out on for farting on the bus. I thoroughly enjoyed these pages because they seemed important but I was not sure what the urgency was. I knew John was onto something when he visits William Blake’s grave. The man John must deal with is constantly quoting the artist and poet and unleashing killer angels from his delusions.
The Blake obsessed man quotes “A Poison Tree” and says, “I was angry with my foe: I told it not, my wrath did grow.” John knows the poem, and maybe that is what gave him his idea to stop the man. John says that homeless man is just cherry picking lines that work in his favor. The lines that precede are: “I was angry with my friend; I told my wrath, my wrath did end.” John does his research, contacts the man’s dead wife, and reapproaches the man. Even though it is a lie, John says that the man’s wife forgives him for killing her, this in turn leads the man to redeem himself by having his angels kill him. John came to him as a “friend,” which led to the man putting his guard down and then actually ending his own life. Obviously, a huge part of this issue and something I want to close with are the William Blake references. I would like to applaud Spurrier on the stellar writing that continues to show that he is one of the best in the industry.
Blake’s influence is obvious when it comes to poetry and painting. His work is still featured and referenced in all types of media from poetry anthologies to television and film, but one form of media that owes a lot to Blake is comic books. The basic idea of a comic is similar to Blake’s art: artistic renderings of scenes accompanied by words. William Blake’s presence in comics is not a strange thing. The famous Spider-Man arc Kraven’s Last Hunt, also known as Fearful Symmetry (a phrase taken from Blake’s work) features a large Blake presence. His poem, “The Tyger” narrates a large part of the arc. His work is a unique form of visual media which combines written word with colorful visuals so it is no surprise when he pops up in comics. Something about his work translates perfectly in comics.
If you aren't already reading John Constantine: Hellblazer then you are completely missing out. Every issue this far has been an absolute blast. I am incredibly excited to see where Spurrier, Campbell, and Bellaire take it. You should already have this issue sitting on your coffee table, but if not, pick up a copy immediately at your local comic book shop or wherever you get your comics.
John Constantine: Hellblazer #3: My Wrath Did Grow
Writing - 8/108/10
Storyline - 8/108/10
Art - 8/108/10
Color - 8/108/10
Cover Art - 8/108/10
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