John Constantine: Hellblazer #4
John Constantine can’t catch a break. He begins his day in his best suit and ends it covered in his own puke. On top of that, he meets Tommy Willowtree, who is a huge fan and a huge annoyance to Constantine. It is quickly evident that Tommy needs his help, but is Constantine in over his head?
I knew John Constantine: Hellblazer #4 was going to be a great issue the moment I opened it up. The art. The art is not what you’d expect out of a Constantine book, but this issue is gorgeous. Matias Bergara captures Constantine in such a unique way, yet undeniably him. This is all enhanced with Jordie Bellaire’s coloring. It takes talented artists to fill a book with such beautiful, lighthearted images while still feeling like Hellblazer. This is mainly because of Bellaire, who has colored previous issues. She has endless talent and can work with any artist while retaining her distinctive style. Overall, the creative team has put out a great book, especially Simon Spurrier.
Spurrier has the rare talent of making something feel timeless and completely contemporary at the same time. Constantine seems untouched by time, yet somehow he fits perfectly in 2020. Spurrier does something similar in The Dreaming. In The Dreaming, the Dreaming is infected with an AI that slowly digitizes the entire realm. While this is not a good thing, Spurrier presents this in a way that seems perfectly logical.
The modernization in John Constantine: Hellblazer is one of the traits that will define the series. Constantine in 2020 is a blast, especially because it is the same Constantine we all know and love. This is evident as soon as you open the book and see Constantine getting dressed in a blue suit like it is straight out of the pages of Saga of the Swamp Thing. This is a nice homage to his beginnings, but this quick dose of nostalgia is interrupted when Constantine is blindsided by what he later calls a “turd-goblin.” Tommy Willowtree came to the rescue.
Willowtree is the perfect embodiment of 2020, and everything Constantine hates. Willowtree is rocking it all: beard, man bun, stretched earlobes, blazer with a scarf, plus he is health conscious, and knows his stuff. On top of it all, he can out drink Constantine. The dynamic between the two is quite enjoyable to see, though Constantine does not seem to think so. Spurrier does a great job of writing a character as contemporary as Willowtree, but without feeling like an outright satire. Willowtree is skilled and eager, but he needs Constantine’s help, though it appears Constantine needs his help more. It is not until the end of the issue that Willowtree tells Constantine that he is needed as the Magelord of all England to protect the realm. Constantine responds in the most Constantine way by throwing up all over the table where Willowtree had just placed sacred magical items and says, “What w’we talkn’ bout?”
John Constantine: Hellblazer #4 begins a new arc in fresh clothes, that is until Constantine ruins them. In this visually gorgeous issue, Constantine meets Tommy Willowtree, who just might be everything he hates. Still, Willowtree needs Constantine's help, but Constantine might need Willowtree's more.
John Constantine: Hellblazer #4: "What Were We Talking About?"
- Writing - 9/109/10
- Storyline - 9/109/10
- Art - 9/109/10
- Color - 9/109/10
- Cover Art - 9/109/10
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