John Constantine: Hellblazer #6
As Noah’s mother lies in the hospital, deep in a coma with no prognosis of awakening, John Constantine makes the acquaintance of a rapacious spirit-one with a terrifying significance for all of England.
John Constantine: Hellblazer #6 sees the return of Aaron Campbell after Matias Bergara handled art duties issues #4 and #5. Campbell’s art and Jordie Bellaire’s colors are a force to be reckoned with in issue #6, especially the pages dealing with the spirit that roams the hospital. It is the absence of color that makes this issue so [interesting, visually appealing]. Dark hospital, full of shadows, drowning in darkness. The spirit outbursts are truly terrifying, the reds are sharp and cut right through to the reader, unnerving, the spirit’s face is so unsettling it is like she’s staring directly at you. The bodies in the beds, and the spirit, felt like images straight out of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. That is saying a lot, especially because Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark has haunted me for twenty years.
I have written before that Simon Spurrier has done an incredible job bringing John Constantine into 2020. This issue is no different, and it feels especially relevant to what is happening in the world right. Towards the end of the issue, Constantine talks about the NHS, United Kingdom’s National Health Service. The NHS is a publicly funded healthcare system, which means that it is essentially funded by people’s taxes. The NHS provides healthcare to everyone, and some people have an issue with that. Some feel that their tax money should not go to benefiting all people. The spirit in this issue only visits hospital rooms of people who immigrated to England, mainly POC. Constantine and Noah find a way to stop her, but the end of the issue hints that this is not the end.
A story like this is more important than ever, especially in the United States, where cities in all 50 states have been protesting the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and countless others at the hands of police for nearly two weeks and no sign of slowing down. Spurrier may be the most talented writer working in comics today, and I applaud him for using his platform to bring forth topics like healthcare and racism as a whole. There is no place for racism in our lives, even comic books, and Spurrier is one of the many who are exposing it and want to tell readers this and that Black Lives Matter.
John Constantine: Hellblazer #6 (Spurrier, Campbell, Bellaire) is visually terrifying with writing so relevant that it is even scarier. Spurrier, Campbell, and Bellaire offer a great Constantine issue that is meant to be read this very moment.
John Constantine: Hellblazer #6: Story for These TImes
- Writing - 9/109/10
- Storyline - 9/109/10
- Art - 9/109/10
- Color - 9/109/10
- Cover Art - 9/109/10