John Constantine: Hellblazer #7
How are all those poor British fishermen supposed to keep the French out of their waters? By summoning an ancient merwoman, perhaps? Of course, there's the little matter of what to do with her once she's served her purpose...and what to do about this John Constantine fellow who's come sniffing around to find her himself…
John Constantine: Hellblazer #7 has it all: slimy fish, slimier fishermen, magic shells, and mermaid sex. Simon Spurrier continues to blow me away with his writing. He has consistently written an incredible Hellblazer series with a very current backdrop. In this issue, Spurrier brought the reader into the fishing industry. The fishing industry is failing, fishermen are catching less fish, and the French are being blamed. I do not know too much about fishing, but I do know that net fishing is harmful to ecosystems and leads to over fishing. That is what the French in this issue are accused of. I am not sure if this is the actual case, though. Regardless, current fishing practices of the French and British are not sustainable, but that doesn’t stop the finger-pointing. The slimy fisherman this issue revolves around even says, “I think the fishing’s fucked because we fucked up the fish!” Though he is the one that sees the real problem, it is him that Old Man Constantine approaches with a magic shell.
Our Constantine learns that the shell Old Man Constantine gave to the fisherman controlled a mermaid. She fell in love with the fisherman and did anything to make him happy. What started with leading fish to his boat led to her actually attacking French boats. Constantine rescues her and learns the story. By the time he gets her to the water, her tail is too badly damaged to be used, but it doesn’t seem to be the last of her.
Spurrier provides the backdrop of the issue, but it is really Aaron Campbell and Jordie Bellaire that fully immerses the reader. They aren’t just showing you the market, the docks, or the water; they are bringing it to you. As always, the duo thrives in darkness and shadow. The way Spurrier writes, it feels like this issue is told in a hushed, hurried tone in the shadows, and Campbell and Bellaire show that. Campbell’s inking feels so unique, crude but precise, and is exactly what you expect out of a Hellblazer title. Though I can’t picture this book without Bellaire, I think an issue of just Campbell’s inks would be incredible. That being said, having Bellaire’s colors add something to the book that can’t be replaced or left out. There is a panel that shows Constantine lighting a cigarette. This sounds like it could be every panel of Constantine, but this one feels different. The panel is dark and almost devoid of color, except a cigarette being lit. It a tiny burst of warm light fighting against all the cold shadow around Constantine, and there’s a lot of cold shadows.
John Constantine: Hellblazer #7 (Spurrier, Campbell, Bellaire) brings Constantine to the docks to investigate some troubled waters, and it involves a mermaid. With an incredibly interesting story and brilliant art, this issue should not be missed.
John Constantine: Hellblazer #7: Something’s Fishy
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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