Review-a-day: Hellblazer #3

Posted: October 22, 2014 in Review-a-day
Tags: , , , , , ,

Hellblazer3

With the premiere of NBC’s Constantine just around the corner (or maybe just down the street), I’m continuing my trip back to the late 1980’s and the earliest issues of the comic that spawned the series (and a 20005 movie), Hellblazer. This time, no Papa Midnite, no ghosts, but what is likely a very important development for the series.

What is that very important development? Hell, of course. Or more specifically the first introduction of demons (the Hunger Spirit from the first two issues is something different) into the series. And the introduction of the concept that John Constantine’s soul is a hot commodity for the denizens of Hell. It’s a bit of a slow buildup in this issue as Jamie Delano sets up the situation around Constantine before the character actually realizes what’s happening around him, or what he not quite literally stumbles into. I appreciate the use of politics and economy to fuel this initial conflict between Constantine and Blathoxi (Lord of Flatulence of all things). I expect as well that the subject matter was probably very topical at the time, but as a Canadian who was not even three years old when the issue was initially released, a lot of that is lost on me. Another thing I appreciated about this issue was Constantine’s use of common/cliche phrases such as “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore,” but without Jamie Delano allowing the character to take ownership of the phrases, instead referencing that it’s something Constantine is quoting, not something he came up with on his own. what i didn’t appreciate though was how easily Constantine seemed to get out of the situation in the end of the issue. I know it’s the kind of thing in which the consequences will come up later (there are what, 297 issues after this one), but sometimes it is nice to have things payoff immediately.

While I’m still enjoying the series so far, it’s nice getting this new look at old stories featuring this character I’ve only recently come to, but I’m already starting to fear that I’m going to seeing this same deal of less than satisfying conclusions with the real payoffs coming later a lot as I continue to read the series. Hopefully, that’s not the case and things will start to get better in that respect sooner rather than later.

Hellblazer3_capture

Score: 8.0

Written By: Jamie Delano
Art By: John Ridgway and Lovern Kindzierski
Letters By: Annie Halfacree
Price: $1.99 (on ComiXology)

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