Review-a-day: Hellblazer #8

Posted: November 4, 2014 in Review-a-day
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Hellblazer8

One step closer to the end of my look back at the earliest issues of the Hellblazer comic (in honor of NBC’s Constantine TV series) which lasted 26 years and 300 issues before The New 52 Constantine title became the primary book for the character. Also one step closer, hopefully, to some actual payoff to the Damnation army vs. Resurrection Crusade conflict we’ve been building to since issue #4.

Not this issue though. Nope, first we’ve got a little bit more set-up that we’ve got to work our way through and a whole lot of biblical and metaphorical exposition from the demon Nergal. I will give the issue some credit, the first few pages, focusing first on Zed in the clutches of the Resurrection Crusade and then on Constantine’s first appearance in the issue, are actually pretty interesting. The Zed section in particular, the first four pages of the issue, taking a look at her post-re-indoctrination while in the Resurrection Crusade’s Glastonbury stronghold. Because we knew this character before this, when she actually had some life to her, seeing her here, essentially lobotomized, makes this sequence infinitely creepy. Following that, we get a brief sequence (about two pages) with Constantine, in the aftermath of his leap from a moving train last issue, where he has been locked away in a prison and is being tortured for what happened in Newcastle. Once this sequence is revealed as a hallucination/dream and we get into the hospital scene with Constantine and Nergal the issue becomes a bit of a slog to get through as we have to listen to the demon drone on and on about the why of him needing Constantine on his side in the war with the Resurrection Crusade. Even when they do the demon blood transfusion to quickly heal Constantine, an idea that could have been something very interesting, it’s over before it begins, and we’re backing to waiting for the payoff.

I want to enjoy this series a lot more than I think I actually am. There is so many interesting ideas here and the subject matter is intriguing, both on the magical side and the serious topics that Jamie Delano is willing to touch on, but right now it just seems like the glimpses of greatness and what payoff there is isn’t enough to offset everything inbetween. But, I’ve got one or two more issues I’m going look at in the immediate future and a bunch more in my backlog I’ll tackle eventually so we’ll see, maybe it’s a situation where the series gets better as it goes on.

Hellblazer8_capture

Score: 7.5

Written By: Jamie Delano
Art By: John Ridgway, Alfredo Alcala and Lovern Kindzierski
Letters By: John Costanza
Price: $1.99 (on ComiXology)

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