I FINALLY GET AROUND TO READING HELLBLAZER
The only exposure I’ve had to John Constantine is in other comics like Swamp Thing, Sandman, and Justice League: Dark. I've never wandered into the long running Hellblazer title from Vertigo until now, but I’m not sure why. I love urban magic and stories about the occult, so it would only make sense that a character like Constantine would speak to the genre that often goes unnoticed in the comic book world. So let me declare right now that I am so pissed off at myself for never giving this series or character the attention they both deserve.
In this issue Constantine finds that his niece, Gemma, is sleeping with a swarthy fellow in order to get back at him for leaving her mother in Hell. Constantine takes it upon himself to take a trip back to the pit in order to find Gemma’s mother and to try and set things right. But when Constantine arrives he finds a whole new section of Hell waiting especially for him, and things are about to get a whole lot more complicated on his little supernatural road trip.
Written by Peter Milligan and drawn by Giuseppe Camuncoli, this issue of Hellblazer was delightful. I don’t know if it’s because I recently read The Inferno by Dante, or if I’m just a twisted bastard, but I’ve really been interested in the concept of Hell lately even though I’m not religious. I love the way that Milligan and Camuncoli depict Hell as a mixture of city and biblical mythos. It feels more like an alternate dimension and less like a tool to teach you a lesson. I will add that it does have that Dante vibe though, so it doesn’t completely loose the connotation that the souls that are there did something to deserve it.
The overall look and feel of this title is incredible, and it’s also rekindled my interest in Justice League: Dark, which will be switching writing duties soon between Milligan and Jeff Lemire. I’m not sure why, from what I heard everyone is enjoying Milligan’s run on the title, and I know I loved the first issue of it, but it’s just the nature of the beast. But this isn’t a review of JLD, so I’ll give this book a 4.5/5 and be on my merry way.