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  1. #1

    Cool Share your opinions on various Hellblazer writers

    I'm catching up on the Hellblazer series. I read Jamie Delano's run a few years ago now and it's not fresh at all in my memory but I do remember enjoying it. I've started this time with the Garth Ennis run and have now reached the first couple of Mike Carey issues.

    Leaving Delano aside for a moment I've enjoyed Ennis the most. I had some problems with Paul Jenkins run and I really didn't like Azzarello's. Ellis run was short and sweet.

    The problem I had with Jenkins was the meandering wordy prose and the lack of depth to secondary characters. I found I was bored towards the end of his run.

    Azzarello is very good at plot but I really disliked his John Constantine. Really disliked. His writing reminds me of some of those over the top 80's movie directors. Like his stories might be written next to a bowl of coke and porn running on cable 24/7

    I've liked the fisrt 2 issue effort from Carey I've read.

    So guys.....how do you rate the HB writers?
    Last edited by mrdukey; 10-31-2012 at 09:04 AM. Reason: 'issue effort' not 'page effort'

  2. #2
    Crusader of Justice dancj's Avatar
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    I haven't read Milligan or Diggle yet...

    From best to worst:
    Ennis
    Delano (but only on Bad Blood)
    Azzarello
    Carey
    Ellis
    Jenkins
    Delano (on everything except Bad Blood)
    Mina

  3. #3
    Say WHAT?!?!?!? FanboyStranger's Avatar
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    My ratings would be

    Delano

    Ennis

    Diggle (probably the perfect synthesis of everything that had come before his run-- a rare example of a "fan" writer getting it right)

    Jenkins (longer arcs tended to fade by the end, but some of the finest single issues in the series)

    Ellis (probably would rate him higher than Jenkins if he had spent more time on the title)

    Azzerello (taken as a long con, it's quite brilliant; I think it's one of those things that you have to read in one sitting to really appreciate)

    Milligan (a weak start, but has been firing on all cylinders since the lead-up to John's wedding)

    Carey (some great moments, but probably the most conventionally heroic John has been; best issues are towards the end)

    Mina (definitely the weakest run, but not bad by any means; just sorta inconsequential)

  4. #4
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    Mike Carey is hands down, the best writer to touch Constantine. His stories feel like true epics. They seem to be stand alone but if you read them all you see a grand arc. It was amazing. "The Game of Cat and Mouse" and "The Gift" are #1 and #2 in my list of greatest Hellblazer stories. Ennis was good but he gets WAY too much credit. Many of his stories were rubbish. The key to Constantine is how to achieve the balance...too much magic and the comic loses its grittyness and realism...too little magic and it becomes a crime comic. Both Ennis and Azzarello made the mistake of minimizing the magic and the mysticism. Delano sometimes went overboard with the magic. Carey is the only one who struck the perfect balance.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandinista View Post
    Mike Carey is hands down, the best writer to touch Constantine. His stories feel like true epics. They seem to be stand alone but if you read them all you see a grand arc. It was amazing. "The Game of Cat and Mouse" and "The Gift" are #1 and #2 in my list of greatest Hellblazer stories. Ennis was good but he gets WAY too much credit. Many of his stories were rubbish. The key to Constantine is how to achieve the balance...too much magic and the comic loses its grittyness and realism...too little magic and it becomes a crime comic. Both Ennis and Azzarello made the mistake of minimizing the magic and the mysticism. Delano sometimes went overboard with the magic. Carey is the only one who struck the perfect balance.
    I'm currently on Carey's run and I really like him too. There seems to be little consensus when it comes to ranking Hellblazer writers and that's a good sign because it means they all contributed something of value (though I'd be happy to see Azzarello's work cut from the canon )

  6. #6
    Member Predator jp's Avatar
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    i'm catching up with new edition so i don't know when i can be able to read Carey's run...

  7. #7
    Elder Member Libaax's Avatar
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    From best to worst:

    Ennis - the best,definite HB writer that combined great character writing with memorable arcs

    Delano - early HB was slow but he became much better. Ennis/Delano are really the only must read authors

    Azzarello - he started well but tried to americanize JC too much with the lame american trip stories.
    Jenkins
    Carey - i wouldnt recommend his stories
    Mina - worst by far and avoid if you can.
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  8. #8

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    Milligan
    Ennis/Azzarello (hard to decide between them, need to do some re-reading when I can)
    Diggle
    Carey/Delano (same as Ennis and Azz)
    Jenkins
    Ellis (superb writer, one of my favorites, but his run was a wee bit short :/)
    Every guest writer
    Mina
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  9. #9
    evil maybe, genius no stk's Avatar
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    I'm part of a small number of people who hated Ennis' run (except for the Heartland Special). IMO, he changed the character into someone else, but because his run was so popular, every writer who followed seemed to write their version of Ennis' character rather than of the original character. That bugs me.

    Delano was my favorite. Every one else, for all the good and bad issues that followed, basically felt like a fill-in to me. And Azzarello's, I could never buy into at all, although some of the stories were entertaining as their own thing anyway.

  10. #10

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    Don't know why some dislike Azz's run so much or say that he "americanized" John. I've followed John and read every Hellblazer issue and the only "American" thing that Azz did was using his classic word "yer". C'mon people, cut some slack :p
    But to each their own *shrugs*
    Last edited by Billy Batson; 11-12-2012 at 01:47 PM.
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  11. #11
    Hey, Larry! Darrell D.'s Avatar
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    Ennis: He brought a grittiness and grim fun to the character, as strange as that may sound.

    Azzarello: He took JC on a trip through America, and made him a manipulative bastard again. Like Fanboy Stranger said, it was a long con. Best read all at once.

    Jenkins: Some damn fun stories from that period, and really added to the story that Ennis left for him. Adding Rich the Punk and his family gave John a true sense of family himself, and you knew the moment would come where he fucked it up.

    Delano: The first 12 issues of his run was just magic. The rest never grabbed me, though.

  12. #12
    Hey, Larry! Darrell D.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Batson View Post
    Don't know why some dislike Azz's run so much or say that he "americanized" John. I've followed John and read every Hellblazer issue and the only "American" thing that Azz did was using his classic word "yer". C'mon people, cut some slack :p
    But to each their own *shrugs*
    Azz was smart enough to keep JC in America and not London, and played him very much in the shadows. Very much close to the original Moore Constantine.

  13. #13
    evil maybe, genius no stk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Batson View Post
    Don't know why some dislike Azz's run so much or say that he "americanized" John. I've followed John and read every Hellblazer issue and the only "American" thing that Azz did was using his classic word "yer". C'mon people, cut some slack :p
    But to each their own *shrugs*
    He just didn't capture the voice of the character, imo, in either dialogue or mannerism. But if it worked for you, there's nothing wrong with that. But for me, it was like Dick Van Dyke in Marry Poppins. I could not, at any time, buy into it.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by stk View Post
    He just didn't capture the voice of the character, imo, in either dialogue or mannerism. But if it worked for you, there's nothing wrong with that. But for me, it was like Dick Van Dyke in Marry Poppins. I could not, at any time, buy into it.
    Alan Moore disagrees though.

    Man I really need to get to this run. Hear so many mixed things about it

  15. #15
    Crusader of Justice dancj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stk View Post
    I'm part of a small number of people who hated Ennis' run (except for the Heartland Special). IMO, he changed the character into someone else
    Actually I thought Ennis's version was a lot truer to the Alan Moore version. You still got to see the vulnerable side, but you also saw the exterior that he presents to the outside world.

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