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  1. #46
    Gone Fishin' Red_10's Avatar
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    Well, I've not much to add, other than I liked it. I thought Piffy's acceptance of John leaving again came rather too easily, but that was really the only off note for me. Over all I've rather enjoyed Milligan's run, it got me buying the floppies again for the first time in years and years.

    <hoists a pint> Here's to you John
    If you're not reading Unwritten you should be.

  2. #47

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    If you're gonna go meta, why hang out with the current writing team? Why not send John back to his creator (Moore) for a final chat? They sort of met already in #120.

    Or at the very least, throw Cammo, Landini, and Biz in there, too. Who doesn't like to draw Biz?

  3. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by Salstadt View Post
    If you're gonna go meta, why hang out with the current writing team? Why not send John back to his creator (Moore) for a final chat? They sort of met already in #120.

    Or at the very least, throw Cammo, Landini, and Biz in there, too. Who doesn't like to draw Biz?
    Camuncoli, Landini and Biz are on the right.
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  4. #49
    Senior Member Superdog's Avatar
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    I get the meta-ness of it, but I feel like I'm missing something extra. He makes sure to tell us it's in Liverpool and John is wearing decidedly un-John clothes. He looks older too?
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  5. #50

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    I don't think there's just one interpretation but several which makes you think and that's great. Love endings that make you think.
    But yeah, he looks older.
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  6. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Superdog View Post
    I get the meta-ness of it, but I feel like I'm missing something extra. He makes sure to tell us it's in Liverpool and John is wearing decidedly un-John clothes. He looks older too?
    I thought they were showing him at his true age which is 60.

  7. #52

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    I don't think he looked any older than when Cammo occasionally draws him very haggard. However, I wasn't sure exactly why he looked so freaked out. If this is his afterlife, shouldn't he be relaxing with his friends? He looks terrified.

  8. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Batson View Post
    Just figured out who the moustache guy is, it's Gregory Lockard, Shelly's assistant.
    And that's the end of that mystery! Case closed.
    Now we can pour some beer and drink it in the memory of that bastard Constantine.

  9. #54
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    My eulogy:

    *sobs* I don't wanna say goodbye...but I must.

    When I was 15 years old, I came across this 59 going on 60 year old Liverpudian and his exploits on a whim in 2004; with the whim being that film that we'll never speak of again. In the wake of the trailer, I stumbled across here, learning more about the very material that...film...was loosely based on. In July of that year, I picked up my very first two issues and became hooked. The two issues in question was #91 from Paul Jenkins run and #152 from Brian Azzarello's 25 issue stint. Within time I became more facinated with Hellblazer and its star, the REAL John Constantine than I ever will that...film... Even jumped in the middle of Mike Carey's epic run shortly after Staring at the Wall.


    Back then, I wasn't into reading in full order. Having read everything, I'll do so begining with Jamie Delano.

    While Alan Moore and Rick Veitch inrtoduced us to him through the pages of Swamp Thing, it was Delano and with longtime Doctor Who Magazine veteran John Ridgeway (for the first nine issues) catapulted us into Constantine's life in the mutated cesspool of London. Fresh off the heals of stoping the monsters who not only picked off most of his friends but his girlfriend, Emma, we'd soon realize he'd be up to his neck in more chaos than hot dinners in the form of hunger demons, the Damnation Army/Resurrection Crusade, Jocko, serial killers like the Man to the mentally damaged Samuel Morris, the nortorious "The Family Man", the God of all Gods and the enigmatic twin brother that never lived. Most of all the events of Newcastle and the very demon who set the wheels in motion; Nergal. Throughout the first forty issues, we were introduced to elements that would prove to be a huge mainstay for the series: his long suffering friend Chas Chandler (later his missus Renee and their daughter and granddaughter) and John's own family; notably his older sister Cheryl, his niece Gemma, the wet week brother-in-law Tony Masters and most of all guilt/drunk alddled one-armed father Thomas who eventually fell prey to the Family Man.

    In addition, John had found new lovers along the way. The first since Emma was Zed, who was the chosen Mary to the Resurrection Crusade's only to find her own destiny. Along with her was Marj and her tween daughter Mercury who John both met while on the run from the Met for the decapitations of his landlady and fellow tenant. Dalano would also introduce and kill the last two members of the Newcastle crew: junkie Gary Lester and tech/Dead head, Ritchie Simpson.

    By 1991, one would think Constantine's story was over, but it was just the beginning. Enter Garth Ennis! His innovative story style and characterization would propel the series to new heights starting with the ever popular Dangerous Habits where John dealt with a serious blow in the form of terminal lung cancer reunite with old friends and going up against the Lords of Hell; particularly The First of the Fallen. From #41-83, John would not only dance with the Devil but also encounter The King of the Vampires, BNP, a demon who posessed one of the Royal Family and dragging into a voodoo bound USA courtesy of Papa Midnight. n the time since Zed and Marj, John reunited with Katherine "Kit" Ryan whom was previous was in a relationship with John's good friend and drunkard equivilant Brendan Finn. Their friendship would blossom into a relationship by Christmas and for the first time in his then 40 year old life he was content. Though it would end indefinitly in the wake of Constantine's run in with BNP member Charlie Patterson and his thugs. The fallout from the breakout left John in a emotional self-destructive position as he spent the remander of the year homeless and drinking his life away. The run would introduce new characters who later meet their grizzly fates were the Socialist student Nigel Archer, the Reverend Rick Neilson, and the shades wearing Scotsman Header. It was Ennis's run that not only ran in the end of an era under the DC bullet, but ushering in a new age in mature comics with the beginning of the Vertigo imprint. In the line's inagural issue ( #63) saw John celebrating his 40th Birthday with friends including, Zatanna, Swamp Thing, The Lord of the Dance, the rabbit Mange and the succubus Ellie whom he met when she and her angelic lover were on the run from their prospective areas with child only to lose them both due to the Snob, Gabriel. I've always felt that Ennis is to comics what Quentin Tarrantino is to film: A ball to the wall creator who's stories have you coming back for more. More indeed as Ennis would make 5 part encore dealing with the repercussions of the botched resurrection of a mobster's only son only to put a demon in the child's place.


    With the dawn of '95, Paul Jenkins took rein as the new scribe accompanied with once guest artist Sean Phillips. I have a huge appreciation for this run. Mostly because of its the most sought after run in next to no back issues but also the only run never collected in trades giving how criminally underrated it was. The Jenkins era had big shoes to fill after Ennis and Eddie Campbell's 4 parter that sets up the new scribe. From 1995-98, Constantine would be eyeballs deep in Rainbow snake, a demon with a thing for collecting and tourturing the souls of children, betrayed Medival beings, betraying Ellie, and the return of TFOTF which led to the creation of John's demonic doppleganger. In one encounter, Constantine was whisked away to hell to confront his father and to learn he, not John, was responsible for his mother's death and all thoughs years of insulting and belittling him was masking his guilt and shame of forcing his wife into getting a back street abortion. We also see John talking to and conning God, in the form of a old fortune teller.

    Jenkins would introduce more old friends in the form of Rich Eldridge (with his girlfriend Michelle and their son Syder; later Ivy Mae by runs end), the tall epileptic Straff and his mother (who was brought back from the dead and killed again due to a continuity goof-up eight years after her death via heart attack), Muppet, Loftie and many more. Constantine would find love again for a brief time with African-American journalist Danita Wright. In regards to all things green Jenkins also introduced Jack of the Green who'd appeared sporatically. Jenkins and Phillips celebrated the series 10th anniversary with #120 which feature every character in John's life ranging from Death to a sillouette Alan Moore. Phillips artwork's came a long way from his early guest spots as it remains just as memorable as Ridgeway, Will Simpson and Steve Dillon. Though Phillips left the interior duties by #120, he remained for the cover art for Jenkins final eight issues.


    With the 90s winding down, the next writer to chime in was Transmetropolitan co-creator Warren Ellis. Along with him, the series would have a new cover artist in Tim Bradstreet with his brother-in-law, the late Stevhan Gobble serving and replacing Sting as THE John Constantine from 1999 through 2006. Ellis reinstated the dark and social horrors and stand alones. In his 6-part tale Haunted, Constantine learns of the death of an ex at the hands of the devious Crowley wannabe and overall dickhead Josh Wright. With the help of the sleazy D.I. Watford as well as Tate club regular Clarice Sackville and underground mage Map, John gave Wright a rude awakening he'd never forget (save for Carey). The next four issues afterwards consisted of stand alones featuring a serial killer with a deadly room, a crib consisting of the miscarried Anti-Christ, a former Japanese torture doctor and bizzare conspiracy theories.

    Ellis' run proved short-lived as one story intended to be #141 was shelved due in part to the Columbine shootings; though it'd be a full decade til the story (with art by Phil Jimenez) would be published in Vertigo: Resurrected in 2010. As a result of that, Ellis left with Darko Makin filling in for two issues.
    Last edited by Mr. A; 02-24-2013 at 04:32 PM.

  10. #55
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    continued...

    By the year 2000, Brian Azzarello would take to the smoke by placing Constantine out of his natural habitate and into Azzarello's comfort zones. His inagural storyarc saw John locked away in jail for a murder he didn't commit. John's characterization was off-kilter during this 25 issue run as Azzarello looked to John's earlier characterization via Alan Moore and Rick Veitch's tentures on Swamp Thing for inspiration while aiming for a devious creep not too far from his familar work on 100 Bullets. Joining him was artist Marcelo Frusin, who style was slightly akin to Eduardo Risso but with a more Italian lilt complete with drawing John's signature coat longer than your normal coat, plus the chesire cat grin. From 2000 though 2002, John would go all across the US to confront the tacky Batman analogue SW Manor but not without a few detours like a small West Virginia town relying on porn to keep their economy going; plus the brothers of the dead man, the myth of the Iceman, and the Neo-Nazi addled Highwater.

    The run proved crotroversial as it strayed to far from the themes and horrors Hellblazer was famously known for and by late '02, Azzarello was out and Mike Carey was in. Frusin remained on the title til late 2004 where he was succeeded by Leonardo Manco. Manco would remain throughout Carey's run through Denise Mina's to Andy Diggle's.

    Carey took the series back to familar ground kicking off with a 2 parter with our boy back in Liverpool checking in on Cheryl and a then 24 year old Gemma (who was on holiday; later revealed to be kidnapped) only to be caught up in the mischief of a old woman who got high off souls and the mystery of the Red Sepulchre and something much bigger... Carey also introduced a new love interest in Angie Spatchcock who served as not only a lover but also John's equal in nasty shit. Plus the drama with her little brother Jason who eventually falls prey to the Shadow Dog; his death somewhat foreshadows Cheryl's demise. The run not only showcased the return of Chas, Watford, and Clarice but also gave Gemma Masters a much bigger role than she ever had in the years since Delano proving she isn't quite a big bastard like her dear uncle (not quite), but a devious kneecap smashing bitch to boot!

    The Shadow Dog business came to ahead with Staring at the Wall which saw John and a group of fellow magicians accidentally unleasing a very powerful adversary leading to more mayhem to ensue. The storyline not only included Swamp Thing but also cameos from Lucifer, Phantom Stranger, and Tim Hunter. The defeat would come at a price for both our boy and the Bog God as the beast (with his mysterious owner) stripped Constantine of his memories but Alec Holland's soul in the process (leading up to ST vol 4). The memory loss wouldn't be permanent as the mysterious being known as Rosacarnis gave him 3 alternate timelines with each wife (Zed, Kit, and Angie) and different yet demonic children. All in a plan to destory everyone John even knew and cared about revenging her father Nergal. One by one, the demonic kids picked off Alba, Albert, Mange, Robbie Brooks, Dani's uncle and brothers, Straff (you can pretend his mom's still dead and assume Muppet or Loftie died with him) and the most damaging casualty of all, Cheryl. Despite going directly into hell defeating Rosacarnis and the brats (with TFOTF killing her and the boys), John was unsuccessful in recovering her soul leaving his only niece to grieve and his relationship with Chas on the rocks due to Nergal hijacking his body and its effects lead to not only shagging some hooker but beat the shit out of Renee!!

    The event let to John swearing off magic for while concluding Mike Carey's glorious run (and Tim Bradstreet's covers) giving reknown novelist Denise Mina the keys to the kingdom. Doing the covers for a brief time was Greg Lauren; he was immediatly succeeded by Lee Bermejo. Mina's 13 issue stint follows from Carey's starting with a troubled little oik named Chris Cole who had been effected by the mystic essence of Empathy and his association with Steve Evans and his church of Oran. Thus, our boy and Cole go to Scotland for answers only for John to find out about the Third Place and the ruler of that domain. I have a soft spot for Empathy is the Enemy as it did read like a novel despite it flaws whether it were from Mina or then soon-to-be outgoing editor Johnathan Vankin, and the Praexis were interesting (when not drawn in cartoonish overweight style). The aftermath of Empathy spreaded all over the country and the world as John, Evans, along with Chas, Angie and Gemma stop Azazel from carrying out his master plan. Cole's left hand became red til he died defeating him and becoming the new master of the Third Place....or was it his right hand?


    After all that Map becoming more powerful than ever before, and the one-off return of Mike Carey, Mina would be succeeded by Andy Diggle. Diggle' no stranger to the life of John Constantine. Having written him in his 6-part Swamp Thing story and writing Lady Joanna Constantine for a four part mini-series, he was a chear shoe-in for the job. Leo Manco remained though his art starts going off the rails by the time of The Laughing Magician and worsen by the final 3-parter though he would be substituted by Guiseppe Camuncoli and a young new artist named Sean Murphy (YES, I LIKE THE LEATHER COAT!! Hell, John's worn one before in the Fear Machine for crying out loud.). For Diggle's two year run, we see our boy going back to his roots dress-wise looking just as he was (scar and age aside) when we first met him. Not only that but Constantine would come face to face with new adversaries like Lord Calvin Burnham and Mako. Further, he learns more about the Syncronicity Highway he's long relied on only to discover his twin, the Golden Boy was responsible for everything that he gone through since #40.

    With Diggle reign ending at #249, the next issue would see five Christmas vignettes from Delano (who since penned The Horrorist and Pandemonium) and Azzarello plus from Dave Gibbons, China Mieville and the book next (and unfortunate) successor Peter Milligan.

    I won't go into Milligan's era as I've greatly despise the story style he chose. Scab and Suicide Bridge are the only diamonds in the shit mine he made. Everything outside the two doesn't represent John Constantine in any way and for anyone's sake avoid his run like the plague. All you need to know that the last five issues (well City of Demons) ended with Si Spencer and a one-shot from Ian Rankin. As far as we're concerned, our boy's still up to his old tricks, Angie isn't a bitter fatty and Gemma isn't reduced to her once ten year old self and is still the same competant woman we saw under Carey and Mina.


    25 years on and many adventures later, I've learn a lot about and from John Constantine than i ever have with any character out there. One day we'll all join him at the pub somewhere in London and he'll tell us about his latest escapades; escapades that doesn't involve the corporate husk that's been dubbed the DCnU since September '11. So, I bid adieu to Hellblazer and I bid adieu to John Constantine. Ta, dude.

    As he once said. "Goodnight, god bless, now fuck off to bed."

  11. #56
    Senior Member Vidocq's Avatar
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    I finally read it. It was either really brilliant or really stupid.

    Might need to read Gemma's latest character arc again to determine which.

    Over all, I liked Milligam's run but it was just ok for a Hellblazer run, imo. I know some, maybe most, disagree, The plots themselves were ok at best and some times even felt half assed. I did like the character development and Epiphany is great but all of his other original characters were forgetable, specially the nephew who had very little character and what he did have was unlikable. I did liked the whole ''where are they now'' callbacks that he kept doing (Kit's was my favorite, and I like that I'm able to disagree with John regarding his reasons as to why Piffy is a better match).

    I'm mixed on his run, I suppose.
    ...And does Mr. Goddanm Batman says so much as ''Thanks''? OF COURSE not. That'd hardly be GRIM AND GRITTY, would it?

    The jerk...

    -DKU's Jim Gordon.

  12. #57
    Senior Member Vidocq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Batson View Post
    It's more of a metafictional place with the creative/editing team being around him.
    I doubt that's the case, seeing as all the bottles with the names of all the creative teams, they are probably easter eggs, sort of a thank you and good bye.

    Quote Originally Posted by Superdog View Post
    I went back and read #291 to see what those darts do. It doesn't really say...eternal torture of some kind. John says if you hit him with one more it might send him into oblivion. Is that what happened? I suppose for John oblivion is better than being tossed into the pits of hell, his standard destination otherwise.
    I guess that would be torture for John, I interpret it as him never learning Magic and never leaving Liverpool, basically he is just a regular guy, with a regular job and a regular life, what better torture for the adreline junkie who used to be John Constantine.

    The more I think about it the more I like the ending. It just goes: ''Are you all propperly confused? Good. THE END''.

    I think there is going to be more Hellblazer, maybe as a series of OGNs or something.
    Last edited by Vidocq; 02-25-2013 at 09:03 PM.
    ...And does Mr. Goddanm Batman says so much as ''Thanks''? OF COURSE not. That'd hardly be GRIM AND GRITTY, would it?

    The jerk...

    -DKU's Jim Gordon.

  13. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vidocq View Post
    I doubt that's the case, seeing as all the bottles with the names of all the creative teams, they are probably easter eggs, sort of a thank you and good bye.
    What about the people who were the current creative/editorial team?
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  14. #59
    Senior Member Vidocq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Batson View Post
    What about the people who were the current creative/editorial team?
    As the bottles, they are easter eggs, a bit classier and more personal than just something like ''Thank you all for 300 issues'' or something like that.
    ...And does Mr. Goddanm Batman says so much as ''Thanks''? OF COURSE not. That'd hardly be GRIM AND GRITTY, would it?

    The jerk...

    -DKU's Jim Gordon.

  15. #60

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    Perhaps, perhaps but with this ending you can have different interpretations :p
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