Group Chat Review – The Hellblazer #17 (DC Comics)

Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Richard Kadrey
Artwork: Davide Fabbri (pencils), Jose Marzan Jr. (inks), Carrie Strachan (colours)
Release Date: 27th December 2017

So, The Hellblazer.

I really want to hear your take on this. Because I’m conflicted.

I’ll need to read a couple of issues to catch up

Start at 13. That’s the start of the Seeley run.


Also, I hate Booster Gold.


Oh, I just do. And new Action Comics doesn’t help that feeling, even though it’s actually rather good. I’m not crazy about Blue Beetle either.

Anyway Hellblazer


Liked the issue well enough

Not as much as the previous story so far.

I kind of want to describe this as Hellblazer lite.

What makes you conflicted about this in particular?

The art mostly. Well, the inking, rather. It just didn’t do it for me.

To the extent that I went back to check if it had changed teams. I agree it feels lighter than previous

Hmm I can see what you mean but I’ve felt the tone (and complimenting art in general) just a little off since Rebirth. That is accompanied by the caveat that I never read 52 being told to stay clear

It’s not that the stories aren’t enjoyable, but without the ‘horror’ John becomes just a smart mouth magician.

There isn’t anywhere near as much social commentary either.

It’s a general problem with rose tinted glasses. I read a lot of early Hellblazer for the first time in the late 90s. There was loads I connected with as a child of the 80s.

It’s tough for anything to stand up to that.

Constantine should be thwarting demons with a Brexit backdrop making quips about blue passports and the political elite.


See I agree I was pleased to see it perk up with Seeley but it’s not sure what it wants to be.

TV legacy.

You look at what Morrison, Gaiman et al did on it.

It’s the 2000AD thing

You need a Brit or at least a strong social commentator

I’d love to see Dan Abnett on it.

Plus the art really is way off this issue.

Tonally it is more Dresden files that Hellblazer

I mean I appreciate that it’s trying to comment on American politics but I’m not sold.

The restrictions placed on the storylines being in the main DC line makes it difficult I guess.

From my understanding it’s not likely Hellblazer will return to Vertigo in the foreseeable future though so it is what it is.

So we have a fairly decent story but agree that it doesn’t feel as edgy as Constantine of old. The perils of writing established characters

Even then. Seeley can write dark and edgy and then some. I mean his Pyg is utterly horrific in Nightwing.

And within DC mainstream /T+

It’s not something I know but I’ll need to look it out.


Srsly you’ve not read Nightwing yet?! Duuuuuude.

Pfft. I’m not big into the Batfam (you know that).

I’ll check out Seeley’s run though

Good lad.

It’s only just finished. New issue’s pretty decent too. Revisits stuff he was doing in Sundowners.

(as in during his run on NW)

I’m seriously looking at 2/5. Because 3/5 I would be recommending to a fan, y’know?

And the art is really getting to me.

I’d give this a solid 3/5. I’m not getting the same problems with the art in this one. There’s some weird facial shading though

Yeah. It’s the inking isn’t it?

I was 3/5 but I fret.

Hmm yeah it’s personal bias cause it’s urban fantasy and Hellblazer.

Oh I love both.

And yeah the inking is maybe a little heavy.

Which also makes me fret.

The urban fantasy love that is.

Have you read The Hellequin chronicles?

My local friendly comic store is awesome and had a 25% off trades today so got a sneaky Christmas treat for myself. Never actually owned the original Vertigo volume 1 of Hellblazer… until now

Wow. Nice. I’m not a mad collector by any means but I can appreciate that

No me neither. I’m trying to cut back on books in general but I could happily read that again and again

How do you feel about the swearing?


Swearing? Load of ☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠

If you can’t publish the word don’t bother using the expletive in my mind. You can easily get away with rosy British put downs that comply with the code surely?

In that vein, I feel that John, despite not being cockney, would burst out in cries of “Apples and pears! Awright darhlin”

Some of the words and phrases felt forced to remind me he’s English

Yes. I noticed that. It’s not that hard to do Scouse. Also. Just telling people to Piss/Sod off would be perfectly effective.

It’s a bit Dick Van Dyke

Yeah, but that’s slightly harsh on the writer as it’s double edged. I mean I’d struggle to differentiate American or Canadian accents well.

But dial it back and use sod/piss etc

☠☠☠☠ just makes me think of Hagar

Lol so true

And I know I’m being picky but it’s bloody John Constantine!

Well yes and no. It’s John Constantine in the USA


He should feel like the magical equivalent of Spider Jerusalem

More importantly, the previous arc was much better written

Similar vein but yeah I get what you are trying to say. He just doesn’t fit well in with the mainstream DCU as it currently stands.

I don’t have a problem with that. There’s some dark and twisted parts of that. Say, The Demon Hell on Earth.

And I’m just finally reading Sixpack & Dogwelder and Ennis bloody nails Constantine.

SPOILERS I do love the hand wavy reality destruction changing and “crisis” he causes.

There are some great bits.

Knocking out the big blue boy scouts teeth

Off screen. But still

See now the DC holiday special is perfect

See the weird can be done – diving feet first into a cadaver

Constantine and Superman in a bar.


I’ll need to check it out.

Yes. Yes you will.

You know what the irony is? If you’re a fan of the TV show, or even the current run of the comic, you’ll enjoy this.

The issue or the special?

This issue

Yeah it’s in keeping with the recent output

Not as good though

It is a 3/5 but it’s got issues.


Rating: 3/5.

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