Advertisements

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


SAM
So, The Hellblazer.

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

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

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

ADAM
Roger

SAM
Also, I hate Booster Gold.

ADAM
Why?

SAM
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.

ADAM
Anyway Hellblazer

SAM
Yup?

ADAM
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?

SAM
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

ADAM
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.

 

SAM
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.

ADAM
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

SAM
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+

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

 

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

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

I’ll check out Seeley’s run though

SAM
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.

ADAM
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

SAM
Yeah. It’s the inking isn’t it?

I was 3/5 but I fret.

ADAM
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.

SAM
Which also makes me fret.

The urban fantasy love that is.

Have you read The Hellequin chronicles?

ADAM
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

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

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

SAM
How do you feel about the swearing?

☠☠☠☠

ADAM
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

SAM
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

ADAM
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

SAM
Lol so true

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

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

SAM
Pft.

He should feel like the magical equivalent of Spider Jerusalem

More importantly, the previous arc was much better written

ADAM
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.

SAM
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.

ADAM
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

SAM
See now the DC holiday special is perfect

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

SAM
Constantine and Superman in a bar.

Perfection

ADAM
I’ll need to check it out.

SAM
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.

ADAM
The issue or the special?

SAM
This issue

ADAM
Yeah it’s in keeping with the recent output

Not as good though

SAM
It is a 3/5 but it’s got issues.

ADAM
thumbsup


Rating: 3/5.


Advertisements

Comment On This Article

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: