Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Tim Seeley
Artwork: Davide Fabbri (pencils), Christian Dalla Vecchia (inks), Carrie Strachan (colours)
Lettering: Sal Cipriano
Release Date: 25th July 2018
I really don’t want to write this review, because writing it means it has ended again. At least for now.
You’d think that John would have finally caught a break after all that’s gone down over the last few issues. He has battled vampire chavs, been shot through the arm with an arrow by Huntress, foiled the apocalyptic plot of his arch-enemy Nergal and even redeemed the evil priest and former member of the Day brothers.
However, as should be expected, things never really goe John’s way. Because now his former love, still possessed by gangster Burke Day, is in the process of tearing his soul out of his arsehole. Don’t worry, I’ll save the gory details for you to read yourself but suffice to say John deals with death in the same backstabbing way as he deals with everything else in his life.
Once again there’s enough blood and guts and demonic, disgusting panels to fill a Satanist’s wet dream. The art in this arc has never let me down, managing to pay homage to all of John’s appearances in recent DC continuity while simultaneously avoiding to the American trap of drawing London like a street in Los Angeles, aside from the odd street sign or black cab. London is a huge part of the story and they’ve taken their time to recreate it properly.
Final issues are never perfect. It’s always impossible to tie up every loose end, even after only 24 issues, but Seeley does pretty damn well here, not only referencing many arcs since the New 52 onwards but also squeezing in as many old Hellblazer references as humanly possible. It really feels as close to Vertigo John as we could get in the main DC Universe, and this series has been a joyful trip down memory lane, in many ways giving us a more satisfactory ending than Vertigo did all those years ago.
Yes, some doors are closed but for every one of those there are five more left hanging open, begging someone to pick up where Tim left off, something I always felt nixed about with the ending of John’s last solo outing in both Constantine and Justice League Dark.
Speaking of JLD, its sudden return (with bloody Wonder Woman for some unknown reason) seems to tie in well with this ending. The state we see John in at the end of the issue explains his absence in a way, delivering a bittersweet but ultimately fitting end to this run.
Yes, I expected more of a bang from final issue this going in, but one again Seeley manages to shut me up by staying true to the character throughout. Is it a nice ending, or is it a “to be continued?” Only time will tell.
The writer of this piece was: Indiana “Indy” Marlow
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