Series: John Constantine: Hellblazer (2019-)
Publisher: DC Comics / The Sandman Universe
Published: November 27, 2019
Writer: Simon Spurrier
Artist: Aaron Campbell
Colors: Jordie Bellaire
Letters: Aditya Bidikar
Cover: John Paul Leon
Publisher’s Summary: John Constantine is back in London, back to his old tricks-and just in time, as things have become very dark indeed in his old stomping grounds. A small-time gang lord has found himself dealing with a big-time outbreak of supernatural weirdness…and without any allies to call on and nothing left to call his own, John doesn’t have much choice about taking a paycheck from one of London’s worst, or accepting the help of one of the gang lord’s would-be foot soldiers. But what should be an open-and-shut exorcism turns out to be nothing but…and the author of this madness may just be getting started on their terrible masterpiece! The original Constantine is back in this series from Si Spurrier (The Dreaming) and Aaron Campbell (Infidel), with nothing to his name but decades of bad memories and an unearned second chance. How, exactly, will he squander it? There’s only one way to find out…
“The Haruspex consults his meat. He senses that his present difficulties are just one part of a larger affair. Though he hates to admit it, he suspects the enemy is using him as practice. But the Dead Boy’s Hand cares nothing for his wounded pride, and refuses to focus on anything except the park. This will be the third time the Haruspex has watched his dealers die.”
John Constantine is back in London; before long, he’s being kicked out of bars, attacked my acquaintances, and in over his head in some magical mischief that he’s stumbled across.
Before getting into the nitty-gritty of this review, I have to admit that going into my reading of this issue, my expectations were high, and my wants were many, as John Constantine is one of my favorite characters—perhaps, second only to Batman—in the DCU; it has always been my impression that John Constantine is a flawed, yet authentic, character that inhabits a dark and dangerous world teeming with stories worth telling. And yet, despite these expectations and preconceptions, John Constantine: Hellblazer (2019-) #1 left me impressed and wanting more.
Throughout the issue, Simon Spurrier’s writing was nothing short of stunning; John Constantine spoke and acted in ways that I felt was authentic, and the narration was beautifully composed. Though a debut issue, John Constantine: Hellblazer (2019-) #1 felt more like visiting an old friend than it an introduction to a new one.
Aaron Campbell’s rendering of the–evil and otherwise–magical entities that occupy these pages are raw and dramatic, and Jordie Bellaire’s bold use of color is also done to great effect, as each highly-detailed scene is blanketed in evocative, tone-setting color. Visually, John Constantine: Hellblazer (2019-) #1 is both haunting and beautiful.
John Constantine: Hellblazer (2019-) #1 is an impressive debut that demands to be read.
This is the John Constantine series that I’ve been waiting for; with gorgeous, haunting artwork, and a well-crafted–and at times, poetic–script, John Constantine: Hellblazer (2019-) is breathtaking.