Written by: Richard Kadrey
Pencils by: Davide Fabbri
Colors by: Davide Fabbri
What You Need to Know:
This is the beginning of a new arc, but it is somewhat imperative you’ve read most of this run, otherwise you won’t know of some of these characters or events that are referenced here. It’s also the follow up to the previous arc.
What You’ll Find Out:
Well, you find out who is behind the Thank You murders(although their motivations have yet to be revealed) and you find out they’re specifically targeting only magic users. That’s about it. Not much more is told, as this isn’t entirely an exposition issue. Sure, a lot manages to happen as we have John go from point A to point B doing his usual run-of-the-mill detective work, following up on leads, and getting into all kinds and sorts of mischief and trouble along the way. In terms of progression of story, however, not much is really given.
What Just Happened?
John’s been attacked twice and almost killed. He is being threatened by a cop. He’s done more harm than good. All of his leads have gone nowhere, and he’s no closer to solving what’s going on than he was before. If I have to be honest, this is a rather weak issue to start a new arc on. While lots of comics have a similar pacing to this one’s in terms of gradual story progression, it almost feels as if this story doesn’t go anywhere at all giving the disillusionment of no momentum. There’s not a lot of information given here. What’s revealed is never explained and isn’t enough to make an exposition. Davide’s art is, unfortunately, underwhelming and kind of dull and plain. It comes across as very bland as it doesn’t really do much to flatter these characters. For hardcore Hellblazer fans, the series has had better art in many various different runs ranging from early Moore to the New 52 to even the earlier issues of this run. Not trying to give Davide a hard time, since his art isn’t bad by any means, but it lacks any visual style or flair. Which is much needed to breathe life into a series. like It feels like it would be much better suited somewhere else. To say the least, it leaves a lot to be desired. The one bright spot about this issue, of course, is Constantine. Richard shows a complete understanding of the character, and it’s very clear that he knows how to write him as a witty smartass complete with retorts and all. He knows this character and never fails to miss an opportunity to get him right or showcase what has made him such an endearing and charming character over the last few decades. Now, I guess the biggest problem with this issue is things happen, but you never really get time to sit with them. It just keeps moving forward and never lets up or allows the audience to take a minute to breathe or even process what just happened. I’d honestly call this issue a filler one, if it weren’t for such a major event happening in it. However, even when it does happen, it’s glossed over like it holds no matter in the grand scheme of the plot. This issue gets credit for at least having John be entertaining and having a sweet Mayan/Chinese type god at the end(even though John doesn’t cast a single spell in this entire issue. They practically play him up as being a downright incompetent warlock). John’s spellcasting abilities are criminally underutilized here(translation: not at all) and honestly, if this were supposed to be a big way to get new fans to jump on, it would fail. Ultimately, I’m intrigued as to where this plot line goes, but so far, I’m not impressed. There are certainly far more interesting and far better Hellblazer storylines out there for new time fans. Since this is the first issue of a brand new arc, let’s hope a little bit of patience will pay off in the end.