By Leroy Douresseaux
March 8, 2009 - 14:24
|Hellblazer #252 cover image|
“Scab” Part 2 of 3
In Hellblazer #252, writer Peter Milligan (X-Statix) cruises into the midpoint of the three-issue story arc that opens his run on this venerable Vertigo Comics title. I don’t think I’ve felt this troubled while reading a Hellblazer story since Garth Ennis and John Higgins’ Son of Man arc (129-133, 1998-99).
Out of the seeming happiness that began last issue, John Constantine has shed enough of his troubles to cause a nightmare for his new lady friend, Phoebe, a medical doctor. Meanwhile, Mal Brady, the unlucky gentleman introduced last issue decides not to suffer alone, while Liverpool calls someone home.
Peter Milligan will have to have a big letdown for his run on Hellblazer to end up a disappointment, and I feel safe saying that after reading only two issues of his opening story arc. I never seriously considered the notion that Milligan wouldn’t get it – meaning the supernatural troubles which seem to be John Constantine’s lot in life, nor did I think that Milligan would be incapable of coming up with imaginative scenarios for a title that has featured some stellar scribes.
It’s not so much a fresher prospective as it is a willingness to go there – that dark side of horror that challenges what we believe in enough to make us a little uneasy and also a lot scared. Horror should be horrifying or horrible – really good or really bad, but not middle-of-the-road, bland, and safe (like so many horror movies). “Scab” ain’t safe. It will leave you feeling nasty and unclean.