By Leroy Douresseaux
June 6, 2009 - 20:31
|Cover art for Hellblazer #225|
Regeneration Part 2 of 2: “Unquiet Spirit”
John Constantine, occult detective and magician, started having visions of London of the year 1665 – the year the Great Plague raged. London authorities were not letting the city’s poor, like the family of the blacksmith Fernby, leave. A plague doctor, decked out in his ghastly gas mask in the shape of bird’s beak, haunted the streets of London, with the power to condemn and to confine anyone he believed to be sick with the plague.
As Hellblazer #255 begins, John is standing in the open field of a site under construction for the 2012 London Olympics. This is also the site an old plague pit, where victims of the Great Plague were buried. Emil, an acquaintance of Constantine’s and a political activist, asked John to stir up the ghosts of the pit, in hopes that they might plague the construction. John has indeed awakened an unquiet spirit – in the form of a plague doctor, and, like Emil, this spirit also has a favor to ask.
The conclusion of Regeneration is surprising, to say the least. The significance of the story is ultimately not about governments evicting people from their home and business in order to build Olympic sites, nor is it about magic. The message of “Unquiet Spirit” is introspective, and the reader is free to make interpretations and judgments on their own. Readers may even appreciate the space writer Peter Milligan has given them to enjoy this story on a deeper level, as something more than just another tale with occult trappings.
Perhaps, this is part of Milligan’s plan to offer bigger ideas, to present magic and the supernatural in the context of real human drama, where consequence of choices is as important as the end result of a spell. This time around, Milligan had the right art team, Goran Sudzuka (pencils) and Rodney Ramos (inks), to strike the appropriate tone and create the perfect mood for this very human tale of love, truth, obligation, and responsibility.