DC Comics
Review: Hellblazer #8 (2016)
By Andy Frisk
March 22, 2017 - 04:25

DC Comics
Writer(s): Simon Oliver
Artist(s): Philip Tan
Colourist(s): Elmer Santos
Letterer(s): Sal Cipriano
Cover Artist(s): Declan SHalvey, Jordie Bellaire; Yasmine Putri

John Constantine hasn't read this well since the original Hellblazer Vertigo series ended. His tales were always a bit of a slow burn as far as the pacing went back in those days, and Simon Oliver seems to have sussed out a bit of that old Constantine storytelling magic with this new series...minus one defining characteristic. 


Still bouncing around Paris on the trail of the Djinn with "don't call her Constantine's sidekick" Mercury, John finds himself behind bars. Not to worry though, as Mercury bails him out, but only after an interesting and perhaps deadly new player reveals some likewise interesting and perhaps deadly new info on Mercury's role in the current drama.

Writer Simon Oliver keeps the pace at a pretty slow pace, unfolding the plot and events one slow moment at a time, pretty much like the old Constantine stories used to unfold. This is a good thing as the pacing and characters are pretty much in tune with the glory days of Hellblazer from Vertigo, but thus far continue to lack the social commentary and political underpinnings that made them doubly interesting. There's a lot of bluster around the 'net these days about how Marvel Comics should or should not abandon what made them unique, namely the social conscious bent in their tales, but DC Comics has already dumped the trend, and books like The Hellblazer, that once thrived on such themes, and was frankly created to be a vehicle for, feel hollow now.

Still a beautiful under Philip Tan's artistic vision, The Hellblazer remains a solid read, but the the lack of snarky punk attitude, and yes, the politics that go along with it, keeps this series from rising to the heights of it originator.

Rating: 8/10

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