Back Issues
Hellblazer #229 Offers Something for Digestion
By Leroy Douresseaux
January 24, 2008 - 14:04

DC Comics
Writer(s): Mike Carey
Penciller(s): John Paul Leon
Inker(s): John Paul Leon
Cover Artist(s): Lee Bermejo
32 pp., Color, $2.99

Lee Bermejo offers up this striking cover image for Hellblazer 229.
Hellblazer #229 is a one-off story, entitled “With a Little Help from My Friends.”  It is scripted by Mike Carey, who at the time of publication was Hellblazer’s former series writer.  This issue was a stand alone story to fill in before Andy Diggle took over as series scribe with issue 230.

The story begins with series star John Constantine having a few drinks at the pub with his friends, when one of them asks for a favor.  John is reluctant to get involved, but he will do the favor.  Still, as he always does, John has a unique way of illustrating a point, or few points, as is the case here – about good deeds…, helping a stranger, minding your own business, etc.

John once met twin sisters, who were seemingly in the midst of a feud.  Wheel chair-bound Ella wanted John to retrieve something from her sister, Anna that belongs to Ella.  Anna is willing to give up the goods, but she wants the highly-resourceful Constantine to obtain a holy relic for her.  The relic’s keeper also wants something, and before long, John is up to his stomach in demon flesh and hungry wolves.

THE LOWDOWN:  A tightly paced tale, Hellblazer #229, literally drags the reader across the span of 22 pages in just a few minutes.  Like a dastardly Elliot leaving a trail of candy for E.T. to follow, Carey introduces a steady flow of sweet nothings and candy-coated elements that keeps us following the intrigue he’s created.  It’s not perfect; it’s just perfectly entertaining.

The art team of John Paul Leon (pencils/inks) and Lee Loughridge (colors) mixes a noir-ish sensibility (Leon) with a 2-color and monochromatic rhythm (Loughridge).  It’s the perfect palette for this supernatural hardboiled detective/hired gun tale.

POSSIBLE AUDIENCE:  Long time fans and those looking for a $3 comic that delivers the entire package in one sitting.



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