Review: The Hellblazer #10 (2016)
By Andy Frisk
May 28, 2017 - 19:42
Publisher(s): DC Comics
Writer(s): Simon Oliver
Penciller(s): Davide Fabbri
Inker(s): Jose Marzan Jr.
Colourist(s): Carrie Strachan, Tony Avina
Letterer(s): Sal Cipriano
Cover Artist(s): Riley Rossmo
Constantine and Mercy track a lead to a club run by werewolves. Unfortunately, the lead was actually a trap, and the pair need some help from a sometimes ally, sometimes foe, to get away...meanwhile secrets are revealed in the desert.
Simon Oliver continues the slow burn of a story that starts to heat up a little here in "Smokeless Fire Part 4". Constantine and Mercy don't really get closer to their goal, or so Constantine thinks. Mercy's behind the scenes machinations with the leader of the Djinn whom King Solomon bound to his will with his ring, and coerced into building a great wonder, reveal more than what Constantine appears to know at this point.
Oliver handles the reintroduction of a long term Constantine cast member in a way that sort of devalues the character as he comes off like a DC Comics version of Marvel Comics' Blade. Over the years Papa Midnite has taken on many incarnations and revamps, but this is perhaps the weakest yet. Everything that makes the character unique and culturally interesting is swept away and he's given the typical leather fetish outfit and swords. This is the first time that I've seriously disagreed with one of Oliver's characterizations here in The Hellblazer. Hopefully, the character will be righted by his next appearance.
Overall, the story line here in The Hellblazer remains interesting and reminds me more of the glory days of the comic and character than any series starring Constantine since the launch of The New 52, but it still hasn't lived up to them yet. Perhaps, the total aversion of DC Comics to political themes in their books is the main reason. Constantine was always a punk, and reveled in punk politics. Unfortunately, those days seem long gone. Why can't DC Comics give fans of the character what they are used to and want? I understand that they want to make their characters as appealing, therefore as profitable, to as many people as possible. Did they ever think though that there's a whole reading population out there who actually liked the political Constantine stories...and that they'll pay for them?
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