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John Constantine: Hellblazer, Vol. 2

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John Contantine, Hellblazer, is back! As one of DC's and the Sandman Universe's most iconic characters, he is just as you remember him, in volume two of this brand-new series! In London, John Constantine is up to his usual antics. The adventures continue, quite dark and still twisted. Will he protect a group of British fishermen from an ancient merwoman? Or stop a disgraced John Contantine, Hellblazer, is back! As one of DC's and the Sandman Universe's most iconic characters, he is just as you remember him, in volume two of this brand-new series! In London, John Constantine is up to his usual antics. The adventures continue, quite dark and still twisted. Will he protect a group of British fishermen from an ancient merwoman? Or stop a disgraced royal from unleashing a bloodthirsty horror? There's really only one way to find out... The original Constantine is back in this series from Si Spurrier (The Dreaming) and Aaron Campbell (Infidel), collecting John Constantine: Hellblazer #7-12.


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John Contantine, Hellblazer, is back! As one of DC's and the Sandman Universe's most iconic characters, he is just as you remember him, in volume two of this brand-new series! In London, John Constantine is up to his usual antics. The adventures continue, quite dark and still twisted. Will he protect a group of British fishermen from an ancient merwoman? Or stop a disgraced John Contantine, Hellblazer, is back! As one of DC's and the Sandman Universe's most iconic characters, he is just as you remember him, in volume two of this brand-new series! In London, John Constantine is up to his usual antics. The adventures continue, quite dark and still twisted. Will he protect a group of British fishermen from an ancient merwoman? Or stop a disgraced royal from unleashing a bloodthirsty horror? There's really only one way to find out... The original Constantine is back in this series from Si Spurrier (The Dreaming) and Aaron Campbell (Infidel), collecting John Constantine: Hellblazer #7-12.

30 review for John Constantine: Hellblazer, Vol. 2

  1. 4 out of 5

    Chris Lemmerman

    The second and final collection of the Sandman Universe's Hellblazer is exactly what you want it to be, and everything you wish it wasn't. As John travels all over London on the tail of his mysterious doppleganger, the truth behind him comes to light in some horrific ways. While the early part of the volume is mostly one and done or short two part stories, they all have a throughline that ties them together, not to mention Si Spurrier's trademark sarcasm and biting wit that flows out of John's mo The second and final collection of the Sandman Universe's Hellblazer is exactly what you want it to be, and everything you wish it wasn't. As John travels all over London on the tail of his mysterious doppleganger, the truth behind him comes to light in some horrific ways. While the early part of the volume is mostly one and done or short two part stories, they all have a throughline that ties them together, not to mention Si Spurrier's trademark sarcasm and biting wit that flows out of John's mouth like it was born to be there. It all culminates in a final two part story that closes down this phase of the story with more than a few great reveals, all of which contribute to the horrible realisation that the series is over and we're never going to get to see them play out even with the bumper sized page count for the final issue. Aaron Campbell bookends this volume by drawing the opening and closing stories, while Mattias Bergara reunites with Spurrier once again for the middle two issues. They're a proven art team, and Campbell's early 90s Vertigo style is the perfect fit for this book as he has been since it started. Books this good deserve better than this, they really do. Seeing the back of this one really hurts, because not only was it fantastic, but it had so much more story to tell. As John would put it - what an absolute fucking travesty.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Rory Wilding

    Having read not a lot of the pre-New 52 Hellblazer, upon reading the relaunched series, written by Simon Spurrier and illustrated by Aaron Campbell, this feels like a return-to-form for the beloved creation that is the Liverpudlian street magician, John Constantine. Set in the present-day 2019, where he feels like a fish-out-of-water, Constantine roams the streets of London, where he confronts supernatural horrors that seem to be rooted from different facets of hate, a narrative that continues i Having read not a lot of the pre-New 52 Hellblazer, upon reading the relaunched series, written by Simon Spurrier and illustrated by Aaron Campbell, this feels like a return-to-form for the beloved creation that is the Liverpudlian street magician, John Constantine. Set in the present-day 2019, where he feels like a fish-out-of-water, Constantine roams the streets of London, where he confronts supernatural horrors that seem to be rooted from different facets of hate, a narrative that continues in this second and final volume of the run. The first two issues focus on Constantine investigating an unconventional love story between a mermaid and a poor British fisherman, who is trying to rid the competition that is the French out of their waters. Poetic and tragic, Spurrier explores how someone can exploit another’s love for their own personal gain and what happens when one’s love served its purpose. Considering the xenophobia that runs through the arc, there is also the sense that Constantine hates humanity in general and certainly through his own comics history, he can be seen as an anti-hero. As the predominant artist of the book, Aaron Campbell – along with colourist Jordie Bellaire – presents a bleak atmosphere through scratchy illustrations that fits well with the fantasy horror that has defined Hellblazer. The third issue marks the return of Matías Bergara, who again along with Bellaire, has a brighter palette compared to Campbell’s, but that doesn’t negate the need to show some truly disturbing visuals, such as a horse exploding its guts to reveal a distorted black unicorn. However, what is perhaps more horrific is that the issue is an exploration of the horrors committed by those in power behind closed doors. In light of movements such as Me Too, the subject matter is absolutely relevant, through Constantine does have the final say against those awful people and it’s glorious. Issue #8 marks the return of a familiar face, which is the older Constantine, whose plan finally starts to come into focus as he confronts his younger self. This issue is once again drawn by Bergara, who beautifully mixes the fantasy and the reality together with a lot of the pages, whilst evoking other DC titles such as The Sandman with a stunning splash page of the Dreaming. Spurrier also does a brilliant job of showing how different the two versions of Constantine are through their dialogue, as well as showing how messed up our protagonists. The sad thing about John Constantine: Hellblazer is that DC cancelled it after twelve issues, due to a certain pandemic. And thus its premature conclusion is felt within the final two issues, in which the older Constantine sets his plan in motion and how does the younger one resolve the conflict. I won’t go into the spoilers, but along with the other established characters from this run, you do get the sense that Spurrier can rush all the arcs before the book ends, which doesn’t feel so much a sense of closure, but just stops. All twelve issues of this run are worth reading, from Simon Spurrier’s strong characterisation to Aaron Campbell’s moody artwork, but clearly this creative team had more stories to tell, but what we got instead, it was a glorious return for the true John Constantine.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Clint

    I’m glad to see the back half of this prematurely cancelled series still manages to pay off what the first arc setup for a much longer run. The fact that it’s so good makes the oblivious Warner corporate shuffling that led to its demise that much more tragic and frustrating, but thank god what got published is so great. Spurrier has been one of my favorite comic writers in recent years, and these issues make an argument for putting him at the very top. He writes weird and fantastical stories that I’m glad to see the back half of this prematurely cancelled series still manages to pay off what the first arc setup for a much longer run. The fact that it’s so good makes the oblivious Warner corporate shuffling that led to its demise that much more tragic and frustrating, but thank god what got published is so great. Spurrier has been one of my favorite comic writers in recent years, and these issues make an argument for putting him at the very top. He writes weird and fantastical stories that are so natural at showing and not telling, focusing on memorably inventive characters I can’t help but find charming and wickedly humorous. There’s definitely a daring edge to a lot of these stories, but I never feel like he’s being edgy or provocative just for the sake of it. He also has an uncommon talent for suffusing his comic stories with a heartfelt progressive spirit that never feels preachy or rooted in a specific partisan battle of the moment. The stories here include a mermaid 2-parter, a unicorn one-off, and then a mind blowing 3 issue wrap-up to the series’s overarching story, all alongside a thoughtful take on Brexit and a humorous allusion to Prince Andrew’s real-life ties to Epstein. Campbell draws most of the issues in his fittingly rough and scratchy style, but importantly keeps each scene perfectly comprehensible instead of devolving to overwhelming scrawls like some similarly drawn books do. Bergara draws the middle two issues and lightens the mood with his more playfully cartoony style that I love. Bellaire colors every issue here with her usually adept choices.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Alex Sarll

    This too-short run was always suffused with fury at the hatred and puffed-up pride fuelling Brexit, but the first two issues here pick an especially telling representative for that – a fisherman, part of that tiny heritage industry so often discussed as beneficiaries ahead of times, and the first to be thoroughly and visibly screwed once our bold new dawn of liberty arrived. But rather than just point and think the job's done like some modern Pat Mills slop, Spurrier has the artistry (and viciou This too-short run was always suffused with fury at the hatred and puffed-up pride fuelling Brexit, but the first two issues here pick an especially telling representative for that – a fisherman, part of that tiny heritage industry so often discussed as beneficiaries ahead of times, and the first to be thoroughly and visibly screwed once our bold new dawn of liberty arrived. But rather than just point and think the job's done like some modern Pat Mills slop, Spurrier has the artistry (and viciousness) to really twist the knife, starting the villain of the piece off as a voice of reason among his elders ("I think fishing's fucked because we fucked up the fish"), only to show him worn down by their taunts and bitterness until he's as bad as them, and worse. Weaving that together with old mermaid folklore feels like it might stretch the mood envelope for a Constantine comic too far, but unlike the previous run's botched handling of John/genies, Spurrier finds an excellent way to have his cake and eat it, enabling him to put Constantine up against various mythological beasties without it ever feeling like he's gone full fantasy and lost that crucial Hellblazer grime. It's not perfect by any means; certainly by the back half of the book, there are places where you can tell a story that was meant to unfold at a more leisurely pace is being rushed through ahead of the series' short-sighted cancellation. And it felt like typical modern DC cowardice that the story about a ruthless royal nonce who is very obviously Prince Andrew went to such lengths to make him look nothing like Prince Andrew (yes, I appreciate they couldn't go for a full likeness, but compare and contrast the far less heavily obscured Prince Charles in the classic Royal Blood storyline from the original Hellblazer run). Still, how many comics are there when the protagonist, plotting his enemy's strikes on a map, finds not a pentagram but a cock and balls? The art catches the battered note perfectly, especially in the Campbell issues, where he'll sometimes drop a moment of clarity in which you can see every horror and betrayal down the years etched on John's face, and in the climax comes bloody close to showing us how Hellblazer might have looked as rendered by Francis Bacon. And the script...ah, Spurrier catches Constantine far more surely than any demon's trap ever could have. "Do you think he ever really loved me?" "Ah, now. Listen, you can go back and forth about what's genuine, what's lies. None of it matters. You take it from me, all love's magic. And all magic has a price. It's just some kinds're steeper than others."

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mel

    I enjoyed this, just not quite as much as the first one. Maybe it's being a year into the pandemic but it seems like horrific things imagined in horror stories just aren't as bad as reality. It was social commentary in the all the right ways, the horrible Brexit and racism and nationalism on the rise. But it all felt a little unreal and not as personal or emotional as the first volume. Still very good though and the artists do a wonderful job with it. I wish this series could have lasted much, m I enjoyed this, just not quite as much as the first one. Maybe it's being a year into the pandemic but it seems like horrific things imagined in horror stories just aren't as bad as reality. It was social commentary in the all the right ways, the horrible Brexit and racism and nationalism on the rise. But it all felt a little unreal and not as personal or emotional as the first volume. Still very good though and the artists do a wonderful job with it. I wish this series could have lasted much, much longer.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ian Roditi

    Necesito más Constantine de este equipo creativo ❤

  7. 5 out of 5

    Artur Nowrot

    A darker volume than the first (which wasn’t all sunshine either) as Spurrier’s run approaches its premature conclusion. I loved the ideas for the particular mini-arcs (the one with the unicorn and a certain member of the royal family might be my favourite) as well as the way they were weaved together in the end. The whole run was an inventive exploration of English mytho- and psychology, and the ending offered a powerful meditation on pride and what underlies it.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Gavin Jefferson

    That conclusion...! It opens everything up and DC go and fucking cancel the series. Jesus. Such potential. This has been the best ongoing I've read in years, and I hate that it ended. Incredible stuff. That conclusion...! It opens everything up and DC go and fucking cancel the series. Jesus. Such potential. This has been the best ongoing I've read in years, and I hate that it ended. Incredible stuff.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lucas

    A premature conclusion to a fantastic story. Continuing on their stride, Spurrier, Campbell and Bergara offer more of that Hellblazer goodness. Mermaids as an allegory for overfishing, mutant unicorns in a tale of royal perversion, a literal hate demon taking the lead in radical politics... It never let's down. Well except for the fact that it ends kind of abruptly, and what was supposed to be the big series climax is crammed into a two parter, where big reveals in the first part, fuel bigger re A premature conclusion to a fantastic story. Continuing on their stride, Spurrier, Campbell and Bergara offer more of that Hellblazer goodness. Mermaids as an allegory for overfishing, mutant unicorns in a tale of royal perversion, a literal hate demon taking the lead in radical politics... It never let's down. Well except for the fact that it ends kind of abruptly, and what was supposed to be the big series climax is crammed into a two parter, where big reveals in the first part, fuel bigger reveals in the second. You can tell some of this was supposed to be stretched out over a longer time. But they made it work the best they could. And left it open for an eventual return. Here's hoping

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jamie Revell

    The second half of this run is even stronger than the first, with Spurrier capturing the feel of vintage Hellblazer in a story about mythical creatures being brought to life. Helped by a grungy art style in mostly dark tones (there are multiple artists, and some are better than others, but all complement the tone) the story weaves in social commentary amidst the horror and sordid encounters. While the original run back in the '80s made jabs at Thatcher's Britain, here we have Brexit, royal scand The second half of this run is even stronger than the first, with Spurrier capturing the feel of vintage Hellblazer in a story about mythical creatures being brought to life. Helped by a grungy art style in mostly dark tones (there are multiple artists, and some are better than others, but all complement the tone) the story weaves in social commentary amidst the horror and sordid encounters. While the original run back in the '80s made jabs at Thatcher's Britain, here we have Brexit, royal scandals, and the politics of Boris Johnson. And, of course, demonic entities, damned souls, and desperate cons.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Iain Hepburn

    Outstanding, brutal, unflinchingly politically and emotionally charged.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Alberto González

    Lo mejor de Hellblazer en años, el clasico Constantine regresó y duro poco. Espero renueven esta serie con los mismos artistas.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jenn Marshall

    This is my favorite version of Constantine. This series was amazing overall. But volume 2 is the best of the run in my opinion. Hands down one of my favorite trades out there

  14. 5 out of 5

    Elysa

    I liked the story in this one and the build-up, but I didn't like the art. It was clear until important scenes, and then I couldn't tell what was happening. I liked the story in this one and the build-up, but I didn't like the art. It was clear until important scenes, and then I couldn't tell what was happening.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Joshua Lawson

    You and your country and your pride and your shame and your fear and your country and you.

  16. 5 out of 5

    James Wilkinson

    The cancellation of Spurrier's Hellblazer - the best comic John Constantine had starred in since issue 215 of the original run - was nothing short of criminal, but it's a testament to the man's talent that this second and final volume doesn't feel rushed or cramped at all. Following on from Marks of Woe , Constantine and his allies - including a demon trapped in his smartphone and a two-fisted Glaswegian bouncer - have found themselves entangled in a rising tide of British jingoism, xenophobi The cancellation of Spurrier's Hellblazer - the best comic John Constantine had starred in since issue 215 of the original run - was nothing short of criminal, but it's a testament to the man's talent that this second and final volume doesn't feel rushed or cramped at all. Following on from Marks of Woe , Constantine and his allies - including a demon trapped in his smartphone and a two-fisted Glaswegian bouncer - have found themselves entangled in a rising tide of British jingoism, xenophobia and racism infused with dangerous magic. Yes, it's John Constantine Vs Demon Gammons! To say any more would probably spoil the fun, so I'll just say that if you ever enjoyed the classic Hellblazer run, these two books are entirely worth your time, and I really hope Spurrier is given the opportunity to return to Constantine sooner rather than later.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Pierpaolo Ciappetta

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sudheer

  19. 4 out of 5

    Bern

  20. 4 out of 5

    April Cole

  21. 4 out of 5

    José

  22. 4 out of 5

    Christopher E.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Simon Prior

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sean

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tarrant

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jonathon

  27. 5 out of 5

    Eric Hart

  28. 4 out of 5

    Nathaniel

  29. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

  30. 5 out of 5

    Eileen G. Mykkels

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