Marvelette Missives – The Hellblazer

Constantine is definitely one of those characters that people either love or hate. He’s a smarmy, smart ass, dark magic Brit looking out for himself who falls into doing the right things for others… and often saving the world from dark forces. The Hellblazer is a comic for those into the paranormal side of heroes – plenty of catastrophes to avert, but no one flying in with a cape flapping behind. Instead, you get a sometimes drunk couch-surfer in a trench coat who just happens to know what he’s doing. 

Hellblazer stories are typically a mix of drama and humor (usually from the sarcastic comments of Constantine) and can have a legit horror side to them because of the paranormal. In the first collected volume of the new Rebirth version of The Hellblazer, there’s a little less horror and a lot more backstory, so those already familiar with the property might not be impressed. Plus, Swamp Thing plays a big role in the first story arc, which is both good and bad as it adds variety, but pulls things away from where the focus of the book should be.

So volume 1 is a mixed bag. Fans will read it and it will likely attract some new blood because it provides enough detail to keep a reader interested. It also has a bit of the feel of the recent tv series. But it’s not a book that really stands out and, unless things get deeper and darker, it’s not going to be a long-running series.

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