With this latest collection (#283-291), the regular creative team since #250 – Peter Milligan, Giuseppe Camuncoli and Stefano Landini – are just one issue away from matching the previous longest run on the series. This was the peerless run in the early 1990s by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon.
The book contains two related stories from the long running series -The Devil’s Trench Coat and Another Season in Hell. In the first, Constantine’s niece has stolen his old trench coat and sold it. But the coat being exposed to years of magic has a will of its own that it exerts on a series of new owners leaving death in its wake. Meanwhile John finds that he is more susceptible to wild magic and not as finessed in the spells he casts. All of which results in a Mafia hit man trying to gun him down while possessed by the coat. In the second story Constantine agrees to go to Hell to speak to his sister so that his niece, Gemma, can find out why she found her mother crying one day and free her soul from Hell. While John thinks he has out-smarted the First of the Fallen, the demon comes to Earth to enlist Epiphany’s consent to bind her father’s soul to him.
During his run, Milligan has done a good job of taking Constantine back to the basics of the character and gradually introducing a darker tone to the storyline. This book contains some of the darkest material yet with the dark magic radiated from his old trench coat to Constantine’s return to Hell and his revenge on his evil twin for raping his niece. Not comfortable viewing or reading at times but a must for long time Constantine fans and horror lovers.
I … I want you to summon a creature … a terrible creature … who can hurt him. Hurt him like he hurt me.
This book collects issues 276 to 282 of the ongoing Hellblazer series. It was again written by Peter Milligan with art on the main story from Giuseppe Camuncoli and Stefano Landini (one chapter has art from Gael Bertrand) and art on the two single issue stories the bookend the volume was by Simon Bisley.
Married life is not running smoothly for John Constantine. First his new bride finds his wound from his amputated thumb disgusting and runs off to console herself with a demonic spirit. Second his home-grafted thumb, taken from a dying car crash victim, has a life of its own and gets him involved with its previous owner’s affairs. And finally his niece, Gemma, is seeking revenge on John for the abuse she suffered at his wedding that she thinks was carried out by him. All of this while trying to avoid becoming indebted to his gangster father-in-law.
Another enjoyable volume from Peter Milligan, though the two single issue stories are filler and pretty lightweight – which is a shame as the second concerning the demon Julian and his abuses of the prisoners could have been really interesting if it had been given more space to develop the tale properly. The main story has threads that don’t really go anywhere but overall it is very good with yet another person close to Constantine paying the price for his deviousness. The hints in this tale are that John might be about to head out on another of the dreaded road trips, possibly to America if he can’t put off his father-in-law, so that is something I am not looking forward to as I didn’t really like the last one when Brian Azzarello was the writer. But hopefully Milligan can pull it off as he has taken the character back to his roots and created some of the most entertaining stories for a long time in this long-lived series.
This book collects issues 267 to 275 of the ongoing Hellblazer series. It was written by Peter Milligan, who has been the series writer since issue 250, with art from Giuseppe Camuncoli, Stefano Landini and Simon Bisley.
The book has two stories. The first called Sectioned sees Constantine violently losing it with Epiphany and then starting to lose his grip on reality and ending up in a psychriatric hospital. He summons Shade to help him escape and figure out what is going on but Shade’s madness contaminates a potion Epiphany has made to heal her facial wounds which disfigures her even more. But Shade has a price for his help that John is unwilling to pay. The second story, Bloody Carnations, has Shade take Epiphany to Meta to heal her face but while there he tries to convince her that she is the dead Kathy George. Angry when she refuses him, Shade sends her back to Earth but in 1979 as a punishment both to her and to Constantine of whom he was jealous. Having decided that he wants to marry Epiphany, John must disrupt the plans of Nergal, who is determined that he not find happiness, and rescue his bride-to-be from his younger self.
Milligan takes Constantine back to familiar territory with this volume. Echoing episodes from his past with the incarceration in a mental institution and the return of Nergal and Gary Lester amongst others who gather for the wedding. I much prefer this kind of Hellblazer story where John is on his old stomping ground rather than when he is off on road trips such as in the last volume India. One reference to the old days that was a bit off for me was the reappearance of Kit, his true love from Garth Ennis’ run on the series. Apparently, he loves Epiphany more than he loved Kit which I find hard to swallow given his seeming indifference to her in the last couple of collections. Also someone should have given the artists a sample of what Kit looks like as I only knew who she was as she was referred to by name. But these are minor quibbles from a big fan of the Ennis run. On the whole this is a great book with Constantine at his tricksy best.