Saturday, December 24, 2011

Hellblazer: Pandemonium

Little known fact; in our archive is a half-written Point/Counterpoint about the movie Constantine.  At the time it was written I believed Constantine to be the worst movie adaptation of a comic book.

Of course in 2011 that distinction now belongs to Green Lantern.  
 I'm not a huge Hellblazer fanboy, but I do dig the exploits of John Constantine.  Hellblazer: Pandemonium got me curious.   While I'm not really a fan of the supernatural, I do like Jock's art.  Plus I'd heard Jamie Delano was quite a scribe.

But sometimes a graphic novel can be a chore. I've read more than a few of them that bored me to tears.  And given that I was pretty much unaware of Jamie Delano's work before this, I'll admit to being a pinch worried.

The story starts, like most of Constantine's exploits, in London.  Actually the story starts in Iraq in the aftermath of a terrorist attack.  But then we're transported to London, where Constantine is dreaming.  He dreams informs his present and his future.

Out of sorts Constantine stumbles about town and ends up on the train where he meets up with mysterious woman.  She lures him to a museum where another terrorist attack takes place.

From there Constantine and the mysterious woman get wrapped up international affairs that result in them going to Iraq to sort things out.

Pandemonium is full of classic Constantine moments.  For instance in the museum, when John takes reads on the people he passes.  Later there's a great scene where he turns the tables on his interrogator.  And of course Constantine is always pulling sleight of hand moves and cons over everyone, which never gets old.  This story makes me want to pick up those early Hellblazer trades to see more of Jamie Delano's work.

Jock's art might not be everyone's cup of tea, but I'm a fan.  I loved his work on The Losers and his covers for Scalped.  And his recent run on Detective was out of this world.  So, seeing him illustrate an entire Constantine story was a thrill.  Especially how he tackled the whole Iraq setting.  Jock's illustrations make you feel the heat and practically choke on the dust.

This graphic novel is good stuff.  Check it out.

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