Saturday, May 2, 2009

Hellblazer: Reasons to be Cheerful

Hellblazer: Reasons to be Cheerful
Written By: Mike Carey
Illustrated By:
Paperback: 144 pages
Publisher: Vertigo
Language: English
April 2007, $14.99
Genre: Comic/Graphic Novel

John Constantine is a father. By magic, coercion and deceit the she-demon Rosacarnis has borne three children of the Hellblazer’s seed, and now she has unleashed them on the world. But before they can realize their hellish destiny, the children must first of all confront and defeat their mortal father. They can’t just kill John; the necromancy that created them depends on his staying alive. But the unholy trinity hit upon an even sweeter plan––to kill everyone John’s ever cared for until he’s too badly hurt ever to mend; to take away his reasons for living, one by one. After all, shell-shocked and broken from Rosacarnis’s dark magics, John’s in no condition to fight back. But among the lambs chosen fro the slaughter there are two who aren’t keen to go––John’s niece, Gemma, and his sometime girlfriend Angie Spatchcock. And someone else is taking an interest in John’s situation: someone who hides in borrowed flesh and keeps his true name to himself. Its family affair––and blood will flow thicker than water…


I dig John Constantine. I also dig Mike Carey. A great combination right? Almost. I love the main story because John’s demonic children go after, not him, but those he loves because lets be honest those few people that John trusts and loves and who trust and love him back is a fairly small number. Constantine does have help though from a demonic presence who is currently hiding within his best friend, Chas’s, body. To say that John doesn’t handle it well is a bit of an understatement. In the 20 years that John Constantine has been around we have seen in some very low places. We’ve also seen that vulnerable side time and time again even though he tries to play the snarky who gives a frak mage with a chip on his shoulder most of the time. While I am not rooting for John to be at rock bottom, I can’t help it if I enjoy the drama a bit because for once I wonder if John can get out of this. Is he completely frakked for once?

Unfortunately I think the trade collected the wrong set of issues. While I like the opening tale about the cursed bracelet, it doesn’t work with the rest of the book. And not having the climax of the story is frustrating as all hell. That’s right you don’t get a full story arc and its conclusion until the next trade. While I am a fan of cliffhangers and understand the publisher’s perspective it is annoying. It was build up, build up and then…stay tuned for next week’s episode. Grrr Argh. Especially when I have to order the next one.

So minus some minor annoyances it was a good trade and one I recommend if you are a Hellblazer or a Mike Carey fan.

3.25 out of 4 happy bibliosnark bookmarks

Have your own review? Let me know and I will post it.

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