By: Andy Diggle
Illustrated by: Leonardo Manco
Paperback: 192 pages
February 2008, $14.99
Genre: Comic/Graphic Novel
The years have not been kind to John Constantine. Fallen friends, cigarettes and a life spent staring into the abyss have reduced the prideful prince of Britain’s occult underground from calling the supernatural shots to cleaning up the messes left behind.
That’s about to change.
A desperate plea from an old acquaintance puts Constantine on the road to reclaim the man, and the mage, he once was. His trip will take him from cutthroat prisons and crime-soaked slums to the high-rolling holiday spots of England’s elite, and neither the darkest secret of his past nor a powerful new enemy will stand in his way.
John Constantine is taking back what’s his, even if doing it means death, damnation – or worse.
I love John Constantine and I loved Mike Carey’s work with the piss and vinegar magic user, though I will say Carey made John a bit morose. I wasn’t sure how Diggle was going to do with Constantine, but I saw this and figured why not give it a go. It’s Hellblazer, enough said.
In Joyride Diggle reinvents Constantine, or rather gives him that old swagger and arrogance back. Which, to be honest, he needs. When we see him at the beginning of this run he’s not a happy camper. He’s been through a lot and rock bottom has been his home for some time. It was time that he got rid of the demons that lurked in his head and his heart. I mean I love a down on his luck john, but its about time he got rid of the emo thing.
I like an arrogant, thinks he cannot fail ever again John. He’s entertaining and he has that tough, who gives a frak exterior again. Maybe it is all pomp and circumstance and when he is doomed to fail it’s going to fit fairly hard, but that’s why I like the series. There isn’t much of the magic thrown in, or at least as much as I would have liked, and yet it’s all about Constantine getting back to his roots. He’s having a midlife crisis and winds up the better for it.
One thing I really loved was the artwork so a shiny gold star goes to Leonardo Manco. I loved his renderings in the first half of the volume with the drowned souls as much as his work with the horned shaman. It was a delight to read as much as it was to ooh and awe over the pretty and sometimes horrific drawings.
In short, it was a nice change of pace for Hellblazer and because of it I think I need to catch up a bit on my dear friend Mr. Constantine.
3.5 out of 4 happy bibliosnark bookmarks
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