Why doesn't John Constantine use magic anymore

Review - John Constantine: Hellblazer 1 - Occult restart in the Black Label

John Constantine: Hellblazer 1 is the start of the new series from the DC Black Label, all about the chain-smoking occultist. After the apocalypse he wakes up in a world that is familiar to him, but seems so distant. author Simon Spurrier and his creative team accompany us into a world full of demons, ghosts and much more. The antihero of DC Comics knows how to convince. How so? You can find out here.

John Constantine fighting in the apocalypse. An armada of demons is invading the earth. The next thing the magician has to go through? Get used to smartphones! What?! You read that right. He wakes up in a world that seems familiar to him, but which is anything but that. Somehow he's into one alternative timeline devices. The friends is his life are either dead, or avoid his contact. At Johns You can't blame them for it in the past. Now, not only does he have to find new ones, he has to deal with angel-owned smartphones and hipsters. Madness is the only constant in his life! But what has Timothy Hunter to do with all of this?

The chain-smoking occultist from England who wears a trench coat has been an integral part of the for many years DC universe. Introduced by Alan Moore in Swamp Thing, it has grown in popularity over the years. According to his own series (which among others by authors such as Jamie Delano and Garth Ennis was written), the character also appeared in other universes. The band at hand plays in one of them - im Sandman universe of Neil Gaiman.

Hellblazer - Between Heaven and Hell

Who thinks: apocalypse, Sandman universe and old friends - am I looking through there? I can calm him down. The summary may sound like a good deal of prior knowledge, but newcomers will also have fun with the tape. author Simon Spurrier writes Constantine in the best Vertigo-Tradition and not only uses various cross-references. A decent dynamic and a pleasant dose of (black) humor also find their way into the beginning of the series. The story begins with a chapter from the Book of Magic at. We will learn what this is all about in the course of the actual series. Action is more in the background. An atmospheric structure is more concise the story that brings us closer to the new characters.

Spurrier conjures up a creative story on the sheet, which is driven by the poems of the controversial author William Blake, manifested the myth of the Hellblazer. Putting him in a newfangled world full of smartphones, hipsters and dubious new magical methods works completely! This is how we see in John Constantine: Hellblazer not just classic blood magic. Magic paired with rhymes, yoga and meditation also find their way into the dark world of the occult trickster.

Optical horror and graphic well-being

When it comes to optics, I'm a little bit divided. Aaron Campbell created with his realistic, gloomy drawings a dirty atmosphere. In contrast to this are the bright and modern sides of Matias Bergara. The clear winner for me is in this case Campbell. His creation does an excellent job of capturing the unfolding horror of the story. So the reader gets lost in an insane world of demons and nightmares that have come true. Bergara creates a kind of well-being, which is appropriate for the respective chapter, but has torn me personally out of the dense atmosphere.

Also tells me its optics of Constantine itself not really too. Don't get me wrong - are artisanal Bergaras High quality drawings! Therefore I see this (only) point of criticism more as a question of taste. Anyone who reads the volume in one go, like me, may find it annoying. If you take a break between the chapters, it can of course have a different effect.

The bottom line:

John Constantine: Hellblazer 1 has everything that makes a successful story about the occultist. Demons, an exciting storyline and a large pinch of black humor. Enriched with a little anarchy and blood, the first part of the two-parter convinces across the board. author Simon Spurrier and his creative team create a dense atmosphere that remains constant until the end. The newer elements fit in perfectly with the British world and never seem attached or out of place. A testimony to the excellent preparation for the volume on the part of the author. In the best DC Vertigo Tradition is an entertaining story, which pairs fine horror with British class. The wait for the sequel is already unbearable!

  • Initial release: 17.11.2020
  • author: Simon Spurrier
  • Illustrator: Aaron Campbell, Matias Bergara
  • pages: 220
  • price: 23€
  • format: Softcover
  • genre: Horror
  • publishing company: Panini Verlag

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