Hellblazer #12 review – Constantine’s last stand

November 28, 2020
Louie Fecou 0
Comics
4

Summary

This 12th issue, double-sized to bring everything to a suitable close, ties up all the strands from the 12-issue run that Spurrier had been building up since the reboot arrived.

4

Summary

This 12th issue, double-sized to bring everything to a suitable close, ties up all the strands from the 12-issue run that Spurrier had been building up since the reboot arrived.

Hellblazer¬†#12 brings the current arc, and this series, to an end. After just 12 issues, the epic “This Sceptred Isle” run, by writer Simon Spurrier and artist Aaron Campbell, comes to a close.

The storyline brought John back into The Sandman Universe, wisely placing our mage back into the context that he was created in. Hellblazer‘s initial run was brought to a close with his 300th issue, and despite fans’ protests, he was dropped awkwardly into the mainstream DC universe, where he was watered down and turned into Doctor Strange.

However, John finally received a new series under DC’s Black Label imprint, and fans were treated to a savage, disturbing, horrific, and unsettling arc that saw John being stalked and shadowed by his own future self.

This 12th issue, double-sized to bring everything to a suitable close, ties up all the strands from the 12-issue run that Spurrier had been building up since the reboot arrived. Demons, Seers. Mermaids and Giants all became entwined in the update, and the creative team dragged John into a twisted and depraved 2020.

In this climactic issue, the ensemble cast is all in place for a final confrontation that adds to the Hellblazer mythos without bringing down any of the established past. John seems to be back on track as the master manipulator, second-guessing himself quite literally as he strives to solve the mystery of the supernatural Tulpas that have been created, and more importantly what they were there to actually do.

Story-wise, things race quickly ahead. Loose ends are tied up, even though it all gets a bit muddled in the last act. The art also seems confused and often hard to view. Perhaps the double-sized page count provided some deadline issues; Jordie Bellaire, who provided colors, seems overly reliant on blues and reds, and the dark nature of the story is, I suppose, complemented by the palette, but it appears that the scratchy artwork is muddied by his choice of colors. Things seem just a little rushed, and it makes me wonder if the news of the cancellation caught the team off guard.

From what I can gather, Spurrier himself admitted in a blog that the cancellation was pretty much due to lack of sales on this title, and this does ring true as sales are down on so many levels within the comic book industry.

The recent so-called bloodbath at AT&T, with DC losing many key members of staff, and Marvel announcing the cancellation of many titles, paints a rather bleak picture overall, and Constantine is just another casualty.


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