John Constantine: Hellblazer #2 Review

by Nick Devonald on December 18, 2019

Writer: Simon Spurrier
Artist: Aaron Campbell
Colors: Jordie Bellaire
Letters: Aditya Bidikar

This series hit the ground running with the first issue and #2 keeps the pace going. It’s brilliant, pure and simple, and if the next few issues continue to be as strong as this it’s going to be up there with my all time favourite comics. This is my favouite new comic of 2019, and with only two issues being released that is really saying something.

It starts off with Noah signing in an absolutely hilarious panel. This is just one example of plenty of laugh out loud moments interspersed with all the darkness and horror within. Only two issues in and we already have a strong supporting cast, very well defined characters whose personalities leaps off the page at you.

Nat, the Glaswegian barmaid from the last issue, is back. Her character made a real impression and I was hoping she would become a series regular and I’m pleased to say it looks as though she will be. She shares Johns loves of bad jokes and cigarettes, and provides some of the funnier parts of the comic as well as giving John something to do while he’s thinking.

Speaking of Nat the whole scene in the pub is so reminiscent of drinking in British pubs. It evokes the same feelings in me that I suspect a lot of Marvel comics with their scenes in New York do for a lot of Americans. There’s just something very British about it all, and going outside to smoke since the smoking ban is just one part that captures it perfectly.

We’re introduced to a new character in the form of D.S. Dole, who promises to be an interesting character, although whether friend or foe remains to be seen. He also hints there is a bit more to Noahs character which I look forward to finding more about later on.

Constantine investigates the Angels from last issue some more, and while we don’t have all the answers yet his investigation has taken some interesting turns. Hellblazer has never just featured your standard supernatural villains and this looks to be a tradition that is continuing here. And the conclusion promises the next issue is going to put Constantine in a difficult position.

This series brings a real sense of nostalgia for the old Vertigo series. Before this review I had a look through some of the older issues, and realised that Simon Spurrier has pulled off that very clever trick of emulating it, while making it better than the original. Storytelling in comics has come a long way since Hellblazer was first released and if the quality of storytelling and art was the same as the original series this new one wouldn’t be a fraction as good as it is. But it manages to recreate the feel so you feel like you’re reading the classic comics.

And the art manages this same trick. It’s vastly superior but as you read it you feel as though it belongs in the older run. Aaron Campbell’s art is fantastic. It manages to separate itself from most comic book art, and has more of a realistic feel than most. It expertly captures London’s dull and dreary weather. The characters are masterpieces and each page is a joy to look over rather than just read the story.

And good art would be nothing without good colors, and Jordie Bellaire doesn’t just have good colors they’re outstanding. The colors really help to set the tone and add to the atmosphere. She really contrasts well between all the different scenes, one minute it’s dark and raining in London, then it’s a brightly lit toilet, then night-time, then you turn a page and we have these incredibly bright Angels in all their exotic colors. Or a dream scene where everything takes on otherworldly hues.

I can’t fault anything in this new Hellblazer series, the writing, art, colors, all top notch. The stories interesting, taking unexpected turns, the supporting cast come alive on the page fully formed, this is comic books at their absolute best.

Our Score:


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