John Constantine: Hellblazer #6 Review

by Nick Devonald on June 02, 2020

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

This is a stellar issue in an incredible run on Hellblazer. This is the kind of issue you pass out to your mates to convince them to try Hellblazer and watch them flock to add it to their pull list. A one-shot story that instantly catapults itself onto the "best of Hellblazer" lists. Not only is it a fantastic issue, but the nature of Simon Spurriers writing in this series means that each new story arc works as a great stepping on point for new readers. Sure, there is an overall story arc being teased in the background, but at this stage in the game this issue would make a great stepping on point. And guaranteed anyone who reads this will find themselves compelled to go back to the start of the run and devour each issue.

So far in this series, we have been introduced to several new characters in Constantines supporting cast, and in this one-shot, we spend a bit of time focusing on Noah, the mute that John’s worked with a couple of times. It fleshes his character out a bit and lets the reader learn a little more about him, and the relationship he has with D.S. Dole, who John had an unpleasant encounter with in the toilets.

But it’s so much more than that. It’s a deep look at society, at how hate spreads and engulfs, destroying everything in its path and twisting those it brushes by. It’s a dark and cynical look at how even the good things in life, the things to be proud of, get taken away by those in power. A world-weary Constantines commentary on society is both brilliant and disheartening. It’s powerful. And after all of that, the conclusion to this issue is a bright shining beacon of hope in a dark and uncaring world. It tells us that no matter how bad things look sometimes a small act of kindness is all it takes. By not acting the way that society portrays us that sometimes things aren’t inevitable. That sometimes violence doesn’t have to beget violence. Sometimes there’s a better way.

The world in 2020 is a scary place. COVID-19 has changed everyone's way of life and promises to for the immediate future as well. We loom dangerously close to another recession. The current rioting in America. This issue feels so incredibly relevant and powerful because of the state of the world. Spurriers' writing would make it outstanding and incredible if we were living in a time of peace but the current global situation makes it resonate on a deep, emotional level.

Aaron Campbell is back on art duties this week after guest artist Matías Bergara took over for the previous two weeks. And Campbell is outstanding. His work has brought Constantines dark London to life, making it a real and familiar place. Having him back at the reigns is welcome and he wastes no time recreating the hospital that most of the issue is set in to life. And when we get on to the supernatural elements he takes his work up a notch. There’s some fantastic art to be found in these pages, truly outstanding.

Jordie Bellaire's colours take Campbells art and elevates it to the next level. Most of the issue is muted colours, only the supernatural stands out with bright colours, at times looking almost unnatural on the page in their brilliance. There is an element of the Sixth Sense here, with red in any scene with ghosts in, subtle use of colour to highlight the otherworldly.

An incredibly powerful comic, incredible writing, and current global events make it resonate incredibly strongly. If you haven’t been reading this run on Hellblazer do yourself a favour and go pick it up at once. You won’t regret it. The writing, the art, the colours, all three are out of this world.

Our Score:


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