Sunday, December 21, 2008

Hellblazer #250

Written by Dave Gibbons, Jamie Delano, Brian Azzarello, Peter Milligan, and China Mieville
Art by Sean Phillips, David Lloyd, Rafael Grampa, Eddie Campbell, Giuseppe Camuncoli, and Stefano Landini

I'm not usually a fan of the Christmas anthology, but this is how such things should be done. In this extra-sized issue, we get five stories by different creative teams, almost all of which are centred around Christmas. (I think it strange that the book starts off with the New Years story, and then backs up a few days.)

It's a real treat to see artists like Phillips and Lloyd draw Constantine again, and an even bigger treat to see the series' original writer come back for an excellent tale of poker and trafficking. The story by Azzarello and Grampa is beautifully drawn, if a little tenuously linked to the Christmas theme. Milligan's story augers well for his run on the title, which begins next issue. The final story, about a Bhopal-like industrial accident was odd - I couldn't figure out where it was taking place.

This was a very enjoyable book. It didn't have many of the elements I expected - Constantine wasn't haunted (well, at least, not by ghosts of his Christmases past), and there was no mention of his having snorted the ground up bones of St. Nick a few issues back.

All $3.99 comics should have this level of quality.

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