Sunday, January 25, 2009

Hellblazer #251

Written by Peter Milligan
Art by Giuseppe Camuncoli and Stefano Landini

I wasn't sure if I was going to continue reading Hellblazer now that Andy Diggle's run as writer was finished. Peter Milligan is a highly inconsistent writer, having written some truly amazing books (Shade the Changing Man, and X-Force/X-Statix), and some books that have left me completely cold (his X-Men run for example). But, I have liked Cumoncoli's art since the criminally shortlived 'The Intimates', so I thought I'd give them one issue to see if they impressed me.

I'll be back for the next issue for sure. Milligan introduces a much-needed supporting cast for Constantine in this issue, in the form of Phoebe, his new girlfriend. Constantine hasn't had a serious relationship since Kit graced the pages of Ennis's historic run, and I think that the addition of Phoebe adds a grounding element to the types of stories that usually play out in Hellblazer. John has to be more human when he is explaining some of this stuff to someone (other than Chas). As well, Milligan excells at writing strong female characters who get sucked into a lot of weirdness (I had a small crush on Shade's girlfriend Kathy when I was a teenager).

The story of a mysterious scab is an interesting way to provide background for this new status quo in Constantine's life, and all of the dialogue scenes provide Camuncoli with plenty of opportunity to showcase his skill at conveying emotion.

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