Thursday, December 30, 2010

Hellblazer: Pandemonium

Written by Jamie Delano
Art by Jock

It's nice to see Delano come back and write John Constantine again in this original graphic novel.  Delano didn't create the character, but he did write the first pile of issues of the comic, and worked to establish Hellblazer as the flagship Vertigo title, not to mention its longest lasting.

In this book, Delano returns Constantine to his classic form - he's wearing the trenchcoat, smoking, and bossing poor Chas around like it's still the early nineties.  John sees and becomes interested in a woman wearing a niqab on the tube, and follows her to the British Museum just in time for bombs to go off and pandemonium to break loose.  It turns out that the woman is working for British Intelligence, and soon enough, John and her are off to Baghdad to deal with a man in American custody who seems connected to the supernatural.

What unfolds is a fairly typical Constantine story, complete with a stint in Hell and a demonic game of poker.  Delano writes a great Constantine - the off-hand cruelty and manipulation are front and centre - and it's nice to see John interact with such a different world.  Lately, Delano's writing has become increasing purple (read his Rawbone - it's out of control), although he keeps a handle on it here.

Jock's art is always great.  I love his panel design and the way in which he constructs a page.  This is a good book.

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