Archive for Jamie Delano

HellBlazer #4

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on October 15, 2010 by fbombcast

HellBlazer 4

Cover Date: April 1988

Writer: Jamie Delano

Artist: John ridgeway

Letterer: Annie Halfacree

Colorist: Lovern Kindzierski

Editor: Karen Berger

It has been a couple of weeks between issue 3 and issue 4 on the blog and for that I apologize, the original plan was for this to be weekly and every tuesday at that, but something came up. I would love to tell you that what came up was life getting in the way, or planning for New York Comic Con, or doing things with my family but the truth is that was not the case. What caused such a delay in between reviews was the shear hatred i felt for Delano as a writer after reading issue 3. I had no urge to want to open up the long box and dig out the next couple of issues, never mind the fact that i will need to grin and bear his lazy plot devices and instilling his beliefs on a character without letting the character become his own person for almost 30 more issues.

This issue starts out with a lonely girl on a jungle gym. Being rather introspective we learn of her parents that religious sect that is extreme in their belief in God and brainwashing of their followers. Sadness has creeped into the girls heart due to the isolation that this religious cult has caused her parents to impart on her.

Flash to London for the next bit and we see an ever indulgent Constantine Gambling, Playing, Pool and drinking up a storm. Chas is with him and he is obviously using his magic for nefarious gains. After leaving the bar, John realizes the one Vice he hasn’t yet indulged this evening so he goes looking for some companionship. When he turns the corner, he Finds Zed.

Upon meeting Zed, Constantine realizes that they not only share the need for the same carnal pleasures but also the ability to use Magic for whatever the hearts want.

Next we flash back to the little girl on the swing set. She is confronted by three girls that are slightly older than her and she is just happy that she may have just a little companionship. Like any other cult, these girls can sense the loneliness in this ones heart and offers her the promise of friendship and freedom from a life of despair, something this girl has been craving since her parents joined the über religious group that they are now with. She goes with these girls to become the Wife of the one that cares for them.

Back in London John and Zed quickly get through the getting to know you stage and end up back in her apartment. To lighten the mood with a little mood music, Zed decided to turn on the radio, and in some of the laziest use of plot device i have ever seen, Magically (which is possible since this is hellblazer), her radio picks up the local police scanner that reports of the girls kidnapping. Surprise, surprise… It is Constantine’s niece and he and Zed head to the country to help find her.

There really is not much more to get into here. Constantine goes to the country where the religious crusadres are set up looking for the girl, they only put up a slim fight against John’s use of Magic to try and find his relative, even though the whole book it seems that they are these fanatics that would stop at nothing to keep this sort of “black arts” out of their little town. Constantine and Zed end up in the pedophile’s den on despair where he keeps his child brides and performs his satanic rites in order to procure more. Constantine is overmatched, but with the help of Zed he is able to defeat the big bad. Wash, Rinse, Repeat.

I can’t believe this book lasted almost 3 years with Delano writing it. He is lazy; Doesn’t know how to fit a story into one issue, as was the trend back then, without the extreme use of Deaus Ex Machina, and only knows how to characterize his own beliefs within that characters that he is writing. The ending of this issue even felt like there was more to tell, yet the last panel said The End.

The feeling i get from this issue is that he was criticizing religious fanaticism, which is better than painting a whole set of political beliefs like he did in Issue 3 but still can Delano get away from these things. Almost 30 more issue of this guy writing this character, here’s hoping it gets better.

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Hellblazer Issue 2

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on September 21, 2010 by fbombcast

Hellblazer Issue 2

Writer: Jamie Delano

Artist: John Ridgway

Letters: Annie Halfacree

Colors: Lovern Kindzierski

Editor: Karen Berger

This issue continues the story that we began in issue one. we have the same cast of characters, Constantine, Lester, Papa Midnight. It leads off with John walking walking into Midnights club to fins the Voodoo master and enlist him and his knowledge to help with the defeat of Mnemoth. One would have thought that he may have asked this in issue one when he originally asked Midnight about the demon, but oh well, sometimes constantine is a little to quick on the trigger, and honestly this is something i love about him.

After going through the Dante’s inferno that is Midnight’s club, he is led to the zombie fight floor (everyone’s favorite of course) only to find out that Midnight has penned up Lester and not provided him with the heroin that his body craves.

Next scene jumps to the apartment that John is living in while in New York. it is here that he meets up with the gho

st of past cases.The coloring on these is rather interesting. Interesting because to denote a ghost the color artist simply decided to not color them. They didn’t add an effect. nor did they even really add a base gray, that just flatted the image around the ghost and left any color off them. This and the lack of a consistancy in color really gets me, i am truly beginning the think that Halfacree is a very lazy artist and it is no wonder i have not noticed her name presently.

While confronting the ghost the prominent speaker among them is a woman named Emma that we met in the previous issue. Just as in that issue, nothing is really revealed about this character, but through her interaction with John we are led to believe that they had some sort of relationship that was more than just friendly. I really wish Delano would offer more in the terms of backstory but i think given that this is not the main story, he must have felt that he just didn’t have the space to do it.

Flash to scenes of the streets of New York, and we get more flashes of swarms of bugs taking over people and causing them to have the insatiable hunger that Constantine is here to investigate in the first place. the narrator is the Demon himself and he speaks of the menace that he is causing and what he has in store for the future. Horrific images of people consuming massive of narcotics and getting so hungry they are eating their own hands.

Then the scene shifts back to Midnight’s den of inequity. The plan is finally laid out in front of us and we learn how they plan to stop the demon from killing all of the city. Lester is the bait since he is the one that unleashed the evil into the world. With his voodoo skills Midnight is going to attract the swarm into Lester and let the demon consume him, Lester will die, but luckily so will the bugs. Again Constantine proves that he his not the best friend to have, because if you get in the way of him and the case he is on, he is willing to sacrifice you for the good of the cause no matter  how close you are.

The only hint of humanity that John shows towards his friend is one last spike of heroin to help ease the massive amount of pain that Lester is about to go through.

The spell at first looks as though it is not working and we see the bugs consuming both magicians and the bait, but like a switch is thrown, the insect go after Lester and overtake his entire being.

At the end we get a sort of soliloquy from John, (and honestly that happens a lot in the title, a flash of insight within a narration box), about how Lester was on a self destructive path to begin with, how he already had insects consuming his body figuratively, in the form of heroin flowing through his brain. I think Delano gets a little full of himself sometimes and really like to use the things in his book as analogies for  real life circumstances. OKay i get it, A hunger that never goes away cause by a foreign substance consuming your body. It doesn’t take a moron to realize that he is talking about drug addiction and it is obvious that it hits a little home for him.

My other gripe with this issue, and this initial story arc is that it seemed a little too rushed. I don’t know if that is the product of me being used to drawn out six-12 issue stories now, or if i felt some of the stuff not pertaining to the story, like the emma stuff, that i was lost for anyway, was needed at all.

This story seemed to jump all over the place and i feel with maybe one more issue it could have been fleshed out better.

I still enjoyed it but just wish it was a little more. This last image is one of my favorite of the entire book. Nothing like a S & M ghost telling you to go fuck yourself.

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