Johnny Boy Likes it Kinky
Brian Azzarello, best known for his magnificent tale 100 Bullets, also had a considerably lengthy run on Hellblazer. A quite unique run. Not just because Azzarello was the first American to write the book but because the entire tale took place in America. Another thing that made Azzarello’s story unique is John’s personality. Plenty of times you’d get a sadistic or cruel grin on his face, often through shadowing or close-ups it’d be the only thing you saw when he spoke, there was no mistaking John for a good guy.
Here we are halfway through Brian’s final arc, Ashes & Dust, a wrap-up of the events he kicked off in #146 when Ellis left the book and a new vision was needed. The run kept a lot of things mysterious, and it is here that the main mystery of them all is explained, what set John on the trial he would endure. I really enjoyed this story, and arc, although I admit it’s sometimes hard to fit this in with the rest of the Hellblazer universe, the truth is, every writer’s John is different, this was no exception.
However, if you want to check out this issue, you definitely cannot just jump in despite the quality, the stuff referenced goes right back to the beginning, you’ll have to get it all…#146-174. Thankfully, through reprinting that’s been made into a handful of trades: Hard Time, Good Intentions, Freezes Over (not as essential as the others to the main story but bloody awesome), and Highwater. Plus, there’s plenty of BDSM stuff in this arc, how can you not love that?