asymmetrical's Hellblazer #270 - Sectioned, Part Four: Psychotic Love review

Run, Forrest, Run!

Every month when Hellblazer Week comes around I try and show people the light that this has for the past few months been one of the best monthlies on shelves right now and although I don't ever get the droves and herds of people I'd like reading and discussing this twisted tale I do get the occasional believer and for me that one person that gets baptized into the Constantine Church every month is enough to keep me proclaiming it's praises.
So it should come as no surprise to you that once again I found this issue to be top's the conclusion to the four-part Sectioned arc that began in #267. As the beautiful cover from this month plainly displays, this arc served the purpose of bringing an old Vertigo favorite back into the current day universe, however at the end of this issue a secondary development was made. Constantine says something you never thought he would, has fifty-seven years taken its toll on our cynical hero and lead him to consider turning away from a life of madness? I guess we'll have to wait for the next arc to get that question...
But what of our John's ally/enemy Shade, the Changing Man? Is he here for good? Truth be told I have no idea, Milligan has said in an interview he hasn't decided yet but he's definitely not finished with yet. He was absolutely superb in this issue, he's the Shade I remember!
I can't give too many details about the issue without spoilers considering it is a conclusion of course but one thing I found very interesting was when we realized who was responsible for John's descent into insanity I flipped back through the first issue of this arc and sure enough there he was. Why it hadn't registered month's earlier proved to me the beauty of Milligan incorporating new characters into John's story. If he'd used someone I knew from an earlier issue there would have been no mystery, yet that he could so blatantly give us the answer before we even formed the question is awesome! And it was only chance (in that I wanted to see the way the flashback sequence was originally written) that caused me to go back and notice this point of interest.
And as much as I love the writing let us not forget Camuncoli and Landini's beautiful art, it works very well with the crazy colors brought in by such characters as Shade and I think it's definitely one of my favorite art-styles from the 125 issues of Hellblazer I have currently read.
So should you read this...give me a good reason why you shouldn't?

Posted by Silkcuts

You being the Shade expert I have to write my reviews ASAP, because once you write yours I learn stuff :D and I feel yours are better.
I can't wait for Shade to be fully collected, a hand full of trades and History Lesson is not enough for me.
I agree with your past statement, Peter Milligan is the invisible backbone of Vertigo.  Moore was the guy who planted the seeds.  Gaiman and Morrison grew the plants to sell them as mainstream, but Milligan was in the background messing trying to create things that were new.  I am so glad PM is writing John.  After Diggle left I was worried it was going to be  Simon Oliver as rumored... Peter Milligan is the Hellblazer savior.  
With all the DCU guys basically back, it sucks that PM could not try out adding Chance or McFadden, whichever is the Human Target, in Hellblazer.  Making a murder mystery arc or something.
Or having him co-write with Wagner on the short why Madame Xanadu hates John Constantine as she hints in Neil Gaiman's Books of Magic.  
Sky is the limit even without the DCU guys.  Space and the final frontier would of been the limit if he hand every character at his disposal.

Posted by Asymmetrical
@Silkcuts: Well I really like your reviews (since you have an overall larger history of Hellblazer) but thank you and I'm always willing to wait before I post mine because I'm often too busy during the week, so just be sure to get yours in by Friday :P
And I want Shade to be collected now! I wish they could do two a year but I suspect it'll be only one a year since that's how they did Doom Patrol and are doing Sandman Mystery Theatre. I really don't want to wait until 2017 for the series to be fully collected though...maybe Vol. 4 will pop up for the December solicits next month crosses fingers
But yeah, Milligan definitely earned this writing role after all he's done for Vertigo, I remember in the Over the Ledge article he had when #251 was coming out how he mentioned he's been with Vertigo since the beginning and I thought about it and saw how he's been doing just as much as the others who were there at the beginning. In fact of the six core titles, and the six writers who made them great (Moore, Morrison, Gaiman, Ennis, Delano, Milligan)...he and Gaiman (and soon after Ennis) were the only ones really do any major writing for Vertigo at the beginning. The three of them were doing their signature ongoing and some minis...yet somehow Milligan seems to have never gained nearly the acclaim of any of the other's (except maybe Delano)...but now none of them are actively writing for Vertigo (Morrison doesn't count since it's just minis) but him so maybe they just needed to stop overshadowing Peter so readers could see what talent Milligan has.
(Also, about Simon Oliver, I loved Exterminators but I'm glad Milligan was chosen).
Yeah, with DC taking back their characters I wonder how much that's going to limit future Hellblazer writing...will it be the exception in that it can take anyone still or is it the exception in that it's cut off from the DCU. If it's the latter, I'm glad PM claimed Shade before the axe was brought down.

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    All Questions Answered, Now We Have New Ones To Ponder 0

    All of the questions we had going into this arc have basically been answered, what's going on with Epiphany's face? Why did John go crazy? Who is that kid that has a crush on Epiphany? What motive does Shade have in all this? All of these questions are answered in this issue, however only to be given a bunch of NEW questions. Questions that will obviously lead into the next arc. This isn't the last we've seen of Shade.   The artwork is slowly growing on me, I originally thought it was too cartoo...

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