Fasten Your Seatbelts Everyone...
...you are now entering Kathy World!
Oh, Shade you never fail to spice things up. Yes, that's right, Shade continues his antics in this issue of Hellblazer and it is definitely a good time through and through. However, for the sake of interesting facts about my own journey through Hellblazer I thought it would be a good time to inform you all that between last month's issue and this, I have read over one hundred issues of Hellblazer. Thus completing my quest to read every last issue of Vertigo's longest-running title. What I learned from this experience was that through its ups and downs, Hellblazer truly is (as Axel Alonso put it in the letters pages when Paul Jenkins was ending his run) a writer-driven book. Each new writer decides whether the book flourishes or sputters and begins to flit in and out. Milligan is definitely about the flourishing.
Another thing I learned is that some writers (Azzarello being the main example) make their run entirely unique, with characters and events solely in their run whereas a writer like Carey drew on the mythologies of almost every writer before him. I don't think either style is better but up until this issue I thought Milligan was taking the Azzarello approach. Up until this point, apart from Chas, the cast has been pretty original, but with this issue that changed. I won't spoil who showed up, but I will say that one of John's two biggest nemesis (in my opinion at least) popped in to make it known that he's not done with mucking up John's life just yet.
I found this to be a very interesting development, I mean John's been doing a pretty good job screwing up his own life but now Hell's working against him too? Very interesting...it tells me Milligan potentially has a grander story to tell here and I'm intrigued to see what it is.
However, that wasn't the only thing that happened this issue, not even the highlight. No, this story simply continued the awesomeness begun in the last arc. John is now apparently sane but considering all he's doing for just one girl I'm going to stick with apparently. I think his cliffhanger definitely proved he's a little lovesick. But I think the best part was (and I'll try not to spoil this though if you check solicits for upcoming issues you'll know what I'm talking about) is the John at the end of the story...haha, what a dirty man!
And Shade? Shade was just pure Shade, it was fantastic, once again the art complimented his story perfectly, and although I feel it was confirmed Milligan has tossed out #68-70 of the old series, I am satisfied with this direction right now. I'm unsure if Shade has removed himself from the story but I suspect we'll see him again later.
As for the ending...I absolutely loved the added touch of using Bisley's art...and his cover...my favorite of the year I think. Love him.
Anyways, once again I urge you to read this and discuss it!