Hellblazer is gone, the end of an era

And...

I never read Hellblazer.

not even one issue.

I consider myself a really heavy reader, I read a lot of comics every week, mostly DC and its rare for me to drop a book even if its bad, so i have a lot of books that I own, either in digital or trade form and i have never touch, I have all the books of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Im only on the second volume, I have all of Tom Strong and i have only read the first issue, I have mostly all of Spawn, pretty much all of Witchblade and i havent read a single issue, and there are many books which I dont own on any form but I want to read them, so Hellblazer is one of those that is on my very long list of things to read, Its one of those comics that you have hear about when you start reading comics and you are aware of it for a long time and its always there and I kinda always imagine that it was always gonna be there.

The same moment when DC announced the New 52 and said that it was going to reboot the numbering of Action Comics, Superman,Tec and Batman, one of the first things that crossed my mind was that Hellblazer was now the only book to have survived all the the crisis in DC, even since Crisis on Infinite Earths Hellblazer was there and then he moved to Vertigo, and now its the oldest comic ever made that is still being made without any changes on the numbering, just once per month the next adventure of John Constantine, always there, always present for 20+ years.

There is a certain kind of aura or spirit or essence, or whatever you want call it from something like that, is Pure Nostalgia that when you look at it, that is a comic book, that is what a comic book should be, and just a couple of days ago DC announced that Hellblazer was going to end on issue 300 and in the same month a new book name Constantine will be on the New 52.

It genuinely feels like the end of an Era, like things will never ever be the same in the comic book community as a whole and again this is coming from someone who never read the book, but the idea of Hellblazer ending feels bigger than anything that i have seen so far in the New 52.

I guess that I should start with my first experience with the character, it wasnt on any particular book about Hellblazer or anything vertigo related for that matter

It was the first time I read an old book, and by old i mean anything from before the 00s, I just finished reading Infinite Crisis after just entering in the world of comics, and i was a little confused on the events, i liked the event but didnt knew that it was a "sequel" to another book, an event name Crisis on Infinite Earths, so friend loan me the huge book and thats the first time i saw Constantine who is none essential at all in the book and even only appears for just a few panels.

I bet mostly no one would recognize him from any cover, he just seems so generic, a blond guy smoking and the most important part of this scene, the prt that stuck with me was the mention of the Swamp Thing, and right there I recognized him as John Constantine, I had never read Swamp Thing at that time but i had heard of him just dont remember where or how.

the second time I saw Constantine wasnt in a comic, it was in a movie

Personally, I dont think it was a bad movie but it has practically nothing to do with the Comic Book Constantine version, its one of those examples of Hollywood and specifically WB having no idea what makes a character tick, what makes ppl appeal to it and just fail at making a good adaptation, and yet this is kind of a minor offfender cause there are worst cases like Jonah Hex or the worst of all Catwoman, but thats for another day, this as a movie may had nothing to do with Constantine but I thought it was entertaining enough and i liked most of the action sequences

and then I really didnt thought of that until I started reading Swamp Thing

Lets go back to 2010, when Brightest Day was starting i was honestly exited, I think most ppl will say that is a mediocre comic but i dont, I thought it had some of the best things in years, I loved the story with Deadman, and the story with Martian Manhunter, I think im the only person who actually liked D'Kay, i think she is a brilliant concept for the essential nemesis of John, and there other good stuff in there but one of the things that got a lot of ppl talking was "THE SAVIOR" who was going to be the character that was going to return and be the next big thing, and i keep hearing this Theory, not a rumor, that it was going to be the Swamp Thing, I knew next to nothing about the Swamp Thing but i knew enough to just explain "What! No, you are wrong, that doesnt make any sense, listen is going to be Animal Man or resurrection man, its logical" and of course i was 100% dead wrong

It was the Swamp Thing and in the same day that it was reveal that The Swamp Thing was the next big thing I got an the entire set of Swamp Thing comics, I started from the beginning of the second volume, though i did get the first volume, and i still havent read it, the first 20 issues were nothing special but i did got the gist of the character

and then I got to the Alan Moore Part...

Without Exaggeration, Alan Moore's Saga of the Swamp Thing is the best Comic Book ever created

Its just nothing short of that and that is when i really got to love what John Constantine was as a character as well as the swamp thing, by the time that Brightest Day was finally ending i had already finish the entire Saga and was looking forward for the next run, but what was better was that just like Swamp Thing was getting back to DC

so was Constantine

There were going to be 2 Constantines the one in Hellblazer, who at the time was getting married(so i heard), and the one in DC, and the one in DC was going to be closer to the one in Saga of the Swamp thing, so perfect for me since i was not familiar with the one in Hellblazer

Then I always hear the complain that Vertigo is not like DC, that you cant mix them up, or something like that, how little memory have hose ppl cause when those ppl think of the Swamp Thing they think Vertigo and completely forget the little insignificant detail that Alan Moore's Swamp Thing was not a vertigo book

the same applies for Morrison's Animal Man, or his Doom Patrol, or the first Chps of Sandman, or even Hellblazer

Vertigo didnt create those titles, those titles created Vertigo, and if that same essence can be put back on DC, if we can get that spirit to return to DC, then its all great cause you can still have Vertigo in certain form. Vertigo was that mature and adult side of DC so I was hoping for a DC that was more mature, more Adult, in essence more like Vertigo.

Which leads me to the final Point of this.

Constantine vs Hellblazer

There is absolutely nothing bad i can say about New 52 Constantine

even though some ppl consider it a PG Constantine it still has what Constantine had, at least from what i know from Constantine from the Swamp Thing book

he didnt really swear that much in Alan Moore's book, at least not that i can remember, he was just the ultimate manipulator and thats what it is

of course it help that he was introduced by Milligan who was writing him in Hellblazer

and Lemire is right now a rising Star in the comic world, he has done a great job with him on JLD and Animal Man so I see nothing wrong with Constantine getting his own comic

The problem lies in the fact that this has nothing to do with Hellblazer, Hellblazer is that same Constantine who came to life from the words of Alan Moore and have always been ther for 20 years.

once again there is absolutely nothing bad with DC52 Constantine, but he is not the same

Im looking forward for the Constantine book and im looking up for 2 things specifically

1- is Im really looking forward on this Verdini guy, why? because I know absolutely nothing about his writing and that excites me, I know he relaunched a book name XO-Manowar and made it the best selling title of its company as well as getting excellent reviews on it, so im always looking forward on new talent specially when it delivers, I also hope he does a good job on Demon Knights too

and #2

and this is something that no one is even considering

is that im looking forward for a similar thing of this in the cover

SUGGESTED FOR MATURE READERS

The appearance or lack of it in the cover is what ultimately will decide the fate of this book, it will decide whatever is a worthy successor of Hellblazer or another one of the pile that will live for 12 maybe 18 issues before cancellation, and No one is talking about this.

We dont know what is the rating of this book and we wont know until the solicits for March 2013 are in, becoming the first M rated comic of the new 52 might be what ultimately saves this book because even a T+ is not gonna cut it and just something as simple as that might be what destroys it.

and regarding Hellblazer

Its the last of the original Vertigo Titles, when this titles is gone so will be the spirit of the original Vertigo

It is the end of an Era, where people will no longer look at Vertigo with the same eyes, they will look at what it was and what is becoming and if we are a little lucky maybe we will see some of it again in the new DC

Now if you excuse me im have over 296 comics to catch up onto.

End of Blog Post

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4 Comments
4 Comments
Edited by kuonphobos

Guess I better get caught up with all things New 52 Conjob.

The times they are a'changin'.

Will they put John in spandex next? Or maybe a Gambit like black leather man-cat-suit. =/

Yes an M rating would keep me in the game, but comeon...this is DC. To bad the character can't jump to Avatar....oh wait....maybe Ellis will oblige us with a new Gravel series. ;)

Posted by arnoldoaad

Thanks for the comment, and yeah an M-rating is the only thing that is going to save that bookd

it doesn't even need to have gore or sex, or nudity or offensive language in the first chp, but it has an M, at least it gives the possibility that there will be

Posted by Mr_Holmes

It depends on how they handle the new book. The original Constantine from Moore's Swamp Thing is probably my favorite take on the character. Witty, manipulative, but with some charm, and that continued in Delano's Hellblazer. Once Garth Ennis took Hellblazer, he went in a very different direction that became the precedent for that book. So this book would be best to return to the original concept of the character.

Instead of just doing Hellblazer-lite, they should just treat the character as if Moore's Swamp Thing happened, but Hellblazer didn't.

I think the whole thing was inevitable because John was aging in real time at Vertigo, which inherently puts an expire date on him. But I'm not a fan of the N52 Constantine. I dropped Justice League Dark after that horrible origin for the character with Nick Necro in the zero issue. We'll see how Robert Venditti will do, but they should have given it to an English writer.

The nudity/swearing is hardly important to the book. There's more of a limit in the New 52, but given what the N52 books have gotten away with so far, it's not really an issue.

Posted by arnoldoaad

@Mr_Holmes said:

It depends on how they handle the new book. The original Constantine from Moore's Swamp Thing is probably my favorite take on the character. Witty, manipulative, but with some charm, and that continued in Delano's Hellblazer. Once Garth Ennis took Hellblazer, he went in a very different direction that became the precedent for that book. So this book would be best to return to the original concept of the character.

Instead of just doing Hellblazer-lite, they should just treat the character as if Moore's Swamp Thing happened, but Hellblazer didn't.

the funny thing is, I really think thats where they want to go for it in JLD

its just a weird to see him how he was in Moore and then he is now, I dont see it as a different character but as a different take on the character

The Constantine of Moore was kind of the ultimate manipulator, but he didnt need to hide, he was right there front and center dealing with what needed to be done

I think the whole thing was inevitable because John was aging in real time at Vertigo, which inherently puts an expire date on him. But I'm not a fan of the N52 Constantine. I dropped Justice League Dark after that horrible origin for the character with Nick Necro in the zero issue. We'll see how Robert Venditti will do, but they should have given it to an English writer.

I recently read Venditti's X-O Manowar and its pretty good, but besides that i thought he was the Perfect writer for Demon Knights after Cornel, his medieval/ancient stuff there are just very well handled and he has a very diverse approach with the characters voices

but i really dont know how he will handle Constantine, i just have no idea

The nudity/swearing is hardly important to the book. There's more of a limit in the New 52, but given what the N52 books have gotten away with so far, it's not really an issue.

I dont think thats the problem

but if you have a title like Hellblazer where just the most balls to the wall kind of things can happen, and then is replaced by a more "restricted" version, it is just not going to work

and you just cant make a book like this and make it a T+, it needs to have that M on the cover, cause it doesnt matter if there is nudity, if there is swearing or drugs or sex in the actual issues, but the M, makes it sure that it wont be restricted, that this will be the we can see DC characters acting in a more Vertigo-esque manner, and lets be honest, who the hell doesnt want to see that, but I just check the solicits for Constantine #1 and it a T+

What I want for the title is for it to be more like a vertigo book with DC characters, rather than a DC book with Vertigo characters, which is kind of what i wanted for JLD, but it is definitely the other way around

I still enjoy JLD but i which it was a little bit darker and mature. and what is bringing it down is definitely not Lemire is the editorial management of the title, Brian Cunningham(yeah, that one) is editing the book since chp 10 and you can really tell that there is tighter grasp since then, like in a recent issue Constantin brought in Amethyst and Andrew Bennet from completely out of nowhere, and just judging from the writing you can really tell that Lemire was just using them out of mandate but the story doesnt feel like is flowing well because of it, even though the characters were well written and did something interesting