writer: Mike Carey
artist: Marcelo Frusin
what do you know: this is shaping up to be a proper Hellblazer
story arc after all.
If I talked
you out of buying the first two issues of "Staring at
the Wall," go ahead and buy or borrow them now. I'll
be here when you get back....
So now we all know that the shadow dog that seemed like a
rather tame manifestation for a world-threatening evil wasn't
the real threat after all. Good. The real threat turns out
not to be someone from John Constantine's past after all,
at least not someone I remember reading about. Even better.
John Constantine gets his ass handed to him and then goes
to visit a huge freakin' scary demon in what might as well
be Hell, and we can't really be sure if he has a plan or not.
of what works about this issue is highly reminiscent of what
worked about Delano's and Ennis's runs. It almost feels as
though Delano conceived and storyboarded the first third or
so and then had Ennis take over for the rest.
finally have to give Carey his due, because the lucid mania
of the possessed characters and the theological basis of the
story (however apocryphal) are all his, and they're key. Constantine
is still mostly just a blond guy in a trenchcoat, as opaque
as he was under Azzarello's term, but at least he's doing
recognizable Constantine poses, and...okay, there's a two-page
spread by Frusin that makes this issue.
Frusin's artwork in this issue is unusually uneven, and perhaps
tellingly the title character suffers the worst. His facial
hair changes from scene to scene and sometimes panel to panel.
Maybe he shaves at one point, but it really seems like he
has more important things to worry about. Also, Angie's --
how can I put this tastefully -- formerly generous hourglass
figure has dwindled to an Aguilera-esque pair of crossed shrinkwrapped
knitting needles. Maybe it's Not Really Her! Or maybe
she's taken up Atkins, but again, more important things to
by the way, it looks like Gemma may be set up to save the
day. That's the role she's been deserving since the beginning.
if you read Hellblazer, this is the stuff you're reading
for. Let's hope the episode doesn't end with everything back
to normal and a hearty chuckle over pints. For the story to
be memorable in the long run, the inevitable victory must
come with consequences.