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Hellblazer Vol 1 Original Sins: John Constantine’s Intro Is Rough around the Edges but is Still a Good Read
Hellblazer Volume 1: Original Sins by Jamie Delano
If you have been reading any of my review you may very have seen me mention I that have received a kindle for my last birthday. On it I found the sales that have not been any match for my yard sale and thrift store shopping habits. But the device had opened the door to the world of graphic novels. A world I actually did enjoy way back in my junior high days. For this review I decided to read one of my favorites from way back when. So here is my review of the first volume of Hellblazer called Original Sins, written for the most part by Jamie Delano.
So what is it about? It follows John Constantine a British, alcoholic, chain smoking, lower level magician, and part time exorcist. There has been both a movie and TV show following this rough around the edges antihero so the subject matter may ring the bells if you never heard of the comic. The collection of the stories follows Constantine as he encounters different supernatural confrontations but this is more of an introduction to the character itself as it focuses on how he’s haunted by the fact those he love die because of him and it also follows a major story arc focuses on his relationship with a woman named Zed.
So the good? There are some really great stories here. Some are downright scary and incredibly original. The artwork was this sketch style which is not that amazing but in some panels the artist twisted the whole page into beautiful pulpy piece of art and I like that. I gave the story a very unique sense of style. Also Constantine is such an interesting character. When it someone to him or a friend is at stake he’ll do something about the issue. But when there’s no close a personal involvement, he’ll just stand on the side lines and let things happen. It’s an antihero that not necessarily likable, but clearly has a heart of some sort. There’s complexities there and it makes me want to learn more about the layered character. The character also has this witty dry sense of humor that makes some scenes pretty great.
The bad? This is a collection of short stories. Like any collection of stories, there were a couple duds. But that’s not the biggest issues. There were two ones worth noting. One is that for someone unfamiliar with the character this is a rough start. The mythology is never properly introduced and we know about Constantine is the little we learn along the way. We never know where he came from, his backstory, or how he can even earns money. It was a bit disappointed to see nothing fully explained. Also I had a problem with the last story in the collection that focused on Swamp Thing. Apparently the monster uses John’s body to have sex with the monster’s human girlfriend. It is some weird and creepy and a very confusing until the end. At a point it was incredibly uncomfortable, because it made the story look like it was leading into a rape scene. It was all just very bizarre and creepy for all the wrong reasons. I don’t know how Constantine ties into Swamp Thing’s mythology but it played out like some bizarre fan fiction I rather not know about. Also that last swamp thing story did something I have grown to hate lately. It crow barred name drops of other DC heroes Batman, Superman, and The Flash. And when I see it, and it’s super inorganic to the story, I feel like it’s a mini commercial.
Overall, the majority of this is a great read. It’s rough around the edges but a very enjoyable. If you enjoy horror comics it may be worth a look. I recommend it to horror fans who are at least sixteen or older. A lot of this most definitely not meant for kids.
3 smoothies out of four.
Overall Rating: John Constantine’s Intro Is Rough around the Edges but is Still a Good Read