Thursday, September 19, 2013

Hellblazer #1 review

Hellblazer is a DC horror comic, which eventually switched over to the Vertigo imprint in 1993 written by Jamie Delano with art by John Ridgway, and covers by Dave McKean.  The protagonist, John Constantine, first appeared in Alan Moore's run of Swamp Thing, and this is his own spinoff title.

The debut story opens in NYC as a guy that works for the post office has some odd insatiable hunger to eat, so much so, he eats himself to death. 

Shortly thereafter, Constantine arrives home in NYC to his flat finding a junkie friend of his, Gary Lester, has holded up in his flat.  The place is infected with insects as well.
  
Constantine calls up a mate for help and then he hypnotizes Gary to find out the source of his madness.  We find out that his friend, while visiting Tangier, has come into contact with a demonic entity known as Mnemoth, and he traps it in a bottle.  Somehow the demon followed Gary back to NYC and is infecting others with this curious desire for hunger. 

This begins Constantine's search for Mnemoth the demon.  Jamie Delano has a nice writing style, sort of  a mixture of hard boiled prose and horror poetry.  The art conjures the mood perfectly as Ridgway employs scratchy, yet realistic looking art.  The panels are quite innovated too as he'll break them up into expressionistic puzzle-like swatches.  

The trail for Mnemoth takes Constantine to Africa where he indulges in a psychedelic trip with a shaman, back to NYC to a nightclub owned by a voodoo magician, then he meets up with the ghost of a former girlfriend, ending on a cliffhanger, which continues into issue 2. 

Forty pages of horror with no ads--they don't make them like this anymore.  Spooky stuff.

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