Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Hellblazer by Jamie Delano issue #5

I was perturbed with what I just read. I still can't find the words since yesterday but I'm going to have to suck it up and start reviewing because I feel like I'm losing momentum here. As far as first impressions go, I thought this issue (When Johnny comes marching home) was interesting but otherwise quite exhausting and confusing to get through.  It's not even the premise itself that made it hard for me to wrap my head around it. I actually adore stories on the psychological effects of warfare on soldiers especially the distress that comes from the aftershocks of committing inhumane and violent actions that they justify as mere by-products of war. In that sense, this issue should have been a great read for me. In some parts, it was. But for some other parts, it just became irritatingly confounding.

I can't help but feel immensely disconnected from what I was reading. Delano's prose is top-notch descriptive and vivid as always but I can't bring myself to care about what happens to the characters, not even the soldiers with their PTSD whom I do feel sorry for. But again, it didn't seem enough because I wasn't sure what the direction or message of this issue were. I was grasping on straws the entire time. I knew what I was witnessing was tragic and it was unfolding in such a solemn way that I would have been more moved if I understood why it was happening. I supposed we will get some enlightenment on the later issues after this because I believe even Constantine himself is confused as fuck.

And this brings me to my next point. John Constantine didn't take any active role for this story and such inaction serves a bigger purpose, apparently. He was merely an observer like he's in some sort of wild-life documentary where he cannot interact or intervene which means that while all this gruesome things were happening around him, he made a decision not to interfere. The most extreme portrayal of which is when he watched a deranged husband rape his own wife. John hid in view and didn't make a sound. That was pretty cold no matter how understandable his motives were by not stopping it. It would have been agonizing for anyone in that situation but I think John was actually skilled in distancing himself from this sickening environment. I perfectly understood why he did it, though. I suppose he was gathering intel and he needed to see for himself the gravity and measure of what he is up against, these Resurrection Crusaders as they call themselves.

I think I'll rate this the lowest from what I read so far because there was enjoyment or pleasure while reading. I also wasn't sure I also liked the way John was characterized here even if it was a logical direction.

RECOMMENDED (sort of): 6/10

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