Thursday, August 6, 2015

Hellblazer by Garth Ennis issue #55


What are you gonna do, John?" "What I always do: screw them before they screw me."
On that delightful note, let's talk about the conclusion of Garth Ennis' Royal Blood story arc which has been mildly amusing and predictable but still entertaining enough to keep me reading and see through the ending. This wouldn't be an arc I would consider as one of the finest but it definitely marked the new John Constantine who just happens to be more relaxed and optimistic than usual. Whatever personal baggage he may have had in Delano's run was not carried during this case which gave him an advantage because he has operated with a clear head to get himself out of this mess. And what a fucking heap of hot mess it was! Johnny sure knows how to pick 'em all right.

The previous issue ended with the possessed royal jerk jumping on John and taking a juicy bite out of his shoulder. Luckily l, Marstan's henchman was quick enough to draw his weapon and he gave the monster the bullet-on-the-kneecaps treatment. Afterwards, very stupid characters making stupid-ass decisions followed. I'm referring to goddamn Marstan, of course, who was the one who performed that satanic ritual to summon Calibraxis in the first place then hires John to clean up the mess. Marstan thinks he can control the demon and put a crowned prince in the British throne who also happens to be demonically possessed. Marstan has lofty ambitions to rule England the archaic way; by absolute evil monarchy and some shit like that. For some reasons, he thinks he can scare Constantine to submission. Just because Marstan had some experience with the occult he think he knows what he's up against.

John does and so, in a twist that everyone saw coming, he exorcises Calibraxis from the crowned prince (I'm assuming at this point that he is next in line for the throne but we never really got names) and commands Calibraxis to possess Marstan instead as John handcuffs him to a post and the rest watch Marstan eat himself. My favorite part was when he went for his fucking cock. That was a nice touch, Mr. Ennis because god knows we don't have enough sick stuff in this series. John didn't do this horrible thing out of some sadistic impulse. Marstan deserves to die via self-cannibalism while under demonic possession, okay? That's poetic justice at work. The clincher is when his soul was taken to hell and is now roomies with Sir William Gull, who we know from the last two issues as Jack the Ripper himself. That is the scrumptious cherry on top of this crap sundae that was Marstan's face. Good on you, John. You did the public a hefty service for punishing that disgusting bastard.

Really, though, did it not occur to Marstan that John fucking Constantine is no ordinary man and can unwittingly condemn him in hell just for being a vulgar jerkface cunt? Well, now he learned that lesson the hard way. John may be in a healthy relationship right now with a woman and has stopped hating himself but he's still the same sly motherfucker who will not hesitate to commit a heinous act to put a monster down. So, yeah, good on you, Johnny.

This ends the Royal Blood arc with the knowledge and comfort that the bad guys got their due. Can you believe that the actual demon Calibraxis is the least evil character here? I can. This is Hellblazer after all.


RECOMMENDED: 8/10

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