Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Hellblazer by Garth Ennis issue #59


So here we are at the very start of the trilogy story arc by current Hellblazer writer Garth Ennis entitled Guys and Dolls which focuses on John Constantine's battle with the First of the Fallen. This opener issue simply establishes the important points of the plot so this is all just basic exposition but one that unmistakably piqued my interest already. This seems like a big fuss.

In Fallen Women, we get a succinct introduction to the First of the Fallen by immediately abolishing all notions that he is the same person as Lucifer Morningstar, a character whom Neil Gaiman is currently using for another Vertigo title, The Sandman, specifically for his Seasons of Mists storyline. Both series are being written side by side back then so it's best to differentiate between Lucifer and the First of the Fallen who remains nameless at this point save the ominous title.


In fact, there were brief mentions of Gaiman's story concerning Morpheus' travel to hell in search of his helmet. His encounter with Lucifer was not pleasant but around the second time they met so Morpheus could free his former lover after he damned her to hell for rejecting him (and we think John has issues with intimacy and women!), Lucifer was much more forthcoming about things, complaining about his role as one of the kings of Hell and outright quits his post and gives Morpheus the keys to Hell which the dream-lord bequeaths to the two angels from heaven. This is the timeline where Guys and Dolls start in. 

The First of the Fallen contemplates about Lucifer's weakness since an angel like him could never really rule Hell wholeheartedly, as well as give hints to whatever grudge he may have against our titular hero. He was supposed to use this woman named Ellie who seemed connected to John somehow (it's a secret though...for now), but she escaped Hell in the brink of time and John finds her easily enough. She proceeds to warn him about his impeding doom.

I wonder what her connection is with John. She could be yet another former flame he doomed or left behind. Whoever she is, John readily helps her, going so far as not telling Kit about it, at least not yet. I wonder how this is going to impact their newfound and stable relationship since I know that this is the first time in a long time John has someone who serves as an anchor that could save him from his own self-annihilation--and he intends to make it work for both of them. There was even a panel earlier where John thought about quitting the occult and the twisted complexities that come with it but decided against it because he knows he has a score to settle with a lot of people, and tons of shit to make up for because of past transgressions. So far I don't have a clue where this plot is going and what was the First of the Fallen's gripe with him. Is it because of the Dangerous Habits arc mishap? It's been seven months since I read Hellblazer so my memory fails me. And yet they never mention this here in this opener but I will go ahead and assume FotF was one of the demons John fooled into claiming his soul and now he's going to do whatever it takes to own Constantine for himself alone without the other Hell-kings getting in the way. And Ellie seems to be the key to that.

Overall, this is a promising issue. I can't wait to see how this unravels in the next two installments ahead.

RECOMMENDED: 8/10

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