Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Hellblazer by Garth Ennis issue #62

"Sometimes people are just themselves, not what other people hope they'll be." 

Taking a break from the devil chasing after his heels, John Constantine with his girlfriend Kit Ryan visit his sister and niece Cheryl and Gemma respectively. This was a nice standalone piece that further emphasizes how far John has come along since Newcastle and Dangerous Habits as well as from tons of other twisted shit that he has gotten himself viciously entangled with. This was remarkable in its simplicity and very insightful about John's relationship with three important women in his life, an examination that was more hopeful and optimistic than that of Delano's own take which I find very refreshing.

I think Garth Ennis' twelve issues so far have been a mixed bag but the pros really outweigh the cons so I'm still riveted enough to keep reading. This story is a welcome pace because readers get to see more of John's family whom he last encountered under trying circumstances, specifically when it came to his niece Gemma. As a Constantine, Gemma is showing potentials and interest towards the occult much to her mother's chagrin. She immediately accuses John and blames him for introducing Gemma to this stuff and John appeases her and tells her that he would never want Gemma to get her life royally mucked up by following after his footsteps. So, he confronts some asshole who got Gemma hooked up into using some mild form of witchcraft, and curses him...only he was just making it up and only hopes to scare the kid straight which was effective. Next, we get Kit having a nice heart-to-heart chat with Gemma, treating her like a responsible adult and expecting her to make the right choices which Gemma welcomed this kindess after all that paranoid parental pressure from Cheryl. 

Gemma makes a comment Kit is so good for John and that she's his redemption, his last shot of making things right as Cheryl also believes. In response, Kit merely pointed out that she loves John for who he is and not for whatever version people around him want him to be, let alone herself. As much as she doesn't like to get involved with the occult stuff, she accepts that this is a part of John and she's not going to get picky on the parts that she wants and get rid of the rest. I know for a fact that Kit will never approve of John's vocation but she supports and nurtures him anyway and as a fan of them both, I only wish for nothing but success and happiness for their relationship. Kit truly has been a positive influence on John and I hope this keeps up.

Another great moment in this issue was when John dug up an old ancestor who was cursed by some witch to never die so he basically just lives down there in the grave in an agonizing immortality he never wished for. This was actually the second time John talked to him; the first time he was an arrogant cocksucker who believes he will never end up repeating history like so many other Constantines before him. Now he comes back to make amends and to talk about his niece since he fears for her future as someone who belongs to the lineage of massive fuck-ups. Brandon Constantine, this ancestor, doesn't offer him solace because he asserts that it's still going to be ultimately Gemma's choice whether or not she wants to go down that dark, familiar road. As gratitude for being a sound board for John's thoughts, he grants Brandon the death he craves which was a long time coming.

Later, John comes home with a hopeful resignation that this time around things will be different for him and he wishes the same for Gemma, trusting on her inherent goodness and ability to make the right decisions just as Kit has claimed earlier. The muted yet soulful atmosphere of this issue was well done. Ennis' narrative is a slow burn most times but when it does light up, it is spectacular to behold!


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