Monday, August 17, 2015

Hellblazer by Garth Ennis issue #67

"The pit opens behind me, the pit that's always waiting--it doesn't matter if I crawl out, I know I'll fall back in. Just a matter of time."

In a familiarly Hellblazer way,  John Constantine gets back to basics which is composed of yet having another shitty day of heartbreak, unmanageable rage and paralyzing guilt and self-loathing. What sucks is that, in a way, I actually wish for this as a reader. I've claimed that I enjoy John being so mature and happy and all-around confident about where he stands and who he is with--but the stories that came my way with that version of John are lackluster. Suddenly, he wasn't as interesting anymore. That's just sad, isn't it?

So, now we have to ask ourselves: do anti-heroes immediately lose their appeal once they stop feeling bad about the irreparable damage they cause everyone connected to them? Are they only worth reading about whenever they make bad decisions even when it's or the best intentions? Clearly, John lost some of his edge by being in a committed relationship, most probably because the driving force behind his characterization and narrative is the constant battle of overcoming his worst impulses in favor of the light. 

And through Kit Ryan, the woman he is in love with, he was given a second chance at redemption; to claim himself as worthy enough to have someone to care about him deeply as she had. The trouble is, Kit never wanted to be a part of his dangerous vocation and since the last two issues, Kit got a taste of the dark side always lurking by being around John and she can't have any of that. So, in a typical fashion, she ended things with him which was really only natural. Kit is no pushover and she's wise enough to realize that things will get even worse for her if she sticks around, no matter how much she loves John. Their break-up scene was as awful as one would expect; sporadic with lots of words spoken that can never be taken back and some words left unsaid. John sat alone in a bar, panicking about the future without Kit when three young men started getting under his nerves since he felt like they were making fun of him during this dire time. Afterwards, things became...wildly emotional.

He attacks them and it was so frightening. John breaks a bottle of booze in one kid's face and starts revealing the dark secret of the other, all the while complaining why he had to even save people like them from evil when they prove to be nothing but "tossers and bastards". Chas Chandler, in a timely manner, happens to pass by and witnesses this upsetting development so he tries to calm the proprietor of the bar down but gets punched in the face instead. He got John out of there and John reveals that Kit just left and Chas tries to be consoling but John just insults him and tells him that he would never understand how he feels so he better piss off. This time, Chas got more physically violent with John and ends up slamming his face twice on the coffee table then dunking his head on the toilet. Because...I DON'T KNOW. I've never expected Chas to do any of that! But John totally deserves getting mucked up like that. And that grating last line about Chas crawling back to him sooner or later was just the cherry on top of this shitfest-crusted cake.

With nowhere left to go, John Constantine drinks himself to a stupor as he found his way into a cemetery. He lay in one of the granite tombs and lost consciousness. It started raining, soaking him to the bone but never washing away a single thing about his despair and utter solitude. Meanwhile, Kit was on a ship to Belfast to completely leave behind her life with John and against her will she sheds angry tears about him. This issue, overall, is SAD SAD WHAT THE FUCK GODDAMMIT. That's how I felt the entire time I was reading. Oh well, Hellblazer is anything but sunshine and rainbows anyway. Hopefully, in the next issue, we get some slice of darkness that would preoccupy John for a while to divert him from his sorrows.


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