Thursday, August 27, 2015

Hellblazer by Garth Ennis issue #82 [Rake at the Gates of Hell part 5]

"You're a man who inspires maximum loyalty with the most minimum of effort, do you know that?" ~Kit Ryan to John Constantine

Measure of Dreams is the fifth installment of the impressive story arc Rake at the Gates of Hell. It touched upon the closure between John Constantine and Kit Ryan, a woman he loved like no other, after being apart for a year. Their initial break-up ended very badly so I know it was only a matter of time before these two fiercely individualistic and passionate people find their way back just so they can pick up the broken pieces and make the necessary amends. I find their relationship to be well-developed enough to have an emotional investment on, honestly.

Personally, the two most notable contributions that Ennis bequeathed the Hellblazer series is the iconic Dangerous Habits and the character of Kit Ryan whom John began a meaningful monogamous relationship with. She was a great breath of fresh hair that stands out from the previous women John only shacked up with and then nearly destroyed once the affair burned cold. Kit was sincere, beautiful, assertive and devoted to John in a way that does not diminish her person, and that's why I thought she was a great companion to John when it lasted. 

But it didn't, mostly because Kit does not want to have anything to do with the crazy, dark side of being with a man as haunted as John; and the moment she got a taste of that, she was left with no choice but to discontinue the relationship. I find it brave and wise of her to make such a decision. Most women would stick around for their man, believing they can fix or save him if they loved him hard enough. Not someone as sensible like Kit though.

She really, really loved John for who he is and not what he could become and that was something I will always adore her for. In this issue, they finally had one night together to talk about how both of them fucked up their break-up conversation since Kit has got quite a temper and John purposefully got her angry at him just to avoid a more mature conversation. And now they are having said talk and I can tell it was cathartic for both parties especially to me as a reader who has been a supporter of this couple from the very beginning. They were old friends; Kit was the ex of the late Brendan, one of John's mates and possibly the only one aside from Chas who had always understood what John is all about perfectly. Kit loved John not because of his charisma or infamy as a occultist but rather because she could see through that costume and acknowledge the insecure man underneath who does long for a stable, home life and she was eager enough to provide him that. 

The most notable moment for this issue had to be when John apologizes and begs Kit to take him back and she gently refuses---and then he goes off on her, and then she yells at him to grow the fuck up or something--and then they make up and apologize together again. It's just so amusing how much they challenge each other and through such tension and strong will, they are even able to improve each other's perspective about general things. In the end, though, this relationship had run its course. Both knew it but only Kit was fully able to say it out loud and begged John to let her move on. Finally, John realized that she had a life to live he can never be a part of and he had debts to pay she should never become a sacrifice for. They spent the entire night making love for the last time. In the morning, Kit packs up her bags to go back to Belfast and John tries to reach out to her from the bed but they end up waving each other goodbye instead. This lasted about a good eighty-percent of the issue. 

The rest of it was about the racial riots surrounding the secondary character George and John finally finding out what happened to Nigel (poor guy got murdered and once again belongs to the long list of friends who got caught up in a crossfire between John and whatever monster is out to get him--and didn't make it out alive). John goes to the balcony to grieve in one panel and then the very last frame shows the Devil himself standing next to John, claiming that the havoc in the streets between the African-British youth and the police might have been connected to his appearance on earth, and that such a fatal commotion is exactly his kind of town.

I'm going to start reading the last installment of this arc as soon as I post this.


RECOMMENDED: 8/10

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