I had just finished reading new writer Paul Jenkins' two-parter story in nineties Hellblazer in which readers witness John Constantine's pursuit and eventual and momentous interaction with a rainbow snake while he is slumming it up with the Aborigines in Australia. Yes, I did just write that loaded sentence, and I could just leave it as that. That sentence should suffice as my official review for issues #88-90 because, really, what more can be said? Isn't that statement vivid and colorful enough to make up for whatever arduous length I have planned of this review (which wouldn't be that much, mind you)? Let me be real now: reading Hellblazer after that surprise Delano issue #85 is sort of a little dire and baffling, five issues in. Like, I was properly pissed by Eddie Campbell's forgettable storyline about mad ghosts and murderous cats and whatever fuck-all end-of-the-world crisis Constantine managed to put a stop to. Now we have Paul Jenkins' two-parter which honestly reads like an acid trip. I don't want to get needlessly discriminatory all of a sudden BUT YES THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT I WANT TO DO NOW.
I think that even Vertigo's Hellblazer series wasn't safe from the general drought that has permeated the comics industry during the nineties. I mean, if I'm simply only basing this observation with Campbell's Warped Notions and Jenkins' two-parter, then, yeah, Hellblazer is sorta sucky at this point. Not that Jenkins' story wasn't compelling. I think there are a few parts of the issues that I enjoyed and even laughed at audibly while my brother is sleeping very comfortably next to me. I had to stare at a few of Sean Phillips' illustrations and just admire them too. I never really took special notice of the artist's work for Hellblazer (and Phillips has been a constant one), but I think I only do so when it's the only worthwhile thing to look at and appreciate in the story. Jamie Delano's writing was far too sublime and heavy in the symbolism at times too that Phillip's visual rendering take a backseat, and I don't get to comment on it as much, but I did so here with Jenkins' mystical exploration of an Australian myth where the 'whiteman' representative John Constantine battles a rainbow snake.
It's basically like that horror movie Anaconda only while you're tripping balls and laughing at a few things in the background. Or--if you're well-versed in the arts of getting high in horror movies--it's how one should normally watch Anaconda. That's what Jenkins' two-parter story was in a nutshell...and nothing more.
Now I'm sure there is some socio-political commentary about white man vs. the natives which I can tackle here in the review, but Jenkins' writing doesn't even warrant that. And I'm frankly never going to be in the mood to discuss themes like that for a formulaic, paranormal series. Garth Ennis did a piece like this with Damnation Flame and y'all should know how much I hated the piss out of that. Only Jamie Delano got it right with his clever satirical oneshot piece from an earlier issue. So, I would like to beseech future Hellblazer writers to stop inserting political themes in this series especially if they don't work. Like, oh my god, stop trying to make fetch (or political Hellblazer), guys!
|But Mean Girls quote memes are still up-for-grabs!|
So after the boring clusterfuck that was Warped Notions, Constantine is still stranded in Australia, and he decided to go on a dreamtime journey with the Aborigines who bemoan the sins of the white man. They paint him in spells and then made him blow a horn so he could fall into a trance and visit the water dwelling of the bitchy rainbow snake who has had enough shit about the white men populating the fertile areas of the Aborigines. I'm surprised John was able to blow that horn, considering how much cancer sticks he smokes a day. But he succeeds traveling in dreams and even gets to talk to a dead kangaroo. What a vision quest, amirite? Things only get serious when crabby-much rainbow snake was totes unwelcoming to John, which was odd because you would think that a cold-blooded reptile named 'rainbow' snake would be all buy-you-all-drinks fun and not a party pooper, but rainbow snake is exactly that. But at least the giant carnivorous fiend looks fab as shit:
|This sexy beast should be a mascot for a gay pride parade. I mean, why isn't it already?|
I have nothing more to say about this story. You can read the issues for yourself and leave me alone!