Friday, May 5, 2017

Hellblazer by Paul Jenkins issue #103

I was incredibly shocked yet still quite delighted about the very first pages of this issue. I had not expected for Jenkins to go into such a dark route so early like this and the content of such material is as gritty as one can easily expect from the usual Hellblazer story Still, even though I fairly consider myself to possess a very strong stomach for gore and macabre in general, there are key scenes here and there that sent a chill down my spine.

In the previous issue, John realized that he fucked up when he removed his baggage from himself just so he can literally cast it down to hell. Now he has to go on a quest to measure just how deep his fuck-up goes. A good sixty-percent of these pages were devoted to this asshole named Pritchard who apparently  got off sending the police fake recordings of murder/rape confessions. 

The trouble was he never committed the crimes himself and so only diverted attention from the real killers who had taken lives. The allure of duping the cops and sending them to a goose chase while the killers themselves got away and may have even killed more is apparently such a turn-on for this Pritchard wanker. When we were introduced to his sickening hobby, he had just finished off with victim #8 whom the news had specified died only a day after that fake confession had been submitted. If only the police didn't take it seriously, they could have caught the killer day sooner. 

It's definitely some real disturbing shit, but John Constantine made it his personal mission to go see and look this wacko in the eye just so he glimpse at the abyss again and taste this certain flavor of evil that defies any kind of morality and logic. His decision to confront Pritchard and bring him to justice was motivated more of less of the journey he must take. I like how Constantine was repulsed by what he had discovered, but he also remained very level-headed about the entire ordeal. 

For what it's worth, I think this issue's narrative in particular sounded almost as memorably creepy as Delano's back in the earlier run. The depravity that marked Garth Ennis' style of choosing storylines was also present, but Jenkins managed to keep it cohesive without bothering with bullshit distractions unlike his predecessor had often done with certain arcs that are more spectacle than actual substance. I think Jenkins can be that perfect balance between Delano and Ennis' styles. There are elements that remind me of both previous writers which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Jenkins' own writing stands out by itself so I shall reserve any other comparisons so I can enjoy what he offers in the present as oppose to how that measures up to his predecessors' work.

John Constantine started climbing the mountains now. I'd like to say he's in sudden mood to hike and camp around but the truth, of course, is because he was pulled into this strange valley that I think is paranormal in itself, based from his explanations about it at least. Nightmares and fears lurk in these mountains/valley. Like, personified versions of nightmares and fears that you only think about at night or when you're most vulnerable. So yeah, best place to just lay for camp and sleep without any lights on. 

The best  part is what awaited John. Why should any of us be surprised that he would encounter a zombified version of himself?


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