Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Hellblazer by Paul Jenkins issue #104

Much like John Constantine, I myself am going through something shitty right now which is why it's taking me a while to read and review comics again as far as the beginning of April this year when I was still doing Batman reviews at my other blog. It was one thing when I was single and perfectly happy about that singlehood which is how I got started in reviewing comics in the first place back in 2014. It's another thing now that I'm currently nursing a broken heart and struggling to fill that void with the very things that used to make me happy enough or provide me solace, but even doing those same things again can't lift up my damn spirits either. That's exactly how I think John feels at the moment; just shitty and now has to find his way through the muck.

And aren't we all just trying to find our way through the shit life would invariably sling-shoot at us from unexpected and often unfair directions? Haven't all of us, at one point in our lives, stood in the middle of an ongoing shit-storm and almost died? Hellblazer as a comics series basically rehashes the same thematic message during a  few of its character-centric arcs; that life is encrusted with shit upon more shit, and we're just going to have to deal and endure it all if we ever hope to see a silver lining. And John has lived through the worst shit which was more or less a  product of even shittier choices. That's typical Hellblazer.

Last issue, Constantine re-acquainted himself with the mundane things that can make a human being commit atrocities, even the small and unnoticed kind that quietly thrives and poisons the light. In this case, it's a failed aspiring actor in his middle age named Pritchard who recorded fake confessions about serial killings to mislead the police which meant that the real killers who committed the crimes got away in consequence of him playing crying-wolf. That was really sickening for me to read, and John himself was just as aggravated to be reminded yet again why some humans are just too horrible and inhumane to even be allowed to live. But knowing the worst of humanity and fighting its malice and cruelty is exactly the foundation of John's fascination for the occult. So he goes to some mysterious mountains where the veil between the normal and paranormal is weak, allowing certain entities and creatures to trespass and make their stay. It was in these mountains that he became re-acquainted with the personification of himself whom he doomed to hell.

This John Constantine supposedly contained all the bad parts of his emotional baggage; the guilt, the ego, the scars of his wrong decisions, his broken heart and soul bereft of hope and redemption. John performed this clever ritual of separating himself into two halves so he can escape his contract with the First of the Fallen (the Devil) which was why he was living and breathing on earth these days while another version of him is suffering in perdition. Of course, that clever trick cost him more than he realized. To have severed himself from his worst parts was to make himself hollow too for what is a human being if not the marriage of light and dark?

John finally makes this realization in the nick of time and tries to persuade his other half to come back to him:

The other John was far too content with his damnation at this point, so he refuses and then walks away with a smile on his face. So now John has to explore another option to retrieve back some of his darkness again. And he resolves that by having sex with a succubus, the demon named Ellie whom he had a good, working relationship with previously. Now he had to successfully burn down that delicate friendship by duping her into believe he was in love with her so she will fuck him. At this point, I don't even know why I still root for John Constantine, really. I was pretty shocked he would resort to something to tawdry, but then again I shouldn't put it past him either. He pulled the same shit with Zed before; when he copulated with her so infect her womb with demon blood which he was still carrying back then. Yeah, I don't know. I suppose I can't end my review for this issue on a good note, so I'm not going to bother; most certainly not with how John just handled his crisis, and how I'm still struggling with one of my own.

Life is shit made up of even shittier choices. John's dealing with it. We should all learn to deal with it.


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