Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Hellblazer by Paul Jenkins issue #105

Happy birthday, Mr. John Constantine! Honestly, I think my reviews look like the date postage is happening a day later than what should be, but you probably won't notice if you're reading this in the US. I live in Asia so I'm a day ahead than Americans. That means if I'm writing this review at the moment on the 11th of May, it would still be evening of the 10th there. So yes, it's still John Constantine's birthday.

I can't think of a better issue to celebrate that than this one which is more or less something of a filler, but a rather fun and enlightening one I had a good time reading and chuckling about. It's a really pleasant filler.

On semi-related news, the major conflict that was the root of my recent personal drama had been somewhat resolved; not in the way I wanted and wished for but definitely in the way I needed. It's probably why my muse for writing in general has been revived now. See, a great part of why I write lately had been anchored to the connection and chemistry I found with a certain someone, and for a time when our relations were in the rocks, I was also losing a significant part of what made me enjoy and love writing to begin with. 

I will never have any regrets that we found each other, but I also think it's time for us to both heal separately and find a way to be the people we want to be outside of the little world we built together back when we were so in love. I suppose it was sort of what Constantine and his serious girlfriend Kit had done too during Ennis' run when they were going through the painful cycle of breaking up. Something needs to break but I myself will no longer stubbornly collect the shards and try my darndest to glue them all back together. 

It's insane to torture myself with being so bullheaded and refusing to let go because I've never been one to give up on anything, even a relationship that had already run its course. I'm old enough to know that heartbreaks are learning experiences, and I could finally start moving on and accept that although this beautiful person might no longer be my lover---who says he can't be my friend after this? I think we owe it to each other to see other possibilities that our connection could thrive and grow from.

Anyway! Back to this motherfucking filler of an issue! We get an interesting flashback about the past concerning Samuel Coleridge. You know, the poet and theologian who was besties with William Wordsworth, the guy who wrote about daffodils. Anyway, the celestial beings known as the angels took interest in Mr. Coleridge because they want a better representation of Heaven to mortals and who better write it in great, lavish details than the founder of the Romantic Movement itself? So, while Sammy was busy getting high (literally, Coleridge is an aficionado in the recreational use of drugs because who the hell isn't back in those days especially when you're a goddamn poet?), the angels began influencing his consciousness with some harmless tinkering on his imagination. 

Now how does this relate to anything John Constantine? Well, it turned out that Sammy's supplier is none other than a distant relative named James Constantine who, of course, also deals with the occult stuff. Them Constantines, you know, they love to dabble with the supernatural stuff going back to generations. Does this surprise me? Not at all! There was her ladyship Johanna Constantine after all, who was a recurring character in Neil Gaiman's The Sandman series. She was a badass aristocrat-adventuress on her own, and she helped the titular character about all that nasty business concerning his son Orpheus. But I digress. My point is the Constantines are nuts! Their lineage had been steeped in mystical energies and even dark magic for a long time and John is just the latest addition to that, if not his niece Gemma Masters who had started manifesting her own powers herself.

So as the angels tinkered with Sammy, James appeared in the doorway, righteously indignant that the celestials are attempting on doing 'propaganda'. What I liked about the confrontation was how mollified James was in the same way a father would be if his children were doing something naughty behind his back. Constantines never play favorites especially among angels and demons. They exorcise the bad fuckers, sure, but they don't win any good graces with the halo-wearing counterparts either. And as a drug supplier, it's good to know that James still looks out after his clientèle outside the drug-dealing business. He's a really serious fellow who is a big believer in keeping things separate between mortals and celestials. Because free will and all!

Here's a really amusing page of how he scolds the shit out of some angels:

Let 'em bloody humans fuck up by themselves and be accountable for the mess, you wankers!

John Constantine finds out about this tale through some woman he and a friend of his had been staying with. She's a distant descendant of Coleridge herself. As soon as John heard this story, it definitely raised his eyebrows, and whether or not it's true is up to debate. Knowing John, however, I think he would be more inclined to believe his ancestor was a drug supplier. That part of the account cannot be contested. In a nutshell, this was a really nice filler as far as fillers go. And a happy birthday again to Johnny boy!


RECOMMENDED: 7/10

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