Friday, May 12, 2017

Hellblazer by Paul Jenkins issue #107

The second and final installment of the story arc In Line of Fire was as simple as it can get as far as conclusions go. It's not a bad story, but it didn't offer anything much except a fluff piece that had a nice enough sentiment behind it. I enjoyed it as it is although it does baffle me until now why this arc in particular became the titular one for the collected tenth volume. Because...the phrase 'in line of fire' sounded good on paper? I really don't understand the editorial choice for that.

A short recap: John was in some pseudo-suburbs place to visit an old couple who are his friends from a while back, I'm guessing. I wasn't really given enough backstory about his exact relationship with them, so I'm just going to chalk this as, "John Constantine knows lots of folks from all walks of life" sort of thing. While making nice, he also stumbled upon a haunted flat where the tortured ghost of a World War 2 soldier resides. 

Telepathically, John became privy to this poor man's tragedy; that he survived the war only because of the promise of returning to his sweetheart one fateful day. That reunion never happened, and he ended up hanging himself in his dreary flat. Afterwards, some racist asshole landlord hands John an eviction notice for that haunted flat that used to be hidden away for decades. But thanks to John unveiling what's underneath the iron curtain, however, this same flat became visible now to ordinary humans. Typical Constantine stuff as always.

But John decided to take responsibility and approached the help of an overweight medium who was more than eager to help especially after being offered access to Alistair Crowley whom John previously condemned to Hell during his nifty trick to dupe the First of the Fallen. So John takes this medium with to the haunted flat so they can speak face-to-face as men, and this was when another surprising twist was revealed. The dead soldier's sweetheart all along was a woman named Ellen, or, as John knew her best--Nellie, the elderly woman he was chummy with next door alongside her  husband. What are the fucking odds, right?

So John finally arranges the reunion this ghost had been longing for in decades and they get to have a nice chat and some much needed closure between the two of them. Like I said, it's sweet moment of connection, and something I hope John would feel good about since he deserved some silver lining every chance he gets, you know. The issue ends in an anticlimactic moment with the landlord approaching the haunted flat to start doing the eviction thing . John also made Nellie forget about what happened (which was...shitty, I guess) and then John moves on to the next crazy adventure with hopefully more grim action than this.

My reviews have been less than stellar, I know, mostly because I really don't have much to say about some issues lately. I might begin doing mass reviews much like last year where I would combine three issues into one post. I think Jenkins doesn't really offer me enough material to review and discuss, quite frankly. I had the same problem with his earlier issues too which was why I even decided to do a mass review to begin with. There are also pressing concerns in real life that prevent me from reading and reviewing issues quicker, so I think it might save me time if I just do a three-in-one review next time. 

RECOMMENDED: 7/10

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