Tag Archives: hellblazer

Garth Ennis Returns to Baltimore Comic-Con 2019

Garth Ennis

Don’t miss the Baltimore Comic-Con this October 18-20, 2019 at the Inner Harbor’s Baltimore Convention Center. Baltimore Comic-Con has announced the return of legendary comics writer Garth Ennis as a 2019 guest.

Multiple award-winning Garth Ennis broke into the American Comic scene in 1991, taking over the writing reins on Hellblazer. after making a name for himself in the UK writing Judge Dredd. After a successful four-year run, Ennis moved on to create Preacher, a 66-issue epic that ran from 1995 -2000. In addition to these two ground-breaking series, he also had lengthy runs on DC’s The Demon and Hitman. At Marvel Comics, Ennis wrote Punisher and Fury.

He later wrote The Boys, a 72-issue story which began at DC’s Wildstorm imprint before moving to Dynamite Entertainment with issue #7. He has also penned titles such as Battlefields at Dynamite Entertainment, and Crossed and War Stories at Avatar Press. 

His more recent work includes titles such as Jimmy’s BastardsWalk through HellAfterShock Shock, and the original graphic novel Out of the Blue for AfterShock Comics, and World of Tanks: Citadel for Dark Horse Comics.

You can watch and enjoy on-screen adaptations of Ennis’ Preacher on AMC, and July 26, 2019 will see the premiere of The Boys on Amazon Prime Video.


In addition to on-site CGC grading, this year’s confirmed guests for the show include: Neal Adams (Detective Comics), Arantza (fantasy artist), Brian Azzarello (Batman: Damned), Marty Baumann (Disney/Pixar), Mark Buckingham (Justice League Dark), Richard Case (Doom Patrol), Castillo Studios, Howard Chaykin (Hey Kids! Comics!), Frank Cho (Harley Quinn), Amy Chu (KISS: The End), Steve Conley (The Middle Age), Katie Cook (My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic), Kristina Deak-Linsner (Vampirella: Roses for the Dead), Garth Ennis (The Boys, Friday and Saturday only), Ramona Fradon (The Mike Wieringo Tellos Tribute), Julie Fujii Sakai (Usagi Yojimbo: The Hidden), Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez (DC Nation), Juanjo Guarnido (Blacksad),  Bob Hall (West Coast Avengers), Cully Hamner (Batman Beyond), Greg Hildebrandt (Old Man Logan), Adam Hughes (Superman), Jamal Igle (Wrong Earth), Klaus Janson (New Challengers), Matt Kindt (X-O Manowar), Sharlene Kindt (Dept. H), Tom King (Batman), Greg Land (Hulkverines, courtesy of Hero Initiative), Jeff Lemire (Black Hammer), Joe Linsner (Red Sonja), Ron Marz (Turok), John McCrea (Hitman, courtesy of Hero Initiative), Carla Speed McNeil (Twisted Romance), Pop Mhan (Raven, Daughter of Darkness), Mark Morales (Justice League), Kevin Nowlan (Black Widow, courtesy of Hero Initiative), Greg Pak (Star Wars), Mike Perkins (Swamp Thing), David Petersen (Mouse Guard), Afua Richardson (Run), Rafer Roberts (Grumble), Andy Runton (Owly), Stan Sakai (Usagi Yojimbo), Bob Schreck (Batman: Hush), Erica Schultz (Xena: Warrior Princess), Bart Sears (Turok), Louise Simonson (Death of Superman), Walter Simonson (Ragnarok), Andy Smith (Demi-God), Allison Sohn (The Art of Red Sonja, Volume 2), Brian Stelfreeze (Rise of the Black Panther), William Stout (Fantastic Worlds – The Art of William Stout), Ty Templeton (Marvel Super-Hero Adventures, courtesy of Hero Initiative), Billy Tucci (Shi), Robert Venditti (Hawkman), Mark Waid (Avengers: No Road Home), Adam Warren (Empowered And Sistah Spooky’s High School Hell), Lee Weeks (Batman), John Workman (Riverdale), and Kelly Yates (Torchwood).

Music Icon Sting Announces Participation in the Constantine 30th Anniversary

In a special video, worldwide music icon Sting revealed he will pen the foreword to the John Constantine: Hellblazer: 30th Anniversary Celebration commemorative collection. Sting’s foreword will take on the perspective of the Golden Boy, Constantine’s alternate-universe twin, touching on his relationship with the occult detective over the years.

While wearing the iconic trenchcoat, Sting sees the resemblance between himself and the iconic comic character.

Starting with his first appearance, a debut penned by legendary writer Alan Moore, Constantine has served as an enduring and controversial pop culture character—an exorcist and demonologist, master of the dark arts, and the lead of DC Vertigo’s longest-running and most successful title.

The commemorative collection will explore the complete history of the series with four one-page essays written by Hellblazer author Rich Handley. It will also include a comprehensive timeline of Constantine’s life and three one-page stories featured in John Constantine: Hellblazer issues #1, 2 and 4. Memorable stories from Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Garth Ennis, Brian Azzarello, Paul Jenkins, Jamie Delano and others reflect the best of the long-lasting series, including Hellblazer issues #11, 27, 41, 63, 120, 146, 229 and 240 and Saga of the Swamp Thing #37, where the character was officially introduced.

John Constantine: Hellblazer: 30th Anniversary Celebration commemorative collection will be available October 30.

DC Rebirth Roundup: March 28th’s Comics

Welcome to Graphic Policy’s DC Rebirth Roundup where we take a look at most of the comics released under DC‘s Rebirth banner and try to work out just how accessible they are for new readers – we’ll also be providing  recap of sorts for the relevant story beats up until the issue in question in order to help you figure out if the series is something you’re interested in.

Each comic will receive a rating of Friendly or Unfriendly based on how easy it was for new readers to pick them up; the ratings are based solely on the issues released in the post-Rebirth ongoing series. More consideration regarding the comic’s accessibility will be given for the specific issue being read rather than the series overall, but if reading a back issue will help, then that will be mentioned. You’ll also notice that each comic will get a rating that falls on Graphic Policy’s typical ten point scale, which is there to help you pick between issues if you only want to check out one or two.

Not every comic is covered week to week, and that’s because I  sometimes forget to read them  (although that doesn’t happen often), or I really can’t bring myself to pick up the issue. If I have missed an issue, typically I won’t go looking for back issues to catch up on events – this feature is all about accessibility for new readers, after all.


 

DTC_Cv977Detective Comics #977 The team Batman had assembled to fight crime in Gotham has imploded, with Batwoman, Batwing and Azreal signing up with the Colony – a paramilitary group modeled off Batman. Last issue Tim Drake was approached by the former colony operative responsible for weapons development who wanted to prevent a dark future… As far as thing goes this is a Friendly issue, and one that provides an interesting snapshot into a possible future for Gotham. 7.5/10

The Flash #43 Slightly better than last issue, but this still isn’t great. To recap: Grodd stole the Speedforce from Barry, the Flash family stepped up to save the day, but Barry was a selfish jerk tried to steal back his powers because he didn’t trust anybody else to save the day. Upon getting his powers back, for reasons best attributed to shitty writing, Grodd had control of the Flash family through the Speedforce. While this is Friendly, it’s not something I’d recommend you reading. 5/10

Hal Jordan & The Green Lantern Corps #41 Kyle Raynor and Hal Jordan were attacked and captured while checking out a planet that happened to be General Zod’s new home. After a bit of a scrap as the rest of the Corps came to free them, we’re left with Hal Jordan verses General Zod. A Friendly issue that’s basically all a green brawl. It’s awesome. 8/10

HLB_Cv20The Hellblazer #20 It has been far too long since I read a Hellblazer comic, so there’s no recap, but this comic is still Friendly enough and enjoyable enough for new readers to jump in with no issues. 8/10

Justice League Of America #27 It’s a part one, he says. Should be Friendly, he says. It’s not. It’s an Unfriendly opening to a story that does little to draw me in. 6/10

Teen Titans #18 When Beast Boy left the Teen Titans and hooked up with a game company, the rest of the team stopped a bus from crashing into the river – driven by an otherwise great kid. Suspecting foul play, Robin found a doowhatsit in the kid’s brain, and guess which game company was responsible? Friendly and worth a read. 8/10

Suicide Squad #38 Part one of a new arc that finds the Squad being superseded by a one man wrecking ball – the super soldier code named The Wall. The rest of the background is relatively irrelevant as you’re brought up to speed on what you need to know as it happens; the comic is Friendly and entertaining. 7/10

Wonder Woman #43 An average comic at best which is Friendly in its simplicity. 6/10

 

Review: Hellblazer #1

HellblazerMoritatCoverLike the Rebirth issue, Hellblazer #1 brings back memories of the title’s hey-day in the 1980s when Rick Veitch was having John Constantine act as a vessel for Swamp Thing to have sex with his girlfriend Abby Holland  in Saga of the Swamp Thing, or when Jamie Delano had him running around with telepathic hippies. It’s the comic book equivalent of pulling out a battered guitar case from the attic that smells of whiskey, urine, and Silk Cuts, which are just a few of Constantine’s favorite things. But writer Simon Oliver seems to rely too much on these past stories to create new ones for John Constantine and Chas. However, his characterization is sharp as ever as Oliver writes Constantine as a manipulative bastard, who has a lot of built up guilt and regret from New York where he had a shot at settling down with the culinary skilled, family man Oliver. Add an intriguing cliffhanger that could lead to a sociopolitically interesting, slow burn story, and Hellblazer #1 ends up becoming an above average read.

Moritat‘s art is touch and go in Hellblazer #1. Any time there is motion, action, or body horror, your eyes are riveted to the page like a cinematic cold open where an angel stops another angel from potentially stopping World War I before it starts. Colorist Andre Syzmanowicz adds plenty of rusty browns and reds to this cinematic sequence, which make the pages smell like death culminating in a panel of a skull and a blunt rendition of the casualties in World War I and World War II from  He even can do humor too, such as the manner as Swamp Thing keeps popping up in Constantine’s life from Chas’ old client’s cannabis garden to a produce cart in New York.

However, where Moritat slips up is in the facial expression department, which is a shame because he is a pretty deft gesture cartoonist.  (See the panel where Mercury slowly flips Constantine off for asking her to help him find Swamp Thing’s girlfriend.) Unfortunately, his characters seem to only to do mild consternation or blank resignation, like when Constantine just stares at Swamp Thing. This lack of “acting range” takes some of the bite out of Oliver’s combative, Anglicism-filled dialogue with extra snark, especially when Mercury takes Constantine down a peg.

JohnvsMercury

Hellblazer #1’s greatest strength and the element of the comic that will keep me checking out the book is the way Simon Oliver has constructed the supporting cast even if some of his dialogue at this point leans a little too heavily on in-jokes to older Constantine stories. He writes Chas like a kind-hearted enabler, who enjoys driving around dangerous magicians and drug offenders. He is Constantine’s firmest supporter and hopefully one day, Constantine will let him know about what happened in New York. Oliver writes Swamp Thing with majesty, a little bit of warmth, and an “I owe you one.” kind of relationship with Constantine. Swamp Thing helped keep the Justice League off Constantine’s tail in Hellblazer Rebirth #1 so he must help him find Abby Holland in Hellblazer #1. But there’s no “American Gothic” retread as Oliver introduces Mercury into the mix. She has known Constantine since she was child and knows that his friends are better off without him. Oliver gives her the sharpest lines of dialogue and basically has her hijack the book as she is the one who ends up teaming up with Swamp Thing to find Abby, which is probably for the best. And hopefully we get to see their team up on the page even though this is technically John Constantine’s book.

With an ending that could be described as theological and also doesn’t connect to the Constantine/Swamp Thing/Mercury plot line at all, Hellblazer #1 has shown itself that it is a comic that both reveres the comic and character’s past while also treating its main character with the irreverence and disdain he kind of deserves. Simon Oliver, Moritat, and Andre Szymanowicz seem to be playing the long con in Hellblazer, and hopefully it pays off without skimping on the stellar characterization of Constantine and his not-so-merry band of brothers. (And a sister.)

Story: Simon Oliver Art: Moritat Colors: Andre Szymanowicz and Moritat
Story: 7 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.3 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: The Hellblazer: Rebirth #1

HELLB_Rebirth_Cover_1-1DC Comics’ most unlikely “hero” John Constantine returns to his home country of England in Hellblazer Rebirth #1 as writer/Vertigo veteran Simon Oliver (Last Gang in Townand artist Moritat (All-Star Westernjoin forces to show exactly how he re-crossed the pond when setting foot in London triggers a demon-caused skin disease in him. This isn’t a retelling of Constantine’s origins even though the demon that he faces in the issue does mock his childhood and mistakes as a magician , but a classic con from the anti-hero as he bargains  with eight million souls (The population of London) to get a curse removed from him so he can return home to London. He is written him not as heroic in the slightest, but as a magician and bastard, who doesn’t “give a fuck” (in his own words) and manipulates those close to him. Oliver does set up one possible long term goal for Constantine as the series progresses, which is the redemption of the soul that he damned to hell in his first magic accident back in Newcastle, Astrid that has caused him nightmares ever since Hellblazer Volume 1 almost 28 years ago.

Simon Oliver dabbles in several takes on Constantine in his Hellblazer Rebirth issue as he gives him the swagger of the gambler that sold his soul to three different demons in Garth Ennis’ run, the connection to urban areas leftover from James Tynion and Ming Doyle’s run, the connectivity to the DC Universe from both Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing and Justice League Dark, and finally the appearance a supporting character who hasn’t shown up since Jamie Delano’s run. It’s a rich mix of ingredients, and Oliver mixes it up like a master chef while giving the Rebirth issue an actual plot instead of weighing it down by exposition. And when there’s exposition, it’s easy to stomach because Oliver has an excellent handle on the poetic, profane, and sarcastic voice that has made John Constantine such an endearing character to write about.

And this time, John Constantine has an added dose of cocky casualness as well that kicks in with the facial acting inthehellblazer_001_pg04 Moritat’s artwork. It seems that in almost every panel featuring his stubbly visage, Constantine is gripping a whisky bottle or tasting a bit of curry like the fate of eight million souls getting infected by a supernatural curse is no biggie. He just wants to get home, have a pint, watch football, or flirt with a girl and/or boy. This sharply contrasts with the colors chosen by Andre Szymanowicz (Archie) and Moritat as each scene featuring the curse has a touch of scarlet runes, and there’s a gradual darkening in the background as the demon starts mentioning Constantine’s past. He looks screwed. But there’s always a twist. If there’s one criticism I have about Moritat’s art, it’s that the superheroes Shazam and Wonder Woman, who make cameo appearances, look impassive and static compared to the expressive faces of Constantine and the other supporting players and demons. This could possibly be a commentary on how aloof they are from ordinary people unlike Constantine, who as a working class mage, is constantly pounding the pavement of cities all over the world and really seeing how they tick instead of just swooping in to save the day.

But the Justice League (and Swamp Thing) cameos actually don’t seem forced in light of Oliver’s storyline as Constantine is about to unleash an apocalyptic level magic epidemic, and this is something they would be worried about. Oliver also shows his knowledge of some of Constantine’s recent history as he stole Shazam’s power back in the “Trinity War” crossover in 2013 and works into the story that the JL sees him more as a threat than a morally ambiguous ally. There is no confrontation between the heroes and unsavory mage thanks to the intervention of Swamp Thing, who has a strange friendship and faith in Constantine since the “American Gothic” days when Alan Moore wrote about their road trip together. With the return of Chas and reintroduction of yet another player from Constantine’s past (Think early 1990s Hellblazer), hopefully Oliver and Moritat will continue to explore how Constantine’s friendships make him such a complicated figure and instantly sympathetic and unsympathetic as he enjoys bantering and taking out demons with them, but also sees them as expendable. (Google Gary Lester and then ball up your fist.)

Hellblazer Rebirth #1 is a solid standalone John Constantine tale that has high stakes, plenty of making deals with demons, snarky comments, a twist that will make hardcore Hellblazer fans wet themselves, and even a dash of British culture. Simon Oliver and Moritat get a tiny little political as it’s implied that Constantine leaves New York because of Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy and a Tory sign waver gets temporarily infected by his contagious curse, but it’s no demons watching Margaret Thatcher speeches from hell. (While she was prime minister.) And it’s worth the $2.99 alone to see the sense of casual disdain that Moritat gives to his renditions of John Constantine.

Story: Simon Oliver Art: Moritat  Colors: Andre Szymanowicz and Moritat
Story: 9  Art: 7.5  Overall: 8.4  Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Francis Manapul’s Cover for John Constantine: Hellblazer Vol. 13: Haunted

The incredibly talented Francis Manapul has created a beautiful cover for John Constantine: Hellblazer Vol. 13: Haunted.

In this collection, John Constantine grapples with regrets and resurrections. First, he must face the consequences of his past actions when he’s revisited by the enraged Little Ronnie–living proof of the hazards reaped when magic is used to revive the dead. Then, Constantine trudges through the bleakest corners of London to investigate the horrific death of a former girlfriend. New revelations about the past provoke a lust for revenge that will not be easily won.

Hellblazer Vol. 13: Haunted features stories from some of the best talents in comics, including Garth Ennis and Paul Jenkins! Collects John Constantine: Hellblazer #129-141. Available everywhere May 17, 2016.

HLB_v13cover

Graphic Policy Radio Talks Constantine with Guest Scott Kaufman this Monday Live!

GP Radio pic MondayAfter a few weeks off this Monday Graphic Policy Radio is back for a brand new episode on Monday December 1. The show will air LIVE at 10pm ET. We have a very special episode with return guest Scott Kaufman, who you might know as SEK.

We’re many weeks into the new fall television season. One of the new trends is television shows based on comic book series with a half dozen airing in the 2014-2015 season, many of those based on DC Comics comic books. One of those is Constantine which airs Fridays on NBC. Based on the Vertigo series Hellblazer and the New 52 series Constantine, the show follows the mast of the dark arts John Constantine. We’ll discuss the series (and we’re sure much more).

Scott is the proprietor of the AV Club’s Internet Film School and an associate editor at The Raw Story. He also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money, podcasts, and is an expert on Game of Thrones.

So listen in LIVE, and join the conversation too. We want to hear what you have to say, so call us at (619) 768-2952 or Tweet us your thoughts to @graphicpolicy.

Graphic Policy Radio Talks Constantine with Guest Scott Kaufman this Monday Live!

Our of respect, we are postponing the show for a later date.

GP Radio pic MondayAfter a few weeks off this Monday Graphic Policy Radio is back for a brand new episode on Monday November 24. The show will air LIVE at 10pm ET. We have a very special episode with return guest Scott Kaufman, who you might know as SEK.

We’re many weeks into the new fall television season. One of the new trends is television shows based on comic book series with a half dozen airing in the 2014-2015 season, many of those based on DC Comics comic books. One of those is Constantine which airs Fridays on NBC. Based on the Vertigo series Hellblazer and the New 52 series Constantine, the show follows the mast of the dark arts John Constantine. We’ll discuss the series (and we’re sure much more).

Scott is the proprietor of the AV Club’s Internet Film School and an associate editor at The Raw Story. He also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money, podcasts, and is an expert on Game of Thrones.

So listen in LIVE, and join the conversation too. We want to hear what you have to say, so call us at (619) 768-2952 or Tweet us your thoughts to @graphicpolicy.

Graphic Policy Radio Talks Constantine with Guest Scott Kaufman this Monday Live!

GP Radio pic MondayAfter a few weeks off this Monday Graphic Policy Radio is back for a brand new episode on Monday November 24. The show will air LIVE at 10pm ET. We have a very special episode with return guest Scott Kaufman, who you might know as SEK.

We’re many weeks into the new fall television season. One of the new trends is television shows based on comic book series with a half dozen airing in the 2014-2015 season, many of those based on DC Comics comic books. One of those is Constantine which airs Fridays on NBC. Based on the Vertigo series Hellblazer and the New 52 series Constantine, the show follows the mast of the dark arts John Constantine. We’ll discuss the series (and we’re sure much more).

Scott is the proprietor of the AV Club’s Internet Film School and an associate editor at The Raw Story. He also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money, podcasts, and is an expert on Game of Thrones.

So listen in LIVE, and join the conversation too. We want to hear what you have to say, so call us at (619) 768-2952 or Tweet us your thoughts to @graphicpolicy.

« Older Entries