Monday, March 17, 2003

Hellblazer Special: Lady Constantine #4 - A Review

Written by: Andy Diggle
Penciled by: Goran Sudzuka
Inked by: Goran Sudzuka
Colored by: Patricia Mulvihill
Lettered by: Robert Solanovic
Editor: Will Dennis
Publisher: Vertigo Comics

Maybe it’s because I had high hopes after the disappointing “Bast” mini-series that concluded last week. Maybe it’s because I’m a student of mythology. Maybe it’s because I love every other story featuring the main character, but ignoring the rather slow penultimate chapter (which I reviewed last month), I don’t really have any complaints about this series save that it mainly targeted at fans of Hellblazer, The Sandman and students of Mythology.

Diggle’s plot is simple: Johanna Constantine, ancestor of John Constantine, is a con-artist and magician of some note who has been promised a title and lands by the British government in exchange for retrieving a box of dark magical purpose. The box is also sought by Lady Blackwood, who has some magical powers of her own and an army of undead at her beck and call.

To tell more would be to tell the tale. But fans of Hellblazer and the Sandman will greatly enjoy this story, as common themes and subplots from both series are explored. Johanna’s results in her loosing friends as she strives for power and the plot threads are woven for a story that many Sandman fans will find familiar.

But just because I’m harping on the story, don’t think the artwork isn’t just as good. Sudzuka’s artwork IS very good. His style reminds me a bit of Tony Harris but not quite as heavily lined or shadowed. His characters all look unique and even his demons look different from one another; a welcome change from some Vertigo artists who just do one or two variations on Cthulu when asked to draw demons

All in all, this is the best Vertigo mini-series to come out in a while and I look forward to seeing more work by everyone involved.

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