Sunday, April 17, 2016

Constantine The Hellblazer #11 - A Review

Look up "reluctant hero" in the encyclopedia and you'll find John Constantine's picture. Still, when a friend calls in a favor, John's willing to play messenger-boy in a futile effort to convince the angels that run Los Angeles to grant refuge to the the dispossessed magic community of New York City.

Once that's done, John is off and running to find a new hideout. Unfortunately, there are those who want to fight Neron's spiritual takeover of The Big Apple and they've recruited Deadman to secure John's aid in their fight... one way or the other.

Given the current Lucifer series, it's so odd for me to see Gabriel whole and hardy as he is here.Then again, this is the new DC Universe and not Vertigo. Odd as it is to think that this series is taking place in the same world as the rest of The New 52. Still, Ming Doyle and James Tynion IV have the patter of the established characters down and the pairing of Deadman and John Constantine is always enjoyable though never quite so filled with slapstick comedy as this outing. Think The Man With Two Brains.

The coloration for this issue is its most noteworthy feature. At first I thought Ivan Plascencia had done a fine job using washed out, muted tones to convey the banality of Heaven's influence during the opening part of the comic. It isn't until the later pages, where John is flying toward New York, that I realized the dull palette was a constant decision. It's a shame, because the colors used by Kelly Fitzpatrick in the middle section of the comic - where Deadman confronts John in a bar - are bolder and more memorable. Travel Foreman and Joseph Silver offer their usual solid performance on pencils and inks respectively.

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