Review: The Hellblazer #1

[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]

Writer: Simon Oliver

Artists: Moritat & Andre Szymanowicz

Summary

Constantine and Swamp Thing team up to find the latter’s missing ex-girlfriend.

Positives

The cover by Moritat is wonderful. I love the blue with fire underneath. It’s an effective color scheme. The characters are laid out in a cool way as well. I would love to see this cover blown up to poster size.

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The interior art is by Moritat with colors by Andre Szymanowicz and Moritat. I really like the art throughout. The major thing I appreciate is that the style and color scheme somewhat change depending on the location. The flashbacks to New York have a different tone than the present day story in London. Szymanowicz and Moritat use red and brown for New York but grey and blue for London. It’s a nice contrast.

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Swamp Thing is the highlight of the issue for me. Most of the humor of the issue comes from him or in response to him. It’s easy to tell that writer Simon Oliver had a blast writing the dynamic between Constantine and Swamp Thing because it works so well. I almost wish this was a Constantine/Swamp Thing team up book for every issue.

Oliver’s dialogue for Constantine is spot on. Every line feels completely natural and is generally pretty funny. There are some serious moments in the issue but it’s generally fun. Most of that is thanks to Constantine’s dry wit which is pretty entertaining.

Negatives

There’s a weird moment in which Constantine breaks the fourth wall and it’s bizarre. I don’t know if it was intentional or not but it comes across that way. I could maybe go with it if happened throughout the issue but it just happens once. It’s just an awkward moment.

Mercury does a little too much talking. Her job is to tell the audience that Constantine can be an asshole and only hurts the people around him. I guess the problem is that I’ve heard this speech so many times in Constantine material. And we don’t see anything like that with Constantine in this issue. We’re just told this information. It didn’t quite work for me.

Verdict

Overall, this is a pretty fun book. The dynamic between Constantine and Swamp Thing is hilarious, there’s some interesting plot set up and the art is fantastic. I have a couple of issues but I still recommend reading the issue.

 

4outof5

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Sean Blumenshine

I am currently a senior at Wichita State University studying communications. I started reading comics in 2013 because of how much I loved Man of Steel and season one of Arrow. My favorite hero is the Green Arrow and my favorite villain is the Joker.