[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Writer: Garth Ennis
Artist: Russ Braun
Inker: John Kalisz
When we last saw the team, they were in Egypt getting ready to do battle with a bunch of mummies and their mummified dogs. We pick up right where that action left off. The team is in action, Hellblazer is swearing and smoking and snarking. The mummies attack and the team is taken down. It is all up to Dogwelder to save them. Will he? Of course he will, this is only the fourth issue.
We finally learn why Dogwelder does what he does…sort of. In typical Garth Ennis fashion, he digs deep into the world of faith and mythology to give us a historical perspective on Dogwelder. We find out that Dogwelder is not “the” Dogwelder, but “a” Dogwelder. When one Dogwelder dies, another rises to take his place. Think of him like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, except not as fun or funny or interesting. Wait, this is the positive section right? Yes, sorry. It is. It is a good thing to find out about Dogwelder. He is a mystery and he is weird and gross and it is good to know that being a Dogwelder is a curse and not a gift.
Russ Braun is the shining star of this book right now. His variations on a Dogwelder theme are really good. His mummies are excellent. His depictions are stomach turning. As this is a bizarre and gross book, the art needs to be bizarre and gross. It would not surprise me to see blood dripping off of the corner of the page.
I can not even begin to explain how far off the rails this book has gone. It is not just derailed, it is in the ditch. In addition to John Constantine being essentially a shell of himself, the story is totally pointless. Nothing about this makes any sense. The writing seems lazy and the jokes are falling flat. This is a long, long way from Preacher.
I get that the point of this book is to make fun of the DC Universe and there is nothing wrong with some self-reflection. However, it seems that Garth Ennis wants to use Constantine as a shell because I can only assume he is not thrilled with the way he is being used in other media. Maybe this is how he sees Constantine when he turns on Arrow or sees a trailer for the new Justice League Dark movie.
While I totally respect Garth Ennis and I am always willing to bow to his creative license, I just do not see the point of this. I want to see it the point, but I do not. I love satire and I was pretty excited when this book started. I am in for the long haul, so I can only hope that next month, something happens.