Review: The Hellblazer #4

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

Writer: Simon Oliver
Artists: Moritat, Carrie Strachan & Tony Avina

Summary
Constantine and Chas deal with their kidnapper while Swamp Thing and Mercury continue to investigate the Rot.

Positives
I really like the cover by John Cassaday and Paul Mounts. The Union Jack/ Swamp Thing combo as a backdrop is really cool. I also like that Constantine’s hair is on fire; that’s a nice touch. Overall, it’s just evocative imagery.

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The interior art is drawn by Moritat with colors by Carrie Strachan and Tony Avina. It’s really strong work. The action scenes involving Swamp Thing are the standout of the issue. The monsters are creatively designed and well drawn. I like the combination of blue and purple that Strachan and Avina use for them. It’s a visually exciting sequence.

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White Boy is a completely unsubtle caricature of certain internet trolls, and I love it. He just raves on and on about about the left being terrible because they care about human rights. He hates every race that isn’t white and is homophobic. There’s a part of me that laughed because of how over the top he is but the other part wants to cry because it is fairly realistic. There are a lot of real people who talk exactly like White Boy. It’s nice to see them made fun of and characterized as the simple-minded bullies they are.

I like the reveal of what has been causing the Rot. I don’t want to give it away but it’s a cool mystical creature. I’m excited to see how Constantine and Swamp Thing deal with the threat.

Negatives
I wish that Constantine and Swamp Thing’s stories were more intersected. They are ultimately dealing with the same thing but that revelation isn’t made until the end. A lot of it feels like two separate books butting heads. While I appreciated the hilarity of White Boy, Constantine tied up in a chair listening to a neo-Nazi rant about SJWs is not the most interesting thing in the world. I like it but I wish it was less of the issue and that there was more interaction with Swamp Thing.

Verdict
This is a solid issue. The art is great with some cool action that is creative and fun. I like the almost political parody aspect of the issue and Constantine is well characterized by Simon Oliver with a lot of great lines.

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.