Review: John Constantine: Hellblazer #12
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Simon Spurrier
Artist: Aaron Campbell
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
Letters: Aditya Bidikar
Reviewed by: Alex McDonald
John Constantine: Hellblazer #12: John Constantine faces his final reckoning with the older version of himself who’s been seeding magical chaos all around England, while the lives of all his friends hang in the balance…and that is not a good situation for John Constantine’s friends. Can the evil in John’s heart ever be contained? Or will it reach out and destroy the one life he would give anything not to corrupt?
Every now and then there comes across a certain run by a specific writer or a specific team and it just excels far beyond everything else. A run so good that the creators’ names become synonymous with the characters themselves. Morrison or Snyder’s Batman. John’s Green Lantern. Williamson’s Flash. Well now we’ve got Spurrier’s Constantine.
The cancellation still stings all these months after the news broke but with a final issue readers have a complete story. Issues one through twelve tell a complete story. Everything comes together here in the double sized finale. It’s a real treat for those that have been along for the Spurrier ride.
Given that it is a finale it’s nigh on impossible to say anything about the issue without spoilers. Given the near constant streak of five star reviews the book has been getting, this review might as well be two words long: highly recommended. Beyond that though this really is fantastic. A truly character focused issue, Spurrier has captured what Constantine is and what he can mean for readers. All of the social commentary comes together here to tell a story about John Constantine. This is a dark and moving story.
With all that praise for Spurrier, it needs to be said that Aaron Campbell has knocked it out of the park and into orbit with the artwork here. And of course Jordie Bellaire’s colours complete the artwork. This issue especially the artwork is haunting. This is one of those issues aspiring artists ought to study. Campbell’s style is far from the conventional comic style but the artwork so perfectly connects with the horror of Hellblazer.
For months now the negative to each issue has just been that the series was cancelled. There’s no change here. The only downside to a perfect run like this is that it has to end to achieve that classic status. Hopefully this isn’t the last readers see of Spurrier or Campbell with Constantine.
With issue twelve Spurrier rounds out his nigh on perfect run with John Constantine. Along with simply spectacular artwork from Aaron Campbell and stunning colours by Jordie Bellaire, the team have crafted an issue (and series) that is sure to be remembered for years to come. It’s a shame it had to end at all.