Graphic Novel/Comics Review


Hellblazer: Bloodlines

(2007) Garth Ennis, Steve Dillon and Will Simpson, Titan Books, 12.99, trdpbk, 296pp, ISBN 978-1-845-76650-4

 

This volume collects nearly all the previously uncollected issues of Ennis's run on HellBlazer. It contains issues 47-50, which includes Constantine's meeting with the king of the vampires, issues 52-55, the "Royal Blood" plotline in which a certain jug-eared heir to the throne is possessed by the same demon responsible for Jack the Ripper, and issues 59-61, which includes the "Guys and Dolls" plot (one of the first times, though not the last, that Ennis has an angel procreating with a demon) where Constantine gets the best of the First of the Fallen. Of the 'missing' issues here, just to save you looking it up for yourself, issue 51 was a one-shot fill-in issue by John Smith and Sean Phillips, issue 56 is collected in the volume entitled Rare Cuts, but issues 57 and 58 have been left out for no apparent reason (it was a two-part story written by Ennis and drawn by Dillon, and featured a plot in which corpses were being used as target practise by a private company testing ballistics. In other words, there doesn't seem to be any contentious reason for their lack of inclusion, certainly nothing as controversial as, say, having a future King turned into a bloodthirsty maniac while his brother snorts drugs through his gimp-mask). So, with the exception of the two issues just mentioned, that is all of Ennis's issues now collected into trade paperback form. Many still consider that Ennis's run on Hellblazer was the best of them all, and I'd agree, though that is not to understate how good many of the other writers have been over the years, including Warren Ellis, Brian Azzarello and the recent run of Mike Carey, to name but a few. Whatever you might think of the individual creators, it is still a good thing (if somewhat overdue) that these 'missing' issues have been collected; perhaps one day DC will complete the collected volumes of the title?

Tony Chester


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