The Hellblazer #7 Review

hellblazer7

By Simon Oliver, Philip Tan, Elmer Santos, Sal Cipriano, John Cassaday and Paul Mounts

Constantine and Mercury hit the City of Lights to talk to a man about some Djinn…

Johnny and Mercury know what they’re up against, but John’s wide circle of friends and frenemies doesn’t include many who know about Djinn. He only knows an acquaintance from a way back who told him a story, so he’s grasping at straws. As he and Mercury make their way around Paris, the story cuts to a man traveling through the Middle-Eastern desert in the past and a young man taking care of a young girl.

Oliver paces this almost like a classic Hellblazer story, but without much in the way of tension or horror. It’s entertaining in its own way seeing John travel around Paris and that he actually does want to return to London. It’s a little thing, but gives John something personal in the way of motivation in this story. The dialogue is breezy in this issue, which helps as the plot gives us a wider cast than previous ones have.

Philip Tan gives some impressive visuals, with help by colorist Elmer Santos. There’s gorgeous cityscapes and desolate vistas, in a style not unlike retro Japanese Anime. It’s very different from what I’ve seen from him in the past and its quite a departure from the series main artist Moritat’s. As impressive as the backgrounds are, his depiction of Mercury appears off-putting. Her face is rounded, her eyes,nose, and mouth at odds with many of the other characters. It’s a small clash, but one which appeared any time Mercury was on the page.

Oliver and Tan take a more relaxed start to this new arc, despite the stakes brewing back in London or even the problems John raises in the issue itself. It brings a new flavor to the series, and Oliver is clearly trying to keep things fresh with the new setting. I’m interested in what political subtext might be in the coming issues, as a few lines of dialogue hint at this. Not a bad start to an arc, but one that does without many aspects that come in a story starring John Constantine.

Rating: Poor, Fair, Good, Great, Excellent

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