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‘The Sandman Universe: Hellblazer #1’ (review)

Written by Simon Spurrier 
Art by Marcio Takara
Published by DC Comics


It had been far too long since we have seen a full length comic starring the real John Constantine.

The one that has been floating around the DC Universe these past couple of years has been a pasteurized version that hasn’t done much for me.

Hellblazer used to be one of my favorite comic books. Then, they made him kind of lame. This book is definitely a step in the right direction.

The issue starts as Constantine has been murdered by a twisted, alternate version of Tim Hunter.

Apparently, this evil version of Hunter is trying to restart the story of Tim Hunter from the beginning. While this version of Tim Hunter is getting himself together, Constantine is dragged back to life.

The difference is that this is a darker shade of the John Constantine character. John Constantine remembers everything about his past life. All of the pain and hurt is flooding back to him. It is extremely hard for him. Spurrier demonstrates this in the first few pages of the book.

The rest of the book is basically about John Constantine trying to find his place on the earth. He stumbles a bit at first. He sees old friends like Chas. He tries to navigate his new life and tries to make sense of it all. He struggles a lot harder than you would think and it is rather compelling.

He also has to decide what to do about this new version of Tim Hunter. Does he educate him? Or are things more hopeless than he thought? Does he have to kill this Tim to save the world? These questions are asked throughout the issue and some of the answers are harder than Constantine bargained for.

It is a pretty strong story. Spurrier isn’t my favorite Hellblazer writer, but he is far from the worst and is definitely the best we have had in years. The art is very good too.

Overall, this is a pretty good issue and a definite step in the right direction for this character.



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