Angels Over London In John Constantine: Hellblazer #1

by Josh Davison

Mild Spoilers Ahead

Angels have been visiting the Peckham Rye Common in London, and they’ve been skinning people alive. A haruspex calling himself K-Mag has been watching as the angels have been skinning his dealers. His only recourse is to enlist the help of John Constantine. Meanwhile, Constantine is being thrown out of a pub and attacked by a man he double-crossed…so just another common day for the Hellblazer. K-Mag’s boys ambush Constantine and bring him back to their headquarters near Peckham Rye.

John Constantine: Hellblazer #1 cover by John Paul Leon
John Constantine: Hellblazer #1 cover by John Paul Leon

John Constantine: Hellblazer #1 brings back the long-running Vertigo series under the DC Black Label and Sandman Universe umbrella. It’s as gritty, brutal, and bloody as ever. 

John Constantine is as much a bastard as ever too. The man he double-crossed is disfigured from the experience, and Constantine laughs at him and says he looks like a “manky bollock.”

We’re introduced to a female pub bouncer this issue too, and she has a charming yet course personality akin to John Constantine himself.

K-Mag and the angel threat pose a compelling challenge for Constantine. K-Mag is morally bankrupt too, but he manages to appeal to the slight bit of compassion Constantine has. The angels are horrific, and we don’t yet know where they come from.

John Constantine: Hellblazer #1 art by Aaron Campbell, Jordie Bellaire, and letterer Aditya Bidikar
John Constantine: Hellblazer #1 art by Aaron Campbell, Jordie Bellaire, and letterer Aditya Bidikar

Aaron Campbell’s artwork is gritty and ominous. This London is a world covered in shadows, looming figures, and scarred faces. The angels themselves are downright terrifying in stature and design, and, naturally for the title, Campbell doesn’t skimp on the gore. Jordie Bellaire’s color art is dim and oppressive, which fits the Hellblazer perfectly. It’s contrasted by the blinding glow of the angels, solidifying them as the murderous foreign invader in the city.

John Constantine: Hellblazer #1 is a brutal and grabbing new start for everyone’s favorite magical bastard. New threats loom on the horizon, London is as cruel as ever, and Constantine is back to being his selfish and callous self. Needless to say, this one definitely gets a recommendation. Give it a read.

John Constantine: Hellblazer #1 comes to us from writer Simon Spurrier, artist Aaron Campbell, color artist Jordie Bellaire, letterer Aditya Bidikar, cover artist John Paul Leon, and variant cover artist Charlie Adlard.

Final Score: 9/10

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