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John Constantine: Hellblazer #4 Review

“New world, new flat, new me.”

Having solved the mystery of the killer angels and found himself a new partner, John moves onto the next case: dealing with an actual fan. In this issue, John Constantine has to contend with the adoration of a new mage in town named Tommy Willowtree.

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The ways in which Si Spurrier and co. continue to directly confront Brexit are fascinating. In the latest issue, there seems to be some kind of ancient magic that is only hurting people from outside the country. John has seen this sort of thing before, but one gets the feeling it’s because he’s familiar with bigotry and not this particular type of enchantment. Still, as usual, John is unable to keep his nose out of things.

It appears that we may be getting closer to receiving answers regarding the goings-on in the Tower of London that we glimpsed in the first issue, and it’s fascinating. Spurrier continues to drop little hints, but never a full picture. This would be infuriating if the little nibbles didn’t keep turning into full-on story arcs. They’re all part of a larger puzzle, but are satisfying tales all on their own.

Matías Bergara’s artwork carries the varied tone of the issue quite well, balancing out some horrific monsters with a more cartoonish bent to the storytelling. One particular page almost brings to mind Paul Johnson’s work in the original Books of Magic, showing us the chaos that has unfolded in London in an almost fever dream-like manner. It’s a really effective image that brings to mind the wild battle with the angels from the series’ last few issues. Jordie Bellaire’s colors bring it all together, giving us some fun lighter shades to the less portentous moments and a fiery intensity to the scenes that feel more like a punch in the gut.

DC Comics

Also of note: in a very fun panel, Aditya Bidikar has a field day with lettering different impressive typefaces for the names of a series of magical items. It’s a fun bit that further illustrates how much more seriously Tommy takes these things than John does.

We also get to know John’s new pal Noah a bit better, seeing some of his sarcastic side. Now that John has revealed that he can understand Noah’s sign language, all bets are off with the two openly roasting one another. It truly feels like the beginning of a real friendship, even if John would hate to admit it. There’s a wry sweetness to their back and forth that was only hinted at in previous issues.

This was a very fun issue that furthered the magical conspiracy going on behind the scenes of this book. It also showed us just what a petty knob ol’ Constantine can be sometimes. Tommy himself is a fun addition to the book. Though John’s friends have a way of dying off before too long, I certainly hope this magical hipster has some life in him yet.

Is it good?
This issue is a lot of fun, exploring a bit more of John's petty side when faced with a new generation of magic. It makes for a humorous read that nonetheless moves the story forward in interesting and dramatic ways.
Perfectly balances the comedic tone of this issue's story with the darkness of the ongoing conspiracy
Lots of fun references to previous eras and storylines in the Hellblazer mythos
10
Fantastic
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