TITLE: The Hellblazer – DC Universe Rebirth Issue #9
YEAR: June 2017
COMPANY: DC Comics
Written by Simon Oliver
Penciller: Davide Fabbri
Inker: Jose Marzan Jr.
Finisher: Karl Kesel
Colorist: Carrie Strachan
Letterer: Sal Cipriano
Editor: Kristy Quinn
It was back in 1984 when John Constantine made his first appearance in the pages of “The Saga of Swamp Thing” vol. 2, issue #37.
Created by Alan Moore, Steve Bissette and John Totleben, Constantine would appear in his own comic books such as Vertigo Comics “Hellblazer”, “Constantine” (2013-2015), “Constantine: The Hellblazer” (2015-2016) and the latest, “The Hellblazer” for DC Universe’s “Rebirth” line which started in 2016.
While many people may be familiar with the character through the 2005 film “Constantine” starring Keanu Reeves, a TV series aired in 2014-2015 and lasted 13 episodes before it was canceled. The character has appeared in the CW TV series “Arrow” and an animated series was announced in January 2017.
Part of the challenge is that when Hellblazer was featured in Vertigo, there was no need to incorporate the DC Universe into his stories. But since then, DC has been trying to find out ways to bring him back and living in the DC Universe and with Rebirth, the goal was to bring back Constantine and this time not in NYC but in London. And pretty much keeping elements from previous series, so a dark edge, adult humor but this time Constantine in the DCU.
With issue #9 of “The Hellblazer”, the storyline is the third part of “The Smokeless Fire” and John Constantine, Mercury and Misabel are trying to hunt down the missing journal. Actually, more Mercury as Misabel ditches the two in the middle of a bad area, while taking off in the car.
So, while we get interesting dialogue with Hellblazer and Mercury working together,I think the story goes far to show us how much of a jerk Mr. Carver is and suffice to say, he does something sick and bloody…
There are references to “Swamp Thing, “Brexit” and also alluding to the orange man, who you know what he’s referring to.
Overall, an entertaining story but the reason why I chose to feature issue #9 and that is to talk about Mercury and how much she has changed since “Hellblazer” issue #14, when she was just a teenager. And now, she’s much older and she can’t help but keep throwing digs towards John.
Again, an interesting story and a surprising series considering most of the other DC Universe Rebirth comic books focus on superheroes.