Review – John Constantine, Hellblazer #4: Magic in a Manbun

John Constantine, Hellblazer #4 cover, via DC Comics.

John Constantine, Hellblazer #4 – Simon Spurrier, Writer; Matias Bergara, Artist; Jordie Bellaire, Colorist

Ratings:

Ray – 8.5/10

Ray: The first three issues of John Constantine: Hellblazer were very dark and very plot-driven, so it was a surprise when Simon Spurrier completely changed things up for the second arc. John Constantine: Hellblazer #4 kicks off a new storyline that’s probably one of the funniest books starring Constantine in a while.

The story opens with Constantine stepping out of his apartment, only to be confronted by a horrible slime-demon that looks like something out of Ghostbusters – and then see it destroyed by a new mage. This new character, Tommy Willowtree, is the newest addition to the Sandman Universe’s magical stable – and its first hipster magician. A new-agey mage with a man bun and a fondness for yoga, he represents the new face of magic, and it’s one that Constantine has very little patience for. Even less once it’s clear that Willowtree is a massive Constantine groupie and wants him to return to his destiny as the mage of England.

Sharp dressed man. Via DC Comics.

The character is funny, but the story surrounding him isn’t particularly. It’s actually rather dark, the tale of a curse of racism making its way around London. It manifests in the form of the Ravens from the Tower of London cursing anyone who speaks a foreign language around them, and then transforms into a plague of rage around the city.

There are clearly some real-world parallels in John Constantine: Hellblazer #4, but what they mean exactly will be up to the individual reader. While Willowtree seems like a fool at first, he’s actually a fairly controlled and smart magical guide and sees something in Constantine that he doesn’t see in himself. The question is, can Constantine pick himself up from a drunken stupor long enough to live up to his responsibilities? This issue reminds me a lot of the darkly funny Ennis run, and looks to promise great things for the title from here on out.

To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.

Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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This post was last modified on February 26, 2020 11:21 am

Ray Goldfield: Ray Goldfield is a comics superfan going back almost thirty years. When he's not reading way too many comics a week, he is working on his own writing. The first installment in his young adult fantasy-adventure, "Alex Actonn, Son of Two Seas", is available in Amazon now.

View Comments (1)

  • Comic 4 seems a little too influenced by some self insert mary-sue "progressive "character. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt for now though. The art style was awful which is usually a sign that the "progressives" have infected an established intellectual property to push their rhetoric instead of tell a good story.

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