I never read Hellblazer.
I consider myself a really heavy reader, I read a lot of comics every week, mostly DC and its rare for me to drop a book even if its bad, so i have a lot of books that I own, either in digital or trade form and i have never touch, I have all the books of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Im only on the second volume, I have all of Tom Strong and i have only read the first issue, I have mostly all of Spawn, pretty much all of Witchblade and i havent read a single issue, and there are many books which I dont own on any form but I want to read them, so Hellblazer is one of those that is on my very long list of things to read, Its one of those comics that you have hear about when you start reading comics and you are aware of it for a long time and its always there and I kinda always imagine that it was always gonna be there.
The same moment when DC announced the New 52 and said that it was going to reboot the numbering of Action Comics, Superman,Tec and Batman, one of the first things that crossed my mind was that Hellblazer was now the only book to have survived all the the crisis in DC, even since Crisis on Infinite Earths Hellblazer was there and then he moved to Vertigo, and now its the oldest comic ever made that is still being made without any changes on the numbering, just once per month the next adventure of John Constantine, always there, always present for 20+ years.
There is a certain kind of aura or spirit or essence, or whatever you want call it from something like that, is Pure Nostalgia that when you look at it, that is a comic book, that is what a comic book should be, and just a couple of days ago DC announced that Hellblazer was going to end on issue 300 and in the same month a new book name Constantine will be on the New 52.
It genuinely feels like the end of an Era, like things will never ever be the same in the comic book community as a whole and again this is coming from someone who never read the book, but the idea of Hellblazer ending feels bigger than anything that i have seen so far in the New 52.
I guess that I should start with my first experience with the character, it wasnt on any particular book about Hellblazer or anything vertigo related for that matter
It was the first time I read an old book, and by old i mean anything from before the 00s, I just finished reading Infinite Crisis after just entering in the world of comics, and i was a little confused on the events, i liked the event but didnt knew that it was a "sequel" to another book, an event name Crisis on Infinite Earths, so friend loan me the huge book and thats the first time i saw Constantine who is none essential at all in the book and even only appears for just a few panels.
the second time I saw Constantine wasnt in a comic, it was in a movie
and then I really didnt thought of that until I started reading Swamp Thing
Lets go back to 2010, when Brightest Day was starting i was honestly exited, I think most ppl will say that is a mediocre comic but i dont, I thought it had some of the best things in years, I loved the story with Deadman, and the story with Martian Manhunter, I think im the only person who actually liked D'Kay, i think she is a brilliant concept for the essential nemesis of John, and there other good stuff in there but one of the things that got a lot of ppl talking was "THE SAVIOR" who was going to be the character that was going to return and be the next big thing, and i keep hearing this Theory, not a rumor, that it was going to be the Swamp Thing, I knew next to nothing about the Swamp Thing but i knew enough to just explain "What! No, you are wrong, that doesnt make any sense, listen is going to be Animal Man or resurrection man, its logical" and of course i was 100% dead wrong
It was the Swamp Thing and in the same day that it was reveal that The Swamp Thing was the next big thing I got an the entire set of Swamp Thing comics, I started from the beginning of the second volume, though i did get the first volume, and i still havent read it, the first 20 issues were nothing special but i did got the gist of the character
and then I got to the Alan Moore Part...
Without Exaggeration, Alan Moore's Saga of the Swamp Thing is the best Comic Book ever created
Its just nothing short of that and that is when i really got to love what John Constantine was as a character as well as the swamp thing, by the time that Brightest Day was finally ending i had already finish the entire Saga and was looking forward for the next run, but what was better was that just like Swamp Thing was getting back to DC
so was Constantine
Then I always hear the complain that Vertigo is not like DC, that you cant mix them up, or something like that, how little memory have hose ppl cause when those ppl think of the Swamp Thing they think Vertigo and completely forget the little insignificant detail that Alan Moore's Swamp Thing was not a vertigo book
the same applies for Morrison's Animal Man, or his Doom Patrol, or the first Chps of Sandman, or even Hellblazer
Vertigo didnt create those titles, those titles created Vertigo, and if that same essence can be put back on DC, if we can get that spirit to return to DC, then its all great cause you can still have Vertigo in certain form. Vertigo was that mature and adult side of DC so I was hoping for a DC that was more mature, more Adult, in essence more like Vertigo.
Which leads me to the final Point of this.
Constantine vs Hellblazer
There is absolutely nothing bad i can say about New 52 Constantine
even though some ppl consider it a PG Constantine it still has what Constantine had, at least from what i know from Constantine from the Swamp Thing book
he didnt really swear that much in Alan Moore's book, at least not that i can remember, he was just the ultimate manipulator and thats what it is
of course it help that he was introduced by Milligan who was writing him in Hellblazer
and Lemire is right now a rising Star in the comic world, he has done a great job with him on JLD and Animal Man so I see nothing wrong with Constantine getting his own comic
The problem lies in the fact that this has nothing to do with Hellblazer, Hellblazer is that same Constantine who came to life from the words of Alan Moore and have always been ther for 20 years.
once again there is absolutely nothing bad with DC52 Constantine, but he is not the same
Im looking forward for the Constantine book and im looking up for 2 things specifically
1- is Im really looking forward on this Verdini guy, why? because I know absolutely nothing about his writing and that excites me, I know he relaunched a book name XO-Manowar and made it the best selling title of its company as well as getting excellent reviews on it, so im always looking forward on new talent specially when it delivers, I also hope he does a good job on Demon Knights too
and this is something that no one is even considering
is that im looking forward for a similar thing of this in the cover
SUGGESTED FOR MATURE READERS
The appearance or lack of it in the cover is what ultimately will decide the fate of this book, it will decide whatever is a worthy successor of Hellblazer or another one of the pile that will live for 12 maybe 18 issues before cancellation, and No one is talking about this.
We dont know what is the rating of this book and we wont know until the solicits for March 2013 are in, becoming the first M rated comic of the new 52 might be what ultimately saves this book because even a T+ is not gonna cut it and just something as simple as that might be what destroys it.
and regarding Hellblazer
Its the last of the original Vertigo Titles, when this titles is gone so will be the spirit of the original Vertigo
It is the end of an Era, where people will no longer look at Vertigo with the same eyes, they will look at what it was and what is becoming and if we are a little lucky maybe we will see some of it again in the new DC
Now if you excuse me im have over 296 comics to catch up onto.