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Hellblazer #175

Posted: Friday, August 30, 2002
By: Craig Lemon



Writer: Mike Carey
Artist: Steve Dillon

Publisher: DC Vertigo

Plot:
John Constantine returns home - literally, home to Liverpool - and finds that, in his absence, he has been declared dead, his sister and her husband are living in a grimy block of flats that harbours a dark secret, his niece has fled to France, and there's going to be hell to pay.

Comments:
It takes no more than two pages to breathe easy - this is John Constantine in the right hands. His dialogue feels spot on, the gleam in his eye and his final statement signal a return to form, and I can buy this title again without feeling like I'm wasting my money.

JC returns home on a dingy trawler - determined to keep it low-key, to stay under the radar of the authorities (both magical and otherwise), and spend some quality time with his (only remaining) family. He gets a slap in the face for his trouble, and (later in the issue) a right talking to (at last!) from a formerly-spineless guy who seems to have found his backbone. In the middle of this the old Constantine charm works its magic - but with a twist, as someone determines to get involved in solving the mystery behind this block of flats ... behind his back.

Of course, it all goes tits-up and JC will have to save the day in the concluding episode next time, but until then we can savour the dialogue in this one - JC the rogue, JC the fool, JC the charmer and JC the plain old bullshitter. And the art is no slouch either - another fabulous Tim Bradstreet cover (which positively screams "this book is finally being written by an understanding writer!" at you) plus Steve Dillon on the interior art again, as if he'd never been away.

Final Word:
This is quite probably the best title DC are selling at the moment. Jump on board if you haven't done so already, and enjoy yourself.



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