Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Hellblazer Original Sins Book Review

Original Sins Volume 1
(buy on amazon click here)
For fans of horror literature and comic books all the same there wasn’t a lot to love in the mainstream, although there were always graphic comics released in the underground. Then things started to unravel in the late 80s with a lot of super hero stuff getting dark, so some of the mighty comic companies put out a horror themed book that would change the face of one young reader’s mind (me), and that book was Hellblazer. We were introduced into a character that fascinates throughout the series and it all starts for new readers with Hellblazer: Original Sin a graphic novel for fans that haven’t picked up all the issues of this dying series from Vertigo.

Original Sins is the first 9 issues of the comic book series alongside Swamp Thing #76 and #77 towards the end. Readers get introduced to the series from the beginning and a little taste of where John Constantine first started out in another series, which is usually how these things work out. The character is a chain-smoking lad that comes from Liverpool and runs into demons, supernatural worlds, and gets into some dark subject matter that might offend youngsters and parents alike.

He’s a perfect portrait of an anti-hero, an ass of a man that is somehow cherished and dare I say loveable. He has flaws, but there is a good sense of caring written in to his mean streak as he looks into a variety of cases of the unreal. From the very first official issue of his series we find Constantine looking into the case of a demon possession through New York City much like many super hero characters before him. The demon in question jumps around and makes serious problems for our hero. He must get the help from a magic man named Papa Midnight who aligns himself from time to time with John to control demons and the likes. He got his own spinoff at one point.

As you continue to read Original Sins you start to go through the story of Constantine fighting demons in our world that are (for lack of a better word) yuppies by nature and are watching economic growth and the likes. Readers are introduced to a female character that saves the humanity of our antihero, her name is Zed and lets a bit of a foil come through when dealing with what is otherwise a solo project for Constantine. The book continues through story after story of religious and satanic entanglements and really poses to be an interesting arc of stories from the original issues before getting treated to a cool two-part Swam Thing story from the past.

Should You Buy John Constantine Hellblazer: Original Sins?

The short answer is YES.

The first volume of this fascinating series gives you a good taste of everything you’d want from a horror comic book. It includes original covers, sketches from the artists and if you’re a fan of Dave Mckeane than once again you will be treated to awesome artwork. Even though the series is going to be put to an end, you clearly see why it lasted so long with this first book collecting the first signs of life for the iconoclast. Vertigo does a great deal for fans of alternative graphic media, and I for one am a huge fan. John Constantine Hellblazer Original Sins is available by clicking here. It gets a 5 out of 5 rating in my humble opinion.

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A writer first, cat lover second, and some other stuff too. Human, with lots of faults, and terrible communication.
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