Saturday, July 27, 2013

Constantine #5

After I did the preview scan of this cover, I had to take it out of the scanner to look at the colors to make sure my scanner wasn't set to grayscale with trace amounts of red. That is so a setting!

This issue begins after this panel, one of the creepiest panels so far in The New 52:

It's creepy if you look at it in the right way!

A strange man in a trench coat lures a young boy away into the dark with vague promises? Come on! That's disturbing! It's really going to color the way I read this issue. Constantine wants something from this boy and he's going to take it no matter what the cost. I think this might be one of those analogies or cautionary tales for young, rebellious boys.

John leads Shazam out of the House of Mystery and into a bar in New York, a fitting place to corrupt a minor. John manages to convince Billy Batson to take off his uniform and then John shows him his monkey. He then handcuffs Billy to the bar and takes what he came for.

Remember, kids! If a strange man tells you that your family is in danger, don't believe him! Also, you probably shouldn't be reading this if you're a kid. I say things like "cunt" and "fuck" a lot and I wouldn't want to be thought of as a corrupter of the youth! Except if you are a kid and you are reading this, how is it my fault? Your parents should be keeping a better eye on you. Hey, kids! You want to learn some things about your parents that they probably don't want you to know? Go through their things the next time they leave you alone in the house! Don't worry about getting caught as long as you put everything back where it was! Parents develop this kind of mental block where they forget that their children are individuals with their own wants and desires. They think that telling you to stay out of their shit actually means something. It doesn't! They only say that because they went through their parents stuff too! They know at a visceral level that you're going to go through their things. But they convince themselves that you won't because they so desperately need to believe that you'll respect their privacy. Which is also the reason why they won't be getting rid of any of the stuff that might reveal they're someone other than who they show you! My mother had joints that were probably over a decade old in her jewelry box and my grandfather had some of the filthiest magazines I'd ever seen!

This is a very short story you may not want to read if you're at all squeamish. My friend Paul was dating a girl named Rachel who was still living with her mother. One night when he was over at her place and her mom was out, she took him into her mother's bedroom closet and showed him his mother's sex toys. My friend Paul grabbed her vibrator out of the box and licked it. I'm surprised Rachel didn't break up with him right there. No, she waited a bit longer when the fucking idiot began cheating on her with her boss.

Was that story squeam-inducing? It's hard to tell what other people might think of things. I'm the kind of person that eats as many free cookies as I can when the bank leaves some out instead of politely just taking one, so I'm not always sure how to react to things. I found the story hilarious. Not the cheating part of it! That was sophomoric and immature. But that other part with the licking! Ha ha! Good one!

Where was I? Oh yeah! Don't listen to strangers, kids!

Meanwhile the guy that was in the bar when Constantine arrived is tattling to the Cold Flame. He gets directions to say a magic word and then to go kill Constantine and Billy Batson and the barkeep.

This Runespeak is upside down and makes no sense. Although it seems to be related to Abra Cadabra! Just more gibberishy.

The magic word might be crap but it causes a demon to burst out of the thug's chest. I don't get the point of being a henchman to super villains or evil groups in comic books. Are they all convinced that some day they'll gain great power just like their leaders? Hmm, that sounds fucking familiar. Hey henchman! Not everyone can be a super magic cult leader! Stop giving up your lives for them! They're just manipulating you so they can gain more and more power! Stop voting them into Congress and allowing them to take more and more government benefits out of the hands of the people simply because you believe you can one day be super rich too and God forbid you have to pay taxes on that future hypothetical money! Or maybe you just don't give a shit because your only concern with which cult you join and which leader you follow is their public stance on abortion and/or child sacrifice.

When the demon thug breaks into the bar and attacks, Constantine is forced to use Billy Batson's magic word. That word doesn't make any sense either but at least we're all familiar with it. I mean, it makes more sense than "abraoac lvcfs lvcfj acabra" in that it's an acronym for a bunch of Gods' names.

Moon Prism Power!

This isn't Constantine's usual tactic but I guess he didn't have much choice. He usually likes to stand by smoking a cigarette with his trap already laid out and his enemy already well inside of it. He's not a blatant power guy! He likes subtlety and misdirection. This Shazam shit might be a bit too much for him. Luckily Billy Batson gets loose. Maybe he'll realize he should probably destroy John's Voodoo Monkey to get his voice and his power back.

Constantine manages to pull the head off of the demon and then Billy Batson pulls the head off of the Voodoo Monkey. Billy says Shazam and gets his power back. And everybody lived happily ever after.

Or they might. Constantine warns Shazam not to touch Pandora's Box or it'll be the end of the world. But why would Billy listen to him now? Why would Billy listen to him ever?! Billy is a little prick. He's going to do whatever the fuck he wants, end of the world or not. Especially since he has so much power! So what if the world ends? He'll be okay!

And John doesn't exactly live happily ever after either since he had a hole poked in him by the demon. So he's lying on the floor of the bar bleeding out when he's visited by the ghost of his good buddy Chris. You know, the guy he sacrificed at the end of the first issue? So that should make for a fun reunion next month.

Constantine #5 Rating: -1 Ranking. I'm giving this a negative ranking because I haven't been giving many comic books negative rankings lately and I think I'm getting a little soft. So I'm going to put on my harsh hat and give Constantine what-for due to the really not very good art and the not so exciting "Trinity War Tie-In"! I might have enjoyed seeing Constantine's version of Shazam but the art was horribly sketchy and the bodies malformed and the color palette was miserable. I think his cape was basically his trench coat but it was hard to tell!

No comments:

Post a Comment