Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Hellblazer #1

This is the look John gives you right before you wind up in Hell.

The Commentary!
I was going to say this is John's look right before he sucks your dick but I think I've used up my quota on using dick sucking to replace sincere thoughts and feelings. Now in my forties, it seems to be my go-to move. Back when I was a teenager, everything I wrote was filled with my over-dramatization of my feelings of unrequited love. In my twenties, my writing was full of philosophical quandaries about my direction in life. In my thirties, I began to fill my writing with a lot more whimsy and began sculpting the pretentious bullshit so that it could fit within the confines of the story or essay. And in my forties, it's all just pretty much about dick sucking. I can't wait to see what I'm writing about in my fifties! I hope it doesn't get me arrested.

This issue begins with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Some guy named Marid tries to stop the assassination but he's stopped by some other guy. Hopefully this Simon Oliver hasn't decided to steal my detectivanting idea! That's where a few upper class British men and women form a club where they gallivant around the world doing detective work. My idea was that it would become all the rage in Edwardian times and the young people who did it would be so careless and narcissistic that they would cause more trouble than good. And eventually their idle shenanigans would start a world war. Just like these miscreants in the opening to this comic book! I hope they aren't Detectivanters! I'll sue Simon Oliver for sure!

But before the reader is allowed to know any more about this great big mystery, the narrative turns back to the present where Swamp Thing is calling on John Constantine for a favor. How hard could a favor for Swamp Thing be? Water? Sunlight? Mineral supplements? Easy peasy!

John decides to talk directly to the reader to tell the story about how he came to owe Swamp Thing a favor. Twenty-two year old me is all, "Shit! Cool! So postmodern!" Forty year old me is all, "Suck a dick."

That's every time in your life if you give it about five years!

Being that the person you are in the present no longer truly resembles the person you were five to eight years ago, it really changes the perspective on going to prison for life. Eventually, you hardly recognize the version of you that committed the crime and yet you still must pay for that person's acts. A lot of people are unsympathetic to this because they have some weird belief that people don't change at all. I believe that there's an aspect of our personality that we really can't change. My first grade report card reads like a person describing who I essentially still am today. But I've also done really stupid shit when I was younger and, looking back, I can't even understand who that person was that would choose to do those things. In a real way, it's not me. It was a person who became me but it's not the me I am today. It's possible only flawed people can understand this. It's generally the people who claim they've never done anything horrible in their life who cannot forgive those who have. I'm not saying we should do away with life sentences! I mean, we should probably do away with life sentences for quite a few crimes, probably! No, what I'm saying is that I, at least, feel terrible when I see somebody who is being incarcerated for life at a young age knowing they'll never be free again. It's a strange idea that one mistake can ruin the life of the future you who will no longer resemble the person who committed the crime. Maybe we need a justice system where the victim or victim's families are in control of the sentence. Not that they get to set it! But maybe they alone can one day forgive the crime and end the sentence. Or is there just no place for redemption and forgiveness in the American justice system?

Judging by the way people on Twitter want to fucking destroy everybody who says anything they think is beyond the pale, I'd say there probably isn't.

John's story begins with Swamp Thing asking John for a favor. So John must mess up pretty royally for this to wind up a story in which John owes Swamp Thing a favor!

Oh wait. It's just that Swamp Thing did his part of the favor exchange first. He kept Wonder Woman and Shazam at bay while Constantine nearly damned everybody in London. Now it's John's turn to pay up. Swamp Thing wants Constantine to help him find Abby because she's disappeared from The Rot. I'm not sure Swamp Thing should be looking for Abby if she's missing. She's probably missing for romantic reasons and he's just going to wind up walking into a room in hell to find Abby sucking demon dick.

Constantine decides to recruit Mercury into the search because of her psychic abilities. Plus she was introduced in Rebirth and she can't just be forgotten already. She needs to have a big role in this comic book. Bigger than Chas's even, I hope, because she's cute in that way Moritat makes the women he draws cute. They're like little fuckable cartoons. I mean, they're drawn with great personalities and tons of agency!

Oh, who am I kidding? I don't care if Mercury has any agency! As long as she looks cute and acts adorable, I'm pretty happy with her characterization.

"Abby who?!"

I fucking love that look John gives the reader in the above scan. Maybe I don't mind that John interacts with the reader. He's kind of the Ferris Bueller of the DC Universe.

Mercury agrees to help Swamp Thing but sends Constantine away. That's too bad! At this point, I'm more invested in the Swamp Thing story than whatever situation Constantine is going to get into involving the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand!

Constantine goes off to pout because Mercury is more interested in a plant than his cock. Not that she'd be interested in his cock anyway because he's so old. Unless, of course, she has Daddy Issues! Hell, maybe John is her daddy! She'll fuck him for sure if that's the case.

The issue ends with the two guys who didn't stop the Great War when they had a chance. The good one who didn't stop the events that led to millions of deaths over the next century is killed by the bad one who wanted to prevent those deaths. I mean, I guess the bad one used to be the good one. Or maybe I'm using the wrong adjectives. The good one was actually the selfish one who didn't want their presence to be discovered by "the creator" which is what would have happened had they stopped the assassination. The bad one was actually the one trying to help the humans even if it risked revealing himself to "the creator". So apparently they're angels on the run. That's totally what I figured they were. Masonic angels from outer space disguised as reptilian creatures from another dimension. Totally nailed it. So anyway, the bad one who was once good has decided that it's time to completely interfere with the humans because they are ruining everything with their free will.

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