There’s something weirdly soothing about the particular way Simon Spurrier and Aaron Campbell show what a scumbag John Constantine is. Not that he hasn’t been a sleazeball in the past – it’s part of his core appeal. He’s a jackass con man who will sell out the people he loves at the drop of a hat, but usually because he believes he’s got an elaborate multilevel screwjob planned that he thinks will leave him even with his friends and get him what he needs from the bad guy.
But there’s something about how Spurrier writes him that feels…extra right. We’re documented Spurrier fans. When he’s on, he’s amazing. But he can occasionally veer into…”wordy.” It’s almost always dialogue when it happens, so it’s better than a wall of narration boxes. It just ends up a little too much sometimes.
But when he’s putting words in Constantine’s mouth, it channels that natural tendency towards lyrical dialogue through a character for whom overtalking is a fundamental design element. Look at this preview of John Constantine: Hellblazer #3. John’s found the entity murdering gangbangers, and it’s just a crazy dude with a giant flaming spear spouting Billy Bragg. And rather than trying some magic spell or even trying the fake friend route, Constantine dives right into angrily arguing about religion with him. That is obnoxious, but in such a peculiarly Constantine way that I love.
And not for nothing, Campbell and Jordie Bellaire are crushing it here. Campbell’s linework is loose enough where you can feel reality getting thin around the edges with the supernatural elements, but with crisp storytelling and great emotion on the faces. Bellaire jumps back and forth between subdued and “wow that looks hot” incredibly well, even inside of the same panels. This looks to be a good issue.
Here’s what DC has to say about the book.
JOHN CONSTANTINE: HELLBLAZER #3 written by SIMON SPURRIERart by AARON CAMPBELLcover by JOHN PAUL LEONJohn has found the cause of the magical madness slaughtering gang members on Peckham Rye…and it’s just one guy! How hard can it be to stop him? Well, when the gangs get involved and the source of his power becomes clear, the answer turns out to be “Near impossible, actually!”
And here are the preview pages. Take a look!