Thursday, July 4, 2013

REVIEW: John Constantine, Hellblazer: Death and Cigarettes by Peter Milligan

 Disclaimer: I received this book in exchanged for a fair and honest review.
Type: Graphic Novel, Series, Demons and Death, Paranormal

About the book: John Constantine had no intention of tracking down his long-lost nephew, despite the promise John made to his dead mom. But mysterious circumstances and a series of murders set Constantine out to Ireland in search of his forgotten relative. However, after a séance with his late sister Cheryl, Constantine finds that there might be a lot more connections between his nephew and these set of murders than meets the eye.

In this penultimate chapter to Vertigo's longest series, Death and Cigarettes is the latest chapter in critically acclaimed writer Peter Milligan's run on HELLBLAZER.
My Review: John Constantine is one of those characters I hate to love - but love I do. He's rough, he can be a real jerk, and he doesn't pull any punches. And maybe the worst part is - he gets people killed, he ruins people's lives.. and he just goes on. But despite all this, I find myself captivated by Constantine and his story. I've recently begun reading Constantine from the early days, and comparing those volumes to this, I'm thankful for how far the Hellblazer series has come. This volume kept me glued to my seat, eagerly flipping through the pages.
Maybe I liked like volume, and indeed this series, because there is always such mystery in it - I'm constantly asking how the heck Constantine can get out of yet another certainly deadly situation. And in this case, well... escape isn't an option. While I do love reading Constantine, I will warn everyone that this volume is not one you should pick up if you are unfamiliar with the series, or if you only know Constantine via the movie with Keanu Reeves. It is also not for the faint of heart - but eh, neither is John Constantine himself.

A note about the art: Very consistent throughout, which is always a plus. I felt all of the characters were accurately portrayed, and expressions were appropriately life-like. The demons were freaky, the humans were human-y, and overall, it was very well done.
Cover Lovin': This cover is pretty perfect. It accurately portrays Constantine's relationship with his impending death, as well as life itself.
Recommendation: Not for the faint of heart. This volume would make more sense for readers that are already fans of the series - or at least very familiar with Constantine.
Final Rating: FOUR out of FIVE stars (4/5). "Death and Cigarettes" definitely doesn't disappoint. I was captivated the entire time, but that cliffhanger-esque ending just made me want to shake the book in frustration.