Filed under: 6 Stars, Bryan Talbot, David Lloyd, Dean Motter, Glen Fabry, Hellblazer, Jamie Delano, Mark Buckingham, Mike Hoffman, Richard Priers Raynor
“The Devil You Know Collects issues #10 to #13, Hellblazer Annual 1 and The Horrorist #1 and 2.
- #10 “Sex and Death” written by Jamie Delano with art by Mark Buckingham and Richard Priers Raynor.
- #11 “Newcastle: A Taste of things to Come” written by Jamie Delano with art by Mark Buckingham and Richard Priers Raynor.
- #12 “The Devil You Know” written by Jamie Delano with art by Mark Buckingham, Richard Priers Raynor and Mike Hoffman.
- #13 “On The Beach” written by Jamie Delano with art by Mark Buckingham and Richard Priers Raynor.
- “The Bloody Saints” written by Jamie Delano with art by Bryan Talbot.
- “Venus of the Hardshell” written and drawn by Dean Motter.
- “The Horrorist” written by Jamie Delano with art by David LLoyd.
I have some of the same criticisms for this second Hellblazer edition that I had for the first. Firstly, the book really needs to include the crossover “Swamp Thing” stories as without them things can get a bit confusing. Secondly, the panel layout can also be a bit confusing at times, especially when the story is spread across two pages. Finally the monologues can be a bit to arty and self absorbing at times and the art is nothing special.
#10 to #12 form something of a story arc and are pretty good but the stories are a little pretentious in feel and can be hard work to read. I actually found each subsequent issue to be more enjoyable and the title story of the book “The devil you know” was actually pretty good. “On The Beach” is a seriously strange little story with a somewhat predictable ending but it was OK.
“The Bloody Saints” is a strange Arthurian based tale with Constantine really only along for the back narrative. The story includes Merlin’s talking head on a spit which is a nice touch but it left me cold. “Venus of the Hardshell” is a throw away pop video type tale that fills in a bit on Constantine’s back story but was nothing special.
“The Horrorist” is probably the strongest story in the book even if it is a little to surreal for its own good at times. It can be a little confusing and quite hard work to read but it is the only story in the book that left me with the urge to finish it before putting the book down.
It is my opinion that the artwork in stories #10 to #13 is better that that in the first Hellblazer collection. Although the color pallette is similar, the drawings are much crisper and pleasing to the eye. It does get a bit psychedelic at times especially in book #10. Bryan Talbot’s artwork is in “the Bloody Saints” is good and is very reminiscent of the style in earlier Conan or Solomon Kane works. I didn’t like the artwork in “Venus of the Hardshell” at all and its attempt to recreate pop culture didn’t work for me. The final story in the book, “The Horrorist”, features the art style of David Lloyd which is characterized by washed out watercolors and pastels. I am really on the fence about Lloyd, he is certainly talented but his work isn’t really to my taste. It usually takes me 4-5 pages to get used to the style and I find that sometimes it is difficult to figure out what is going on.
Volume 2 of the Hellblazer collection was OK but it was a book that I struggled to get finished. I planned to read it over a weekend but it lasted me a whole week. Its not a bad book but I found it hard work rather than pleasurable at times. [ISBN-13: 978-1401212698]. 6/10