One Mad Dog

John Constantine, Hellblazer Vol. 4: The Family Man (Jamie Delano, Ron Tiner, Kevin Walker, Mark Buckinham, Sean Philips, Dick Forman, Steve Pugh, Dean Motter, Mark Penninton)

The family man collects issues 23 to 24 and 28 to 33 of the Hellblazer series.

  • Larger than Life. (Issue 23): Script : Jamie Delano. Art : Ron Tiner
  • The Family Man (Issues 24, 28-30): Script : Jamie Delano. Art : Ron Tiner, Kevin Walker, Mark Buckingham
  • Mourning of the Magician (Issue 31): Script: Jamie Delano. Art: Sean Philips
  • New Tricks (Issue 32): Script: Jamie Delano. Art: Dick Forman, Steve Pugh
  • Sundays are Different (Issue 33): Script: Jamie Delano. Art: Dean Motter, Mark Pennington

Larger Than Life:

A Bizzarre story in which Constantine meets and old friend that is being harassed by Fictional characters.  Although this story sets up the main “Family Man” arc it just left me bewildered as to what was going on.

The family Man:

This is main story of the book and deals with Constantine’s pursuit of a serial killer who murders families.  It is quite a good story and has a great protagonist that is really evil.  Yet another Hellblazer story that left me thinking how unremarkable Constantine is and not really any sort of hero. The pacing of the story was pretty good but I found it quite hard work at times rather than pleasurable. Quite a wordy tale.

Mourning of the Magician

In the “Family man” the serial killer murders Constantines father and in this story he comes back to haunt his sisters daughter.  There is a back story on Constantines relationship with his father and we get to find a little bit more about his childhood. Quite a good story but artwork not quite as good.

New Tricks

This story sees a return to the demonic world where someone has possessed a dog and is preying on homeless people. Quite a good story

Sundays are Different

I really didn’t get this story. A meandering alternate reality exploit that really seemed to have no point. Just filler in this book really.


The artwork in this book is ok but really suffers from the cheap paper stock and gaudy comic book coloring. Visually it is nothing to write home about. There are no standout artists for me but the art does the job.  It has a few areas, like the other collected issues,  where the layout of the tiles is pretty confusing.

A solid collection of Hellblazer stories (with one exception) but Hellblazer still doesn’t really get me excited. I don’t find them an easy read and visually they are nothing special. 5/10. ISBN-13: 978-1401236908


John Constantine Hellblazer Volume 03: The Fear Machine (Jamie Delano, Richard Piers Rayner, Mark Buckinham, Mike Hoffman. Alfredo Alcala)

Collects Hellblazer #14–22

  • Script  :  Jamie Delano
  • Art : Richard Piers Rayner, Mark Buckinham, Mike Hoffman. Alfredo Alcala

The 9 part collection has a nice shiny cover but it is Printed on dull comic paper stock which is a bit disappointing for a $20 book.

Running from a report in the Sun newspaper, Constantine finds himself with a new-age pagan group that have apparent psychic abilities. Unfortunately the group become prey to a defense contractor and a young girl Constantine has befriended gets kidnapped and he tries to get her back.  This is a very wordy story that is similar to those old detective movies where the hero gives a lengthy internal monologue at every opportunity. The book doesn’t really have much action going on at the start and Constantine doesn’t  seem to be remarkable at all.  I can only imagine what the purchasers of book 14 must have thought at the time. The story is steeped with hippy and masonic style cultures and references and requires some concentration to keep up with the plot.

The art is acceptable but nothing special and suffers a bit from the cheap comic book coloring and paper. There are no standout artists in this collection but no stinkers either.  Some of the frame layouts can be very confusing.  Most sections you read on each page, left to right and top to bottom  whereas others you have to read left to right across two pages. It was not always obvious that this was how you were supposed to read it.

The story isn’t bad but I found the finish a bit unrewarding and convoluted. The badies never really get their comeuppance in a satisfying manner. The standout thing for me for this collection is just how unremarkable Constantine is. Three collections in so far and Hellblazer doesn’t seem to be a great series so far. 6/10 (ISBN- 978-1401235192)


[John Constantine: Hellblazer : The Devil You know] – (Jamie Delano, Richard Priers Raynor, Mark Buckingham, Mike Hoffman, Bryan Talbot, Dean Motter, David LLoyd)

“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 than 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