cover image John Constantine, Hellblazer: Shoot

John Constantine, Hellblazer: Shoot

Dave Gibbons, Warren Ellis, Jamie Delano et al. DC/Vertigo, $14.99 (259p) ISBN 978-1-4012-4748-5

John Constantine is about to get his own TV series, and this compendium of iconic Hellblazer stories will serve as a good intro, paying proper blazing tribute to the demented mage’s dark humor and seditious sassy-ness. In one story, a documentary film crew hell-bent on uncovering the truth behind Constantine’s short-lived career as a lead singer for the punk band Mucus Membrane meets an awful fate. The tale gets top marks thanks to the kinetic gutter art of Sean Murphy and writer Jason Aaron’s savvy media circus insider narrative. While less overtly shocking, the other stories in this collection are equally captivating, tackling many of the socio-political themes that have become intrinsic to the long-running, regular series. The title story—long unpublished at DC because of squeamishness over the content—is about a mysterious spate of shootings by schoolkids, and, as in other Hellblazer adventures, the solution is far from obvious. (Mar.)