John Constantine: Hellblazer #12
Written by: Simon Spurrier
Art by: Aaron Campbell
Colors by: Jordie Bellaire
Letters by: Aditya Bidikar
John Constantine: Hellblazer #12 was a great ending to Simon Spurrier’s run, but the series ended too soon. Could’ve used another two arcs, easily.
Spurrier just understood the character so well, and that was all encapsulated in John Constantine: Hellblazer #12.
But, the fact this was the last issue of John Constantine: Hellblazer did enhance the reading experience. No one knows the future of this character, and things were very dark throughout the majority of Spurrier’s previous 11 chapters.
Whoever winds up writing the character next has a tough act to follow.
The artists from the series were excellent, as well. But, Jordie Bellaire’s colors have been integral in establishing the tone for the entire series. John Constantine: Hellblazer simply isn’t the same without Bellaire.
If you’re looking to learn more about Constantine as rumors surround the character’s big-screen presence, this is a series you should read. If you like the character, but haven’t been pleased with how he’s been written in recent years, this is a series you should read.
(WARNING: Spoilers for John Constantine: Hellblazer #12 ahead.)
There are three big things that happened in this book, but I really want to focus on one.
Yes, it’s wild that Constantine is essentially a zombie. It’s also horrifying to imagine that he’s a father — very glad Spurrier paid off on that after leaving bread crumbs in previous issues.
But what I care about most is the death of Tommy Willowtree.
Appreciated his role in John Constantine: Hellblazer. At the same time, definitely would say he was my favorite character. This is more about principle.
Constantine put multiple people at risk to save himself. I respect not giving in. Still, knowing his track record — and being faced with it — this would’ve been the time for him to throw in the towel.
Instead, he lets three people die, including Tommy — who Noah has to kill.
Messed up, yes, but we all know that’s about as on-brand as it gets for Constantine. Someone around him always gets hurt. It’s an element that’s crucial to writing the character effectively. Because events like that put the reader in an uncomfortable position. We’re reading the book for Constantine, but how many times are we going to say it’s OK for someone else to die so he can save his own skin.
Really hope whoever handles writing duties for the next full-length Constantine series keeps that in mind.