The Hellblazer #11 Review

The Smokeless Fire Part 2

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John Constantine’s plan to get the dancing shoe viral works. But will said plan have a positive outcome? 

Writer: Simon Oliver

Artist: Davide Fabbri

Colourist: Carrie Strachan

As the Smokeless Fire arc comes together all the different plot threads wind closer together. This means that some threads, at the moment, seem completely distinct from others.

The plot of this issue is a little hard to explain to someone who isn’t following this series already. It’s quite funny and at times scary. It isn’t Oliver’s best work on The Hellblazer but we are only two issues into this arc. The problem with large stories is that it sometimes means issues like this are necessary to build to the eventual climax.

The swapping between narratives is somewhat jarring. It’s difficult to tell what’s happening, or rather why we should care. By the end of the issue things make more sense but it’s clearly being written with the collected edition in mind. It reads like a chapter of a graphic novel more so than an issue of a comic series.

The art is interesting, the more I think about it the more my opinion changes. This month I am of the opinion that Davide Fabbri’s art is actually quite good. I see it as a throwback to the art styles of the 90s. This then works to connect this Hellblazer series with the original. On the other hand I feel that Strachan’s colouring is detrimental to this effect.

The modern colouring style doesn’t gel with the pencils which leads the artwork to look worse overall. It has a bit of a webcomic vibe about it. I personally think that a block colouring style a la 90s Hellblazer and other Vertigo books would help compliment the pencils. But then again I’m not an artist.

This is an adequate issue but the current arc isn’t one I think would hook a new reader.

Recommendation: wait for the trade.

Author: Alex

I review comics and books. I also take issue with a lot of things.

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