I wonder if they’ll call it “Heckblazer.”

§ August 22nd, 2012 § Filed under pal plugging, publishing § 8 Comments

Pal Jim just started up The Laughing Magician: A Reader’s Guide to Hellblazer, a blog documenting his thoughts and analyses as he reads through the adventures of John Constantine. As a Constantine fan since Swamp Thing #37 (June 1985), I mightily approve of this endeavor.

…Speaking of Hellblazer, there’s been some discussion among pals of mine about what’s going to happen when the series hits #300. I’m not sure what sales are like on the book…it does okay for us, moving low-ish but consistent numbers. Jim says his shop orders only 3 copies a month. I suspect this series, now DC’s highest numbered series being published, is getting a little long in the tooth in this era of digital sales and reboots and people wanting to be able to get the “whole” story right away rather than just jumping in and hanging on. The recent retooling of the Hellblazer trade paperback line, reprinting all the issues in consecutive order in books with actual volume numbers on the spine, is a start in rebuilding some readership, I suppose, but I think a restart after 300 is within the realm of possibility.

I mean, I have no idea. Maybe DC has a great new jumping-on point planned with issue #301 with a wonderful creative team that’s sure to get a whole bunch of new readers. This Hellblazer message board is listing fan nominations for dream creative teams for a post-300 series, including several names I’d love to see on the series myself. And when I search on the Googles for more info, the first result I find for Hellblazer #300 is, well, me. Well, specifically, reader Jeff R.’s prediction for what will happen regarding the series this year. My gut feeling is that Jeff is right…#300 will wrap up the Vertigo run, and we’ll get a New 52 version of ol’ Johnny in his own series. (I mean, aside from Justice League Dark, which he also appears in…and has been a fun read, in case you haven’t been following it.)

Like I said, I don’t know, and I haven’t been keeping up with the comic news sites lately, so it’s very possible I missed any news on this topic. And if I did, I’m sure I’ll hear about it in the comments. But I hope Hellblazer does continue its numbering past 300…when everyone else is starting over with new first issues, it feels right that Constantine would continue to be his old contrary self and buck the trends.

8 Responses to “I wonder if they’ll call it “Heckblazer.””

  • White Lantern Alec Holland says:

    Hellblazer is the Last Man Standing of the old DCU that ran for 75 years (from the first published Doctor Occult story in 1936 until the final issue of Flashpoint in 2011) I think it’s safe to assume #300 will definitely be the end. No more mortal characters getting old, no more time-honored DCU continuities, nor any more superheroes wearing their underwear on the outside of their pants. No more DC-owned characters at Vertigo.

    I’m also sure the pointless Justice League Dark series will end sometime before Hellblazer, leaving the DCnU Conjob to run around in endless guest appearances. “Heckblazer” is a certainly a possiblity, especially if he turns out to be “Jonathan Carrol” over in Superman…

  • Corey (Ottawa) says:

    I actually hope it keeps plugging past #300. Milligan has done a great job in moving the character ahead (and Epiphany has been a great addition), and it would be a shame for this book, which is so close to hitting 25 years, to be folded up and homogonized into the DCnu

  • Jim says:

    Thanks Mike! I was definitely intimidated by the size of the Hellblazer run, as I mentioned on the site. I decided to jump in on Milligan’s run at the start of a new storyline during a slow comics week though, and I’ve done all right over time, to the point where, like you, I’d be bummed about a number reboot (but I totally get it from a business standpoint). I hope they keep a Vertigo Constantine up and running, not just because I started my blog!

    I’d also strongly recommend grabbing a copy of Vertigo Resurrected: Hellblazer #1 if you can find a copy. There are two, two issue stories there, one by Ennis / Dillon and one by Aaron / Murphy, and for eight bucks it’s a nice demonstration of how you can jump around temporally in Hellblazer without losing your footing. Also, the recent City of Demons miniseries / trade by Simon Spurrier and Sean Murphy is pretty great and self-contained.

    And thanks again for recommending Justice League Dark. What I’ve read of Lemire’s run has been fun so far, and I’ll be covering it soon on the site.

  • Jim says:

    Er, the recs are for new / curious readers. Not for you, all-knowing and all-power Mikester!

  • Chad says:

    I will definitely be bummed if the Vertigo version goes away. He’s just not the same in the DCU. (And yes, I know he started there, but the guy in Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing run, not to mention the pre-Vertigo issues of Hellblazer, is a far cry from the New 52 version, at least for my money.)

  • swamp mark says:

    With Swampy and John re-entering the DCU,I totally forgot Hellblazer.Has Swampy appeared in Hellblazer,lately?Anything after #215 specifically.Any help would be welcome.

  • White Lantern Alec Holland says:

    Swamp Mark, how about that Swampy wordpress site?
    If Jim can do one for Hellblazer…

  • Jeff R. says:

    I did allow for the possibility of the Vertigo version of the character living on in mini-series, post-#300, as I recall.