Well, it took a bit, but I am back to reviewing comics here at Haunted MTL. I am wanting to tackle a few titles, but my previous style of long reviews, while fun, isn’t super conducive to that.
So, welcome to Haunted MTL’s Graphic Content. Here I will review two or three titles in one go. The aim is to post a couple of comic review updates a month. On that note, I am always on the lookout for new titles, so please drop a title you want to see me cover in the comments.
So, let’s dive in. This week we are covering the continuing adventures of John Constantine and taking another trip to Killadelphia.
John Constantine: Hellblazer #3
Where we last left John Constantine he was dealing with invisible angels. This time around he confronts Tulpa magic and faces complications in the form of the street gang he is working for on behalf of his new assistant, Noah.
Spurrier’s writing and plotting still very much evokes some of that 1990s Hellblazer goodness. I am still very much entranced by the London being shown in this title, though the slang can, at times, feel a bit overwhelming. It takes me a little more time than I’d like to parse out some of the sayings, but I am glad to say three issues in that that is definitely less of an occurrence. I do worry the comic might be tapping that well too deeply, however. Regardless, the surrounding cast including Nat and the phone-bound demon Vestibulan are adding a lot of texture to the story.
The art continues to impress as well. One particularly poignant moment of loss, fallout from the cross-universe shenanigans of Constantine’s past is rendered with the requisite amount of heartbreak. Hellblazer’s London is still suitably grimy and there are some particularly fun shots present. A bit featuring British Sign Language takes full advantage of the displaced timing present in comic framing.
Ultimately, this storyline seems to conclude with the simple act of John leveraging his different sources and using words to solve the crisis at hand. It is all very on brand. (4 / 5)
John Constantine: Hellblazer #3 – “A Green and Pleasant Land, Part Three” was written by Simon Spurrier, illustrated by Aaron Campbell, and colored by Jordie Bellaire.
When we last left off with Killadelphia we learned a lot about the secret vampiric history of the United States in a very satisfying third issue. This week we continue the “Sins of the Father” story arc with the fourth part, “… Cry Out for Revolution.” Killadelphia has had three strong issues out the gate, but can that continue into the fourth issue?
Killadelphia’s fourth issue begins with the crisis of Philadelphia’s secret vampire population engaged in large scale attacks against the population. These scenes of carnage are rendered beautifully. Barring some unusual discrepancies in how characters appear from panel to panel, the overall issue is visually stunning.
The characters continue to prove compelling. The modern, vampiric take on John and Abigail Adams, in particular, are striking antagonists. Yet I am less sold on another key pairing. It takes a romantic turn and for me, it seems a bit fast. Despite that, I have found most of the story to progress appropriately even with the added impetus of the vampiric attacks.
The fact I am getting to this issue as late as I am, given the current unrest and protests against law enforcement around the US carries extra resonance here. The fact that the primary protagonists represent two generations of law enforcement and the vampiric population is largely comprised of people of color definitely provokes something uneasy. Particularly when the reluctant vampire, Tevin, talks to Sangster Sr., asking of the now-vampiric detective “How do Police see people like me?” Sangster Sr.’s response is disheartening and unsurprising: “As the enemy.” And no, he just doesn’t mean in the undead sense, here.
I think Killadelphia is an important horror comic right now. That is not to say that it wasn’t already important, but Barnes and his team have done a great job dealing with very tough topics. Keep them coming. (4.5 / 5)
Killadelphia #3 – “…Cry Out for Revolution” was written by Rodney Barnes, illustrated by Jason Shawn Alexander, and colored by Luis Nct.
See you soon for another installment of Graphic Content here at Haunted MTL.
Creepy Comics Collages by Jennifer Weigel, Part 5
Well, you won’t get rid of me that easily… Ha ha, I lied about coming to the end and the afterlife in the Creepy Comics Collages segment, it was just an opportunity for rebirth. Besides, it’s World Collage Day! So having come into another comic book to rework, here we go again…
Creepy Comics Story 9: The Voice (of God or Reason or perhaps an homage to my ex)
“Come to me my children, the voice of God awaits!… Don’t let them escape!” Please beam me up out of this weird comic collage alternate reality. “God I am your hand! Lift me… to your place. I commend my spirit!” I want to go back to dreaming about starfish.
The computer programmer behind the scenes turns to face us and smiles. “Guardians! This is a place of God!… Come to the true voice of God!” “I am everything.” “Come to the voice!” And the horrific AI generated creatures abide by his every coded word.
Just like last night in the — signs posted for Nightmare, No Exit. The deer spirit faun screams in surprise, “Eeek!” “No! I defy you!” She returns to the form of a little girl with arms outspread to the open sky. “Y’know, a day like today makes all the stuff that happened last night seem just like a bad dream!” The dream seems so real…
Somewhere in the city, the computer programmer sits up at night in pensive monologue, “You try to make a difference… But it doesn’t really matter.”
Creepy Comics Story 10: The City (Metropolis becomes self-aware)
This segment is brought to you by Dead Artists and Talking Dinosaurs. No really, wait for it…
Woooooo Uhhhh Wooooooo Uhhhh… Wump! Uff! Wump! Uff! “She belongs to The City!” The Glenn Fry 1985 hit single looms ominously overhead as Metropolis becomes self-aware. “The City… will live!… The City… will breathe!” The City gasps for air, “Got to… breathe!… Got to… Breathe!“
Her breath is the wind… Her eyes are windows. Her heart pumps fluid through buried plumbing… “I’m The City!” Her mind is The City!
And we have a celebrity appearance by Rich Koz “Son of Svengoolie” WFLD 1973: “I take a nap for 10,000 years and look what happens… some-body builds a city!” Kerwyn chimes in, “Geez! Somebody’s been busy!” And we cut out to a scene of Svengoolie standing alongside his coffin.
Well, that’s all folks. Or is it? For now, any way… until I get more comic books… Duh duh DUHHHH…
Creepy Comics Collages by Jennifer Weigel, Part 4
Wow, I can’t believe you’ve stayed the course through four whole strange story posts of these creepy comics collages. But this is the final frontier, the last segment, the standing ovation as it were. So here goes…
Creepy Comics Story 7: The Grave (shallow enough for ya?)
“It should take longer, it seems to all of them. Such holy flesh should not give before a blade so easily.” “His brow is growing so cold.” “Yes it would be. He’s dying.”
“My god… I’m not dead.” Put the shovel down. “Life is a no-win situation. Besides… You’re already dead!”
“I’m not dead. I’m not dead!… Oh, Oh my god… I can’t move… What’s happened to me?” Buried alive. Or maybe not.
“Dead?” Perhaps I am actually dead. I was expecting something… I dunno… different.
“I’m not hungry, I’m dead. I’m not sure what I’m doing here, in fact.” At least I’m not a zombie. That seems a small consolation right now though. “My organs are shutting down. It is a relief.”
“Three days have already passed.” We’re just sitting here, rotting. Like Norman Bates’ Mother. At least someone was kind enough to supply a rocking chair. “Oh, one last thing before I go… You’re doing my fucking head in.”
Creepy Comics Story 8: Adrift Afterlife (why you save the best gold coins for the ferryman)
How’d we get here? “I do not stand alone. I am sat in a boat.” “.. to be millions of miles away from any care in the world.” Was that the Ferryman? “Only liberty I know.”
“He does not remember arriving here, or if he has been here before. It is not the island he grew up on, though it feels so very familiar… He has been waiting for the night tides to come in, for they will bring starfish. He has always liked watching them cling to the beach before the current pulls them back into fathoms.”
“And the ocean brings him starfish… Perhaps his father had nothing to do with this place at all.” The ferryman stands on the far shore. It makes no difference now.
“Beneath the ocean, razor-sharp coral grows and plunges towards the surface, sent by a green place that would not like to burn.” “The sand is soft between his toes and he is not ashamed of anything.” The ghosts are here, contentedly it seems.
Thank you for joining us for these creepy comics collage art stories. But here’s where we have to leave it off. Trust me, it’s best that way. Besides I’m out of creepy comics to collage with.
Creepy Comics Collages by Jennifer Weigel, Part 3
We’re ba-ack… Are you ready for the next creepy comics collages graphic story overload? After the last time and the intermission I wasn’t sure I’d see you again, but here we are, together again. You’d almost think we put something in the water – wink.
Now where were we? Oh yeah, the world was going to hell… or was it?
Creepy Comics Story 5: Alien Invasion (A Fist Full of Physics!!!)
“Elsewhere… months… earlier…” “It begins as a flicker pin-point of light getting closer ever closer until it takes form.” The sky is falling, damn you Chicken Little.
“…unconfirmed rumors of extraterrestrials have surfaced this evening following reported sightings in upstate New York earlier today.” There’s the news for you. Always blowing things up to increase viewership ratings.
“Then I would suggest a test immediately.” ‘K Doc, we get it; maybe there’s cause for concern. Guessing these aren’t friendlies based on intel, or that the government pissed them off. “Where’s William Shatner when you really need him?”
“Next morning… City Hall…” “A Fist Full of Physics” Blamm-o! “As if that’s some kind of homage.” It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I was feeling fine but now I’m not so sure. “All of this is on your head.” You can thank the world governments with their shoot first, ask questions later policies for that.
“The act was deplorable. It’s ramifications were permanent.” Doc looks unamused. “And the doctor drones on in his cold monotone… ‘Then we all die.’”
Creepy Comics Story 6: Werewolves (Londoners, eat your hearts out)
“Fables Werewolves… no one can hear you howl.” So now we’re elbow-deep in lycanthropy? This story just keeps getting weirder and weirder…
“… I feel so… disoriented… is this vertigo?” No, you wouldn’t be so lucky. Once bitten, twice shy. It’s The Change. Prepare yourself for the transformation.
“What now?” Enough with the damned interruptions already, can’t you see I’m at work?!
“Shall we start a war?”
“No! No! Leave me alone! Leave me alone! No!“
“I know one thing.” “Never will you suffer the indignity of this animal’s touch again.” The wolf seems somewhat offended by that statement. No really. And probably rightly so.
“Maybe it’s just an excuse, a fucking cop-out for when we inevitably fuck-up our lives and hurt people… We’re not cursed, we’re rotten, or mad or…”
“I don’t deserve this!” he howls. Stop blaming the werewolves for your own human indecencies. Teacups get broken and the London werewolves get angry.
Thank you for going all in with us over this series, there’s… one… more… final… huzzah… In the meantime, check out more of Jennifer Weigel’s work here on Haunted MTL or on her writing, fine art, and conceptual projects websites.