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Graphic Novel Review

Book Cover



Author: Andy Dingle
Artist: Leonardo Manco
Titan Books
RRP: £9.99, US $14.99
ISBN-13: 978 1 84576 775 4
ISBN-10: 1 84576 775 6
Available 25 April 2008

The years have not been kind to John Constantine. Fallen friends, cigarettes and a life spent staring into the abyss have reduced the prideful prince of Britain's occult underground from calling the supernatural shots to cleaning up the messes left behind. That's about to change. A desperate plea from an old acquaintance puts Constantine on the road to reclaim the man, and the mage, he once was. His trip will take him from cutthroat prisons and crime-soaked slums to the high-rolling holiday spots of England's elite, and neither the darkest secret of his past nor a powerful new enemy will stand in his way. John Constantine is taking back what's his, even if doing it means death, damnation - or even worse...

Joyride collects together Hellblazer issues #230-237. The first tale sees Constantine avenging the death of a young woman who was murdered. But first, he's got to get the killer to admit what he did. That's easier said than done when you're tied to a stake with the sea water slowly rising around you.

Next up, Constantine discovers that there is a supernatural cause for the violence, crime and drug abuse of South London's Hunger Hill housing estate, and he must bring this cycle of misery and violence to an end... at any cost.

And finally, Constantine investigates a mysterious community that appear to be able to take possession of other people's bodies. All of the people in this community have suffered a loss at the hands of others, and a rich benefactor is giving them the chance to exact their revenge by the worst means possible.

We also get to see a little more of Constantine's past as he heads off to a casino that is housed in a building he once knew extremely well - a building that hides a lot of mysterious secrets.

The artwork and script for this collection is pretty impressive - as well as being as sick and twisted as you'd expect. This is one of the best Hellblazer collections I've read. I wouldn't sell my soul to own it... but I'd be tempted.


Nick Smithson

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