The Best of Hellblazer

It ran 300 issues. A ton of different creators left their mark on the title. It covered almost all the bases when it came to genres. So, with that in mind, I ask the question: what were the best runs in the series?

This question got started with a discussion I had with @PR0FESS0RZ00M in the What Comic Do You Give Someone That's Never Read One? thread, where I learned that someone loved the Jamie Delano run, and they learned that I wasn’t its biggest fan.

But, anyway. Let the grand debate begin!

I was a big fan of the later run of the series by Peter Milligan.

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I’ll admit, that one isn’t my favorite, but it’s definitely up there. My top five are:

  1. Garth Ennis
  2. Mike Carey
  3. Brian Azzarelo
  4. Peter Milligan
  5. Warren Ellis
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@Batwing52 It’s cool you started a thread!! I hope it catches on.
Do you want to talk about after Milligan? He aged in the 300 to 50 years old, staring in New Castle when he was 18! Saying Delano isn’t your favorite is fine. The author corresponds with john’s age and subsequent personality so that’s COOL. It’s still understood that the first 300 are a must read.
So Moore said:
“One of those early notes was they both wanted to do a character that looked like Sting. … I can state categorically that the character only existed because Steve and John wanted to do a character that looked like Sting. Having been given that challenge, how could I fit Sting into Swamp Thing ? I have an idea that most of the mystics in comics are generally older people, very austere, very proper, very middle class in a lot of ways. They are not at all functional on the street. It struck me that it might be interesting for once to do an almost blue-collar warlock. Somebody who was streetwise, working class, and from a different background than the standard run of comic book mystics. Constantine started to grow out of that.”
,which is cool.

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Like I said, I don’t dislike it, I just like Constantine when the horror isn’t quite as gothic-influenced, and when it has a little levity to it. I definitely like all the “working class supernatural detective stuff,” but, yeah. It’s kind of hard for me to sit down and read them in large chunks.

But maybe that’s me being picky. I got into the series with Dangerous Habits.

Dangerous Habits was my favorite arc, so I suppose that makes Ennis my favorite Constantine writer. I would say Delano is my second favorite, though.

What’s everyone’s thoughts on Spurrier’s new run? Does it hold up against the old stuff? I’m thinking of buying the trade once it gets released.

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I give it a thumbs up. It’s a Gaiman “Books of Magic” Universe surrounding Timothy Hunter but focusing on John’s involvement. I was getting going before the distribution stopped. I think It has potential.

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I really enjoy all the Post 2013 J.C… “Constantine” in the New 52. Doyle and Tynion in “Constantine: The Hellblazer.” Even the rebirth stuff is fun. It is all Good to me. I would have a hard time putting it in a list of Favorites other than an Obvious lead on Ennis. But Delano was the adopted father, FROM BIRTH, I feel there should be some love if just for that!

I was collecting that one from the get-go, and I have a sizable chunk, though hardly a complete collection of that first 300.

I loved a ton of the stories in those early Delano runs, and was straight-up bonkers for the Ennis run. I am pretty confident there are the better part of a dozen other writers whose Hellblazer comics I collected and loved, but they haven’t seen the outside of a comic box in a lot of years.

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Thank you! Do you have to be up to date on the BOM universe to understand it?

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Unfortunately, I’ve only read the first 83 issues and every issue since 2016, so I can’t really choose from a large list of favorites. However, out of those writers my opinions are so:

Ennis is the best. I enjoyed every storyline, but as with pretty much every fan of Constantine, Dangerous Habbits was my favorite.

Delano had his ups and downs. I really, really liked Original Sins and Newcastle, but I really, really disliked the Fear Machine and one other story arc who’s name escaped me. Overall though, I believe it was good.

Simon Oliver was decent. I didn’t read the New 52 run of Constantine, but I heard it changed a lot like kicking him out of England and having him interact more with other DC characters. I thought Oliver was able to strike a nice balance and bringing back characters like Mercury was nice.

Tim Seeley is somewhat forgettable. Honestly, I almost hit reply on this post without including him because I completely forgot about his run. It wasn’t bad, it just couldn’t hold my attention and I was usually looking forward to reading other books when I would stop by my local comic shop.

Finally, Spurrier I feel it’s too early for me to give a final decision on, but I think it’s good so far, issues 4 and 5 especially.

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I guess you do… at least a little. It’s set in an environment with character’s I suppose aren’t well explained yet. that’s not to say the issues won’t come together for a new reader soon. It’s just if you have read the BOM then you’ll have an Idea of what and who is doing what.
Hope this helped

I haven’t read the Spurrier stuff (mostly just because I have a mountain of backlogged trades to get through), but I’ve heard only good things and from what I’ve seen the art is gorgeous.