Sunday 4 October 2009

Hellblazer: Empathy is the Enemy, by Denise Mina

John Constantine makes his way to Glasgow, where something rather nasty is brewing. There’s sickness in the air, and it’s driving people mad: they’re being made to feel what others felt in the moments before their deaths. It’s the last thing Constantine needs: empathy really is a liability in his line of work.

Like a lot of Hellblazer collections, a flick through this book makes it look very unappetising: murky, dull and coloured in various shades of black and grey. Once you get into it, though, the artwork serves the story, and it’s a good one, one long saga that brings to mind Delano stories like The Fear Machine. The end of the book is a pause in the action rather than its end, so I’m looking forward to reading the next in the series, The Red Right Hand.

There’s certainly no sense here of a big-shot author coming in to show everyone how it’s done. Like Kevin Smith on Daredevil she’s respectful of what’s gone before, building nicely on one story from Mike Carey’s run. Just a shame her run was so short, though I’ve heard nice things about the Andy Diggle issues that come next.

Hellblazer: Empathy is the Enemy, by Denise Mina, Vertigo, tpb, 168pp.

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