Heart Of Darkness
Tripwire continues its 100 Graphic Novels You Should Read While Stuck Inside with its fortieth choice, Hellblazer: Pandemonium: A John Constantine Graphic Novel written by Jamie Delano and drawn by Jock, reviewed by Tripwire editor-in-chief Joel Meadows…
Hellblazer: Pandemonium: A John Constantine Graphic Novel
Writer: Jamie Delano
Letterer: Clem Robins
Alan Moore may have been the father of John Constantine but Jamie Delano was his dodgy uncle, fleshing out his adventures and giving his character extra shape. He wrote the character for its first 24 issues and returned a couple of times later, looking in on the sarcastic bastard. Hellblazer: Pandemonium is a 126 hardcover graphic novel that sees Constantine visit Iraq, blackmailed into helping the American and British secret services interrogate an escaped mystical figure. Constantine is drawn into this by Iraqi agent Aseera but he soon finds that things aren’t quite what they seem but his temporary puppetmasters haven’t counted on his venality and his ability to turn every situation no matter how hopeless to his own advantage.
Published in 2010, Pandemonium is a great return for Delano to a character he really made his own. Teamed with fellow British creator Jock, significantly earlier in his career than now, this book has a visceral energy to it thanks to the art, a perfect match for Delano’s dark script. It also feels a little like a nod to Coppola’s Apocalypse Now as Constantine takes a journey literally to the heart of darkness.
Delano has one of those voices in modern comics which is erudite, passionate and refreshingly sardonic. Hellblazer: Pandemonium is a rich and intelligent tale of John Constantine, shot through with atmosphere and the sort of moral ambiguity that the best JC tales possess.
Here’s links to the other graphic novels reviewed so far