COMIC REVIEW: Hellblazer Vol. 5: Dangerous Habits TPB (2013) #1

HELLBLAZER VOL. 5: DANGEROUS HABITS TPB (2013) #1“This new edition of a classic HELLBLAZER collection features several tales never before collected, including a look at John Constantine’s rough and tumble childhood and the beginnings of his unique skills.  Then, in early stories from PREACHER writer Garth Ennis, John Constantine is dying. As a sorcerer literally haunted by the demons of his past, John is no stranger to mystic bedevilment or supernatural horror. But it’s his chain smoking that ultimately brings death to Constantine’s door. Collecting HELLBLAZER #34-46″

So what’s so good about this release you ask?

They are claiming it includes some issues that have never been collected before. I’m very curious to see which ones. What’s really odd is that they have taken Delano’s ending and have made it into the front half, and then continue by collecting the Dangerous Habits story-arc.  The more I think about it the more I want to believe that there is a catch.  Delano writes a self-contained ending to his run, while Ennis ignores that and basically restarts the series all over again.

I think it’s odd that DC isn’t putting out the last seven Delano issues out on their own  which would also include the extra sized #40.  There is definitely enough material there for a decent TPB especially if they bundled issue #84 with it.

With artist changes mid-book why print a traded comic series with more than one writer on one traded volume and pair two unrelated Dangerous Habits?

I just don’t feel that Delano or Ennis will benefit from this.  I feel that Ennis’ Dangerous Habits is a complete standalone. I would go as far as considering  it the best single introduction to Hellblazer for any new readers.  In my opinion DC should just invest the money and print a “Hellblazer by Jamie Delano” and a “Hellblazer by Garth Ennis”.

At this point I just hope they trade the whole series in a respectful way to say our goodbyes, but I can see them reprinting Ennis’ run and just stopping there.


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