Saturday, July 17, 2010

Blogathon 30: Hellblazer: Black Flowers (Part Two)

[Discussed in this post: the second part of Hellblazer: Black Flowers, "Third Worlds" (#184-186).]

Marcelo Frusin returns for this trio of stories that all take place in a different location: South America, Iran, and Tasmania. All have something that John wants in his efforts to track down what's going on with the dog and the three doors. In South America, John talks with Swamp Thing and asks for some help, but in the most dickish manner possible; he also does a scam with a buddy in exchange for information. They cheat a man out of his soul at a card game, seemingly looking like the guy fucked John. He's told that the dog comes from Eden, pre-fall. So, John heads to Iran, because Eden is close to there. There, he encounters a sect that believes they're descendents of Cain, waiting for the pardon to be lifted so they can return to Eden first, with whom he's had previous contact and they want him for theft, so he has to undergo a trial by ordeal. He learns about a beast in Eden that wouldn't be named. During that, he asks Angie to get as close to Eden as possible and bury some of his hair there. He also learns from Swamp Thing that two things crossed through the door: something large and something small. This has happened before, mostly recently in Tasmania. He escapes the trial by ordeal by using meditation to block out the pain. In Tasmania, he's trapped in a dream of sorts while Angie does the talking that gets him saved and his questions answered.

This storyarc operates under the rules that I discussed earlier: Carey telling small, somewhat self-contained stories that work on the macro as well. Each has its own little story in it that, once done, leads to the next location. The first issue is the best, because of the poker game. There's genuine intrigue there, while the other two descend in quality. We do get a cool shot of Angie being faced with a pissed off angel with a flaming sword, though.

I will say that there is something about these stories that don't sit right with me entirely. It's not because I know where things are going, it's that John doesn't seem too on the ball here. He's playing the part of the detective, but that's not what he is. It seems obvious that he's going to fuck things up, because he's just moving from place to place with such ease. Also, a big clue: John is trying to save the world. When is that ever good for anyone?

The relationship between Angie and John progresses here, but Carey plays it well. I think it works fine. Especially since we get some of Angie's past in the third issue. I still don't find her that interesting, though. She's too much of a loyal puppy with the odd snarky remark. She does what she's told. Meh.

In 30 minutes, we do the first part of Staring at the Wall as things go from bad to worse...

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