Sunday, July 18, 2010

Blogathon 40: Hellblazer: The Gift (Part Three)

[Discussed in this post: the third part of Hellblazer: The Gift, "R.S.V.P." (#214-215).]

"So. Magic. What it all about, then?"

That's how John begins his speech at the Tate Club's 200th anniversary party. He delivers a strong condemnation of magic, those who practice it, their goals, and the results. He calls them lazy, selfish, and uncaring about the effects of their actions. He then shows them all their deaths. It's the drunken toast to end all drunken toasts. It comes at the end of these two issues, the first of which has John falling further when he learns what Chas went through. John gets arrested as a result and burns down his storage unit. He decides to leave it all behind him, give up magic.

The final speech makes the story, though. You know it's going to be something special when he tells Map that he'll be attending the party and that they won't like it, but they'll remember it. I considered copying it out, but it needs to be read in the comic with Manco's thicker blacks. They're messy and mirror the words. The mood is foul there and John doesn't care, because he's sick of magic and magician. He looks around at his 'peers' and hates him.

The lines that stick out to me most of all are: "Innocent people die when we fuck up. And we fuck up all the time." I haven't mentioned superheroes yet today, but even if there was a line that I would love to see said as a drunken speech to a bunch of superheroes...

Carey ends his run with a big blaze orf righteous anger and it's a good way to end. It leaves John in a different place, he's changed the board, and hopefully left his mark on the character. This could have been the final issue of the series and I would have been happy. It's not quite John taking responsibility, but it's him not running either. I don't think he knows how to take responsibility for all the shit he's done, but not running away is good enough, I think. It's all he has. The issue ends with him being flanked by all the people whose deaths he's responsible for and he walks through them. He doesn't avoid them, he stares them head on. It's a start.

In 30 minutes, we'll see how a great end of a solid run can lead to a fairly bad run...

[Don't forget to donate what you can to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund! After you do, let me know via comment or e-mail (found at the righthand side) so I can keep track of donations -- and who to thank.]