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Hellblazer issue 188

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Hellblazer #188
HB188
Story title(s)
'Bred in the Bone, part 2'
Script
Colours
Lee Loughridge
Letters
Clem Robins
Editor
Will Dennis (editor), Zachary Rau (asst. editor)
Cover date
November 2003
Collected in
Previous issue

John Constantine: Hellblazer #188 (November 2003) Solicitation Text : The 2-part “Bred in the Bone” concludes. Gemma Constantine is caught between the monsters of Gruinard Island and the human monsters who brought her there as she desperately tries to atone for her uncle John's past sins.

Plot summaryEdit

Ghant muses on the joy of working with bone as the children of Gruinard undergo a grotesque transformation, shedding their human guises to assume their true forms as winged demons.

In a small rowing boat just off the coast of Gruinard, Bantham gives Gemma Masters directions to the cairn under which he buried the creatures he killed some twenty years previous. Ghant explains to Masters that he needs a bone from the remains of the larger creature, preferably one from its finger. With shovel in hand, Gemma wades out onto the island.

1983, Gruinard Island. Bantham, Ghant and John Constantine prepare to face the creatures that stalk the island around them. John and Ghant discuss the intricacies of hunting a Succubus.

Now, Gruinard Island. Gemma's trek across the island comes to a violent end when the now transformed children swoop from the night sky to attack her. Masters lashes out with her shovel but the clawed talons of her attackers make short work of her weapon and only the sudden transformation of one of the winged monsters prevents her death at the claws of the others. Back in his human form, Paul convinces the other demons to stop their attack on Gemma - pointing out that she doesn't smell like a grown up. Gemma convinces Paul to lead her to the grave she seeks as the rest of the creatures fly off, leaving the pair alone together.

Arriving at the cairn, Masters uses the remains of her shovel to exhume the grave, finding two sets of skeletons - one small and one big. Gemma tells Paul what little she learnt from Ghant's diary about the events that led to the deaths of the two beings that lie before them. Masters suggests that three men in the past came and shot the little one before its mother tried to protect it, leading to its death at the hands of men who murdered its child. Paul tearfully corrects her, revealing that the creatures ate their own mother alive before the three men arrived.

1983, Gruinard Island. Ghant, Bantham and Constantine stumble across the young demons feeding on their mother. When one of the creatures lunges at them, Bantham unloads his shotgun into its gut, causing it to revert to its human form as it dies. John reckons that the demonic children are the result of the coupling between a Vampire and a Succubus. Ghant and Constantine agree that they need a binding spell to keep the demonic young trapped on the island.

Now, Gruinard Island. Gemma tries to comfort the tearful Paul, pointing out that his actions were dictated by the nature of his being, something he's incapable of circumventing. Paul, in turn, tells Gemma that the creatures feed off each other, eating one of their own when it grows past puberty and becomes an adult. Opening Ghant's diary, Masters reads the final entry on the events that transpired on Gruinard twenty years ago.

1983, Gruinard Island. Ghant and Constantine perform the binding spell, trapping the young creatures for as long as the bones buried there are never reunited on the island with those taken by Ghant.

Now, Gruinard Island. Gemma returns to Bantham and Ghant, who have moored their rowing boat to a small crop of land that lies just off the island. Ghant drops the bone fragment handed to him by Masters into his small bag of bones, reuniting it with the ones he took from the island twenty years ago. Gemma asks the pair about the man who's been leaving clothes on the island for the children - Bantham owns up, admitting that he's been wracked with guilt since seeing the young body of the creature he killed. As Ghant ridicules Bantham for his sentimentality, Masters makes her move, grabbing his bag and emptying its contents onto the ground.

Furious, Ghant lunges at Gemma with a knife, but Bantham intervenes - grabbing his arm and telling a shocked Ghant that the crop of land they stand on is actually a part of the island. The winged demons seize their opportunity, swooping down to attack both men - dismembering Bantham as Ghant leaps into the sea and disappears from sight. Gemma is disgusted by the feeding frenzy that follows and verbally attacks the creatures around her for killing the man who'd been helping them for years. Paul tells Gemma that they're returning to where their mother used to live but that they now consider Gemma their friend and will come if she calls on them. Sitting on the outcrop, surrounded by the bloodied remains of Bantham, Gemma reachs a turning point - deciding that the life of her uncle is not something she should be aspiring towards.

Elswhere, John Constantine arrives back in London and informs a nearby beggar that the end of the world is most definitely nigh.

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NotesEdit

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