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Hellblazer issue 274

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Hellblazer #274
HB274
Story title(s)
'Bloody Carnations, part 4: The Cold Heart'
Cover
Art
Simon Bisley (pp 3-6), Giuseppe Camuncoli (layouts, pp 1-2, 7-23), Stefano Landini (finishes, pp 1-2, 7-23)
Colours
Brian Buccelato (pp 3-6), Trish Mulvihill (pp 1-2, 7-23)
Letters
Sal Cipriano
Editor
Shelly Bond (editor)
Cover date
February 2011
Collected in
Previous issue

John Constantine: Hellblazer #275 (February 2011) John Constantine retrieves Epiphany just in time for both Nergal and Terry Greaves to make attempts on his life.

Plot summaryEdit

The issue opens in the modern day with a shivering, bearded man nervously looking at the flies that are swarming around him, attracted by the strawberry jam smeared all over his body. The man has apparently been tied up by Beano, former drummer for John Constantine's band Mucous Membrane, and an unnamed colleague. Beano tells the man, who seems to think that he is Gary Lester, that they're going to summon a demon...

In 1979, John Constantines old and young are having a face-off. Young John tries to convince Epiphany to stay with him, but she refuses and old John clocks him in the face. The couple head back to the present just in time for a pair of doctors from Ravenscar Secure Facility to arrive in order to take him back.

Old John and Epiphany land in the modern day on Vauxhall Bridge, where young John began the sex magic ritual. John wonders why he can't remember Piffy's appearance from his own past and concludes that he must be on a subtly different timeline - or, as Epiphany points out, he's just messed up from the booze. Just then, Chas - possessed by Nergal - comes roaring over the bridge towards the couple. A synchronicity spell John had worked up before he went back in time kicks in and the cab swerves suddenly, sending Chas flying through the windscreen.

HB274shock

Well how would you react if John Constantine told you he was getting married?

In hospital, a furious Chas tells John that the crash crushed his crotch - his wedding tackle will be out of action for six months. Chas's wife, Renee, arrives and is as furious as ever with Constantine, but even she is shocked when Epiphany gives her and Chas an invitation to their wedding - and says John wants Chas to be his best man.

John and Piffy make it back to his pad, aware that Terry Greaves's boys have tailed them. John tries to get Epiphany to take some of his blood to protect her from Nergal, reasoning that it worked for Angie Spatchcock, but she refuses. She heads to his kitchen and finds Gloria's heart in John's fridge - he says that he's keeping it for its powerful properties. She starts to ask him about the succubus but he distracts her with the wedding rings, then tells her he has to prepare before Terry and his boys arrive.

HB274trap

Terry's guilty secrets

They do, of course, only to walk into a magical trap that pulls guilt up from the pits of their souls and causes them to suffer hallucinations. While his thugs freak out on the floor, Terry - followed by the 'ghost' of his wife, prepares to jump from John's balcony. Piffy forces John to get him down, saying that she doesn't want her dad to die, and Constantine does just that. Later, as an ambulance takes away Terry's traumatised men, John says that he'll help Terry deal with those Afghan enemies of his - if Terry agrees to let them marry. He does, and soon letters are going out in the mail; invitations to John's surviving friends and family, including Gemma Masters and Kit Ryan.

And a final card arrives in Surrey, at Beano's house, where 'Gary' is still tied up. As Beano wonders what the hell John is playing at, the flies around 'Gary' begin to coalesce into a human-shaped form. That form looks oddly like John Constantine - but with blank white eyes and a scar on the wrong side of his face. This second Constantine has already killed 'Gary' and makes short work of Beano before finding the invitation to John's wedding lying on the floor.

Continued in Hellblazer issue 275

ContinuityEdit

GoofsEdit

  • The timeline for this storyline is unclear; according to John, Terry contacted him 'a few days ago' about his Afghan problem. However, in Hellblazer issue 273 John only waits 24 hours between Terry contacting him and stepping into the time-portal. On his return, everything seems to run in an unbroken run from John arriving back to Chas crashing and them leaving the hospital. Even if they don't leave Chas till the early morning, that would still be less than two days since Terry asked.
  • Also, Chas seems to recover extraordinarily quickly from the crash, considering the amount of damage done to him and the amount of surgery required. It's tempting to assume John and Epiphany came back a couple of days later, but Renee's reaction makes it clear that their meeting is very shortly after the crash.

NotesEdit

  • This issue has 23 pages of story, rather than the usual 22.
  • This issue features a sneak preview of Rat Catcher, an original graphic novel released through the Vertigo Crime imprint.

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