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Hellblazer issue 87

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Hellblazer #87
HB87
Story title(s)
'Warped Notions, part 3: The Shout'
Art
Sean Phillips
Colours
Matt Hollingsworth
Letters
Clem Robins
Editor
Lou Stathis (editor), Axel Alonso (asst. editor)
Cover date
March 1995
Collected in
Previous issue
Next issue

John Constantine: Hellblazer #87 (March 1995) A plane above Australia: after the gruesome events in Philadelphia, John prays for a little peace and quiet. Some hope. One attack of inside-out people later, and the entire plane's bellyflopping along an Australian runway. Stranded in the middle of nowhere with the other survivors, John puts together synchronous clues and realises the horrible truth about the Everything Virus...

Plot summaryEdit

As John Constantine enjoys a cigarette on an airplane, he recalls how easy it is to travel when there are a few seats open. Using hypnotic illusions and robbing a yuppie, John has managed to get tickets for himself and Murnarr the cat demon on board. With the two of them and Sir Francis Dashwood along as well, John mulls over the fact that he’s formed “Constantine’s Flying Circus”. John remembers hearing that Dashwood’s Hellfire Club was pulling strings internationally some two hundred years ago. John still doesn’t have a good idea what’s going on even with Dashwood’s warning about reality coming apart. John believes it wasn’t all together in the first place with what he’s seen lately, and he certainly wasn’t prepared for the sudden sigh of people turned inside out suddenly causing the plane to go into a panicked frenzy.

The plane loses control from the encounter, but safely lands in northern Australia, and John sitting out in the distance trying to light a cigarette watches the other passengers scurry about, reminding him of a disaster movie. Murnarr catches up to Constantine on top of a large hill, telling him that they should continue on. John declines as he would rather smoke, and sees an aborigine moving towards him. His body paint looks like one of the inside out people at first, and as the aborigine points a large bone to Murnarr the plane explodes. Both John and Murnarr are startled, but Murnarr seems desperate as he believes the aborigine has cursed him. John tells him the only way to undo any kind of hex is to get his stick. Murnarr goes after him, telling Dashwood that there is dangerous magic here and that they should separate.

Shortly after the plane exploded, the locals started to gather. One of them asks John what happened to such a safe looking aircraft. John informs him that it blew up the same time the witch doctor came around. The local calls the witch doctor, Jeffo. He tells Constantine that he’s been around this spot for four days now, almost expecting something like this to happen. He explains that Jeffo thought the ghosts were coming back. Puzzled, John asks what he means by ghosts, and the local tells John that when the first white man came to Australia, the aborigines thought it was the ghost of their tribal leader. Now John remembers that there have been several prophets who’ve known about what was going on all over the world. First was himself when he went to visit a fortune teller, Rosie, in Southend the night he went to Arthur’s. There he saw the crystal ball show reality being shredded, and then he left quickly shouting that he was being followed. Arthur was the second sign, then The Church of Virtual Reality picking him up in Philadelphia, and now it was Jeffo the witch doctor.

The locals welcome John to Crowsville, where even a little place like this has two pubs for variety. The local informs John they’re getting a public telephone next week. Inside one, the local who picked John up informs the bartender, Jenny, that she should be ready for a crowd from the airline passengers. John notices Jeffo, and warns him about Murnarr. Jeffo replies that “His soul’s gone walkabout with the rainbow snake.”

Not far, Murnarr and Sir Francis discuss the mission’s status. Murnarr is worried for both his own safety and the success of Constantine. He believes John cannot be trusted and feels that a curse has been laid on him and cannot be removed until he finds the witch doctors stick. Dashwood is disappointed, however. He wished to have several plans for Constantine and relive the fruits of his human life. Murnarr leaves Dashwood to his sadness in search of Jeffo.

Inside the pub, two locals ponder the fate of the person Jeffo pointed his stick at. One of them is positive that Murnarr’s death is undeniable. The other argues that it’s only supposed to work among the aborigines themselves and that they’d be cut off from all culture. It would be like taking the TV out of the pub. John glances up to see what’s on and makes a humorous observation about Angela Lansbury and “Murder She Wrote”, implying that she’s a serial killer because she’s always in the right place at the right time whenever a murder occurs. The others find John’s theory to be right on the money, and that’s when something comes to Constantine’s mind. He realizes that all the weirdness and reality unraveling was all happening when Sir Francis Dashwood was around. Murnarr must be playing with Dashwood at his own agenda, but John’s not sure what he wants out of this. He sits at the bar, trying to concentrate.

Outside, Jeffo moves through the airline passengers outside the pub and to his house. When he sees Murnarr inside looking for his stick he informs him that he won’t find it there. An angered Murnarr crashes through the window trying to attack him with his sword. Jeffo manages to get away and runs off. As Murnarr senses something in the air, a giant form of a snake appears around him. It lashes out, taking Murnarr by the stomach and lifting him high into the air before dropping him. As the rain falls, the two prepare to battle. As Murnarr lifts his sword to strike, the giant serpent tears one of his arms off. Hurt, but not dead, Murnarr readies to strike again. He lifts his sword…

…only to be struck by a bolt of lightning.

Back at the pub John recalls what the woman told him about the solution able to be found in the rain forests. John asks the local if he can get up to the islands up north where the area is still wild. The local informs him that he has a friend going there tomorrow and that he can give him a ride. John agrees to go with him. The next day the two locals discover Murnarr’s body, finding it almost unrecognizable. Elsewhere, John rides to the northern islands via a pick-up truck. He knows Dashwood will catch up with him sooner or later, but is unsure when or how. As the truck continues on, Dashwood hides in its bed, waiting.

ContinuityEdit

DiscontinuityEdit

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GoofsEdit

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NotesEdit

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