Hellblazer: Rise and Fall #3
Written by: Tom Taylor
Art by: Darick Robertson
Colors by: Diego Rodriguez
Letters by: Deron Bennet
“Twisted” may be the best way to encapsulate the three-issue Black Label series Hellblazer: Rise and Fall in one word. Yes, every John Constantine story is a bit twisted in some way, but when you look at, for example, Simon Spurrier’s run with the character, “grim” seems like a better one-word description. There are essential elements featured in every good Constantine story, but to what extent each gets used can vary.
Given Tom Taylor’s tendency to kill off as many characters as possible and the fact this was under the Black Label umbrella, it seemed reasonable to expect he’d take Constantine down a very dark path. While things are far from lighthearted — at least, for the most part — Hellblazer: Rise and Fall felt like it was trying to be weird about all else. That could be the result of Darick Robertson’s artwork. His approach gives off a wacky vibe more than anything.
The series turned out to be a good one for fans, just not the one I was expecting.
As for Hellblazer: Rise and Fall #3, the final issue of the story, it was a solid ending. There are a couple great callbacks from previous issues and Constantine faces the monster that’s been plaguing him for far too long.
There’s also a clear message delivered in this issue, and it’s one that definitely fits Constantine. However, the role Constantine plays in the delivery of this message puts him in the position of hero. Unless it’s an absolutely dire situation, Constantine is never the hero; he’s in the business of covering his own backside.