John Constantine Hellblazer: All His Engines – A Comic Review

Posted on February 3, 2008. Filed under: Reviews, Spiritual Musings |

  John Constantine Hellblazer:  All His Engines – A Review

Many great writers have given us the stories of John Constantine (Alan Moore, Garth Ennis, Warren Ellis) each taking turns at spinning yarns about the dark, brooding bane of Hell.  For those worried that Mike Carey (Ultimate Fantastic Four, X-Men) wouldn’t be able to carry such a heavy mantle, put your minds at ease.  All His Engines is a well thought out story of salvation, turf wars, and old gods. 

When a strange disease that causes children to fall into comas claims Chas Chandler’s grand-daughter Tricia as its next victim, Chas turns to his best friend John to help save her.  As the story begins to unfold we learn that Tricia is being held hostage by a demon with plans to take over all of Los Angeles as his own territory.  The demon’s scheme is to force Constantine into working for him to chase rival demons out of L.A.  Constantine reluctantly agrees, knowing full well that the demon has no intention of releasing Chas’ grand-daughter after he’d fulfilled his part of the deal. 

Carey’s idea behind this tale is great.  I mean, come one!  A demon gang war in Los Angeles for the control of lost souls?  Fantastic!  The way that Carey lets the story unfold allows it to keep its secrets close to the chest.  I can’t begin to even count how many twists and turns were involved as it all comes to a rather climactic finish.

I think what truly makes me enamored with the character of John Constantine is what he is underneath the surface.  Sure he has the airs of someone who has seen and been through too much to want to care anymore.  Sure he has his own scarred and checkered past and don’t forget the trench coat and chain smoking that lend itself to the sense of John being more dark than he actually is.  But I would like to offer that with all of the occult stuff aside, John Constantine is quite Christ-like.

I don’t mean that he is Christ-like in a Messianic way.  He is Christ-like in the way that we as followers of Jesus are called to be.  He takes up the cause of the weak and downtrodden.  Even though he comes off as someone who is solely self serving, almost everything he does is for the greater good.  Mostly, it’s because he does in the physical what we are called to participate in among the spiritual realms.  The way that Constantine faces down and is willing to deal with the frightening manifestations of the demonic realms are much akin to what we are called to do in our spiritual lives.

Constantine is a shining example of what a gruff Christian would probably look like:  a little world weary and weather worn, sometimes a bit rough around the edges, but always TRYING to do what is right, whether even if it means sacrificing things greater than he could have imagined.  John Constantine may unwillingly be a great Christian example for us to follow.  Is it any wonder?  After all, his initials are J. C.


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One Response to “John Constantine Hellblazer: All His Engines – A Comic Review”

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Thanks for your comment on the review of the latest Booples DVD!

Nice site, btw, keep it up!

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