DC Comics | Black Label
(w) Tom Taylor (a) Darick Robertson (c) Diego Rodriguez
As great as Hellblazer has been under the “Sandman Universe” banner, it’s now inexplicably cancelled. Thankfully, another Hellblazer comic is here, and it feels even more steeped in the Vertigo tradition. The art by Darick Robertson recalls John Ridgeway, Will Simpson, and Steve Dillion in making London appear as a grimey, lived-in world where things definitely go bump in the night. Tom Taylor’s script starts off a bit worrisome by revisiting the circumstances around his birth, but thankfully this is not Hellblazer: Year One as the story quickly progresses to set up the core, twisted narrative.
The problem? Someone (or thing) is affixing angel wings to poor saps and then killing them in gruesome manners. Even stranger is that someone (or thing) else is stealing the wings off the fresh corpses. While Taylor and Robertson do telegraph who is behind part of the mystery, they throw in a curveball with the late appearance of a Vertigo fan favorite. Tom Taylor has been writing the hell out of John Constantine in the pages of DCeased, but for him to have full freedom in this world is a game-changer, as this seems to be a comic he was destined to write. This is only enhanced by Robertson’s great, expressive artwork. Overall, Hellblazer Rise and Fall #1 is a wonderful, ugly, and fascinating entry into John Constantine’s world.