Going Down Vol. 1

DOYLE, Ming & . illus. by Riley Rossmo. 144p. (John Constantine, Hellblazer). DC Comics. Feb. 2016. pap. $14.99. ISBN 9781401259723.
Gr 10 Up—Ghosts are dying—that isn't normal, even in the world of hellblazer John Constantine, who banishes demons from the human plane. When his best ghostly mates are torn into pieces by an angry and vengeful demon, Constantine musters his pride and ventures into an undesirable place—his past. While exploring his roots and tracing them to when things went wrong in his personal relationships, he demands assistance from old colleagues and demonic spirits. Constantine discovers that the ghost killer is an infernal creature fueled by the soul of his ex-girlfriend. Doyle, Tynion, and Rossmo reintroduce this character, emphasizing his conflicting motives. The writing captures the snarky and standoffish persona of this well-known exorcist, who has relationships with both men and women. However, the narrative contains British slang and may be hard to understand for some readers, who may have to revisit a panel or two to catch the gist of the conversation. The design is a little disruptive (there are moments when dialogue doesn't follow the standardleft-to-right format, for instance, and the author and illustrators sometimes disregard the gutter). The artists use warm colors and dark shadows, along with gestural line work, to create movement and chaos and convey the evil essence that looms over Constantine's environment. Symbols indicate strong language, and overall, the content is best suited for a mature audience.
VERDICT Suggested for those looking to diversify their graphic novel collections.

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