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Hellblazer: Good Intentions [Paperback]

Brian Azzarello , Marcelo Frusin
2.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

22 Mar 2002 Hellblazer
John Constantine: Hellblazer, mystical troubleshooter, has faced horrors beyond human comprehension, stared down devils and battled demons. With a devil - may - care attitude, he shoots first and asks questions later...which is why he's just got out of prison. Now Constantine must revisit the no - horse town of Doglick, to make amends to the family of the man whose death he was imprisoned for. But Doglick is a town of dark secrets, and Constantine's past may be lying in wait for him there, sharpening its teeth...

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Product details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Titan Books Ltd (22 Mar 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840234334
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840234336
  • Product Dimensions: 25.8 x 16.4 x 0.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,230,544 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Brian Azzarello has only recently appeared on the comics scene, but his work on 100 Bullets and Jonny Double, as well as his previous Hellblazer collection, Hard Time, has catapulted him to the forefront of the ranks of contemporary comics writers.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A contrasting opinion on this book 22 Feb 2005
By A Customer
It is difficult to know how to grade this graphic novel because it reprints a story arc of six issues of the monthly Hellblazer comic, which in itself was the second part of a much longer sequence recounting John Constantine's adventures travelling across the United States following the death of a friend. Do I grade it in the context of the entire US-set storyline (all of which has been reprinted in, I think, four volumes) or do I assess it independently? I have rated it not on the entire run, not even on everything that is reprinted in this volume but on the strength of just one of the chapters of the story, for reasons of which I will come to. The John Constantine in the United States storyline immediately attracted its critics on its release because it was, I think, the first time that a non-Brit, Brian Azzarello, was trusted with the writing chores. But anyone who has read, "Hard Time", the volume which immediately precedes this, also by Azzarello and comics great Richard Corben will have no doubt that the characterisation of Constantine is as good as anything concocted by a Brit. Perhaps this US-spin on the title can be re-viewed in the light of the new Constantine movie which has, as of this writing, only just been released in the States, and "threatens" a totally Americanised version of the character. You will not totally understand all of "Good Intentions" unless you have read "Hard Time" but you need go no further back. I too was put off by Constantine's extended family of supporting characters prior to this storyline but this proved to be the perfect jumping-on point for new readers who know nothing more about the character other than that he is a modern-day mage with a checkered past and shady morals. Read more ›
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10 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 1 Oct 2002
Always looking forwards to a new book of Hellblazer, this was a major disappointment. It has little to do with the John Constantine we know and love from Moore, DeLano or Ellis, and the storyline lacks the usual wit and flaire of the man who gives the devil the finger.
Even more disappointing is it that this was written and drawn by the people behind that excellent serie 100 Bullets.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What happened? 28 Jun 2011
Not having followed the progress of John Constantine since I first met him in Swamp Thing all those years ago, I can't say when he turned into parody. However the wisecracking, resourceful character of those days does not exist in this comic. There's a lot of grinning and dark, hollow eyes in what is meant to be an exploration of the dark underbelly of America blah blah blah... But really, it's just silly. This is pandering to the dumbest market, so if you thought Keanu Reeves' crucifix shotgun in the movie was cool, you'll probably like this. If you prefer Alan Moore's version in Swamp Thing, American Gothic, then leave well alone.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars azzarello takes constantine down a dirty, scary road 23 May 2004
By fuzzuck - Published on Amazon.com
i'm writing this review because every other opinion of this story i've heard has been negative, and i feel obligated to say that i think this is one of the better hellblazer tales, particularly when taken as part of the larger azzarello/frusin run. i think brian azzarellos' writing is excellent here, bleakly funny, horrifying and quirky, with twists you couldn't have predicted without a working crystal ball.
the characters of richie and dickie are unforgettable, cold psychotic killers reminiscent of the classic 'jody and t.c.' in garth ennis' 'preacher' but with more gritty realism. this story is not without it's flaws, sometimes veering dangerously close to unintentional ridiculousness, but always manages to redeem itself with vicious humour, quirky characterizations, and brutal action.
and another thing: marcelo frusin is not given even a fraction of the praise he deserves. his dark, heavily stylized art is like a bastardization of (azzarellos' '100 bullets' partner) eduardo risso and ('hellboy' virtuoso) mike mignola. every panel displays his masterly sense of composition, his thick black linework radiating a sense of otherworldly menace and danger which rivals that of the aforementioned mike mignola, charles burns, and thomas ott, all masters of horror comics. frusins' run on hellblazer has, to my mind, cemented his place as one of the best artists in horror comics, and maybe comics in general.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Azzarello's best work; Hellblazer's finest hour. 23 Mar 2006
By Robert Beveridge - Published on Amazon.com
Brian Azzarello, John Constantine, Hellblazer: Good Intentions (Vertigo, 2002)

Good Intentions is not only Brian Azzarello's finest work on Hellblazer, it may be the single finest story arc to ever appear either in the comic's covers or under Azzarello's name. If you've not been introduced to John Constantine (except by the rather laughable movie "based" on it), you could either start here and be prepared for a minor letdown with any other book you pick up, or save this one till last. Because Good Intentions will absolutely ruin you. It will have its way with you in the dingy back alley of a nameless slum, dull blade pressed to your neck, and you, God (or whatever deity you believe in) help you, and you will like it. Because Brian Azzarello, and this story arc, are just that good.

Azzarello starts us off with Constantine wandering through some of backwoods America, seemingly just looking to catch up with some old friends, one of whom happens to be an old girlfriend. Standard Hellblazer stuff, right? But things get very, very weird very quickly. And once you've uncovered the true identity of the monster, you're going to feel kind of let down, because, really, it's so cliché. But then you realize there are a few pages left, a bit too long for a standard Hellblazer denouement. And this, folks, is where Brian Azzarello will grab you by the stones and heave. Not just twist, but heave. All the sudden everything's turned on its head, and you look at it all and realize you should've seen it coming all along, and Brian Azzarello has completely outfoxed you, and whoa.

I've read a lot of graphic novels over the past couple of years, and a lot of them have been very, very good. Some of them have been bordering on great. A very few of them have been. Good Intentions borders on great, with quite a few toes over the line. You need this. **** ½
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Constantine, despite what you might have heard... 14 Aug 2007
By Kevin Oliver - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I avoided the Azzarello run of Hellblazer for quite some time, having heard some negative things about it. But after giving it a chance, I'm happy to say that this run belongs up there with those of Delano, Ellis & Carey. Sure, Azzarello doesn't have a native's ear for English dialect. For this reason, it makes sense for him to set the main story arcs in America. Perhaps for this reason, he also has Constantine talk quite a bit less, with fewer internal monologues of the sort that earlier authors indulged in. This adds to the disturbing air of mystery, but long-time readers may miss the sharp political commentary, etc.

But when it comes down to actions, Azzarello has Constantine down perfectly. This volume shows how our dear anti-hero's good intentions are just as misguided and potentially destructive as ever, particularly when he doesn't know half as much as he thinks he does. Azzarello's good sense of pacing works well with this sort of mystery, as does his use of the American Gothic backdrop.

On the visual level, this volume also makes a return to a more standard (and, to me, more appealing) style of art than that found in the previous one. But Those who have read "Hard Time" will have a better understanding of where Constantine stands in relation to his present situation with the Fermin family and why he is torturing himself over Lucky's death.
Likewise, the events in this volume are a step leading up to the conclusion in "Highwater."
4.0 out of 5 stars Darkly witty, and suspenseful. 24 Feb 2008
By Aileen Asphodel - Published on Amazon.com
The story told here is engaging, and Frusin's art is a delight as usual. Constantine, hitch-hiking through the backwoods of America, is at his best: cunning, devious, and sarcastic; more of a conman and a trickster in this volume than a magician (though he does play a rather satisfying trick on some nasty little boys).

The plot is as disturbing as Azzarello's plots usually are; there is deviant sex, corruption, explicitly ugly happenings, and naturally, a good deal of pain and death. Interestingly, Constantine turns out to be the least morally bankrupt of any of the main characters, though the other characters are displayed as pitiable desperate individuals with no choice but to behave in hideous and exploitive ways. I disagreed-- I found them repellent, and their actions seemed unnecessary and a little gimmicky at times. I was a little bothered by the author's treatment of their roles and left wondering how he himself felt about them.

All in all, an enjoyable book, but I prefer the following paperback by the same author-artist team, Freezes Over.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Out of character, and not in an interesting way 8 Sep 2010
By Neven Mrgan - Published on Amazon.com
This is a rather confusing and preposterous story, incompatible with other depictions of Constantine, and not particularly interesting or internally consistent.

The art is very cool; great shading and restrained color. However, it also seems a bit inappropriate for Constantine; he's made to look like a Joker-style madman. His face seems to be stuck in a permanent long-chinned cackle of craziness. It doesn't help that the script gives him a few Constantine-worthy lines, but none of Constantine's wit or attitude. In addition to that, he first acts as a villainous jerk, than as a naive lost boy. Constantine is certainly a deeply divided character, but this seems to me a pretty literal and sloppy way of depicting his complexity. His motives are as muddled here as anyone else's, and the punchline to the story is quite ridiculous. A very strange failure of a storyline.

If you're looking to start with Hellblazer, consider John Constantine, Hellblazer: All His Engines, Hellblazer: Setting Sun, John Constantine, Hellblazer: Dangerous Habits, or the brilliant Saga of the Swamp Thing: Volume 1 in which Alan Moore first introduced Constantine.
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