HELLBLAZER Flames Out, Replaced by All New CONSTANTINE

It’s almost as if comic books, the greater entity of comic books, is trying to send me a message. Increasingly, that message is, “we don’t want your kind around here.” Vertigo Comics, my previous home base of go-to comic series, having recently ended my favorite ongoing series, Scalped, has now announced that come February, Hellblazer #300 will be the last issue. I’ve been reading Hellblazer since the late 90s, and I’ve hardly ever wavered in my love for the series about the lovable, right awful c*nt, John Constantine. You don’t want to know him You don’t want to love him, and you certainly don’t want to be related to him. The good news is, none of that is going to matter, because you won’t be able to read him.

That’s not exactly true. Over in the DCU, they’ll be launching Constantine #1, written by Robert Venditti (American) and drawn by Renato Guedes, about the continuing adventures of the new, younger John Constantine, who is not married to Epiphany Graves, and was trained by a man who wore the same outfit that he now wears, in a bit of eye rolling coincidence.

So no, I’m not really happy about it. I don’t need to be objective. While the new version of the character isn’t necessarily bad, it’s not my Constantine, and the versions I’ve seen can sod right off.

I get it. The sales of Hellblazer are not smashing. The trades, for decades, have been an indecipherable glyphic mess without numbering, and the movie adaptation, non-coincidentally called Constantine, was definitely nothing special. The team on this new book aren’t bad at all. I have nothing against them, but I’m not going to read it. This is a relaunch of one of my favorite characters of all time, and I don’t care a whit about seeing him interact with Batman.

John tricked the devil a whole lot of times, but it seems like he finally lost this round, and he’ll be missed terribly, the chain smoking bastard.

Comments

  1. SamPay says:

    That’s a heartbreaker. Very shortsighted too, I’d think: Punisher and PunisherMAX can co-exist, and Hellblazer is a standard-carrier for Vertigo. Don’t think I’ll follow this either.

  2. Nice eulogy Josh.

  3. mmyoung mmyoung says:

    Meanwhile, sales on the all-ages version HECKBLAZER are through the roof.

  4. stuclach stuclach says:

    I don’t read Hellblazer regularly, but when I pick up a copy I typically enjoy it. I’m not particularly fond of the New DCU version, either. Too bad.

  5. JamesSeals JamesSeals says:

    I saw the headline over on another site and my heart instantly broke for Josh.

    Another good title bites the dust. But at least it’s going out on a high note.

    -J.

  6. campbell campbell says:

    Actually gutted about this,I’ve never bothered with cancellations before, ‘it’s comics, it happens’, but Hellblazer (and 2000AD) is what made me realise that comics weren’t just for kids.
    I don’t really know what to say, it’s a shame.

  7. Jeff Reid Jeff Reid (@JeffRReid) says:

    Not for nothing, but this means that the highest numbered series coming out of DC and Marvel in February is, what, Wolverine and the X-Men #25? Astonishing X-Men #59, if that’s even a thing anymore? This makes me strangely sad.

  8. Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Ashamed to admit I’ve been a fair-weather Hellblazer fan in my time, but I’m so frustrated with this news. Going to dig in to the back catalog.

  9. stuclach stuclach says:

    Sweet Tooth ends next month, too.

    I’m not sure how much longer Unwritten will stick around, either. It felt like it was winding down, but then it seemed to pick back up.

  10. diebenny diebenny says:

    Good to see some non-POTW/BOTM writing from ya.

  11. JasonTodd JasonTodd says:

    This is terrible, Hellblazer has been awesome lately even if a lot of people aren’t reading it.

    Unlike Josh, I don’t mind the DCU Constantine in JLD, so the new book doesn’t bother me, but I wish they’d keep Hellblazer going as well.

  12. zombox zombox says:

    So many rumors about the inevitable demise of Vertigo seem to be more and more credible. Lots of high level series are ending, none are really coming down the pipes. That will annoy me if true. Vertigo has traditionally been a great place to go for serious, strange, adult comics and without them it wel become more difficult to sort wheat and chafe. Image already gets more of my patronage than the Big 2, best bet is that tend will continue.

  13. Viewt Viewt says:

    I’ve always thought of Hellblazer being to Vertigo what Action Comics is to DC. The book’s been there since before the label even existed, it survived good times, bad times and always seemed like something that would just always be a part of the Vertigo tapestry.

    But hey, they ended the original Action run, too, ya know?

    At the very least, Josh, you can take solace in knowing that one of your favorite characters got a long, healthy run and a complete story. 300 issues is orders of magnitude more than a lot of other series get, even long-standing Vertigo series. It’s a bit unfortunate that the character’s going to continue to exist in a continuity not of your choosing, but #1-300? That’s yours, and mate, that’s the dog’s bollocks.

  14. Cantseeme Cantseeme says:

    I JUST started to read Hellblazer thanks to Josh mentioning the disparity between John in that book and Justice League Dark. Well there goes another cancelled pull of mine. I’m sorry for your loss Josh.

  15. Grandturk says:

    I don’t even read this and even I know this is a stupid F()cking move DC!

  16. Xtianhardy Xtianhardy (@Xtianhardy) says:

    So basically, once Lemire’s Trillium flames out due to low sales/lack of interest and Snyder’s The Wake wraps up, the once-mighty Vertigo will have nothing to its name except the upcoming Sandman prequel? It’s just sad, really.

  17. pmallory says:

    This was only a matter of time, not surprised at all. Vertigo does need some new material though. Saucer Country is one of my favorite books right now.

  18. randall4000 randall4000 says:

    I am a late-comer but, I’ve been buying the issues and trades non-stop for the past 3 years. I am surprised by the cancellation. I’d started to view it as Vertigo’s untouchable flagship title, like Amazing Spiderman or Action Comics. DCU Constantine is not cool!

  19. Vertigo as a whole is being slowly fazed out. American Vampire is going on an unexplained hiatus, Hellblazer gets cancelled, something like Fairest are not lighting the world on fire. The only one I’m reading right now is Saucer Country, but even if that is selling well it won’t stop Vertigo from folding and I think that’s what DC wants.

    • Josh Flanagan Josh Flanagan (@jaflanagan) says:
    • Conor Kilpatrick Conor Kilpatrick (@cskilpatrick) says:

      FABLES is still a big seller (for Vertigo) and makes them a lot of money.

    • KenOchalek KenOchalek says:

      I’m probably missing a lot of data to the contrary, but continued Vertigo product from guys like Snyder and Lemire makes me think there might be something to the view that Vertigo is morphing into DC’s take on Marvel’s Icon imprint — a place where the publisher’s top creators can do non-superhero work under a different sort of compensation deal.

    • @ KenOchalek: That’s an interesting take on the state-of-affairs. Stranger things have happened.

      And clearly, iFanboy has info /answers that I don’t. At the the time I read about the AV hiatus it was sudden and without explanation. I really do hope Vertigo will be around a long time. They still put out the good stuff.

    • CGPO CGPO says:

      I think this has less to do with Vertigo being fazed out (although I can see why people think that as Hellblazer has been the tentpole title, I guess that’s Fables now, ugh…), but I think it has more to do with the fact that Constantine exits in the DCU now and was the last holdout if you will, so they decided to nix Hellblazer in the hopes that Constantine will sell more copies because it’s DCU and not Mature Readers as well. That’s my theory anyway.

  20. Sherlock19 Sherlock19 says:

    Possibly the only title….the only comic book…….I’m actually sad and incredibly displeased by this news. I own more trades and issues of Hellblazer then any other comic book.

  21. Firevine Firevine says:

    I haven’t read much Hellblazer, if any at all. I’m really only familiar with the character visually. I don’t like this either. It just doesn’t seem right. It’s not like Cerebus where the story was over.

    Comics is weird.

  22. sirfox89 says:

    Wow, that’s really disappointing. I just started catching up on Milligan’s run on Comixology. I was really excited about the upcoming 300th issue and figured it would lead to something really cool. I’ll probably check out Constantine #1, but I haven’t really enjoyed his New 52 appearances either so far, he’s way too bland and all ages. Plus Venditti is American, everyone knows Constantine writers should be British. It just works better that way.

  23. darkstar darkstar says:

    I’ve only been reading comics for a couple of years and I’ve been wanting to get into Hellblazer because everyone talks about how cool he is to read. A change of title and number and suddenly all of his die hard fans are no longer interested?

    This is the kind of mentality that makes it hard for new fans to come on the scene. When a title runs for decades, it should have some clear jumping on points. Green Lantern renumbered a few times at big shifts in the story and it’s made it easier to follow. I suppose most of the DC books renumbered in the wake of big events. But for a long-running vertigo character, why shouldn’t we encourage some new readership?
    While I love the runs of the old DCU that I’ve managed to collect, I have appreciated the NEW52 as an easy way for a new fan to start reading ongoings.

    Basically I don’t want to accept that the character is never gonna be good again, because it’s such a pain to find and read the old books in order

    • MisterShaw MisterShaw says:

      It’s not just the renumbering, it’s the shift from being a grown-ups book at Vertigo to being a….well, a grown-ups book at DC, but a watered-down one. Like if Walking Dead suddenly, against all rules of probability but for the sake of example, moved to Marvel proper. Or when Die Hard 4 was PG-13. It’ll be kinda the same, but not really.

    • ConJob110270 ConJob110270 says:

      With respect, I think you’re missing the point. Hellblazer was a flagship mature comic. It showed many of us that there was more to comics than capes. I’m reading Justice League Dark and that’s not my Constantine. It’s not bad, but really the character doesn’t work well in a group. In JLD he feels like just a two dimensional character. I’ll give his new series a chance, but it won’t be easy.

  24. SleepingMan SleepingMan says:

    Goddammit DC you don’t piss on a series that has had so many amazing writers and artists since it’s debut in 1988. This was a series you could wave in front of everybody else and say “Were still publishing a series with a main character created by Alan Moore. What do you got ?”.

    And you know what for this past year ive been hearing people complaining about how DC is destroying their favorite characters and sum such and well I never subscribed to this simply because my favorite DC characters seemed to be doing well but It’s finally caught up to me with this announcement. Meaning I wont ever read this new series, writer by an american (really DC, your that dumb ?) and ill start hopping that one within 2 to 3 years Hellblazer will come back at issue 301 right were it left off after this new series fails completely.

  25. Athegreatest says:

    I think I’m going to cry. I’ve been trying to catch up like crazy to be able to start getting it in single issues. One of my favorite. I don’t want to read the American John Constantine or Canadian for that matter!

  26. Timmy Wood Timmy Wood (@TimmyWood) says:

    Really bummed about this news. I can’t say I have read Hellblazer since the beginning but I definitely jump in and out several times throughout my time reading comics. That was the great thing about the book. I feel even though there was a long mythology, many of the stories could be read on their own. And Vertigo did a good job about posting “First in a new arc” on the cover.
    I do not think I will be reading the new Constantine book. I do think I may take this time to really jump back into some of those trades.

  27. ConJob110270 ConJob110270 says:

    The end of an Era. One of the last great ongoing series in comics is ending. Hellblazer (John Constantine) is my favorite comic book character. Hell, where do you think I got my username on here?..Breaks my heart

  28. bhannaoh bhannaoh says:

    The what and what!?! I’ve always read him in trades it just didn’t make sense to me to pick up the monthly’s. MORE IMPORTANTLY I liked the fact there was two Constanties the DCnU PG verision which is fun in his own way and the Perfect Vertigo verison.

    I actually just use this as an example of something comics does right because they have a book for each age/maturity level for people to read.

    • bhannaoh bhannaoh says:

      “I get it. The sales of Hellblazer are not smashing. The trades, for decades, have been an indecipherable glyphic mess without numbering, and the movie adaptation, non-coincidentally called Constantine, was definitely nothing special. The team on this new book aren’t bad at all. I have nothing against them, but I’m not going to read it. This is a relaunch of one of my favorite characters of all time, and I don’t care a whit about seeing him interact with Batman.”

      “John tricked the devil a whole lot of times, but it seems like he finally lost this round, and he’ll be missed terribly, the chain smoking bastard.”

      This quote from the Josh said it best, but I’m sucker who believes there’s still good stories to tell in this PG version this is a real miss opportunity because what makes the PG version work doesn’t replace the world of Constantie it restrains and thats they needed the two versions.

  29. dennisnahas says:

    “While the new version of the character isn’t necessarily bad, it’s not my Constantine, and the versions I’ve seen can sod right off.”

    Pretty much my exact take on the New 52.

  30. undertak1983 undertak1983 says:

    I’ve been looking at Constantine over the years and I’ve been waiting for a good jumping on point. I’m the kind of guy who likes to read stuff from the beginning and, with Constantine, that’s a lot of back issues! One of the main things that appealed to me and made me want to jump on board was the fact that it was a Vertigo comic for mature readers. I’m not against restarting the comic at #1 with a new creative team. That seems like a great jumping on point for me but then I see that it’ll be a PG-13 DCU title and not a Vertigo title. I’ve lost interest now.

    If this was a new #1 ongoing Vertigo title, I’d be all over this.

  31. TurdSandwich TurdSandwich says:

    This is terrible news. I’m still catching up on the trades, but Hellblazer is one of my favorites, and I’m sad to hear they are cancelling it. I don’t mind the DCU Constantine, but that is also due to the fact that we still got to read proper John over at Vertigo. I don’t think I’ll be picking up this new series, I’ll stick to reading the REAL Hellblazer in trades. Cheers John, you’re one cheeky bastard, and you’ll be missed.

  32. spawn spawn says:

    But, but, Hellblazer is my favorite comic series, and John Constantine is one the best characters in comics. As someone who’s British, and lives really near London, it appealed to me immensely. I don’t think Americans (and this isn’t an insult) can understand quite how mired in English tradition Constantine is. The commentary about London, the aging punk attitude, the fuck the queen motto, it all a part of underground British culture. It wasn’t a popular series, but the thing the writers always got was that it captured the spirit a country, (or at least part of the rebellious spirit). Having Americans write him just isn’t right, he’s a character born from a English mind, he was nurtured by English writers, and his entire persona was based on British people. I’ll miss the book immensely.

  33. the1captain says:

    I started reading Hellblazer around issue 50. Stopped around issue 250. Of course after I leave I hear how good milligan’s run has been. Kinda saw this news coming for some time. The last of the books that started vertigo. God, I miss vertigo from those days. This news makes me feeling nostalgic. Hopefully the book is given the grand send off it deserves.

  34. Lando says:

    I don’t usually comment much on this website but this news has truly upset me. I’ve been reading Hellblazer for years and thought I would be for years to come. I can’t believe a great series like this got cancelled. Shameful.

  35. daccampo daccampo says:

    This is utterly depressing.

    I own every individual issue of Hellblazer. Constantine is absolutely one of my favorite characters, a huge influence on my own comics character (Doctor Crowe), and I think he’s only gotten better with age. Allowing the character to grow older (and maybe a little wiser? nah…) has actually deepened his character and made me appreciate him more. He was one of the few characters that aged as I did, and I think the fact that he’s now being “rebooted” just reminds me that we really don’t have any more characters that age and grow with us.

    I get the need for constant reboots, to capture that new generation. But, damn, I’m gonna miss our John.

  36. Phayte3000 Phayte3000 says:

    This is bull-crap. Hellblazer is a fantastic comic and John Constantine is one of my favorite characters. And now they’re gonna take it, kid-friendly it up a bit, and feed it back out.

    Screw that.

  37. CaseyJustice CaseyJustice says:

    Josh, from now on, please write all of your articles like a loveable cockney chimney-sweep.

  38. Really interested to see whether DCU Constantine will remain a bisexual character. It wouldn’t surprise me if they scrubbed it from his character. I don’t think it’s been brought up in JLDark. I also liked that Constantine was aging. It gave him another characteristic that made him unique. Bummed to see him get set back to a younger age. As much as it’s fun to see him pal around with some of the darker elements of the DCU, it’s been working for me because it wasn’t “him.” It was a whole different character in my mind. If you actually threw Constantine into the DCU, he’d be labeled as a villain pretty damn quick.

    Gonna go pour one out for ol’ John. He’s going to be missed.

  39. Chazman Chazman says:

    Yep, I agree with everyone above. This is bad for the adult oreinted comic book readers. DC will water John down, just as they did with Swamp Thing, Animal Man, etc. I doubt I buy it. Image has become my new Vertigo.

  40. Neb Neb says:

    I begrudgingly had to drop this book a few months ago after my comics budget took a hit, but I had plans to get back with it once I had the scratch again. Constantine was such a unique and singular character, and I dearly loved his book for quite a long time. I always figured it would be there for me to come back to. Very saddened by the news that we’ll be losing this version of the character, but I find solace in the fact that there are trades, HCs, and back issues that I can always go back to get my fill of that old wanker.

  41. The single greatest ongoing of all time. I feel sick.

  42. J-Nel J-Nel says:

    I thought there was a possibility of this happening with #300 on the horizon, but I chalked it up as my general cynicism about the majority of DC’s output…

    It’s truly unfortunate and sad, but not everyone makes the 300 club and John’s probably the most unique character other than Cerebus who has. I take solace in the certainty that Milligan, Camuncoli, & Biz will take him out in style, it’s been a grand run these last few years…

  43. pmvaun pmvaun says:

    Am I the only one interested in the new Constantine book? I have been wanting to read Constantine for some time now outside of a team book but didn’t want to spend the time jumping into Hellblazer without a good jumping on point. I hope the new series is good, but I agree both books could have lived together.

  44. Ilash Ilash says:

    I don’t even read Hellblazer regularly – I jump in and pick up some trades when I’m in the mood for some Constantine bastardness and yet I am so unbelievably pissed off about this. I really don’t know what else to say that hasn’t been said already (especially by you, Josh) but this is just more disappointing evidence that DC are becoming more and more the place where creative integrity goes to die.

  45. I remember when Alias was cancelled and the Pulse was created to bring Jessica into the main universe. Yeah, that went well. There are just certain traits that can be handled better in a Max or a Vertigo book to bring the best out in a character.

    I’m going to miss this a lot. I hope the Biz draws the hell out of the last issue. (No, I don’t know if he is doing any more interiors)

  46. mrgraves mrgraves says:

    While sad, and less than joyous about a remake rolling out, I can’t say that 300 issues over 25 years is at all an awful run. I can’t cry Farscape tears at an untimely passing when a title has seen more creative teams tackle the material for good runs than some publishers managed in their entire career.

    Missed, but not forgotten, is not an awful sentiment.

    Now let’s get on DC’s case to get all of the trades back in print. THAT is a crime against the title.

  47. Bullshit. Were the sales that bad?

    • Conor Kilpatrick Conor Kilpatrick (@cskilpatrick) says:

      Sales estimates (and who knows how accurate those are) have put HELLBLAZER selling under 10,000 copies for about two years now and under 15,000 for over five years.

    • Ya, that is bad. I guess the trade revenue just wasn’t worth it to keep the single issues going. Sad day for comics, I think we need Veritgo as an industry, I hope they don’t shut it down completely.

    • DenverDave DenverDave says:

      I gotta admit, while saddened by what this all means for comics, and while I love the character, I haven’t actually bought an issue in a year or two. What a great run though. 300 issues is a hell of a lot of comics and I’ve maybe read 50 of them….

  48. 19Rocker75 19Rocker75 says:

    I hate feeling like a reactionary, impatient, petulant dingbat, and I certainly don’t want to undermine the industry, a doubtless talented and keen creative team or my LCS. But I will be giving precisely no chances to Constantine. It may be great. It may not be an insult to the character. I’ll never know. Not buying.

    I read lots and lots and lots of comics and am fully used to relaunches, renumberings, retcons and lots of other regrettable things beginning with re. But a character like John warrants a different class of treatment than a character like Spider-Man, surely? I can’t explain or justify that right now, but it feels true.

    Maybe when the final issue of Constantine comes out (#6? #12?) Hellblazer will, like another venerable Brit, James Bond, return.

  49. GhostFactory GhostFactory says:

    Sad day.
    Lets all pour a little out and smoke ourselves coarse tonight for our friend John.
    Hellblazer was always an oasis where adult horror/mystery comic fans could take refuge from the clutter of modern shared universe comics. John Constantine and his own HBO world outside of all the nonsense was always my favorite place to visit each month. DC replacing their flagship Vertigo title is like if HBO cancelled Sopranos and replaced it with Tony and Friends on the Family Channel. This is a HUGE disappointment and a dark portent for the future of Vertigo.
    Cheers

    (Man, who’d have ever thought that the loss of my favorite comic book would actually hit me so hard haha)

  50. I totally understand where Josh is coming from. Justice League Dark had me excited about Constantine, and I had planned to begin catching up on the original character, in the more mature Vertigo trades.

    I’m frustrated that I won’t be able to. Worse still, I don’t believe that this book will attract the original Hellblazer audience. The character and universe seems to watered down.

  51. rockingeek rockingeek says:

    I’m in mourning.

  52. I must take exception to Josh’s statement that the movie Constantine was nothing special. I went to see that movie one afternoon and the only people in the entire theater were me and one other woman. The movie was about two characters named John and Angela. My name is John and the other woman in the theater was named Angela? Coincidence? probably not, as that woman is now my wife.

  53. adrianrigter adrianrigter says:

    i read Hellblazer waaay back in the pre-vertigo days, as wel as the vertigo stuff for the first few years. i like Constantine well enough in Justice League Dark (very clearly a different character though), and indeed, i like a lot of the Dark line of books, that said i have no interest in this book. it’s odd, i just don’t.

  54. okamido okamido says:

    Finish out my gn collection, and call it a day.

  55. Friday Friday says:

    I’m OK with the highly corporatized characters like Batman and Superman being rebooted and revised every few years. Its their nature. They’re fluid with the needs of when they’re being written. John Fucking Constantine is not and they’re taking that away. They’re taking away what feels like the last constant at DC Comics. They’re taking away the only character published by the big two that has aged. They’re taking away one of the best horror comics on the market. And I don’t know if I can stay with them after that. I’ve been trimming my pulls from DC lately. Maybe its time to let it go. Just like they do.

  56. vadamowens vadamowens says:

    Things were getting re-hashed a lot in the story line. It’s unfortunate that this is happening, but I feel it’s been pretty stale under Milligan.

  57. tomistommy tomistommy says:

    This is the first time in the 3 years that I’ve been reading comics regularly that I’ve been physically upset by a cancellation. I’m going to be extremely sad to see the surly bastard version of Constantine go. I have nothing against the people working on the new, cleaner version of Constantine, but I won’t be reading it.

  58. bub64882 bub64882 says:

    It’s been a rough year for the iFanboys…Cyclops is dick, and Hellblazer goes mainstream DCU.

    Connor, who’s your “favorite”, and what state is he/she in right now?

  59. Cedric Cedric says:

    Well I wanted to jump on the Hellblazer train with some trades; cause I found the DCU-version interesting, but a more hardcore/mature version sounded even better. Can some of you Hellblazerfans give me a tradelist, a top 5 or 10 maybe? Thanks

  60. dbzmaster789 dbzmaster789 says:

    Of all the characters to take from me, not good ole Johnny C! Well…maybe now they’ll collect Paul Jenkins run or a Garth Ennis Omnibus.

  61. CGPO CGPO says:

    I’m gobsmacked. Gobsmacked I say. This has left me feeling sad and angry. And the reasons for doing it are kind of stupid really, they’re hoping Constantine will sell better than Hellblazer because it’s in the DCU and not Mature Readers to boot. It won’t. Sadly I think in a couple of years the only way we read about John is in Justice League Dark, if that’s even still around, or as a guest in other comics. This sucks big time. I also wonder what this means for the re-prints they were doing with actual volume numbering and collecting the stuff they’d skipped previously. I don’t know what else to say. Tossers.

  62. WheelHands WheelHands says:

    Fuck this. I’m pissed.

    I’m with you 100%, Josh. I’ve been a fan of this book for 10+ years, and to see it make it to #300 and be dismissed like this is incredibly depressing. Like any book, it’s had its ups and downs, but overall the quality of storytelling has never wavered. It’s a shame that more people didn’t support the title. Especially reading all the comments above from folks who have interest in JC since the reboot. Seems like a bad move.

    Honestly, I’m tempted to drop JLD in response to this. I’ve been enjoying the book, but I have no love for the N52 Constantine. If Vertigo Constantine is Guinness, DCU Constantine is Natural Ice (it’s like fucking in a boat; too close to water). Readers interested in John since Brightest Day and JLD are in for a very pleasant shock if they check out the trades. I hope they do, since it’s probably all we’ll have for a very long time.

    I’ll see you in hell, ya filthy git.

  63. CAM CAM says:

    Um, but didn’t you just say in the podcast that even YOU had dropped Hellblazer Josh? Like just last week? or was that a joke?

    I’m confused.

  64. riffraffrave riffraffrave says:

    This is sad news, I actually only read the first issue of Hellblazer a few weeks ago and have been eager to read more (been waiting for a sale of the back-catalogue on Comixology, which seems to be coming sooner than I expected given this news). It’s frustrating that a long-running title that I’ve heard such great word-of-mouth praise for is getting canned just so DC can spotlight the watered-down Constantine of the DCU. I’d almost consider giving the new title a fair shot given how incorporation into the DCU worked out for Swamp Thing, but without the darker subject matter that was part of Hellblazer’s appeal I doubt the DCU-friendly title can live up to the original.

    Josh: My condolences. This is a truly lame move on DC’s part.

  65. Jared Jared says:

    Alright, it’s official. Karen Berger needs to start her own imprint at Image and bring back the Vertigo spirit.

    • Josh Flanagan Josh Flanagan (@jaflanagan) says:

      They couldn’t afford her.

    • Jared Jared says:

      Very true. It’s just a shame her role seems to continually be minimized as she’s shepherded an unreasonable number of my favorite comics over the years. Some prestige publishing house needs to hand her the reins of a comics division.

    • J-Nel J-Nel says:

      @Jared I’m right there with you on Berger possibly bailing for somewhere that appreciates her talents, where rewards are greater, and creativity abounds without so much dependency on the direct market.

      Was I right to start thinking about an announcement like today once they announced she’d be editing “Dial H” but under the DC banner? I just really hope, as others have alluded to, that this isn’t the beginning of Vertigo becoming something closer to Icon than Image…

    • J-Nel J-Nel says:

      I mean, we’re already well on that road but I don’t want to think about a time where Vertigo puts out 2-3 ongoing titles and a few “Sandman”-branded minis…

  66. Lriversiii says:

    I understand the disappointment presented in the article and in the comments section, but change appears to be a constant in comics. It may sound cold, but the only thing remarkable about this story is that the book actually made it to 300, which is something to be thankful for.

  67. Hellblazer Hellblazer says:

    Time to go back and start re-reading.

  68. vinylhed says:

    Now, that’s a shame.

  69. The signs were there. Didn’t Josh say he was dropping Constantine from a previous POW podcast? And yesterday I was reading Animal Man #14… just happy that the Sheperd from Animal Man referred to Constantine as “Hellblazer”. Now I got home from work and read this sad news.

  70. BobDigi76 BobDigi76 says:

    I think this is yet another example of DC continuing to screw the pooch. The new 52 isn’t setting the world on fire & they continue to diminish their once great staple of characters. I don’t understand this obsession with slowly dismantling of Vertigo by DC. I assume it’s a sales thing brought on by tighter control from WB but it feels very shortsighted.

  71. JSAkid JSAkid says:

    Eulogy indeed. A sad day for comics as Vertigo’s longest running and solid title ends for corporate maneuvering. 300 is a nice # to go out on but don’t think they need a younger Constantine solo instead and besides we got him in JLDark, which isn’t Hellblazer but not a bad place for him. I hope they do his run justice at least by making complete absolute editions like the Sandman volumes. Vertigo, do not go away as well, please.

  72. Listen, I totally understand why people are bummed out. This might not be the #1 series at DC/Vertigo but it has lasted a long time and the following it created was huge. But let’s look at the longevity of this sucker by the time February rolls around:

    25 years
    300 issues
    3 OGNS
    1 Feature Film

    This character and his comic series has somehow survived several decades of mediocre eras for the industry. It went through the dark times of the 1990s, the revitalization of the superhero of the 2000s (where Marvel was kicking everyone’s asses), and was sort of ignored for bigger fish in the 2010s (American Vampire, Sweet Tooth, etc).

    A character that was only created for a Swamp Thing story by Alan Moore somehow achieved all of these marvelous things. Again, I totally understand why people are upset and I’m not saying you shouldn’t be. But once you step back and see what Vertigo and the dozens of creators for Hellblazer were able to accomplish I think that more then makes up for it being cancelled.

    • For a character that was created for a Hulk story wolverine achieved marvelous things too.
      I don’t think the whys and wherefores of a character’s creation really have any baring on the inherent worth of that character or should be used as a reason why we should just be happy with what we got, not that that’s what your saying but just to be clear.

      From my viewpoint what the dozens of talented creators where able to do in sculpting one of the most nuanced, interesting and richly storied characters in the history of comics does not more than make up for this cancellation, it actually makes it worse.

      I’m gutted.

  73. brassai2003 brassai2003 says:

    I’ve been reading since American Gothic in Swampthing. I’m going to pass on what’s essentially “Heckblazer”…..

  74. I feel awful. I understand the realities of publishing and what not but this is a major loss for adult readers, which I believe the majority of comic buyers are. I’ve been buying this book monthly for over a decade and have loved almost every run (except for that year after Carey left; hideous).

    The way the two big have remolded their lines in the past few years have insured their will be no envelope pushing. Hellblazer was a classy book. A tough book with a complicated protagonist. I was always impressed and shocked with what they could do with him.

    An all ages Hellblazer Jr makes me think bad taste is winning.

  75. xoman xoman says:

    Wow, I’m at a loss of words on this one. Alan Moore must be spinning in the grave he sleeps in!

  76. I wouldn’t be nearly as angry and cut up about this if that JLD zero issue hadn’t been such a bloody travesty.
    That issue was so far wide of the mark in terms of the Constantine character that it actually came across as an awful parody, of which there have been many, most of them arguably better than what was on offer in that issue.

    Equally sad for me is that this book ends on what has been my least favorite run. It’s a shame that they didn’t get Delano back for the last word on John, but then again they don’t really seem to give two shites about ol’ conjob.

  77. azrael1981 azrael1981 says:

    Well this sucks. I cant believe issue 300 will be my last ussue if hellblazer. This is truly sad news.

  78. rafterman rafterman says:

    Sorry it’s been cancelled. It always sucks when a series dies.
    Still, not everything can go forever and comics seem to be learning that lesson.
    As for the numbering of books. I think it’s officially pointless to continue the trend of doing a book every month and numbering each one. They keep re-starting the numbers. How many other mediums rely so much on numbers? This could just be another step towards the entire model changing. Or it could be nothing.
    Constantine moving to the regular DCU and interacting with those guys is boring. If they can no longer continue the monthly Vertigo book, why not move to an OGN system or a mini-series or a one-shot system?

  79. GhostFactory GhostFactory says:

    Rest In Piss n Vinegar
    My thoughts on the Hellblazer cancellation
    http://flashfact.org/2012/11/09/rest-in-piss-n-vinegar-rip-hellblazer/

  80. JohhnyNormal JohhnyNormal says:

    **COMMENT MODERATED**

    gottamakeitcool with the kids, new readers!
    Thanks for the ongoing eradication of Vertigo.
    Been with JC since swampyhis is not cool.

  81. Bummer! Well I woz there at the beginning and I’ll be there at the end lighting up one last time in that grubby old mack. Me old faithful is finally given the old heave hoe and some young pretender ‘as gone and knicked his name. The toe rag! JC must be one of the few comic book characters that actually aged… at the same speed as gubbins n’all. Now we got this young wipper snapper hanging out with all the poncey super ‘eroes in their tights, spendex an’ big ‘air. Constantine clean shaven ‘n’ chisel chinned? Nah, forget it. That ain’t for me. “Stuff it up yer jumper” says I.

  82. Bonidex Bonidex says:

    Well, DC trying to make all their comics new 52. Constantine is there too.
    I think the whole Vertigo is coming to an end. It’s about time. Otherwise, what kind of reboot would that be?

    *_* No, I don’t like vertigo comics very much… Why do you ask?

    • Josh Flanagan Josh Flanagan (@jaflanagan) says:

      Why on earth do you care if they’re publishing comics that you don’t have to buy? I don’t like lots of comics. But I don’t buy them, and then everyone’s fine.

    • USPUNX USPUNX says:

      @josh: Exactly. Why would you ever wish for a publisher to shut down just because you don’t like their comics? What kind of person would want that?

  83. Not to be the cynical, snarky guy but let’s be honest, what chances are there that the new series becomes a success? Hell how likely is it to make it past a year? So there will be room down the road for someone to pick the Vertigo version back up, dust it off and give it another go. Everything in comics comes back around.

    Still I sympathize with the pain of all the die hard fans.

  84. Based on what DCU Animal Man, & Swamp Thing books have been like for the past year, I’m willing to give the new book a chance

  85. USPUNX USPUNX says:

    I really wish people would stop acting like Vertigo is folding. They have Fables, Fairest, Saucer Country, and Unwritten ongoing. Punk Rock Jesus has been a huge success for them. Jeff Lemire and Scott Snyder both have new series coming out next year. American Vampire is on hiatus, which was fully explained, not canceled and will be back. No to mention things like the new Fable OGN, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Get Jiro, and Django Unchained. Seriously, stop it. Vertigo is fine. There is NO evidence Vertigo is going away.

  86. Sigh, it will be missed. Hopefully it’s not a sign of Vertigo’s end, but even if it is, it’s a hell of a legacy.
    an sod right off.

    “The trades, for decades, have been an indecipherable glyphic mess without numbering.”

    Luckily, you can still find that info online. What did we do BEFORE Wikipedia? I was alive, but I don’t remember. Say, on that subject Josh, are you doing any articles about your favorite issues and storylines, which trades to pick up, etc? Thought you might want to give it a bit of a send-off party. In any case, good article. The end of an era, or just a good book? Either way, sad stuff.

  87. HailScott HailScott says:

    Rats! This has been one of my favorite monthly books for a long time.

    If it is simply a matter of “bringing it over to the DCU,” then why not continue with the current team, which has been outstanding? Surely they can see that it has been a quality book under Milligan. I wonder why they wouldn’t give the “reboot” to him.

  88. I wonder if Hellblazer will ever have one-off returns in OGNs or something like that?