Hellblazer 4: Tainted Love
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Hellblazer: Tainted LoveGarth Ennis' has an extraordinary ability to take the supernatural and place it in situations so everyday that it starts to appear normal. This skill is exemplified in this book. It is the story of a man hitting rock bottom, that just happens to also feature vampires, Satan, the ghost of a World War II Hurricane pilot and an insane Catholic priest. But despite the strange cast of characters, the best bits of the book are the conversations between a down and out John Constantine and the street life around him, as he dissolves into alcoholism; and the chapter where his ex-girlfriend heads back to hometown Belfast and spends the evening chatting with her family in a pub.
Ennis pulls no punches in his depictions of graphic violence and sex, making scenes in the book heart-stoppingly shocking. This is in-your-face horror at its best, leaping out at you when you least expect it. Dillon's seemingly casual style is a perfect foil for Ennis' extreme storylines, building on the horror by emphasising the normality of its victims before exposing the dark side with no thought for the squeemish.
At their best, Ennis and Dillon are a seemless team of writer and artist, creating intelligent comics with a an adult theme and a sadistic bent that Ennis could practically trademark. And this, although not for the faint-hearted or small minded, is Ennis and Dillon at their best.
DC Comics (US)
Titan Books (UK)
Originally published as
Hellblazer 68-71, Vertigo Jam 1, Hellblazer Special 1
Straight to Hell
Previous in series
Hellblazer 3: Fear and Loathing
Next in series
Hellblazer 5: Damnation's Flame