asymmetrical's Hellblazer #22 - The Fear Machine, Part IX: Balance review

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So Concludes An Arduous Journey

I fear this arc may have been a mite too long. Now, I admit that some of my problems with this comic could just be that it’s from such a long past era that it’s difficult to compare to the comics of today but then I remember great comics like The Sandman, Animal Man and Morrison’s Doom Patrol that were being published at this time and I’m just left thinking the Hellblazer of the time just wasn’t of that caliber.

Now don’t get me wrong, I like Jamie Delano, I respect him for being the first Hellblazer writer and he definitely wrote some goodies, but it’s not my favorite of his works and I often felt it was too wordy without being all that informative. Take for example this issue, it concludes an arc that during my first read I found tasking to trudge through.

It reintroduces Zed (a former lover) and tries to bring to an end the enemy that is the Fear Machine and the Terror Thing. But nine issues…that’s just a bit too much for me…you could argue that getting more words per issue means you’re paying less per word but as one of my childhood heroes would say, “It’s quality not quantity, wot.”

The main problem I have here is that so much of the issue is talking about magic, rituals, ley-lines, etc. and yet I don’t feel any more enlightened then I was before I read it. Some things are never explained and you just have to tag along for the ride and turn off the “wtf“ meter. One major flaw I would find in some of Delano’s stories is that the events seemed so grand but when it came down to it…it was such a minor piece of the story and never acknowledged again.

Like I said, I may just come from a different era, but this is not Delano at his best in my opinion. If I were to name my favorite Delano I would name stuff more along the lines of the Original Sins trade, Family Man as well, his magnificent run on Animal Man that too often gets overshadowed by Morrison, or even his recent commemoration of the 25 anniversary of John Constantine, the Pandemonium graphic novel. Fear Machine just wasn’t my cup of tea, a good story but not great.

P.S. I have nothing against hippies but I admit I sort of grew tired of them in the Hellblazer world.

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