The Best of Hellblazer

It ran 300 issues. A ton of different creators left their mark on the title. It covered almost all the bases when it came to genres. So, with that in mind, I ask the question: what were the best runs in the series?

This question got started with a discussion I had with @PR0FESS0RZ00M in the What Comic Do You Give Someone That's Never Read One? thread, where I learned that someone loved the Jamie Delano run, and they learned that I wasn’t its biggest fan.

But, anyway. Let the grand debate begin!

I was a big fan of the later run of the series by Peter Milligan.

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I’ll admit, that one isn’t my favorite, but it’s definitely up there. My top five are:

  1. Garth Ennis
  2. Mike Carey
  3. Brian Azzarelo
  4. Peter Milligan
  5. Warren Ellis

@Batwing52 It’s cool you started a thread!! I hope it catches on.
Do you want to talk about after Milligan? He aged in the 300 to 50 years old, staring in New Castle when he was 18! Saying Delano isn’t your favorite is fine. The author corresponds with john’s age and subsequent personality so that’s COOL. It’s still understood that the first 300 are a must read.
So Moore said:
“One of those early notes was they both wanted to do a character that looked like Sting. … I can state categorically that the character only existed because Steve and John wanted to do a character that looked like Sting. Having been given that challenge, how could I fit Sting into Swamp Thing ? I have an idea that most of the mystics in comics are generally older people, very austere, very proper, very middle class in a lot of ways. They are not at all functional on the street. It struck me that it might be interesting for once to do an almost blue-collar warlock. Somebody who was streetwise, working class, and from a different background than the standard run of comic book mystics. Constantine started to grow out of that.”
,which is cool.


Like I said, I don’t dislike it, I just like Constantine when the horror isn’t quite as gothic-influenced, and when it has a little levity to it. I definitely like all the “working class supernatural detective stuff,” but, yeah. It’s kind of hard for me to sit down and read them in large chunks.

But maybe that’s me being picky. I got into the series with Dangerous Habits.

Dangerous Habits was my favorite arc, so I suppose that makes Ennis my favorite Constantine writer. I would say Delano is my second favorite, though.

What’s everyone’s thoughts on Spurrier’s new run? Does it hold up against the old stuff? I’m thinking of buying the trade once it gets released.


I give it a thumbs up. It’s a Gaiman “Books of Magic” Universe surrounding Timothy Hunter but focusing on John’s involvement. I was getting going before the distribution stopped. I think It has potential.

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I really enjoy all the Post 2013 J.C… “Constantine” in the New 52. Doyle and Tynion in “Constantine: The Hellblazer.” Even the rebirth stuff is fun. It is all Good to me. I would have a hard time putting it in a list of Favorites other than an Obvious lead on Ennis. But Delano was the adopted father, FROM BIRTH, I feel there should be some love if just for that!

I was collecting that one from the get-go, and I have a sizable chunk, though hardly a complete collection of that first 300.

I loved a ton of the stories in those early Delano runs, and was straight-up bonkers for the Ennis run. I am pretty confident there are the better part of a dozen other writers whose Hellblazer comics I collected and loved, but they haven’t seen the outside of a comic box in a lot of years.


Thank you! Do you have to be up to date on the BOM universe to understand it?

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Unfortunately, I’ve only read the first 83 issues and every issue since 2016, so I can’t really choose from a large list of favorites. However, out of those writers my opinions are so:

Ennis is the best. I enjoyed every storyline, but as with pretty much every fan of Constantine, Dangerous Habbits was my favorite.

Delano had his ups and downs. I really, really liked Original Sins and Newcastle, but I really, really disliked the Fear Machine and one other story arc who’s name escaped me. Overall though, I believe it was good.

Simon Oliver was decent. I didn’t read the New 52 run of Constantine, but I heard it changed a lot like kicking him out of England and having him interact more with other DC characters. I thought Oliver was able to strike a nice balance and bringing back characters like Mercury was nice.

Tim Seeley is somewhat forgettable. Honestly, I almost hit reply on this post without including him because I completely forgot about his run. It wasn’t bad, it just couldn’t hold my attention and I was usually looking forward to reading other books when I would stop by my local comic shop.

Finally, Spurrier I feel it’s too early for me to give a final decision on, but I think it’s good so far, issues 4 and 5 especially.


I guess you do… at least a little. It’s set in an environment with character’s I suppose aren’t well explained yet. that’s not to say the issues won’t come together for a new reader soon. It’s just if you have read the BOM then you’ll have an Idea of what and who is doing what.
Hope this helped

I haven’t read the Spurrier stuff (mostly just because I have a mountain of backlogged trades to get through), but I’ve heard only good things and from what I’ve seen the art is gorgeous.


The original John Constantine was easily one of the best comic book characters. No powers, No ninja abilities, just a normal human with occult knowledge and huge brass guts. My favorite storyline was when Prince Charles was possessed by the Jack the Ripper demon. While I rolled my eyes over the whole Jack the Ripper thing, it showed John at the height of his prowess, a feat only equalled in the Books of Magic miniseries when he rescued Tim Hunter and Zatanna from the evil nightclub without throwing a punch or a spell. I don’t care for the DCAU version which turns him into Dr Strange, although Matt Ryan is an excellent actor i n the role.

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I recently finished my Hellblazer Garth Ennis Omnibus and it was amazing! It is the only Hellblazer I’ve read though. I was so close to picking up 4 volumes to collect the previous run, but I had to stop myself since I’m trying to read The Sandman.

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I’m a huge fan of Azzarello’s run on the book, especially with Frusin on art.

The current series by Spurrier is quite good and was really picking up momentum when the pandemic hit. It’s a book that I’m really looking forward to seeing again in the coming weeks.

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I read this in a fan letter in an issue of Hellblazer: “Alan Moore gave him life. Jamie Delano gave him a brain. Gaiman gave him a heart. Ennis gave him balls, and Paul Jenkins gave him a soul.” I always liked that. I think Paul Jenkins’ run is underrated, and I loved Azzarello’s run.


I think on the whole Jenkins is somewhat of an underrated writer. Yeah, The Sentry was bad. And every story Jenkins wrote about him was also bad. But, he wrote the ‘90s Inhumans series, which was great. He also wrote one of my favorite Spider-Man stories of all time. He’s not bad, he’s just done some bad comics. And, yeah, his Hellblazer was good, too. :wink:


The Garth Omnibus is Awesome Looking! I have the writing already, but I’ll buy it one day for the shear beauty!

Not bragging, but bragging:
I have collected Everything JC Since the Swamp Thing. I have Swamp Thing 25 and 37 in issues and I have a full set of Ennis’ comic, First run,( 41-83, (51 wasn’t Garth tho), and 129-133) and all the TP collections and GN’s to date (including Chas-The knowledge). JLDark Vol 1 in 6 Volumes, Vol 2 in Issues to current, New 52 Constantine TPs VOL 1-4, Constantine, The Hellblazer TP VOL 1 and 2, The 4 Issues of Books of Magic and Issues 1-6 of his Current BOM Sandman Run. And all the issue appearances I can find( swamp Thing, Phantom Stranger, Vampire, one shot’s like Future’s End,etc…)
AND IT"S ALL GOOD! Some better than others, but I can’t help just wanting to read/own anything he is in. Not my biggest Issue Collection but My MOST COMPLETE WRITING COLLECTION BY FAR!

Spot on! Super Human Self Preservation! The Newest JLDark: Apokolips War is good, and I won’t spoil it, but he is Hella Power Heavy, with no explanation? It’s annoying to watch him shoot fire balls from his hands?! He creates Magical Arrays with the wave of a finger! Calling out spells in Latin with no gear! Still worth watching.

I like that and I also agree about Jenkins, I liked the way he brought John back to a more British Character. He brought up, Arthurian Legend, old English battles, wrote in Aleister Crowely, the '94 Public Order Act, he even hits on Kubla Khan’s writing…
He may be a fictional character, but he’s my favorite person EVER!
J. Constantine 2020! Write it in with me!!!

This thread makes me want to change my Name and Avatar Back!


There’s hardly been a run of Vertigo Constantine that I haven’t enjoyed, honestly. I tend less to think about who was writing and more about what was happening, mostly because I don’t love everything that certain writers have done. Pretty much anyone you talk to will say Dangerous Habits is a favourite, myself included. I enjoyed the Family Man Arc, because I liked seeing Johnno up against a human. (All Delano). I liked the Dreamtime arc, because it was really out there. Victorian Sex-Scandal Ghosts and weird Cat people included. I also enjoyed John’s time with his punk buddy who was the heir of King Arthur, which was kind of a calm before the storm arc. Probably one of my favourites is the arc that begins and ends with God reading John’s tarot. Fascinating as a character study, mostly. (Those a Paul Jenkins arcs, I think. ) The Azzarello/Constantine in the US stuff is ambiguous and weird, but I like them only because I’m especially fond of Marcello Frusin as the artist. On its own the “City of Demons” graphic novel is also one of my favoutites - Si Spencer. As to the other Si - Spurrier - I think he’s the perfect person to bring John back to his vertigo roots. I liked Richard Kadrey’s brief hand in the Rebirth run - he really had the voice down, but was limited by the regular DC publishing imprint. Spurrier seems to be headed in the right direction.