Headscratchers / Hellblazer

Here be spoilers, read at your own risk.

The First of the Fallen vs Lucifer Morningstar.

Is it just me, or is the attempt to explain the discrepancy between Sandman's and Hellbalzer's takes on Satan in issue #59 somewhat contradictory? Basically, the First was, well first, totally twice as evil and badass ("he could never match such power") but Morningstar was actually the guy in charge of hell until then and the one keeping First in check? Given that Fallen would show himself to be, when it comes down to it, a pathetic and petty loser, while Morningstar would be characterized as Magnificent Bastard, this also seems like a case of Early Installemnt Weirdness.

The character of Phoebe in the Peter Milligan run.

It's not that I'm opposed to the idea of giving John Constantine a love interest who is a match for him in the wits department. I just wish that they didn't outright say that her death had more of an effect on John than losing Kit (John's girlfriend from the Garth Ennis run), who was the one decent love John had in his whole life until this point. The woman who was such a positive influence that when John created The Demon Constantine, he let the demon have those happy memories - the best days of his life - so it wouldn't be all bad. It really seems like a case of Informed Ability... Informed Love Interest perhaps?

Peter Milligan's ignoring of past continuity, re: The rules of Magic

Along with the issues regarding John's feelings about Kit described above, the page scan above blatantly contradicts the Garth Ennis story Son of Man, which hinges upon the fact that the First Law of Resurrection does not apply to magic in the Hellblazer universe. That is to say, you cannot use magic to bring the dead back to life. Ever. All Deaths Final.
  • Even ignoring that, it's hard to believe that John would be stupid enough at this point in his life to try using a means of bringing back the dead which requires the mage leading the ritual to be pure of heart.
  • Ennis’s run proper (excepting “Son of Man”) was good in many ways, but I never did feel that he was particularly good about the magical/theological part of the DC / Vertigo ’verse, and I’m okay with Milligan contradicting that. All writers make their own Constantine.
  • At the end, it resulted that indeed, you can't revive someone from the dead with magic. Peter Milligan re-stated that issue when John couldn't revive Phoebe. He was using, however, alchemy, and it didn't work either.

Dangerous Habits

How did he get away with that? Like, seriously? All the fallen had to do was keep him alive, why not break his spine or put him in a coma while you're "healing" him? And even if he has to be alive, what's stopping them from just rampaging through his family and friends?
  • Oh, his family and friends get quite thoroughly rampaged-through.
    • First, as John himself once stated and several stories proved the First of the Fallen is kind of stupid. He is constantly outsmarted and tricked by nearly everyone and sucks at the rule manipulation demons rely on. He runs Hell and is incredibly dangerous because he is the most powerful demon. Second, it is alluded and stated in several stories that demons, and most supernatural creatures, are bound by various rules that limit how much they can interact on the mortal plane. These rules are never completely spelled out, but they are what John manipulates to prevent the first from teleporting into the store when John goes out to buy cigerates, ripping his heart out and dragging him down to Hell.

Hellblazer #23

So it's explained that only literary characters who have achieved "enduring fame" can run around the real world freely. Sherlock Holmes (who explains this) and Dr. Watson, of course — they're probably amongst the, if not the, most enduring literary characters of all time. Tarzan, sure. Peter Pan, I can buy. But Bill and Nancy Sykes? I had to look them up to figure out who they were. I can't see them achieving the kind of fame necessary to be "allowed" out into the real world.