Hellblazer: Freezes Over
by Brian Azzarello, various artists
(Vertigo, 2003)

John Constantine is wandering across America; he has a destination in mind, and a purpose when he gets there, but the journey itself is half the fun.

In this case, the journey pauses for a while when John takes shelter from a blizzard in a roadside eatery. The assemblage of characters trapped there with him doesn't seem too strange -- until the body of one man, impaled by an icicle in his car, is found, and rumors of the Iceman serial killer begin to circulate among the rest. And then three desperate criminals, one of them gutshot, arrive, and the tense situation gets much, much worse.

But Constantine is nothing if not resourceful, even if it means playing the part of a mythical killer.

This story, written by Brian Azzarello, with art by Marcelo Frusin, is a perfect example of the kind of storytelling that makes Hellblazer so very entertaining. Bollocks to the world's greatest mage; in this yarn, Constantine gets by with a clever mind, a quick tongue and sheer presence. Well done, Brian!

A backup story in this volume flashes back to John's younger days in a punk band, a scam he pulled with a Yank and a clock, and the consequences of a very important book that doesn't exist and an overly curious young girl. The art by Guy Davis is rougher, more primitive, but it suits the jagged nature of the tale.

by Tom Knapp
2 June 2007

Buy it from Amazon.com.