Hellblazer: Good Intentions
by Brian Azzarello, Marcelo Frusin
(Vertigo, 2002)

There's not a lot for the tourist to see in Doglick, W.Va. But that's where John Constantine, fresh from a little hard time in the slammer, is headed.

One might expect the Liverpudlian rogue to be out of place in the Appalachian sticks, but Constantine proves up to the challenge -- first terrorizing the first good samaritan motorist who gives him a lift, then deftly dealing with the less kind-hearted pair he rides with next. And then he's in Doglick, and things start to get worse.

Constantine is ostensibly there to pay his respects to the widow of the man he was imprisoned for killing -- even though Constantine wasn't actually the killer. But he ends up spending much of his time with the dead man's brothers and a sister-in-law John'd known back in the bad old days of punk London.

Times are hard in Doglick, and the people there have taken an odd turn to get by. But there's also something -- something big, dark and hungry -- out in the woods, and Constantine gets drawn into far more trouble than he'd ever imagined.

Then again, sometimes our lad John wants so much to be the hero and just fails to have a keen grasp of the situation.

Good Intentions is a disturbing read, with no end of unsettling moments. Of course, that tells you the book is working properly, and writer Brian Azzarello and artist Marcelo Frusin should be commended for making my reading experience this evening just a little darker.

by Tom Knapp
14 April 2007

Buy it from Amazon.com.