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Hellblazer: Original Sins

(Hellblazer: Old Editions #1)

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  15,792 ratings  ·  336 reviews
John Constantine is an unconcerned, somewhat amoral occultist with a British working-class background. He's a hero, of sorts, who manages to come out on top through a combination of luck, trickery, and genuine magical skill. The Original Sins collection is a loosely connected series of tales of John's early years where Constantine was at his best and at his worst, all at t ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published October 1st 1997 by Vertigo (first published October 1988)
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Average rating 4.12  · 
Rating details
 ·  15,792 ratings  ·  336 reviews

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Jun 10, 2009 rated it liked it
The fact that so many of these reviews say something along the lines of "It's not as good as the movie!" or "Too much political commentary and the art is dated!" just goes to show that some people - comic book readers in particular - are interested solely in watching entertainment with eyes glazed over. Others are more interested in learning something and seeking literary substance. Most comics merely provide the former, so just let us have a few intelligent comics without complaining that they ...more
Dan Schwent
Sep 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019, 2019-comics
It took me so long to read this that I've forgotten most of it. That's what having a two month old and sleeping like crap will do to you. I'll revisit Hellblazer again sometime down the road since I like the character. ...more
Frank Eldritch
This is the very first volume that will span one of the longest running series for Vertigo, and I can honestly say that John Constantine was not an easy man to love at all. Fortunately enough for this comics, he curiously remains a readily compelling titular character for the Hellblazer series. A man of action, deep thought and snarky humor, Constantine can win us over if he'd just bother trying yet he also manages to effortlessly cruise the pages of this book with an enigmatic charm that manage ...more
Quentin Wallace
Feb 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is where it all started. This first volume of Hellblazer set the tone for the decades of John Constantine stories to follow. And it was a pretty good start.

We have here a horror comic that ventures well into the realm of the weird. It isn't so much the story itself but some of the happenings within the story. We start off with an African hunger demon loose in America. Then we find demons posing as yuppies trading human souls as commodities. (Some symbolism there to be sure.) Then we have a
I was in love with John Constantine.


This is a re-read for me. I originally read the graphic novels around 1990/91. The rating (given from memory so many years later) comes from the feeling that I had when I read these stories about Constantine - I loved these stories and the more I read, the more I loved them.

The re-read stems from the fact that I'm watching the TV show Constantine. I wanted to refresh my memory about these stories. I'd forgotten so much. I had forgotten that Zed was a cha
Scott Rhee
It says a lot for a horror/dark fantasy graphic novel series to have a successful run of nearly 30 years. That’s a good run in any genre, especially in the comic book industry. “John Constantine, the Hellblazer”, the longest-running series in the DC Vertigo line, started in 1987 and ran until 2013. It was resurrected in other titles, and, as of today, is still going. The series inspired a major motion picture and a short-lived NBC TV series.

I’m not sure why I waited this long to finally read “He
Apr 18, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Hellblazer is one of the more long-running of Vertigo’s graphic novel series and has had at least half a dozen different writers. I’d read one of the trade paperbacks before and wasn’t fantastically impressed, but Original Sins by Jamie Delano (who was the first writer to work on this series) has won me over. As written by Delano the notorious John Constantine, working-class sorcerer and bad boy, really is an intriguing character. He’s bad-tempered, arrogant, somewhat selfish, very unscrupulous, ...more
Thomas Edmund
Nov 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
I've been aware of Constantine for a long time, mostly through cross-overs with other comics, and the Reeves movie (which I actually liked sorry for the heresy) I hadn't really read through much of his actual stuff though.

Jumping into Original Sins I was surprised at a few things, one is just how heavily politicized it was. Constantine takes on skin-heads, demons during election year, supports a friend with AIDS and pops over the U.S. to witness a Vietnam flashback. I dunno why I was so surprise
Aug 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people who are fabulous
Recommended to Tozette by: Small Creek

There is just something about the asshole antihero that makes me weak in the knees -- and John Constantine is an A-grade asshole. He frequently (and sometimes randomly) abuses the people around him in a way that's both shameless and hilarious. Character aside, the plots work, they're fast-paced and they're twined together, and the comic book dialogue snaps and crackles when it's not drowning in deliciously cheesy bombast.

To be honest, about the only criticism I have here is that some of these s
Oct 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: top-10-comics
Damn, Jamie Delano really did write the best version of Hellblazer. All John Constantine is and will be is already present in this one first novel.

The first story, about Mnemoth, is perfect, all that Hellblazer is and should be. The Tatcher story is a cute and fitting gag, the third is mostly setup for John's family, the Damnation and Redemption armies, the vietnam story is horrifying.

John comes across as the ultimate anti-hero, a coward, a basket case. It's amazing how our general image of hi
I enjoyed the 80s British politics, with skinheads and Maggie Thatcher. Good writing and I liked the colour in this volume.
May 26, 2020 rated it liked it
I really *want* to love this. Creepy as all hell, and Constantine makes for an intriguing reluctant paranormal crusader anti-hero. Maybe it's just inherent to the medium of graphic novels and me not being used to it, but the storytelling feels disjointed and fragmentary and I just can't get invested. ...more
Printable Tire
I don't know what keeps me coming back to the Hellblazer comic. Perhaps it's the fact that there's a good collection of them at the library, and I know more or less what to expect from them, at least in terms of literary quality. Perhaps it's the artwork, which is the usual Vertigo, very grisly and colorful and fun to look at. I certainly don't much like the overall joyless cynicism of this world, or the overtly, insulting and pandering political jabs that pop up every other issue. I don't like ...more
Jul 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
This totally throws you into the world of Constantine from beginning to end and it's just utter crackers and it's such a good read if you're after something slightly bizarre. Constantine is a proper geezer, his accent is all over the place he's a bit of a trash bag to be honest, he's a complete mess and nine times out of ten he just makes any situation worse, but that trench coat wearing trash bag tries his best.

At first it comes across as a bunch of collected stories with Constantine having to
2.5 stars. I was torn between 2 and 3 stars on this one and ended up with 2.5. Better than okay but not quite "I like it" material. Let's just call it pretty good. Part of the reason this doesn't rate higher is that I know some of the later Hellblazer work is outstanding and so this suffers from comparison. ...more
Jason Carpenter
Sep 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dc
Great book. I'm actually somewhere around 4.5 stars on it. I've always enjoyed stories about John Constantine. He is a problematic but likable character. This one had some tough moments, as you would expect from a Constantine story. I really enjoyed it. ...more
The 1992 and 1993 prints of "Original Sins" collect Hellblazer issues #1-9, the first nine issues of the series. The new 2011 printing also includes Swamp Thing #76 and #77, in which John makes his first comics appearance.

These issues were originally published in 1987/1988, just as the Vertigo imprint was coming into existence -- while most other comics were still in the old "spandex-suited superheroes" game. So be aware -- the colors are often a bit garish and weird, the quality of the art lack
Feb 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
Before I start my review of what is a truly good comic, I'd like to climb on my soapbox for a brief moment in response to Delano's Leftist screed, which for some reason was included in the intro of my volume, wherein he wastes my time declaring his hatred for Thatcher and Bush (the father). Um thanks for that Jamie Delano. But's the thing- if I wanted to listen to leftist lectures I'd read Howard Zinn, who at least has a PhD from Columbia and did Post-Doc work at my Alma Mater (a littl ...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
I'm not sure I can say I like this. The subject matter is quite unpalatable, really. I do have this attraction to occult detective stories, and that's Hellblazer in a nutshell. Constantine is not what I'd call a good man. His compass is flawed, but in his own way, he does try to make things right or do the right thing, even if it's for selfish reasons. He considers himself neutral in the good versus evil war. However, his acts more often than not add to the good side of things. If not, I probabl ...more
Apr 27, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: graphic-novels
The beginning is horrible. Especially the second story. And I didn't care much for the art either. It gets interesting towards the end where a story spans several issues and "the plot thickens" but overall it's not that interesting.
[second read]: the first story seems better now (Constantine really is a bastard, and that story makes it clear from the beginning). Jamie Delano really hated Margaret Thatcher apparently, as the second story is full of associations between her and demons, devil spaw
Melissa Jacobson
You all know how much I love Constantine. I have brought it up quite a bit in every area of my life so I am obviously thrilled to be re-reading this amazing series. Constantine is my everything. I have loved him from the age of 12 when I first picked this exact collection up and I still adore him to this day.
Aug 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
And so we go back to where it all began.

John Constantine is my BAE. Ugh now I feel dirty using that term. Hang on....

(Takes a shower)

Okay I'm back. Anyway if there is one character in comic history that I most connect with, it's probably John Constantine. I'm not really the type who has a massive boner for American style, larger than life, deck-myself-in-pride parade-colours, fight for truth justice and all that stuff, type heroes. I like my heroes to be more human, to be more flawed and capable
Feb 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
God, I love John Constantine. He’s definitely one of the most interesting characters in DC, and so fun to read.

The arcs collected in this book were trippy, depraved, creepy, and much more. I really enjoyed the writing and artwork— it was all very 80s. Even though Delano’s writing was a bit over the top at times (i.e. “I trail my mind’s dark, swirling waters for the elusive fish of memory. Contact made— cold, wriggling realization swims my blood.” Like... reel it in a bit, Delano), I thought his
Kate M. Colby
Apr 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Likes: Constantine as a deeply flawed hero, magic/demonic elements, the love story with Zed, and how the plot with the Damnation Army built over the stories

Dislikes: I'm not a big fan of this style of art, as it reminds me of Sunday newspaper cartoons. I also found some of the panel layouts to be a bit confusing.
Ross Alon
Oct 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great beginning for a story.
The definition of a vertigo book lay in this pages. The way the story deals with 80's taboos as AIDS, homosexuality, drugs and many more is amusing.
Nov 30, 2018 rated it liked it
John Constantine is really a tough character to like... and nice tales. I certainly took my sweet time to finish it 😈☠️
May 25, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics-and-manga
(3.5 Stars)

Michele Lee
I admit I picked this one up because I really liked the movie. I’d been warned that the movie was nothing like the actual comic, but all the elements of the movie that I enjoyed most were present.

The art is dated and doesn’t add much, but the writing is amazing, especially in the middle story, a supernatural tale of war life and rural reality colliding most violently, “When Johnny Comes Marching Home”. “Waiting for the Man” also features some very disturbing sections, but like the rest of this v
Oct 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
This collection of the first 9 issues of Hellblazer kicks off the debut of Constantine post the Swamp Thing era.

It introduces us to the man behind the Magus... turns out that Constantine is a flawed character, and here I thought he was @above@ all the woes of the world from his introduction in Swamp Thing.

A good beginning to a series that would last 300 issues, have its ups and downs... the lowest of which was his transferal from the Vertigo universe back to the DC 52 one.

Ah well, it's always fu
Jan 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Dark and dirty. This is magic that comes with a very high cost. Delano's depiction of John Constantine is brilliant. It's a bit dated now with its comments on Thatcher's England, but definitely worth a read for the exciting story-lines and the sarcastic humour. ...more
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Jamie Delano aka A. William James began writing comics professionally in the early 1980s. Latterly he has been writing prose fiction with "BOOK THIRTEEN" published by his own LEPUS BOOKS imprint ( in 2012, "Leepus | DIZZY" in April 2014, and "Leepus | THE RIVER" in 2017.

Jamie lives in semi-rural Northamptonshire with his partner, Sue. They have three adult children and

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Hellblazer: Old Editions (1 - 10 of 36 books)
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