Shit Just Got Real: Hellblazer #267

Everybody loves a holiday weekend, but they have dread consequences in comics: delayed new comics. It’s bad enough that Tuesday feels like Monday, but to have Wednesday shorn of all its meaning is just cruel. Just as I started writing this, Janice related to me that for a moment she didn’t think there were going to be bagels at her job today, because Wednesday is bagel day there. Bagel day starts with bagels and ends with comics, right? So no comics means no bagels. But there were bagels! How could this be?!

How the world entire doesn’t drown in chaos and madness is beyond me.

You know who is good at chaos? John Constantine. He’s currently having a little issue with the madness, though. Hellblazer #267 is mostly setup for Milligan’s big Shade the Changing Man arc, so there wasn’t really any meat there to review, but it very solidly establishes that John is even more severely fucked than usual. It ends in a splash page that might as well be the first panel of the story proper, and, in the most ironic way possible, shit just got very real for Bastard John:

Yeah, that should go well.

I know this week is hard with comics being late and all, but look on the bright side: you’re not John. And hey, new comics on Thursday isn’t so bad; the week’s almost over at that rate. And think about those lucky folks in the UK, they get their new comics on Friday! Instant party and the whole weekend to kill the hangover. Hang in there, gang. We’ll all get through this together.

Shit Just Got Real: Hercules, Fall of an Avenger #1

Namora punches Namor, with "MAAAANUP!" sound effect.

Yeah, Namor! You do that!

Seriously, Namor. You just got audibly served by Namora in the midst of your overwhelming, smoldering angst over Herc’s passing. Shit just got real.

The rest of this book is pretty good, by the way… until you get to the reactions of various Marvel women to Herc’s passing, which boil down to “He was a total asshole, but he had a great cock and we totally had sexy sex, so it’s OK.” Not a particularly progressive narrative moment for a company in the middle of a yearlong event focusing on women in comics, but not out of spec for van Lente’s treatment of female characters, either. It’s a shame, too– the rest of this issue is fantastic, save for that one bit that ruins it for me.

“Shit just got real.”

Every now and then in comics, we have those ineffable moments. Those moments where we know, for a fact, beyond any possible rational doubt…

shit just got real.

Here at the Department, we’d like to enshrine and honor those moments, starting with that Master of the Mystic Arts himself, Dr. Stephen Strange, makin’ shit get real in the pages of Invincible Iron Man #22:

Dr. Strange, in IIM 22.  Art by Salvador Larocca.

Remember, this isn't a ceremony. This is when shit gets real.

By Dread Dormammu himself, that is the real shit, kids. Stay tuned for further episodes of Shit Just Got Real.

(Thanks to MetaFilter’s Own Matt Haughey for sharing that Bad Boys video.)