One cupon a time, DC Comics published a John Constantine: Hellblazer that suggested that Prince Charles was a Jack-The-Ripper-like serial killer, possessed by the same demon, and his crimes were covered up by the state. Obviously it was written by Garth Ennis. But it is recalled today, as the new John Constantine: Hellblazer #9 written by Si Spurrier channels much of that spirit. And in "The Favourite", a title that recalls a recent Royal movie as well as ties it into the topic of horse racing, John Constantine has a tale to tell. A right royal tale at that. Concerning one of the Queen's sons who is also a Duke.
It is notable that the only one of the Queen's sons known principally by the title of Duke is Prince Andrew, Duke Of York. His brothers are Charles, Prince of Wales, and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex. Charles has a couple of dukedoms tucked away, but they only come out for special occasions.
Also notably, last year Prince Andrew suspended his public duties for the "foreseeable future" following intense negative reaction regarding allegations against him of sexual abuse and his connections to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Claims made include that Prince Andrew had sex with a 17-year old girl, paid $15,000 by Epstein, claims that Prince Andrew famously denied in a Newsnight interview which led to his stepping down from public duties. And then the Spitting Image puppet stuff came out – but if Spurrier had included anything like, it would have seemed far too ridiculous.
And today's Hellblazer, in a fictitious form, and with a 'Duke' who does not resemble Prince Andrew – indeed, he seems to have had a moustache drawn on his face by Aaron Campbell. As John Constantine, magician, warlock and drunkard, is persuaded to help the Prince out – indeed he feels responsible for the actions of his future self.
Whatever justifications John Constantine has to give himself to do this, will all come out in the wash. For all its delving and scrabbling around in the horse poo, Hellblazer remains an intensely moral and moralistic series of plays, in comic book form… but it does like to take down any and all figures of authority as part of that. We've only just recovered from Boris Johnson running around the bowels of Parliament stark naked. I do hope that has some kind of resolution…
John Constantine Hellblazer #9 is published from today from DC Comics. I bought mine from Piranha Comics in Kingston-Upon-Thames. Piranha Comics is a small south London comic store chain with a small south-east store in Kingston-Upon Thames's market centre, which runs Magic The Gathering nights on Fridays, and a larger south-west store in Bromley, which also runs Magic nights and has an extensive back issue collection and online store. If you are in the neighbourhood, check them out.
JOHN CONSTANTINE HELLBLAZER #9 (MR)
(W) Simon Spurrier (A) Aaron Campbell (CA) John Paul Leon
The British royal family has always had an interest in breeding the world's finest racehorses. When one disgraced royal cooks up a scheme to re-create the most magical of all horses, it's up to John Constantine to stop him from unleashing a bloodthirsty horror!
In Shops: Aug 26, 2020 SRP: $3.99