This week saw the release of the penultimate issue of Hellblazer #11 by Si Spurrier, Aaron Campbell and Jordie Bellaire. And it also features in passing, The Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, better known as Boris. Both in person and be allusion.
It sees a fear mongering populist racist politician, Clem Thurso, possessed by an ancient demon who had already had dealings with a young John Constantine, that preys on fear, and rises to the top in these divided times.
In looks, appearances and general attitude, he appeared to be a BNP-style politician, with rhetoric similar to that of former UKIP leader and current Brexit Party leader, Nigel Farage. He definitely resembles Farage as well.
And while the initial language of the politician before he is possessed by the demon is that of the nationalist far right…
Once possessed, they start to incorporate phrases made more famous by the current Prime Minister Boris Johnson, leader of the Conservative Party. Si Spurrier writes on Twitter "There's a page in Hellblazer #11 in which a British politician spouts a bunch of nakedly racist crap. We had a conversation about whether we ought to tone it down — until I pointed out these are all things our literal actual elected serving Prime Minister has said. I mention this as a gentle SHUT UP AND GET IN THE FIRE to those folks complaining about the "politicising" of their favourite character. If you think Constantine would put up with Bojo and Co, I humbly submit that your Favourite Character is, in fact, entirely your own invention." This is that page:
"Letterbox headscarves" refers to an article Boris Johnson wrote for the Daily Telegraph in 2018 when he was Foreign Secretary, in defence of the right for women to wear burkas, in opposition to French policy, but stating that it was ridiculous that people chose to wear them, and that Muslim women wearing them "look like letter boxes". Another Telegraph column from 2002 had him write about a prospective trip by then-Prime Minister Tony Blair to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, "No doubt the AK47s will fall silent, and the pangas will stop their hacking of human flesh, and the tribal warriors will all break out in watermelon smiles to see the big white chief touch down in his big white British taxpayer-funded bird" and adding "What a relief it must be for Blair to get out of England. It is said that the Queen has come to love the Commonwealth, partly because it supplies her with regular cheering crowds of flag-waving piccaninnies".
"Slitty eyes" wasn't from Boris Johnson – but it is most associated with Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh and husband to the queen who, in 1986 told a group of British students in China "If you stay here much longer you'll all be slitty-eyed."
Boris Johnson was elected leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister of a minority government by Conservative MPs in, and in 2019, led the Tories to an overwhelming victory in the General Election, with Clem Thurso growing in stature. At the time it was suggested that Johnson give Farage a position in government, in response for not putting Brexit Party candidates against Considervate candidates in the election, but that came to naught. It's believed that Johnson saw Faragae as a much greater threat to him, than any member of the Labour Party. But for Clem Thurso, it all might be a bit much.
What the demon finds is too much even for it to bear – apparently humans can do far worse than demons – and it's all happening in the bowels of Parliament, as we saw in earlier issues with a rather naked Boris Johnson.
Spurrier concludes "Hellblazer's been the best reviewed comic, bar none, for nine straight months and counting. We put the final touches on the last issue yesterday. What a team. What a run. What a loss. Cancelled in its prime, because of this monstrous f-cking year." Spurrier has already spoken of this at length, DC Comics – time to think again?
JOHN CONSTANTINE HELLBLAZER #11 (MR)
A message from Clem Thurso, the most virulently bigoted politician in the UK, unexpectedly sends John on a journey deep into the heart of occult evil-and down into a chamber below Parliament where something truly unspeakable waits…In Shops: Oct 2y, 2020 SRP: $3.99