If you haven’t read Hellblazer before, and you don’t have the time and resources to read the entire series, this is the best volume you can get.
From the DC website:
RARE CUTS is a treat for longtime readers and newcomers alike, assembling six issues of JOHN CONSTANTINE: HELLBLAZER that have never before been collected. Created by some of the most popular and critically acclaimed writers and artists in comics, the issues featured include: #11, which relates the horrifying events of Newcastle, 1978, that ended with an innocent girl’s soul condemned to Hell and Constantine confined to an asylum; #25-26, in which new weapons testing goes awry and looses terrible psychic impulses upon a dying northern town; #35, which tells a tale of Constantine’s roughand – tumble childhood and the beginnings of his unique skills; #56, an object lesson in the perils of narcissism and doing deals with demons; and #84, which reveals the origin of Constantine’s friendship with his best mate Chas.
I’m confused though: DC also said that Rare Cuts was created to “help celebrate the release of the Warner Bros. Pictures film Constantine”. Er, is this to show the ignorant moviegoers that Keanu Reeve’s Constantine looks nothing like the original Constantine? Or that Chas isn’t supposed to be young? Or that the film’s story, in comparison with the comic series, just feels…wrong?
I’ll have to admit though: I watched the film when it came out, and without having read the comics first. And I liked it. Yeah. Heh.
Anyway, this volume also contains an updated Hellblazer timeline. Neat.
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And just like that, I have run out of comics to read. Back to the House of Leaves then.