HellBlazer #159    HellBlazer #159 : Freezes Over, Part 2 of 4

   Writer : Brian Azzarello
   Artist : Marcelo Frusin



A loan car drives through snowbound America, a viscous blizzard ensuring that the three occupants have no-one but themselves for company. As the three men in the car argue about a job they were forced to do despite the abysmal conditions, one of them notices a saloon on the roadside ahead that still appears to be open. Inside said saloon, John Constantine finds himself confronted over the role he may or may not have had in the murder of a man found outside in a car with an icicle driven through his chest. Pete comes to John's defence, pointing out that Constantine doesn't look strong enough but that one of the other recent arrivals in the saloon - the trucker - does. After Keith calms a tense situation down somewhat, he enlists the truckers help in carrying the corpse out of the saloon. The two men are half way towards the door, the dead man draped between them, when the three men from the car make their appearance. An abashed Keith makes his apologies and continues with his grim task.

Hope informs the latest arrivals about the possible murderer in their midst while Constantine quizzes the aging Rudy and Alma about the myth of the "Iceman". Rudy reluctantly fills the Englishman in on the story, telling him of the Iceman's first strike back in 1892. When a Swede by the name of Gunter Helgeson returned to the hunting camp he was a part of with a fresh load of supplies - a trip he made through a heavy blizzard - he was horrified to find all of his colleagues dead and headless, their heads placed on icicles outside the camp. A sceptical John suggests that maybe Gunter was responsible for the killings himself but Rudy dismiss that theory, saying that Gunter went missing the next day and was never found again.

 
Aces High
 

When one of the latest arrivals collapses on his way to the bathroom, one of his travelling companions apologies and glibly notes that the collapsed man can't hold his alcohol. As the two men help their partner to the bathroom, John notes that the collapsed man is bleeding. Constantine and Pete leave the saloon to check the now frozen corpse as Rudy accidentally walks in on the three late arrivals, cursing in surprise as he sees that one of them is bleeding heavily from a stomach wound. The three friends try to spin a story about a car crash but when Rudy spots a gun in the jacket of one of them, Waylon (the gunman) drops the act and pulls his gun on the old man. The second uninjured man, Dwight, warns Rudy that if he doesn't keep quiet about the third man's injury that Waylon will have no problem with shooting him dead.

Standing outside in the snow, staring at the freezing corpse, John asks Pete if he's ever seen a dead man before. Pete says he hasn't and tries to assure Constantine that the Iceman isn't a myth but a real creature. Pete recounts a tale from his youth, telling John of a long winter he enjoyed as a child. He spent the season sledding down a hill topped by three snowmen but, as the winter came to a gradual end and the temperature started to rise, the snowmen melted to reveal three dead men stashed inside of them. Constantine turns to Pete and points out that he said he'd never seen a dead body before. Back in the saloon, Waylon returns from the bathroom and catches Rudy telling Alma that she should go home. Angered, Waylon pulls his gun and fires.

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