Writer : Brian Azzarello
Penciller : Giuseppe Camuncoli
Inker : Cameron Stewart
Cover Artist : Tim Bradstreet
Colors : Lee Loughridge
Letters : Clem Robins
Editor : Wil Dennis
Issue synopsis written by J. White
Issue Synopsis : John's in Los Angeles "The City of Angels", and while
walking once again begins another train of thought about where he stands on America.
John's view on America is quite interesting, seeing it as the place where once
the "Old World" Brits colonized with their ways of the past, could use it
again to have its advantages. One of them, John illustrates, is a place where
the older ways of English thinking could feel younger and hard again.
It's at this point John enters a nearby bar.
A limo pulls to a large estate. A small, bald priest steps out and is
greeted by Fredo. The priest asks how Fredo is, and is responded to
very vaguely until the priest answers his own question. As they continue
through the mansion Fredo tells him he's been repeating the way he feels over
and over, just like everyone else. They stop outside at a large swimming
pool as they both see a man taking a leisurely dip. The man swimming
immediately recognizes the priest, referring him to Father Sean. Sean greets the
man as "Stanley" but before he can continue he is immediately
corrected for his choice in names. Flustered, Father Sean corrects himself and
apologizes explaining that he forgot. Manor explains that Sean didn't just call
him Stanley because he forgot, but because he specifically told him not
to. At that he requests for a towel.
Back at the bar John receives a welcome with a huge glob of snot
landing onto the sleeve of his coat. An agitated John verbally threatens his
'attacker', telling he should be offering him medicine after a viral launch like
that. The man responsible apologizes for his sinus problem and offers to
substitute whiskey for medicine. Reluctantly agreeing, John thanks him
immediately after only to be told he's glad to be seen again. A miffed
Constantine tries to make a face with a name.
Stanley Manor continues with Father Sean, informing him that a man by the
name of Jason had died in an "accident" that occurred the previous
night. Father Sean asks if it was because of Stanley's responsibility, leading to
think S.W. was the fault of the man's death. Manor muses on his own
responsibility and who is in fact responsible for himself. Jason's cause of death is
not made known, but Manor reveals he did die "with a smile on his
sweet face". This news worries Sean who, under the eye of Manor, thinks the two
had some kind of involvement. In protest Father Sean questions what Manor
thinks his involvement with Jason was. Brushing it off Manor assures the priest
that everything he says is purely gossip; talk that makes light of others
indifferences or makes the big people bigger while cutting down the
smaller ones. It's something that Father Sean knows all about and that Stanley
desperately wants in on. Manor asks Father Sean to tell him the sins
that he hears on a daily basis.
From behind John a scruffy looking man holds out his hand
revealing a small congealing substance coating his fingers which he asks whether or not
John knows what it is. With a simple look, but no answer the man reveal it
to be blood - his wife's. An unimpressed Constantine passes it off as her
monthly cycle rather than something serious. The man looks taken aback before
the bartender reveals it to be dried ketchup. The familiar man beside John
states that ol' Wally shot his wife back in 1976 while cleaning a
loaded gun after the two had a drunken argument. Seems Wally doesn't have the
heart to let it go anymore. A somber Wally feels like it happened just like it
was yesterday. That word leads John to finish the moment with the
remaining lines of a Beatles tune.
Back at Stanley's mansion Father Sean finishes a startling confession
about an angered young woman. This sends Manor to goad Sean, asking why he
forgave that girl of her transgressions without her truly repenting her sins
to him. The lives of youth go on slowly collecting bits of memories to store
into the mind. Manor compares this to Father Sean's ability as a person
with a photographic memory.
A drunken sing-along ensues back at the bar with John and others
giving their musical renditions of Beatles classics. As they finish John
recalls how much he hates the band, but remembers some of the songs. It
puzzles him that he can't remember the simple details but can remember the entire
song he hasn't heard in ages. John's cold-ridden friend suggests that it
might be the memories Constantine needs for the road ahead and it's that
memory that keeps us from going insane.
It's Manor's own sick delight in hearing the torment of others that
led to him giving Father Sean a lucrative offer to visit regularly him.
Father Sean dictates the conversation piece to his amusement word by word. Manor
brushes his words off, calling them "the follies of youth". Father
Sean's reasons are slightly less obvious, though. The money that was offered was
thought best to be used for a better purpose for Father Sean's devotion to the
greater good. Manor contribution to build an orphanage in return for
the sins of others could help but seem analogous to S.W.'s own ruined
childhood. Dismissively, Manor shrugs this observation off, claiming the only
reason Father Sean agreed to their transaction was to collect money and
nothing else. Now Manor has made a different reason for needing Father Sean.
He wants the hard truth of these sins, and not the confession used to
get away from the past.
It's just hit Constantine where he remembers seeing the familiar face
of his bar-side friend, even though he doesn't appear to know John at all.
Even though he was a bit more heavyset in those years he still believes
him to be the same man he met at a bar in Dublin, Brighton, San Francisco and
even New York where they've encountered various conversations similar to the
one they now engage in. The two agree that they're never the same on the outside
but that they are on the inside, implying that everywhere in every bar and pub there's always a
man in the stool next to you.
Issue synopsis written by J. White
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Someone get Hans Blix, we've got a Biological Weapon's threat here.
S.W. Manor gets philosophical.
Manor delights in the sins of others.
Old friends, of a sort.