HellBlazer #170 HELLBLAZER #170
Ashes & Dust, Part One

Writer : Brian Azzarello
Artist : Marcelo Frusin
Cover Artist : Tim Bradstreet
Colors : Lee Loughridge
Letters : Clem Robins
Editor : Wil Dennis

Issue synopsis written by J. White

Issue Synopsis : As two of the local police officers share details of what seems to be a gruesome crime that's left local law enforcement baffled, F.B.I Agent Frank Turro is allowed access to the scene. As Turro is accompanied by an officer, he search begins for facts starting with the name of the place they're entering. The officer replies that it doesn't have a name - just an address which is fitting for these types of private clubs. The officer writes it off as a sex club for people who are into the S&M lifestyle. Turro meets with Detective Havlik the ranking officer at the scene. She informs Turro that there isn't much in the way of information until he makes known who he actually is. Naturally the thought of F.B.I involvement didn't occur to Havlik and questions whether or not his involvement is necessary. Turro is more interested in the identification of the body than leaking his involvement as of yet. Seems this body isn't much more than a burn mark on the floor but they do have a name - John Constantine.

There are plenty of witnesses that all seem to have seen what took place inside tonight and Turro wants to start the interrogations. Havlik agrees and says she can get them prepared in about two day's time, which unfortunately isn't enough for Turro who wants it started immediately. Havlik informs Turro that some of the witnesses (labeled "suspects" by Turro) are people of wealth and status and that having them dragged downtown would possibly mean a conflict in terms of lawsuits. Turro suggests another route in convincing them to use their civic duty to help with the case - otherwise their names will be leaked to the media, letting the public know just how well they think they know their favorite celebrities. As Turro checks the area around them he pulls a bag of heroin from his jacket and informs the detective she just discovered it, giving her a good idea he knows how these things work.

Inside the station, Milton gets comfortable under the hot seat. As Turro begins to get nothing out of him in the way of information he threatens to throw him into jail where both Turro and Milton know what kind of "pleasure" he can receive. Milton informs Turro that he's bisexual in which Turro reacts uninterested. What he's more interested in is John and what happened. Milton describes he first thought of John as a loner, someone who would rather watch than anything. His nature was for things to happen to him, but not because he wanted them to. Milton remembers John wanting anything done to him without any objection. When the fire started Milton was being given golden showers by various members of the club. The sight of the burning man caused the pissing to stop and for Milton to actually see the burning body. Even though he was on fire he didn't move, according to Milton, and no one was suspected of setting him on fire. Turro questions as to why Milton wouldn't take action when he saw a person burning in front of him where then Milton reminds Turro that their nothing wrong with doing nothing and letting something happen to you.

With little more than nothing from Milton, Turro picks a new witness in the form of a leather clad blonde. A noticeable line of running mascara is visible under her eyes indicating that she had been crying. Turro introduces Havlik to Gucardi, the autopsy conductor, a man he rightly calls "Ghoulardee". Havlik prepares to object when Turro cuts her off claiming that their coroner is under par and that federal experience is needed. The two agents share information as to the possible identity of Constantine's body. Turro is doubtful as to whether or not a con-man like John is able to simply be put out of commission so seemingly. As Gucardi leaves Havlik once again questions why the F.B.I is so interested in this case and Turro calmly gives her no answer.

It's now Peggy's turn for her side of the story. As Turro makes her feel comfortable with a cigarette and a reassured attitude, she begins to talk. She states she knew John ("Johnny") as a 'hungry man" leading to common ground with Milton's assumption of John liking any and all attention to his sexual appetite. Peggy didn't remember the entire incident that night, claiming she can only be "five places at once" and that John was equally hard to please in some regions.

Outside the night is full at S.W. Manor's mansion. Inside it is as equally dark as the figure of S.W. stands in front of his mantle, his shirt is soaked with blood of various slashes brought his back. Fredo announces his bath is read and Manor agrees to be there momentarily. As Fredo begins to ask something, Manor cuts his off saying he needs to be alone and as a tear rolls down his cheek, the fake clock of Rasputin is seen placed center on top of the mantle.

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