HellBlazer #7 HELLBLAZER #7
Ghosts in the Machine

Writer : Jamie Delano
Art : John Ridgway
Art : Brett Ewins
Art : Jim McCarthy
Cover Artist : Dave McKean
Colors : Lovern Kindzierski
Letters : Todd Klein
Editor : Karen Berger



Issue Synopsis : After a sinister dream in which he strips a young woman down to her bones, John Constantine wakes to find himself down on the London Underground, miles past his station. A cab ride takes him to his intended destination - the Weetiebrix cereal factory - for a meeting with Richie Simpson, techno-magus and the last surviving member of the Newcastle Crew.

Richie's been using the cereal factory's high technology to patch himself through into the fifth dimension, and previously unexplored areas of the electronic plane. At John's behest, he's been looking into the Resurrection crusade's files and has caught a mention of The Tongues of Fire, the same group that ordered Zed's kidnapping in the previous issue. Richie agrees to investigate further, but warns John that the Tongues have "heavy technology". John suggests that Richie might sort out his gas bill whilst he's there, and leaves for a cup of coffee.

Over at "Serendipity", Ray Monde's curio shop, Zed is settling down for a cup of cocoa and a chat about Constantine. Ray reveals that he met John when the young would-be-magician first arrived in London. Zed asks whether they were ever involved, but Ray says that his heart belonged to another - a soldier called Bill who died in the Falklands war. Their conversation is interrupted, however, by the arrival of Elder Martin and a group of God's Warriors. Martin reveals that he is Zed's father, and tells her that she must go with them. Ray tries to defend her, but he's no match for Martin's thugs, and he falls under their blows as Zed is dragged away...

After kicking ten shades of crap out of the dysfunctional coffee machine, Constantine returns to Richie's lab. Richie's voice comes from a speaker on the computer, telling John not to disrupt his concentration - The Tongues of Fire have booby-trapped all of the approaches to their computer files.

Inside the - for want of a better word - matrix, Richie's managed to tail a ten-dollar Pyramid of Prayer donation from Liberty, Iowa through an account in Glastonbury out to the Tongues of Fire's main computer. As he enters their domain, however, he finds himself overcome with feelings of holy rapture. Managing to pull himself away, her starts moving back towards his body...

...which is beginning to crackle and burn. Constantine, horrified, runs for the fire extinguisher but it's no good: a sudden flash and Richie's body is ablaze, burning so hot Constantine can't get near it. Within a minute, it's reduced to greasy charcoal. Then Richie's voice comes over the speakers...

Richie's delighted - he's discovered a whole new electronic universe, as well as a terminal in Glastonbury from which the Tongues of Fire are operating. As John shakily lights up a cig, Richie adds that the Crusaders have somehow tapped into an ancient power that feels like Nirvana. Richie tries to return to his body, but begins to panic when he realises that the link is no longer there. He begs Constantine to stop fooling around, but John can't bring himself to tell Richie the truth, and opts for the easier route - cutting off the power.

On the train back, Constantine stares blankly out of the window, mourning the loss of another friend. His self-loathing is cut short by The Newcastle Crew - sans Richie - who appear and tell John that his only hope of salvation is to join God and help the Resurrection Crusaders' cause. Suffering a panic attack, John jumps through the nearest door - and straight out of the moving train.

Issue synopsis written by James Wilkinson


[ Previous Month's Issue ]            [ Next Month's Issue ]
Richie Simpson gives John the lowdown.

God's Warriors prove to be too much for Ray.

Richie learns that when the Crusaders use firewalls...

They mean it.

The Newcastle Crew return.

Bad move, John...


 
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