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Hellblazer: Lapdogs and Englishmen

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"Lapdogs and Englishmen" was a two-part storyline published in Hellblazer #162-163. Both issues were included as the second arc of the Hellblazer: Freezes Over trade paperback. The story was written by Brian Azzarello with illustrati


Synopsis

Overview

"Lapdogs and Englishmen" was a two-part storyline published in Hellblazer #162-163. Both issues were included as the second arc of the Hellblazer: Freezes Over trade paperback. The story was written by Brian Azzarello with illustrations by guest artist Guy Davis. Cover illustrations were provided by Tim Bradstreet. Coloring was provided by Lee Loughridge, and Clem Robins provided the lettering. The storyline was edited by Tammy Beatty and Tony Bedard. "Lapdogs and Englishmen" takes place in the late 1970s when John Constantine was still working as the lead singer for the punk rock band Mucous Membrane. The framing sequence for the story takes place in Montana.

Synopsis

John is a young, rebellious punk rocker having a good time at a London nightclub with his friend and band mate, Gary Lester. John and Les struggle to get inside the restroom, but Les beats him to the urinal. Unwilling to wait any longer, John opens a window and begins to relieve himself. He soon realizes that right below him is his old mate, Chas Chandler sharing an intimate though unorthodox moment with a woman named Sheila in the bushes. As Chase begins shouting, John and Les run back inside the bar.

A woman named Angie White approaches John claiming to have "the book". John immediately loses patience with her, and demands to know what book she is talking about. Angie tells him that this book can tell the future, but John doesn't believe her. She insists that it is true, and that by speaking a person's name, the Book will reveal their entire lives to the reader, chapter by chapter.

Suddenly, an angry Chas storms in and sits at the bar. He begins complaining that someone poured some water on top of him while he was having sex. He has no idea that what soured his moment was not water, and he is also unaware that John is the one responsible. John and Les enjoy a laugh at Chas' expense.

Later, they all pile into Chas' taxicab, and drive off to see an affluent gentleman by the name of Stanley. Chas tells John that Stanley actually requested a meeting with him. They find Stanley boxing with a punching bag inside of a filthy, abandoned warehouse. Chas and Les wait inside the car.

Stanley invites John inside and offers him a beer. He tells him that he wants Rasputin's Clock, a mythical artifact that is reputedly in the possession of a mysterious individual known as the Arab. Even speaking about Rasputin's clock upsets John greatly, and he displays an apparent fear of the Arab. Regardless, he agrees to find the item for Stanley, but notes that such a deed will not come cheaply.

Meanwhile, Angie White returns to her flat and opens up "the Book". She speaks the name, John Constantine, and her eyes go wide.

John Constantine emerges from a building carrying a wrapped parcel under his arms. He jumps into Chas' cab and they quickly leave. Chas feels extremely uneasy about their latest caper, but John tells him to leave all of the worrying to him.

They arrive at a dingy room of squalor where they meet with Stanley. Stanley is upset that John didn't come alone, but John quickly diverts the conversation. He unwraps the package, revealing Rasputin's Clock. Stanley tosses him a fat envelope stuffed with money. He tells Stanley that he stole the item from the Arab. He goes on to describe the previous owner as a savage man, who filed his own teeth down to points and only eats raw meat – preferably alive.

Suddenly there is loud knock at the door. All three men act nervous, and Les violently barges in. Terrified, he tells them that the Arab knows what has happened and that he is coming for them. Without warning, all of the light bulbs in the room explode, throwing them all into total darkness. Everyone begins freaking out, notably when Chas notices a pool of blood spilling out from behind a door. John and Les begin arguing, and John produces a gun. Les punches him and runs over to the clock. Stanley picks up the gun and shoots Les in the stomach. Chas opens the door and disappears in a fountain of blood. John closes the door behind him, and warns Stanley to get clear. Stanley grabs the clock and disappears out a back exit.

Once everything calms down, John begins laughing hysterically. Les gets up off the floor, and Chas comes out of the closet. The entire affair was staged to con Stanley out of a large sum of money. Rasputin's Clock was nothing more than a musty antique that belonged to Les' mother.

Meanwhile, Angie White has finished reading the future of John Constantine. She closes the book and stares at it with great forlorn. A mysterious well-dressed figure enters her room and walks up behind her. He asks if she enjoyed reading the life story of John Constantine, and more so, if she liked the role that he played in John's future. He opens the book back up, but all of the pages are blank now. He confesses that he is not comfortable with anyone knowing the part he plays in John’s life. The stranger snaps Angie's neck, collects the book, and walks out into the rain.

Issues

Paraphernalia Appearing

Items: The Book; Rasputin's Clock (fake)
Vehicles: Chas Chandler's taxicab
Weapons: None

Notes

  • No special notes.

Trivia

  • No trivia.

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