Written by Mat Johnson Art by Tony Akins & Dan Green Cover by Ronald Wimberly The King of Voodoo has a long history, but where did it all begin? The answer can be found in HELLBLAZER: PAPA MIDNITE, collecting the acclaimed 5-issue Vertigo miniseries that follows the story of the curse that made Midnite immortal, from its origin in 1712 through the failed slave rebellion of 1741 and into the present day, where he continues to pay the price for his original sin.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
In this mini-series diversion from J. Constantine, you can learn the origins of Papa Midnight. The story is gruesome and painful, linked the the history of slavery in the U.S. (think Hellblazer meets Django unchained)
I was slightly disappointed with the character development of the story. Midnight begins the historic tale as a trickster manipulating and mistreating the people around him including slave and owner alike. Aside from a brief and intense outpouring of emotion in one scene, the authors essentially do a time-skip over Midnight developing from a selfish child to the genuine mystic he is today(?)
Also the story races through the past, leaving very little time to get attached to anyone, and leaving little development for modern Midnight. In fact the modern-times section of the story seems to exist solely for John C to make a appearance and give a plug for the next Hellblazer plotline.
Hellblazer: Papa Midnite collects the five issue mini-series into trade paperback format featuring the sometimes ally, sometimes adversary of John Constantine. The book relates the origin of the Voodoo master and crime lord as well as his curse of immortality. Midnite is visited by the spirit who is the son of a 18th century slave named Cuffee. The story moves back and forth from present day to early 1700's New York when the young Midnite and his sister were still children yet already he was knowledgeable in the dark arts of Africa, if not entirely wise in their use. The slave Cuffee is planning a revolt against their "pink-skinned" masters and comes to Midnite to buy guns. Midnite tricks the man with a parlor trick into believing he has a magic powder than can repel bullets. This of course leads to tragedy as the rebellious slaves challenge their masters, falsely believing they are protected. As revenge, Cuffee forces Midnite to kill his own sister as the rest of the slaves...
Of all the various supporting characters that populate the Hellblazer world, none has been as interesting as John Constantine's long time nemesis/occasional ally Papa Midnite. An immortal master of voodoo and a kingpin of crime, Papa Midnite's origin is revealed in this mini-series as writer Mat Johnson traces Midnite's origin to the 1700's as he becomes damned for all time when he makes a dire double cross. I don't want to reveal too much, because the origin itself and story are better left read when not knowing many of the details, but it's needless to say that Johnson writes an interesting and absorbing take on the character. Constantine himself makes an appearance and an ancestor of his does as well, although this is the only point of the TPB that feels forced to me, like because it's a Hellblazer spin-off, Constantine has to appear in some sort of form or another. Despite that, the story packs a punch, even though it loses steam as it comes to it's conclusion, but the art by...
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