Okay. So I just finished Azzarello's run, and I have to tell ya... lots of ups and downs. Aside from the fact that John Constantine basically says that magic doesn't exist in the middle volumes, and aside from the fact that this volume wraps up horribly and seemingly unexplainable, there is one major problem here: Constantine isn't IN the end of the storyarch. It begins with him "dead," and at the end :SPOILER: he's standing over a body, and someone says, "Is someone smoking in here?" WHAT????!!!! Where is his devilish charm (gone), where is his quick wit (gone), where is his witty banter (gone), and where the hell is John Constantine? Aside from Constantine grinning like a hyena and dribbling like a fool, this story arc just isn't very much fun. Sorry to say it, but I've read all volumes, and though I can appreciate what Azzarello was trying to do with the American storyline, this one just didn't work. Although this arc started promisingly with Hard Time, it quickly devolved into weird perverse, anti-magical sadism, and almost pornographic content. Let's be clear here: it's a comic for adults, and always has been... BUT, this seems like a comic written by a 16 year old. And while I kinda "buy" the twist at the end of this, it still doesn't remedy the fact that the main character was only "talked about" throughout the last four issues. Bummer. At least Azzerello finally worked the magic back in there (even though, yeah Constantine himself says he hates using it- but it's always some part of the story), that was really starting to bug me. I guess my biggest problem with this story was that it felt so small in scope. I mean, when Constantine is sent to prison you expect him to get himself out using his wits, not have a fed bust him out. Too much of the "filth" in these stories. Constantine hates cops, and now he's buddy buddy? I don't know who Azzarello was writing, but it just doesn't feel right. About a three star run total if I'm being honest.
Oh, and this is by far, the most disappointing of the books. But in all honesty, you only really need this one, the first one, and freezes over to have the whole story. In fact, you don't even need freezes over, just the last two comics in there- so read it in a store and save some money. Cheers!