So, I'm sitting on the crapper reading the latest issue of John Constantine: Hellblazer - which may be more information than you need to know but is a disturbingly apropos place to have been reading it - when I get to a part near the end where John is stumbling through some public bathroom in Hell and comes across two individuals. The first is a red-headed, grungy looking, bad-mofo kind of guy and he is sitting next to an attractive, sad looking girl with dark black hair. Upon seeing them, John mutters, "Kathy? Kathy...George?"
At that precise moment, I barked with one of those surprised but happy one note laughs - "Hwah!" - which I'm sure must have had the poor wife thinking I'd dropped something terrible or torn something somewhere. Once my business was done and hands were washed and all that, I ran to my wife who was in our room and I held the page in front of her and said, "Look at this page until you see it. You'll know what it is." She stared at it for about a minute and a half when a smile, big and wide, crept across her freckled face.
If you don't know who Kathy George is, Peter Milligan, the current writer of Hellblazer blazed his trail in American comics by writing a weird little mature readers title called Shade the Changing Man (of which both the wife and I possess complete runs). It ended years and years ago but it was one of my favourite comic series of all time and Kathy was one of the main characters, along with Rac Shade and another female character named Lenny. To have her show up again, in any capacity and after reading her dialogue where she says, "You can't help me. Not now. Not yet..." it sounds like we will be seeing the cast of Shade yet again, which is just a real mind-blower. So completely unexpected, although not entirely unprecedented.
There's actually a John Constantine connection with these guys since the four actually met during a cossover where they are sent back in time and have to deal with some puritans and Shade is turning into a tree and Lenny and Kathy are going to be hung as witches. John takes a particular shine to Kathy, as most people who meet her do, and it was something left unresolved at the end of the storyline, if I'm not mistaken. Clearly Milligan never forgot and I have every confidence that it will have something to do with where that call-out is going to lead in future issues of Hellblazer.
The prospect of seeing these characters again has me very excited. I never thought I would see them again. If ever there was a way to hook me in to a series so thoroughly that I wouldn't dare drop it so long as a single particular writer was guiding the destiny of said book, Milligan has found it.
I will be waiting with bated breath.