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Denise Mina's Hellblazer and the Triumph of Scottish Schadenfreude

Denise Mina's Hellblazer and the Triumph of Scottish Schadenfreude

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Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
JournalGothic Studies
Journal publication dateNov 2011
Journal number2


This article examines Denise Mina's treatment of Scottish identity and the gothic tradition in her run on Hellblazer, an American horror comic about an English occultist, John Constantine. Mina takes Constantine to Glasgow to confront the deadly “empathy plague“ which forces victims to emphasise with others. Mina argues that the Scots revel in the misery of others, making them easy victims for this malady. However, this failing becomes a means for victory, as everyone is united in an outpouring of shameful joy at the story's conclusion. Mina's Scotland is a home away from home for Constantine - haunted, embittered and lost - and her image of Scotland mirrors representations seen in other Scottish Gothic texts.


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