Constantine, the popular, blue collar mage, has been through many changes. He has been John Constantine: Hellblazer, a member of Justice League Dark, the solo Constantine, and now Constantine: The Hellblazer, according to a Monkeys Fighting Robots earlier report. Constantine, the Keanu Reeves outing and NBC’s Constantine, sadly showed that John is a hard man to reproduce. However, DC Comics promised that the new Constantine comic would be a return to his edgier, Hellblazer days. It even has Hellblazer in the title again.
So, how does Constantine: The Hellblazer measure to the over 300 comics about the DC / Vertigo Comics master(Petty Dabbler) of the dark arts? Read on to find out more, but proceed with caution. Heavy spoilers are ahead.
One thing that has been pointed out about the new Constantine comic, and debuted in one of the later volumes, was John Constantine’s sexual preference. Some will point out that Constantine: The Hellblazer has a subtle reference to it, such as the Geekiary, but this writer would argue otherwise. From the second page of the new Constantine comic until around page 4, it hits you like a ton of bisexual bricks.
To be fair, Constantine writer Ming Doyle is bisexual, and wanted to represent him as such. So, therefore, it was meant to be in your face. If this bothers you, or ruins your opinion of Constantine, move on. Though, by the end of Constantine: The Hellblazer, you will probably forget all about it.
Constantine’s smoking is moderate, but not non-existent like the first few episodes of the NBC series. However, his attire is one of the most striking, distinct differences. There is NO trench coat. This has been a concern when the first artwork dropped. There is an initial scene in the comic deals with this, but only briefly.
The artwork is…interesting. John Constantine looks like doe-eyed, British gent. Other characters and scenery look pretty sharp, like the former demon businesswoman. You’ll need to read it for more details. There will be no spoiling of the plot. There is also an interesting several circles of hell two-page layout of the demon’s business that certainly lends to Riley Rossmo’s style. This writer would not mind see more of that.
Another notable difference is John’s confidence. It is true that his magic is often solely referred to as his always thinking he has every situation under control, but in Constantine: The Hellblazer it is more than just bravado.
His Hellblazer ghosts following him around, and leaving him a stern warning that will carrying on into subsequent issue was a nice touch that all Hellblazer fans will appreciate.
So, should you read the new Constantine? Yes. There is not enough negative to merit abandoning it at this point.
[Image credit: DC Comics/Creative Commons]