DC Comics
Constantine #1 comics review
By Leroy Douresseaux
June 7, 2013 - 08:20

DC Comics
Writer(s): Ray Fawkes and Jeff Lemire
Penciller(s): Renato Guedes
Inker(s): Renato Guedes
Colourist(s): Marcelo Mailolo
Letterer(s): Sal Cipriano
Cover Artist(s): Ivan Reis and Joe Prado with Rod Reis
$2.99 U.S., 32pp, Color

Constantine #1 cover image - art by Ivan Reis and Joe Prado with Rod Reis

Rated T+ (Teen Plus)

After first appearing, in full, as a supporting character in The Saga of the Swamp Thing #37 (June 1985), John Constantine starred in his own comic book, Hellblazer.  Twenty-six odd years later, that series came to an end with Hellblazer #300 (April 2013 cover date).

With Constantine #1 (May 2013 cover date), John Constantine is headed in a new direction.  Once tempted by magic to the point of his near-destruction, Constantine seeks to “maintain balance and prevent anyone from becoming too powerful.”  That is a direct quote taken from Constantine #1.  The maintainer of balance:  that’s John Constantine’s place in The New 52.

Constantine #1 (“The Spark and the Flame Part 1: “The Price We Pay”) opens in New York City where Constantine lives in a pet story, Dotty’s Pets.  He already has a new mission – get Croydon’s Compass before his rivals, a group called “Cold Flame,” obtain it.  You’d be surprised at the membership of Cold Flame, but I’ll say that Zatara is/was one of them.  Dragging along a reluctant acquaintance, Chris, Constantine heads to Norway for a battle in which someone does pay a rather high price.

THE LOWDOWN:  Same old John:  knowing him always costs someone his or her life.  What can I say about the new Constantine comic book?  Well, the first issue lacks the occult detective, London-noir, street hustler, Richard Stark-vibe of Hellblazer.  Constantine the comic book is colorful and slick, like the 2005 film, Constantine, but without Keanu Reeves’ sincere-thespian stiffness.  Magic explodes as if it were a mutant power, with crackling bursts of energy.  It’s a bit like Harry Potter without the wands.

Constantine is interesting.  If you’re looking for the old thing – the way Hellblazer was – that’s gone.  I like this new thing.  I’m not in love with it, but I like it.

POSSIBLE AUDIENCE:  People who read a fair amount of DC Comics, especially since The New 52, may want to try Constantine.


Rating: 8.5/10

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