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Constantine Still Blazes Hell: A Review of Constantine #1

Constantine cover

I was sad to see the Hellblazer series come to an end. The series had such a unique position in the Vertigo library boasting 300 issues that began in 1988. Thankfully DC had no intention of letting John Constantine sit on the sidelines for any period of time.

Hellblazer1

There is always the worry that a new series might come with unfavorable change to the character you’ve come accustomed to reading on a regular basis. I’m happy to say that John Constantine is still as cold and self serving as he ever was. My apologies to those close to John, he is a jerk to you and I enjoy reading about him being a jerk and your misery.

One benefit of having a new series is that new readers have a great point of jumping into the story. For anyone that is new to Hellblazer/John Constantine; John lives in a dark, seedy underworld where magic is very real and, typically, very costly.
anyone that is new to Hellblazer/John Constantine; John lives in a dark, seedy underworld where magic is very real and, typically, very costly. The world of magic is not a very friendly place and while John is calculating, cold, and self centered – he is about as good as it gets. As one could imagine, John doesn’t have a great deal of friends and those that he does have tend not to be as “lucky” as John when it comes to avoiding a nasty end.

Jeff Lemire and Ray Fawkes have a good grasp on the character of John Constantine. John is well defined and his personal thoughts help shape/create the world he lives in – both a benefit to new readers as well as a way to make sure no panels are wasted in getting the first story arc moving. I enjoyed my read through this issue and I look forward to seeing what Lemire and Fawkes have planned for John to come.

spoilers

This is where we get to talk about what happened in the book without fear of ruining anything for those who haven’t read the book.

Sargon ConstantineAs this issue is the first issue in the series, there isn’t much that I can project into the book or characters to make absurd predictions that I latch onto about what is to come. We were introduced to Chris playing the role of red-shirt to Constantine as a way of developing his personality. He died, we enjoyed it – nuff said. More importantly, we have the first villain and story arc. I am fairly intrigued by what Lemire and Fawkes will do with Sargon the Sorceress. A new twist on a character originally introduced in the Golden Age of comics, Sargon is not a very passive person as a sorceress; which probably goes without saying as she did kill her father to obtain his power. The compass should also prove very useful to John in the future if he is to try and keep any one individual from gaining too much power via magical objects. If John can track down the magical objects before anyone else can, he will make good on keeping magical objects out of the hands of those looking to “cheat”. Don’t expect the compass to stay around long but I’m sure John will make good use out of it.

-Tony Nagel

Let me know what you think! What did you like about the issue? What do you think is in store for John?

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