Though sadly what many fans had speculated had finally been confirmed, the producers of the DC Entertainment television series Constantine revealed that the ill-fated show would not return to NBC for a second season, nor would it be revived on another competitive network. It appeared that the wise-cracking, magic man with a chip on his shoulder just couldn’t synch an audience, even as charmingly portrayed by the series’ star Matt Ryan. So the devoted would have to be satisfied with the 13 episode run of the complete season.
The series executive producer Daniel Cerone, had been holding out, tentatively expecting that perhaps, one of NBC/Universal’s sister networks (maybe SyFy) might have scooped up the series — especially after Arrow star Stephen Amell spoke up in defense of the series, going as far as to pitch a potential crossover episode. Cerone announced through social media that Constantine would not return. “Sadly,” he tweeted, “the cast and writers are being released from their contracts.” — Thus ending Constantine at least in this iteration of the character.
As the Convergence descended upon the DC Comics universe, it appeared that Constantine’s run in print was also heading toward oblivion. The character had played pivotal roles in two major arcs, including the Justice League crossover event “The Trinity War” and also in the weekly Future’s End, but the character’s own monthly title ran its course after almost two years. During his time inhabiting the “New 52” timeline, Constantine served grudgingly as a member of the Justice League Dark and even traveled to Earth 2, and now in the aftermath of Convergence the magi returns for another round.
With the return of the multiverse, DC Comics creatives have a new strategy which includes inspires storylines and diversifying tales that reach beyond the worlds of caped and cowled (or kevlar) inhabitants of our favorite mighty metropolis or urban Gotham. The realm of good versus evil will expand beyond the mortal plain and is breathing new life into the strife that keeps John Constantine on the foreground. With Ming Doyle and James Tynion IV the writes at the helm Constantine: The Hellblazer is back alive and kicking — television ratings and cancellations be damned.
There are just some cases that demand the attentions of a demon slayer, someone with a flair for the demonic, who strives to rescue a soul at whatever the cost — and so long as there is a little something in it for him. The most apparent difference in this title as compared to previous releases of the character — John Constantine first appeared in 1985, created by Alan Moore, and introduced as a supporting character to Swamp Thing — is the humor imbued not only by the series writers, but also uniquely as interpreted by series artist Riley Rossmo.
From the first splash page, Constantine makes quite the (naked) impression, hoping to score some clothes from a lovely shop keeper, who he subtly mesmerizes into ignoring the fact that he’s standing in her store in the buff and bloody! From there, Constantine stumbles upon several ghostly visions as he helps himself to a poor, unsuspecting bloke’s wallet in order to grab a meal. Proceeding to flirt his way through conversation with the muscle-bound restaurant owner (who happily flirts back) John’s double-entendre is soon interrupted by the demonic Blythe, who promises John a good time…
Unfortunately for John Constantine, a “good time” usually constitutes of fire and brimstone — and that’s after only a couple inappropriate panels or compromising positions. What DC Comics is delivering with Constantine: The Hellblazer this time around appears to be a more savvy less cynical, contemporary anti-hero, who has a sense of humor, and a personality you actually can tolerate. With all the unsavory evil John has to face, it’s nice to be able to root for the guy now and then — even when he’s being rude, or crude — at least until only after the bloody mess he usually leaves in his wake.