Constantine (comic book)
Constantine #1 (Mar 2013 DC Comics)
Art by Juan Jose Ryp.
|Publication date||March 2013|
|Main character(s)||John Constantine|
|Written by||Robert Venditti
Constantine is an ongoing comic book series published by DC Comics, which started in March 2013. It follows the story of a British magician, John Constantine, and replaces the former Vertigo Comics title Hellblazer, which ended with its 300th issue after 25 years, in February 2013. The title character was originally created by Alan Moore in his 1980s run on Swamp Thing.
On November 8, 2012, DC announced that its long running series, Hellblazer would be canceled following its 300th issue, and would be replaced by Constantine written by Robert Venditti and drawn by Renato Guides. This has since been changed to an opening team including Animal Man and Sweet Tooth writer Jeff Lemire as a co-plotter, with Ray Fawkes scripting the book. Both writers also worked on Justice League Dark, where Constantine is heavily featured. Constantine had been reintroduced to the DC Universe as part of The New 52 initiative to relaunch all their titles with new first issues as the leader of Justice League Dark, and had appeared in most of their 'dark' titles, including Animal Man and I, Vampire. The character will be the 'younger' incarnation seen in recent DC titles, rather than the version from the cancelled title, depicted as being in his early 60s.
The series ended at issue #23 and will be relaunched as Constantine: The Hellblazer written by Ming Doyle and James Tynion IV, starting from June 2015.
The announcement was met largely with disappointment from the industry, even by DC's own creators, with I, Vampire writer Joshua Hale Fialkov expressing sadness he would never get to write the "'real' John Constantine", noted crime author and former Hellblazer writer Ian Rankin stating Constantine was the only comic book character he ever wanted to write for, and comic writer, Leah Moore expressing doubt that Constantine could replace Hellblazer, among others. As a result, DC co-publisher Dan Didio issued a statement defending this decision, stating that, "Hellblazer's had a long and incredibly successful run and that's a tip of the hat to all the great creators that have worked on the book over the years. The new Constantine series will return him back to his roots in the DCU and hopefully be the start of another incredible run." Constantine has received mixed to negative reviews from critics, praising the story but criticizing its characters, setting, and artwork. Comic Book Resources calls it "a story that would have fit in with the pre-Vertigo branding of the title" and praised the character's roots but criticized the artwork for being too "bright".
The series has been collected into the following trade paperbacks:
- Constantine Vol. 1: The Spark and the Flame (Constantine #1–6)
- Constantine Vol. 2: Blight (Constantine #7–12)
- Constantine Vol. 3: The Voice in the Fire (Constantine #13–17, Constantine: Future's End #1)
- Constantine Vol. 4: The Apocalypse Road (Constantine #18–23)
- "DC Comics February 2013 Solicitations". IGN.
- "DC Cancels 'Hellblazer,' Announces New 52-Based 'Constantine' Ongoing - Comic Book Resources". Comic Book Resources.
- Mullin, Pamela. "Jeff Lemire talks CONSTANTINE". DC Comics. Retrieved 15 January 2013.
- Peter Milligan (October 2012). Justice League Dark Vol. 1: In the Dark. DC Comics. ISBN 1-4012-3704-5.
- "Justice League Dark interview with Peter Milligan". Newsarama. 31 May 2011.
- "HELLBLAZER Canceled at Vertigo, Industry Reacts Strongly". Newsarama.
- "'Hellblazer' cancellation defended by DC Comics chief". Digitalspy.
- "IGN reviews Constantine". IGN. 2012-12-13. Retrieved 2014-05-21.
- "Constantine review". everythingbadass.com. 2011-12-13. Retrieved 2014-05-21.
- "Review: Constantine #1". Comic Book Resources. 2013-03-20. Retrieved 2014-05-21.