Constantine: The Hellblazer #1 (DC) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Constantine: The Hellblazer #1


Ming Doyle and James Tynion IV, Art by Riley Rossmo

Jun 30, 2015 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

In many ways, DC’s newest relaunch this summer is somewhat enigmatic, and to many readers probably unnecessary. Considering the New 52 is still fresh on our minds, there’s no clear direction this latest re-hash is taking the universe. The best I can figure, New 52’s efforts to reach out to new readers came at the expense of alienating longtime comic book fans. Perhaps that is the demographic they’re going for with the “DC You” concept. Either way, it’s a clunky marketing gimmick. But I digress.

If this is the case, bringing John Constantine back onto the roster is a good sign. And his new series, Constantine: The Hellblazer, looks like a promising interpretation of the demon-hunter anti-hero. Issue one is as an even and balanced introduction to the character, without sinking into cheap exposition. Writers Ming Doyle and James Tynion IV take the readers through all of Constantine’s enigmatic quirks implicitly through his daily routine. Rather, whatever paranormal adventuring that qualifies as a daily routine for Constantine. The writing is solid, humorous, and a believable addition to the character’s mythos. Artist Riley Rossmo’s friendly cartoonish characters are offset by a gritty and jagged aesthetic, utilizing ink smudges with visible fingerprints to give the world an ominously shadowy vibe. This issue features an ambitious vertical spread that follows Constantine descending underground in a representation of Dante’s inferno. It is ambitious and tightly packed, but wonderfully fun.

The question here is, does this relaunch adequately reintroduce the character while also setting up somewhere for this story to go? The answer to the both is a firm and satisfying yes. Everything we need to know about Constantine is revealed, and the cliffhanger at the end establishes a much bigger quest for the character to embark. It is early still, but right now it really looks like this is going to work. All the pieces are in place, let’s just hope the next move is as elegantly executed as this one. (

Author rating: 8/10

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