Constantine #1 Preview (Or Hellblazer PG-13 If You Prefer)

DC has sent over a preview of the New 52 Hellblazer relaunch, renamed Constantine, possibly after the Keanu Reeves film (which was surprisingly decent).  As you can see below, where the Vertigo Hellblazer tended to stay in its own sandbox, this one starts out immediately integrating itself with the DCU.

Superman may be the first public superhero, but it seems like all the old magical adventurers were around before that, with Zatara, Sargon, Mister E and Doctor Occult getting the flashback mention.  The PR blurb suggests more of a PG-13 edge, less the swearing, than the preview shows.  The color palette seems brighter to me than Hellblazer.  And it looks like it still sucks to be the person standing next to Constantine.

It’s hard to tell much from 5 pages, other than the obvious emphasis on the shared universe aspect, in terms of changes to the format.  Scroll down and have a look for yourself.

Official PR and some pages.

You may already know this mischievous Brit from the pages of JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK or Vertigo’s acclaimed HELLBLAZER series, but come this spring, you’re going to see John Constantine in a dark, gritty, and exciting all-new light. 

Hitting stands on March 13, CONSTANTINE #1 kicks off an ongoing series starring John Constantine within the ever-expanding DC COMICS-THE NEW 52. From the co-writers of JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK, Jeff Lemire and Ray Fawkes, and fan-favorite artist Renato Guedes, CONSTANTINE shines a spotlight on the notoriously flawed antihero as he works to protect the world from the darkest corners of the DC Universe. 

“CONTANTINE is turning into the window through which readers can see the dirtiest side of superpowers in the DC Universe, the nasty magic side,” Fawkes teased about the series.

 “John has a very specific fight he’s actually involved in in this series,” Fawkes continued. “The first issue will reveal what it is he’s after. But he’s the instigator in a lot of the stories that are going to happen. In this book, he’s the one looking for the trouble. Sooner or later trouble starts to find him because of all the things he’s doing … John is not your typical hero-type character. He has a lot of vices. You’ll see him indulging in just about all of them. I mean sort of the only thing I can’t do with him in this title is swearing directly. In the book, he drinks, he smokes, he does a lot of other dirty things.”

CONST 1 preview 1 673x1024 Constantine #1 Preview (Or Hellblazer PG 13 If You Prefer) CONST 1 preview 2 673x1024 Constantine #1 Preview (Or Hellblazer PG 13 If You Prefer) CONST 1 preview 3 673x1024 Constantine #1 Preview (Or Hellblazer PG 13 If You Prefer) CONST 1 preview 4 673x1024 Constantine #1 Preview (Or Hellblazer PG 13 If You Prefer) CONST 1 preview 5 671x1024 Constantine #1 Preview (Or Hellblazer PG 13 If You Prefer)

Comments

  1. Steve says:

    He doesn’t seem very British anymore.

  2. Carl Pietrantonio says:

    Meh. That doesn’t do anything for me and wasn’t Sargon a Sorcerer? Like a male type guy? I can dig widening the cast and diversity and all that neat stuff, but in that case why not just add people instead of digging up the same names with new faces?

    I am also not happy with the end of Hellblazer and the move of John into the DCVerse as it now is. No thanks, mate.

  3. jaroslav hasek says:

    thats a solid creative team. ive no desire to read a DCU book tho. couldn’t they have just renumbered and relaunched and kept it a vertigo book? if people really wanted constantine in their super hero books, wasn’t JL Dark enough? is continuity that important? just who is the market for this book?

    i dont like this strategy. i hope there is some motivation behind it that i’m just not aware of.

  4. “Constantine #1 Preview (Or Hellblazer PG-13 If You Prefer)”

    I propose we all refer to it as “Heckblazer” from now on.

  5. giuliano says:

    Great days for comics sales, sad days for comics stories.

  6. David says:

    This looks and sounds pretty awful.

  7. “Heckblazer” works.
    Moreover it reminds me of the old Sam Kinison joke about funeral parlor necrophilia being the very last worldly indignity.

    Anyone still jazzed about this “New 52″? Or do you just miss Paul Levitz and Karen Berger, and managerial or custodial dignity as much as I do.

  8. Yeah, looks a lot brighter and even those few pages just feels like a watered down version of Hellblazer.

    Purely anecdotal but just about all the Hellblazer fans I’ve heard from have very little interest in this. Will DC super hero fans be interested with this outside of Vertigo? It just feels like these moves are being done by people who don’t get the character or the audience.

  9. Yeah, looks a lot brighter and even those few pages just feels like a watered down version of Hellblazer.

    Purely anecdotal but just about all the Hellblazer fans I’ve heard from have very little interest in this. Will DC super hero fans be interested with this outside of Vertigo? It just feels like these moves are being done by people who don’t get the character or the audience.

  10. John’s had his balls removed luv.

    It looks like right superhero shite now.

    DC52: Watering down once great ideas since 2011.

    Cheers.

  11. Brad Smithee says:

    Like Lemire a lot and Fawkes is good too, but they really need to write some British dialogue.

  12. Xavier Lancel (SCARCE mag) says:

    Hellblazer with a SCARF?!
    Yeah, Heckblazer, I approve. It’s still time to come back to your senses and restart the Vertigo serie, DC. This one will sink in 18 issues.

  13. AndyD says:

    Heckblazer is the perfect name.

    And so finally John lands in hell, and it is “dark&gritty”. Thanks, but no.

  14. Love the artwork. Now if only they’d found a better cover artist. Ugh, those covers are horrible. And the logo, eh… not too excited about that, either.

  15. How can some yahoo love that shitty, soulless, traced-through-photos looking “artwork” is totally depressing and beyond me. It is exactly shit like this that will keep turning people away from comics in droves. DC is digging their own grave, but that is only a good thing. They can disappear in the licenseland, until no one cares about their milked-to-death properties anymore.

  16. jaroslav hasek says:

    I might actually buy the book if they renamed it Heckblazer

  17. jonboy says:

    Oh Noooeees!

    Hellblazer now has a DC logo on the cover? Oh woe is us.

    FYI Hellblazer had a DC logo for the first 62 issues (1/5 of it’s run), and a “DC Vertigo” for the next 67 issues. So 43% of the Hellblazer issues had a DC logo on the cover.

    But hey. Let’s complain anyway.

  18. Jonas says:

    Heckblazer…priceless!
    I want to be posetive, but the art is so wrong for John Constantine. It is to light…anf full of pastel colors. Renato Guedes would probably work fine on Superman or LSH, but on a character like this, you need more grit. I would prefer Sean Murphy, Danijel Zezelj or such.

    One should ot really judge the story after only 5 pages, but his dialog comes out all wrong. I know it can be tricky for a non-Brit to write a dialog using British expressions, but the tone seems a bit odd.

    I will give teh book a fair shot. Lets hope it is bloody briliant!

  19. The Cold Flame? Isn’t that the name of the cult who are in the background of the Gaiman Books Of Magic mini? I always liked the fact they were never shown.

    This looks horrible. The best Hellblazers made my skin crawl.
    This looks awfully shiny and bright.

  20. Joe Lawler says:

    Jonboy sure drove a stake through the heart of what everyone was complaining about.

  21. Steev TH says:

    What an absolute load of shit. Anyone who buys this deserves to have their comics- and I mean their entire collection- confiscated and removed to a secure place until they are witnessed setting fire to Constantine #1 and then pissing on it. I never thought I would see the day a once-reputable comic company would laugh so hard in the faces of their readers. This is just about the worst thing I have ever seen in comics, and DC should be very, very ashamed.
    Nobody buy this. Nobody. There are over 300 Hellblazer comics out there for you to read instead. Nobody needs this. let the fucking thing die.

  22. Well what can I say, Hellblazer.
    Got the first issue hooked ever since, rolled with the changes. Suffered the gradual social/political pressures on the story lines and general softening of the content. From the first to the 300th it is not the same, but what a great read and collection of artists.
    Alas Vertigo/DC it reminds me of the fairy tale The Goose that Laided the Golden Eggs. Greed has infected you and you have slain the Goose. We are all now left with 300 issues we can only read and no Golden Eggs to look forward to. I have no comment on the new pulp read as it is simple not Hellblazer. RIP Hellblazer killed by thoughtless commercialism, what irony knowing and have followed Hellblazer for these decades.

  23. DC did what Satan failed to do, they destroyed John Constantine. Just another ageless, pretty boy hero, with no edge. Anyone thinking this is Hellblazer read the 90’s Ennis or even Jenkins. Hellblazer/Vertigo was for adults that still wanted to read comics. Leave Batman, Superman, etc., for the kids. I could show another adult the Original Sins story, I’d be embarrassed by this “Heckblazer” over the age of 13. What crap. Bet there’s a huge contingent of kids that can’t wait for the magical team-up issue. Maybe John and co. can fight Mxyzptlk. JUST WHAT THE FUCK happened to the company that once produced great mature titles like Preacher, Hellblazer, and Transmetropolitan? DC can piss off.

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