If there’s one comic book series that has always been right on the edge of dark, adult material, it’s Hellblazer: John Constantine. The Vertigo series has been running since 1988, but that’s all coming to an end soon. As of the 300th issue, the British con-mage will be saying farewell to the line of comics that he’s been a part of for 24 years. And that’s because he’ll be moving on up to the east side, to finally get a slice of that new 52 pie.
The occult detective with a passion for Silk Cut cigarettes will be headlining a new series set in the core DC Comics universe instead, under the name of Constantine, written by Demon Knights scribe Robert Venditti, with Renato Guedes on art duties.
"Few characters in comics are as complex and entertaining as John Constantine, and I’m finding him to be every bit as enjoyable to write as he is to read," Venditti said on the DCU Blog.
It’s my goal to have the new CONSTANTINE series be equal parts familiarity and surprise. This will be the Constantine we all know and love, but facing new and unexpected challenges from both inside and out.
I’m not too keen on this move, to be honest. There’s plenty of room to continue the Hellblazer legacy and have a Constantine present in the DC Universe, which is pretty much what’s been happening so far as the trickster mage has been appearing in issues of Justice League Dark.
There’s a risk here that the character could be watered down in order to fit into the new landscape of comics, although it’ll be interesting to see how he reacts with the capes ‘n tights squad around him, with his typical acerbic attitude towards the unreal.
Meanwhile, writer Peter Milligan and artists Giuseppe Camuncoli and Stefano Landini are looking to end the epic 300 issue run of Hellblazer with a send-off that the iconic character deserves, when they wrap up Death and Cigarettes.
“Care for a smoke Supes?”