John Constantine Joins DC's New 52 Roster

John Constantine Joins DC's New 52 Roster

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DC Comics will end its long-running Hellblazer series so John Constantine can play with superheroes.

Vertigo Comics, the mature content branch of DC Comics, has had one rare constant in its decades long-existence: John Constantine. Created by Alan Moore during his run on Swamp Thing, the morally questionable, chain-smoking, and unmistakably British magician found a new home in 1988 with his spin-off series Hellblazer. Of course, all good things must come to an end, but purist Constantine fans will likely be furious to discover how; Hellblazer will end in February 2013 with issue #300 so that Constantine can start a new series set in DC's New 52 superhero line.

The new Constantine series will be written by Robert Venditti, creator of The Surrogates, with art by Superman artist Renato Guedes. "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. "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." The final Hellblazer issue will conclude the storyline "Death and Cigarettes" written by Peter Milligan with artists Giuseppe Camuncoli and Stefano Landini.

Constantine actually started out as a blue-collar magician within DC Comics canon, but that period didn't last for long. Once he branched out into Hellblazer, Constantine's world became recognizably human and contemporary. The character began to age normally, interactions with the DC Universe became rare, and meetings with spandex superheroes were strictly off limits. Constantine has recently made appearances in non-Vertigo books like Search for the Swamp Thing and Justice League Dark, which in hindsight were likely attempts to ease the character into the DCU. It's just odd that DC would end such a critically acclaimed series to bring him back to a superhero's world.

I have a feeling that my opinion will be in the minority on this one, but Constantine's return to the DCU doesn't have to be a bad thing. My favorite interpretation of the character actually came from Neil Gaiman's The Books of Magic, which clearly fixed Constantine in DC lore while playing to his obvious strengths and weaknesses. The problem is that striking such a tenuous balance is a very difficult task even for veteran writers. It remains to be seen whether Constantine's new creators are up to the challenge, especially with the high standard set by previous teams.

Source: DC Comics

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Well, he has been playing with superheroes in Justice League Dark for the past year or so....

But the REAL question is: Will he be landing a spot in Yong Justice or Zero Hour?

This isn't actually his return to the DCU. As the first commenter said he has already been in Justice League Dark and before the reboot he was in Britwst Day Aftermath: Search for the Swamp Thing.

As a long time reader of Hellblazer, I don't think they'll ruin it as he's already been in Justice League Dark, but I can't help but be a little nervous.

I get why they're doing it but I think it's a bad idea.

I just hope they give classic John Constantine the send off he deserves rather than just "transferring" him to regular DC.

Are they actually discontinuing the longest running comic series of all time so they can plug it into "New 52"? For shame.

I really liked early Hellblazer... I've heard lots of "bad" about the new..

FUCK!!!
I just started getting into Hellblazer, Its been a real pain hunting down the trades.

It depends on the writers, of course, but I can't say I entirely like the sound of this. Constantine has never been a "whip up a quick fireball" kind of guy; he lives in a world of slow-building horrors, serial killers and demonic corruption, not planet-eating monsters and supervillains with megaweapons powered by Kryptonite. I'm concerned that either they'll screw up the mood that makes Constantine so compelling or come up with hackneyed reasons that superhero-level problems can only be addressed by the trench coat-wearing sad-sack.

nexus:
Are they actually discontinuing the longest running comic series of all time so they can plug it into "New 52"? For shame.

It's not uncommon, sadly, for publishers and other entities to take a profitable line and take a big shit on it to try and hype a less popular product. (The 'New 52' is the 'new reason not to buy DC' as far as I'm concerned. Mostly because they canned every single book I read when they did it)

Dragon Magazine immediately springs to mind. Dragon's circulation had actually been rising under Paizo when WotC pulled the plug to hype 4e. My, did that not pan out well.

ANImaniac89:
FUCK!!!
I just started getting into Hellblazer, Its been a real pain hunting down the trades.

A lot are out of print now, but they're finally starting reprinting everything sequentially in numbered trades. (They'll reach Garth Ennis's run next year.) Only problem is you'd have to wait a few months between each volume.

nexus:
Are they actually discontinuing the longest running comic series of all time so they can plug it into "New 52"? For shame.

The what now? Hellblazer isn't even close to being the longest running comic series. Not by a long shot.

At least it's not Keanu Reeves, so no harm done there.

GiantRaven:

The what now? Hellblazer isn't even close to being the longest running comic series. Not by a long shot.

I can't bring up the articles right now, but I'm pretty sure Hellblazer was the longest running comic series in history. Meaning it ran uninterrupted since 1988, with no reboots or number changes. It beat out Xmen in that regard.

It's not the "oldest", or the "most" volumes in a series.

-- I guess the correct terminology is "Longest running continuously published series."

nexus:
I can't bring up the articles right now, but I'm pretty sure Hellblazer was the longest running comic series in history. Meaning it ran uninterrupted since 1988, with no reboots or number changes. It beat out Xmen in that regard.

It's not the "oldest", or the "most" volumes in a series.

-- I guess the correct terminology is "Longest running continuously published series."

Detective Comics is (or was depending on how you view reboots/renumbering) the longest running comic book series. The first volume was 881 issues long and ran from 1937 to 2011.

Other honorable mentions from DC's stable are Action Comics (900+ issues from 1938-2011) and Batman (700+ issues from 1940-2011).

GiantRaven:

Detective Comics is (or was depending on how you view reboots/renumbering) the longest running comic book series. The first volume was 881 issues long and ran from 1937 to 2011.

Other honorable mentions from DC's stable are Action Comics (900+ issues from 1938-2011) and Batman (700+ issues from 1940-2011).

Then it took the reign after they reissued Detective and Action Comics respectively. Which is what I was remembering.

The only way they can make this up to me is by bringing back the Zatanna / Constantine relationship.

Also, one entire issue where Zatanna & Constantine just hang out making fun of people who don't get magic.

JonB:
The only way they can make this up to me is by bringing back the Zatanna / Constantine relationship.

Also, one entire issue where Zatanna & Constantine just hang out making fun of people who don't get magic.

They kind of already started this in Justic League Dark #13. Now Justice League Dark Annual (which I haven't had the chance to read yet) may undo that, but assuming it doesn't, DC may have granted your wish.

PedroSteckecilo:
I just hope they give classic John Constantine the send off he deserves rather than just "transferring" him to regular DC.

they damn well better.:)

I really hope this isn't the start of DC killing off the vertigo imprint. It's the only good thing about DC. All their superhero stuff has been garbage for years. I gave blackest night a go and it was just a bunch of fights loosly strung together with a stupid plot.

Fuck, they better not tone it down or make his stories full of super powered battles. He's been ok in Justice League dark but he doesn't seem as dark in it.

I met him while reaing Sandman. He was there for one story arc, and in that time became one of the most intertesting and compelling characters around.

 

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