DC Comics 2016
Written by Simon Oliver
Illustrated by Moritat
Coloured by Andre Szymanowicz & Moritat
Lettered by Sal Cipriano
I’m a huge fan of the Vertigo run and when the New 52 came out it was okay but it lost some of its edginess that was essential to the character. If this first issue is any indication of what we can expect from the new run than it seems that Simon has found a balance between the edginess of the Vertigo series and the mainstream DC Universe.
Then there’s Moritat whose run on Jonah Hex (Hey DC where’s Jonah’s Rebirth?) was one I greatly admired and was a huge factor in my picking this issue up. His take on John is marvelous and that he can capture those looks that are intrinsically him from the smirk to the smoking to that arrogant innocence he projects just made this so much fun for me. Of course his eye for using the pages and panels in his storytelling are their usual standard of excellence. The use of backgrounds and the subtle touches made me smile immensely. He and Andre really manage to do this justice and capture the essence of who the character is and how he should be seen.
What I liked about this is that Simon introduces us to John and what he’s up to and how he wasn’t in London and was in the U.S. for so long while bringing back his supporting cast. Aside from Chas I don’t think John really has friends just frenemies those who know him for who he is but trust his judgement and yet grudgingly know he’s a rapscallion and if you read this there’s a perfect excerpt where Swamp Thing talks to Wonder Woman and Shazam and sums it up better than I ever could. Which is extremely important also in defining his character again and planting him firmly within the DCU at the same time.
This really is a wonderfully done one shot in which the story is told and you get that chance to understand how things will proceed once the ongoing starts. The way this story is constructed is a great opportunity to meet a new demon, Laughing Boy or his real name Nybbas, who could potentially return does a great job in showing us the real nature of John. How he thinks and what he’s willing to do to get the job done. That’s really what it’s about with him right not that he truly cares about anyone but himself but getting the job done any way possible and if he comes across as an arse well that’s because he is.
The characterization and language are exactly what they should be here. The way the story unfolds shows us that this version of Constantine is the one we’ve been waiting for to make his appearance and that this should please fans both new and old. It’s one of the better done blendings of the old and the new, now if his bisexuality will be reaffirmed that would be even better.
I wasn’t going to get into this whole Rebirth thing but i’ve got to say i’ve picked and chose the ones that interested me and i’ve yet to be disappointed.