DC Comics 2019
Written by Simon Spurrior
Illustrated by Marcio Takara
Coloured by Cris Peter
Lettered by Aditya Bidikar
He’s cheated death and damnation more times than he can count, but never like this. Long ago, in the crucible of a magical war waged across countless futures, Constantine was murdered by an all-powerful adversary: a twisted version of Timothy Hunter, bloated with evil. But over the past year strange forces have conspired to restart Tim Hunter’s tale, and somehow-amid sorcery, insanity and secret agendas-this older, wiser, wilier shade of Constantine has been dragged back with it. Unlike young Tim, John remembers every second of a life that went very, very wrong. Now he must ask himself why he, the last person in the world to deserve a second chance, has been given one. Is John Constantine here to put Tim Hunter on the right track and avert a terrible outcome? Or is it because he’s the only person in existence with the guts to do what REALLY must be done? After all, he’s a nasty piece of work, chief…ask anybody. This oversize one-shot sets the stage, and is the perfect jumping-on point, for a new era of Sandman Universe tales beginning in November…and is the official start of the strangest chapter yet in John Constantine’s long life!
First long ago John became one of the characters whom I fell in love with and have followed through every incarnation possible. So I am thrilled that once more he's going to have his own ongoing monthly with the being the preview to that series. One of the hugest things about this issue is that Simon pays homage to the original introduction of Timothy Hunter and the fact that there was always that possibility that he'd bring about the end of the world. So having this as our starting point is something I never thought we'd see and honestly I wish we could see more.
The story & plot development here is utterly phenomenal to see. How the reader is treated to the release of information, how the events unfold because of the books structure is fabulously done. The character development is stupendous because what we establish is that John is the old John, the original, who is jaded, out for himself and without a friend in the entire world thanks to how he treats others. This cynical, angry at the world bloke is who John should be so it's nice to see this going to be happening again. The way the pacing is utilised to showcase how the twists, turns and revelations that we encounter create this great ebb & flow to the book.
The interiors here are pretty spectacular stuff. I mean from seeing the war in the background to how we see John and Chaz to the ghosts and creatures that are prevalent throughout show a creativity and imagination that's impressive. There are times the linework could be cleaner I am not going to lie about that or just gloss over it. However I will say that there is one page where the work is extraordinary after he's told to be his best version. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show a solid eye for storytelling. So this is John Constantine and he needs backgrounds, the dead that surround him, the city around him and all that is essential to who he is and that we see this here really fleshes things out beautifully. The colour work is really nice it seems pretty standard fare though I really like the way the muted colours look in the Hunter flashes they also seem to have some very interesting colour bleeding going on and it has a very distinct style.
Oh yes this is what I have been waiting for! This is what DC does best not their mainstream books, shudder, no this outside the box storytelling that comes with a mature reader tag. The kind of storytelling that makes you question your sanity and beg to be a part of his world. Where we lose ourselves in the story, so fully engaged and invested that there's no place you'd rather be. Simon and company have this nailed and I hope they will be doing the main series coming up. Well them and I hope we see some covers from Simon Bisley who always managed to really capture the whole spirit behind John.