Writer: Tim Seeley
Art: Jesús Merino
Cover Art: Tim Seeley/Chris Sotomayor
Variant Cover: Yasmine Putri
What You Need To Know: More about me than the comic – this is the first issue I’ve picked up from the Rebirth run. I’m a long-time Constantine fan from his early appearances in Swamp Think and his original Vertigo run. I’m approaching this issue from the perspective of someone getting to know John again in this new Rebirth era.
What Goes On: This issue starts a new arc for John (great time to jump in!) And it starts in classic Constantine style – a hangover, a grubby bedroom, and a good old-fashioned bloodbath. We step through with John as he pieces together the events of his “lost evening” that land him at a police station across the table from an old friend (so, yeah, she’s angry and he’s in trouble).
As he recounts, it becomes clear to him that his friends from the night before and their “private reserve” were more than they seemed and way more dangerous. In typical fashion, John talks his way around and out of the police station then strikes out in search of answers of his own. With a little bit of magic he picks up the trail….and what he finds surprises and concerns him. And as things draw to a close with an ominous poem and a knife to the throat, we’re reminded that anything which can concern Constantine should scare the rest of us to death. To be continued……
Thoughts, opinions and other musings: Without knowing too much of what comes before, this issue at least captures the essence of the original Hellblazer, which was a feel I loved. The writing paints John with his signature cynicism tinged with self-loathing and a dash of self-destruction. His vices lead him away from his worries and straight into trouble, while his compulsive curiosity joins him and trouble at the hip.
The art is detailed and grounded, giving a real sense of the grimy world John lives in and a nice realistic feel so that we’re treated to the idea of “weird things happening in the mundane world.” Constantine himself is appropriately scruffed and scruffy along with plenty of smokes and pints and a healthy dose of colorful words. This is definitely a Hellblazer book, and fans of the original series will find the feel of this issue familiar.
Summary: Overall, the opener to this story has me happy that I picked up the book. Death, drinking, sarcasm, supernatural beings and more death are all in nice balance and the set up for the next issue was a great teaser. Dark things are afoot and it looks like bad times are in store for John. I hope they last.