A comiXologist recommends:
Constantine: The Hellblazer #1
by: Michael Crowe
Everyone’s favorite occult detective, John Constantine, is back with an all-new comic series. Co-written by Ming Doyle & James Tynion IV with art by Riley Rossmo, Constantine: The Hellblazer updates this classic character while still staying true to his essence.
In this first issue John finds himself on the other side of the pond, far from his native home of England. But try as he may, trouble always seems to find him. A familiar flame from the past solicits his help, but not all is as it seems, especially when your old lover just happens to be an ex-pat from the pits of hell. This issue is a perfect introduction for new fans, showcasing exactly what makes John tick. Doyle & Tynion are able to deliver a stand-alone story that reintroduces us to the dark universe John Constantine inhabits. Although the book deals with all sorts of darkness & demons, humor is never lost in the equation. It’s this delicate balancing act that adds heart and interest to the character. John doesn’t always begrudge his lot in life, and it shows through the tongue in cheek comedy peppered throughout.
Riley Rossmo’s art and character designs are perfect for this series. Well known for his horror work, Riley jumps in headfirst and manages to craft a visually gripping story. Riley gets to work updating characters, while still staying faithful to certain visual cues. Gone is John’s classic trench coat, replaced with a more modern sports jacket. John also looks a bit less haggard than we’re used to, a bit younger and sexier. It’s these subtle changes that point to a newly restored John. But rest assured, the outside may have changed slightly but his soul is just as dark and snarky as ever. Riley’s art has a certain energy to it, never static, always visually interesting. Ivan Plascensia’s colors bring the art to the next level. His color choices vary from page to page, sometimes imbuing the narrative with a bright neon tone and other times bringing it back to a more classic, desaturated grey tones typically associated with supernatural fare.
Together this creative team has produced a book that is visually stimulating and a pleasure to read. It’s the perfect introduction for new readers as well as a welcome home for established fans. For more work from stellar these talented creators be sure to check out The Kitchen: an ongoing series penciled and inked by Ming Doyle, The Eighth Seal: a guided view native comic written by James Tynion IV, and Rasputin: acclaimed horror comic illustrated by Riley Rossmo and colored by Ivan Plascensia.
Michael Crowe is a member of the digital assets/launch team. In his free time he enjoys reading, watching and writing science fiction and horror.