Constantine #17 (DC)

Constantine 17
CREDIT: DC Comics

Rating: 4/5 – Constantine and Doctor E meet Doctor Occult…in World War I?
by ComicSpectrum reviewer David Akers.

Like many people, I was worried when DC announced that John Constantine was going to be returned to the mainstream DC universe when everything got restarted. After all, John had been on his own for two decades, and his writers had obviously had more leeway to explore darker subjects. I’ve been happily surprised and impressed with how he’s been handled, and even with his association with Justice League Dark. Now that he’s parted ways with them in the aftermath of the Forever Evil event, he’s on a quest to cure himself of a magical change effected on him by his love, Zatanna.

Writer Ray Fawkes and artist Edgar Salazar craft a fun story with great visuals that add up to an exceptional issue. Salazar’s crisp artwork clearly conveys Fawkes story, he serves up lush backgrounds and lots of the little details that help to add realism to the scenes he’s portraying. Fawkes, meanwhile, has taken the best parts of the Vertigo version of the character and molded them to fit into the mainstream DC universe. Fawkes’ dialog always feels natural, or as natural as it can be when it’s filled with magical words and concepts. Between writer and artist, there’s no problem following John’s magical time traveling journey that’s interwoven with the execution in the present of his plan to defeat the Cult of the Cold Flame. In the hands of other writers, this could be an unfathomable mess, but Fawkes adds nuances to the story that are subtle and well executed.

This book and the rest of the series are highly recommended. While it’s not the Hellblazer of old, this Constantine is cut from the same cloth and he’s well able to handle surviving in a world of superheroes. Don’t let any preconceptions cause you to miss out on this re-imagining of an original Vertigo great, do yourself a favor and give the series a try.

Reviewed by: David Akers
Welcome new ComicSpectrum reviewer David Akers!

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