Constantine #1

by kanchilr1 on March 20, 2013

Constantine #1 sets a very thrilling standard for this high octane well paced series. This is important because many fans were upset by Constantine moving to the DC Universe, fans can now shed their unrealistic expectations and enjoy the contents of the story. This comic book burst right out of the gate with some great characterization followed by interesting action. 

A wonderful suprise of this issue was penciller Renato Guedes, on his most recent work from Marvel his art seemed rushed. While the previous Constantine series at Vertigo was consistently good in never had art of this high caliber. On this issue Guedes bursts of the page with all of the energy from his Secret Avengers artwork, but with more focus. His environments are hyper detailed with many lines even in the distant background of every scene. This attention to detail makes the artwork look truly expressive and dynamic. Marcelo Maiolo handles the coloring very well in the issue. For a book with a darker tone the pages in Constantine #1 are quite colorful. This aspect of the art in theory would put the comic in danger of not being able to retain it's darker tone, however the colors are utilized in a subtle way that enhances the creepier aspects of the story without draping the comic in shadows. While most details of the artwork of the issue are superb the lighting on the faces are awkwardly obscured by a computer effect that makes them look darker all around. This aspect is very minor and deserves to be overlooked when reading this fine mix of art and story that creates and interesting cohesive whole.

The mission statement of the comic features lead character John Constantine attempting to balance the scales of magic in the DC Universe. A great part of the series that will be overlooked by many is that it draws on aspects of older DC Comics. Characters like Zatara made their debut in older Flash comics alongside characters like Dr. Occult and Sargon. This corner of the DC Universe has decades of material for writers to pick and choose from which makes titles like in the dark family of DC very interesting. Another aspect of the story that proved to be interesting was Constantine's inner monologue. Nobody in the comic knows what Constantine is really thinking about which gives the reader a special relationship with the main character of the series. 

As this first issue proves in a crucial plot moment Constantine is ruthless and does not care about collateral damage. Constantine also has a massive ego which allows him to go out and steal ancient artifacts from others who he believes to be wrong. While this issue makes Constantine very likeable it retains the idea that he is not a great person and very well aware of that fact. Scriptors Ray Fawkes and Jeff Lemire have a great handle on the character's personality that proves to be crucial within the pages of the issue. A scene that takes place on an airplane shows the constant sense of awareness that Constantine has to have in order to simply survive. The dark sect of the DC Universe is showing that Vertigo has no real place to publish material next to the New 52. With great art and sharp writing Constantine takes advantage of a very special place within the modern DC Universe.

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A Look Inside