If there’s one thing we’ve learned from our years on the Internet, it’s that there’s no aspect of comics that can’t be broken down and quantified in a single definitive list, preferably in amounts of five or ten. And since there’s no more definitive authority than ComicsAlliance, we’re taking it upon ourselves to compile Top Five lists of everything you could ever want to know about comics.
This week, for absolutely no reason at all whatsoever in particular, we are counting down the five best ghost punchers, witch hunters, and monster wrestlers in comics. The occult detective has been a popular character trope since the 19th century, and heroic figures fighting monsters has been common in mainstream comics since the revision of the Comics Code Authority in the 1970s. This video takes a look at five different characters who ain't afraid of no ghosts and take it upon themselves to stand as guardians between the worlds of the living and the dead.
John Constantine's transition back into the DC Universe has been a bit of a rocky road over the past six years, but recently a balance has been struck and the cheeky and charming conjurer now feels at home once again among the likes of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman.
This month Constantine returns in a brand new ongoing series The Hellblazer by Simon Oliver and Moritat, launching with The Hellblazer: Rebirth #1. The new series sees John return to Great Britain and come face to face with literal demons from his past. ComicsAlliance chatted with the creative team about their plans for Constantine's return home, and Oliver's enduring hatred of the man the character is based on.
Welcome to Cast Party, the feature that imagines a world with even more live action comic book adaptations than we currently have, and comes up with arguably the best casting suggestions you’re ever going to find for the movies and shows we wish could exist.
In the second of our guest editions for Pride Week, Tara Marie wants to see a fresh take on a TV adaptation of Hellblazer, completely divorced from the cancelled 2014 Constantine TV show. This version would take its lead not just from the recently wrapped Constantine: The Hellblazer comic series by James Tynion IV, Ming Doyle, Riley Rossmo, and Ivan Plascencia, but from the Vertigo Hellblazer years and related series like Swamp Thing and Sandman.
DC’s mature readers imprint Vertigo has had a rough few years; where once it was the benchmark of challenging and thought-provoking creator-owned comics, many of its classic titles have wrapped up their runs, and Vertigo has struggled to find new epics to replace them.
In what DC describes as an effort to "set the business up for future success," the publisher has announced a restructuring of the imprint that includes the elimination of its executive editor role. Unfortunately that means letting go of veteran editor Shelly Bond, who has been with Vertigo since almost the very beginning.
On this day in 1985, a man walked into a bar. It was a punk bar; this was 1985 in comic-book London, after all. The man was named John Constantine, and he was there looking for a friend who had information about the end of the world. It all happened in the pages of Swamp Thing #37, written by Alan Moore with art by Rick Veitch and John Totleben; the "American Gothic" storyline was beginning in earnest, and Moore's legendary run was kicking into high gear.
According to Moore, the character of Constantine owes his debut to the fact that Swamp Thing's regular artists, Totleben and Stephen R. Bissette, were big fans of the band The Police, and they wanted to draw a character who looked like the lead singer, Sting. Even though it ended up being Veitch on the pencils for Constantine's first appearance, he is unmistakably a dead ringer for the British musician.
There might be writers more talented than Garth Ennis, but none are as bafflingly talented as Garth Ennis. Nobody else has such an immense capacity for complex human drama hidden beneath a surface so utterly drenched with puke jokes.
An unabashed lover of scatological humor, extreme violence, and vicious satire, the Northern Ireland-born writer, born 46 years ago tomorrow on January 16 1970, is something of an acquired taste. One might even go so far as to call him polarizing. For everyone who dismisses Ennis as juvenile, vulgar, and vile, you'll find at least one more who will tell you that Garth Ennis is a special kind of brilliant.
Constantine is not modelled on the disappointing 2005 Keanu Reeves movie, also called Constantine. Nor is it an adaptation of DC Comics' current superhero comic book, Constantine, set in the rebooted New 52 DC Universe. The TV show very clearly goes back to the source material, the 1980s DC/later-Vertigo comic series Hellblazer, written initially by Jamie Delano and based on the character John Constantine created by Alan Moore, Steve Bissette, and John Ridgway in the pages of Swamp Thing. The leading man looks just as he does in the comics, with his familiar trenchoat and tie, and he acts broadly the same way too. Just as crucially, his backstory draws heavily from Delano's Hellblazer run. This Constantine is riddled with guilt and fearful for his soul because he failed to save a girl named Astra in Newcastle from the demon Nergal.
This means that the the TV adaptation of the comic is actually more faithful to the source material than the current version of the comic -- but only in broad strokes. In actual execution, this TV show is not the mature affair that the Vertigo comic offered. This is not a cable television supernatural show. This is more like... a Supernatural show.
Not everybody's stoked on The Flash's crimson TV costume, and so far The CW's iZombie sounds like a pretty big departure from its Vertigo source material, but judging by the first photo of Matt Ryan from the filming of NBC's Constantine pilot, the show's main character will be easily recognizable to those who've read Hellblazer or the New 52-ified Constantine comic -- especially compared to the 2005 Constantine movie.
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