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.
David "co-writer of Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Man of Steel, and Batman vs. Superman" S. Goyer's Constantine has found its NBC pilot star. Welsh actor Welsh actor Matt Ryan of Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior is reportedly finalizing a deal to star as the show's Hellblazing titular hero, John Constantine.
Last week it was announced that NBC is developing a new TV series based on the DC Comics character John Constantine, best known as the star of Vertigo perennial Hellblazer. The television project is helmed by writer/executive producers Daniel Cerone and David S. Goyer. It's a potentially exciting prospect, but it appears that Constantine's creators may only see a piece of the pie if the show actually goes to broadcast - and the identity of the creators of record who may benefit is somewhat unclear.
With the 300th and final issueof Vertigo's Hellblazer, out this week, several tumblers shift and lock into place. John Constantine moves to the New 52 on a full-time basis, with a new title beginning in March; the reset button is pushed on his continuity, and the most writer-driven character of the last thirty years is yanked from the comfort and promise of a Mature Readers label and forced to grow up again in a PG-13 world; and the longest-running title in the Vertigo line concludes a twenty year run, as the imprint focuses exclusively on creator-owned comics...
When DC announced that Hellblazer, the flagship title in the Vertigo line, would be ending with issue 300 and relaunching as Constantine in the DC Universe, the reaction amongst readers was mixed, to say the least...
Hellblazer may have retired from the world, enjoying an afterlife as the New 52's Constantine, but there's still plenty of artwork to enjoy from Hellblazer's occasional fill-in artist, Gael Bertrand...
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