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Constantine, Volume 1: The Spark and the Flame

(Constantine (2013) #1)

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3.44  ·  Rating details ·  1,309 ratings  ·  166 reviews
The star of Justice League Dark and Hellblazer--the longest-running Vertigo series--is unleashed in his own DCU title! Liar, cheater, manipulator...John Constantine is all of these, and yet he uses these skills and more to protect the world from the darkest corners of the DC Universe.

Collecting: Constantine 1-6
Paperback, Trade, 144 pages
Published February 12th 2014 by DC Comics
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3.44  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,309 ratings  ·  166 reviews


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Anne
Mar 17, 2014 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

Everyone's pretty much right.
This isn't Vertigo's Constantine, so fans of Hellblazer will probably feel quite a pang of disappointment at DC's shinier version of the character.
Not that John's shitting rainbows, but this title definitely captured his PG-13 side.

description

I've really enjoyed him in Justice League Dark, so I was hoping (since this is volume 1) that this would give an origin story for him.
No such luck.
I haven't read a great deal about him outside of the DC universe, so I'm not reall
...more
Sam Quixote
Oct 09, 2013 rated it liked it
“Constantine” – right away you can tell DC have fiddled with the former Vertigo fan favourite by naming it after the atrocious Keanu Reeves picture from 2005. It used to be called John Constantine: Hellblazer and the name Hellblazer isn’t mentioned once in this comic. But it’s still recognisably the same character even though the character’s doomed soul isn’t mentioned as much in this reboot than it was before, and I’m not sure it’s once mentioned that he’s from Liverpool, just that he’s English ...more
Sesana
Aug 12, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics, fantasy
There's been a lot of apprehension about the decision to move Constantine as a character from the realm of Vertigo into the DCU proper. Hellblazer, as a property, had been a solidly and proudly "mature" title, and was beloved in no small part for being so. Obviously, the move would mean that the cursing, sex, and violence of the original would have to be downplayed, or at least be less explicitly drawn on the page. I imagine that, if you dearly loved the original, it felt like quite a blow, like ...more
Crystal Starr Light
Bullet Review:

Issues 1 - 3 were stereotypical and a little video game (go to this place, get this item, fight these bosses), but at least they were OK, if not noteworthy.

Issue 4 was eh.

It was Issue 5 that I just went, "WTF is this?!?!" It had Shazam and seemed to tie into a bigger DC storyline, and made NO SENSE. Issue 6 wasn't much better, dealing with the aftermath of the previous issue.

If I were rating 1 -3 (maybe 4 if I were generous), it would be 3 stars. Issues 5 and 6 leave a bad taste in
...more
Gavin
May 25, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: comics
I already read 2 and 3 so this volume was out of order.

I saw how things got started and I can't say I am impressed. I've seen more interesting versions of this character in a page long cameo in Swamp Thing in the 80s.

I know the idea and I feel like I owe it to myself to try the Hellblazer series, but this isn't good.

I don't feel any interest, no connection, just a dislikeable guy who does magic tricks.

Jeff Lemire was a writer for this? Not so good, but it utterly lost the plot when Ray Fawkes to
...more
Otherwyrld
Apr 13, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: graphic-novel, horror
John Constantine has been around for a long time (since 1985 in fact), and for most of his history (in the form of the 300 issues of the Hellblazer comics) he has been a part of the Vertigo series from DC. I read the story for about half that history before I gave up on it, and it was with a certain amount of trepidation that I picked up this new series with Constantine now a part of the new DC universe.

So does it work? For the most part, yes it does though with notable reservations. Constantine
...more
Kyle
Mar 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: dcu
I wasn't a dedicated reader to Hellblazer, but I did dip into it from time to time; however, I have been following Justice League Dark very closely, so I feel that I have had time to prepare for the newer, more sanitized version of John Constantine.

As a horror comic, this collection just doesn't cut it.... I mean, I'm assuming this was meant to be horror because the whole Constantine brand has always been horror, but it's the new 52 so who knows what they're trying to accomplish. There are a cou
...more
Michelle Morrell
This is the Hellblazer reboot, under the "new 52" revamp.

First off, I love Constantine. If it weren't for him, there'd be no Harry Dresden and probably no urban fantasy. He paved the way for the damaged magicians in mega cities all over the world. But reading Hellblazer? It's hard. Such a product of its time (the 80s in all its big hair big shouldered glory) that it doesn't stand weathering well, at least for me.

That left me quite eager to check out this trade, the first six issues collected.

It
...more
Angela
Aug 12, 2013 rated it it was ok
I will try to keep this review as spoiler-free as possible, since I know some people out there are waiting for the graphic novel before reading. But, be warned, that may not happen.

I’m going to start by saying this, because it needs to be said: for most of my comic-reading life, I’ve stayed away from the powerhouses of Marvel and DC. I didn’t care for the concept of reboots and multi-verses and why does the world need 4 different versions of Batman and the X-Men and what the hell is continuity,
...more
Joseph
Apr 12, 2014 rated it it was ok
First of all, the art by Renato Guedes is fantastic, and it's good to see the colorist, Marcelo Maiolo, get cover credit. They both give Constantine a consistent look and feel that set the tone of the book.

The first arc of the book is rather lame, which surprised me because Jeff Lemire, one of my favorite writers, was co-writer, along with Ray Fawkes, who finished out the volume. We get some lame-o story about a compass that all these evil mages are trying to collect, and Constantine has knowled
...more
Tom Donaghey
Feb 17, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: graphic-novel
With any graphic novel or comic collection, the first thing I notice is the artwork. I ask myself is it smart and stylish, perhaps something new is displayed in the envisioning of the layout as opposed to the standard panel format. Are the size and placing of the illustrated blocks pleasing to the eye and subtly drag that eye in the direction the writer intended the story to flow or do I find myself forcing my way through the dialogue bubbles, sometimes reading them out of their intended sequen ...more
Sierra Dean
Jul 03, 2014 rated it liked it
I love early Hellblazer stuff. It's what would happen if Raymond Chandler and HP Lovecraft decided to write comics together.

This new DC iteration of Constantine, though not bad, is not Hellblazer. John is harder to connect with, the plots feel a bit flimsier (Papa Midnite is still there though and his costume is crazy). There are aspects of it I like.

But then, Constantine also becomes Shazam at one point.

Mixing a strong Vertigo character in with the superheroes of DC may seem like a cool idea,
...more
Anton
Apr 28, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: graphic-novels
This new reboot of the excellent Hellblazer series falls short of greatness. Sure, it has it's memorable moments, and really cool villains, but it's not what I look for when reading a John Constantine tale. The darkness is gone, character depth is lacking, and London is no longer the setting. The deeper issues, such as environmentalism, political corruption, spirituality and even John's misanthropy, and cynicism is totally gone. Sadly, I won't continue to read this series, and will resort to the ...more
michelle lise
This got me out of a pretty bad reading slump. I read it quickly because I had borrowed it from my cousin and I wanted to return it to him ASAP. I liked it. I guess it has the capability of opening people up to the idea of "magick" and "the occult", however, it accomplishes this in a rather fearful manner (which isn't necessarily bad, but yeah). I don't know what else to say at the moment.
Charlos
Apr 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Nice art, but weak on plot. Maybe they're just trying to get their footing in the larger DC universe, but I hope some depth is established. Also, not a big fan of how they Ziggy Stardusted out Papa Midnite.
Ryan
Jan 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Poor Constantine. He deserves it. XD
C.J. Edmunds
Urban Fantasy. Magic User. British. Snarky.

Count me in! Definitely a new favorite!
Deborah Ideiosepius
I really enjoyed the Hellblazer series, the were gritty, varied, intelligent comic books for adults and way ahead in the genera, dating back to the mid 80's.
You could say they were trailblazers.

Constantine the graphic novel, has hickaed the name of Hellblazer's the lead character and his haircut, nothing else. This character is bland and uninteresting, the only time Constantine's voice sounds like the original character is when someone else is mimicking him. All the characters are bland, though,
...more
Neil McCrea
Jan 26, 2014 rated it liked it
I have every single issue of Hellblazer including all of the specials, mini-series and one shots, and I bought them all as they came out. After John Constantine went Vertigo, I often mused what it would be like to have him rejoin the DCU. I hoped and feared such an event in equal measure, I felt John would bring a much needed cynical wisdom to the world of laser beams and long johns. The DCU has plenty of anti-heros, but few that are so grounded. On the other hand, I suspected such a move would ...more
Gav451
Jul 25, 2015 rated it liked it
Having enjoyed both the characters and tales found within the Constantine comics I read this collected edition of his new tales with some trepidation, would they stay true to the tale and how would his deeper involvement in the DC universe work? There was always a risk of watering down what he was or changing him into some magic powered joke.

Fortunately it is good, the art and the story is solid if not remarkable and the change of location to make it more US centred is deftly handled so it does
...more
Devann
I thought this was pretty good. I guess I understand people not liking it going from Vertigo back to DC, but I personally haven't even gotten to the part when it switches over to Vertigo in the original series so it's really all the same to me. I'm still going to be reading the older stuff but I think I'm gonna go back and forth with the new as well.

I mean ...he's still a complete bastard, there's still swearing and some gore. What are we missing? The horrible 80s art? The casual sexism? The ti
...more
Sara
Nov 05, 2014 rated it liked it
What an exciting day for me to receive my box of graphic novels that I won from bookriot.com on National Comic Book Day! I had to read Constantine first.

It's been so long since I've read Constantine in comics. I had no idea he had even stepped out from the pages of Hellblazer and into the regular DC universe to become Constantine. And what is Justice League Dark? Ah, I've been out of it for far, far too long.

Constantine is always great, even through the different writers and illustrators through
...more
FoxClouds
Mar 05, 2016 rated it liked it
To be honest, I expected this comics to be better. I have never read the original story but I watched the movie AND that TV show that got cancelled mid season. I think that this Constantine is more violent and cruel. There was violence in that Constantine on tv show but he still cared about his friends.

Since I am not familiar with the timeline much, this volume left me a bit lost. It says to be set after what happened in Newcastle (which I know about from TV show) and London (no clue). There is
...more
Kris
Jun 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
As a longtime reader of Vertigo's Hellblazer, I cringed when I found out they were doing a New 52 Constantine. Would they try to fancy up John, make him more kid-friendly? While there is a bit of that, we still get the core of what Constantine is about - John deals with all the really nasty mystic baddies so nobody else has to. Ok, it's not all altruism; he does get some benefits. And like he says in about the second issue, the magical power is like a drug; he'd be doing magic even if it cost hi ...more
Lacey
Jul 15, 2016 rated it liked it
As my first foray into the world of graphic novels, I would say this novel had me split down the middle. I was always under the assumption that Constantine was an anti-hero, somebody who isn't very well liked by the other characters but who saves the day anyway because he feels obligated (or it's to his advantage). This particular novel showed him in a much more lenient light. It wasn't until I read other reviews on here that I found out that DC was not the original publisher of these novels. I ...more
Shannon Appelcline
Feb 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics-dc, comics
Well, obviously this isn't Hellblazer. We don't get the same darkness, we don't get London, and we don't get the same depth of character.

Instead, we get a shallower Constantine in a superhero universe, and there's not necessarily anything wrong with that (except that his appearance caused the cancelation of the original). It's interesting to see a Constantine who's somewhat in tune with the Alan Moore original, to see him interacting with the superheroic world and generally being heroic himself.
...more
Nessie McInness
Jul 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dc-comics
I didn't read Hellblazer. I plan to, but I haven't yet. I did really like Constantine's character in JLD, so this trade was an instant buy. The fact that it's also written by Jeff Lemire helps too. So all of this review is based on the new 52 character on his own, as I haven't got Vertigo's more mature Constantine to compare him to.

Constantine is a dick. But he's a dick you get to love and root for. In this first volume he's trying to prevent the cold flame from achieving their aims while trying
...more
Ryan Stewart
It's hard to rate this one. This story is actually pretty good and creatively posits all of Constantine's possible origins. it's a neat little trick with an open-ended conclusion. We learned a lot and maybe nothing.

On the one hand, it's a really decent comic. On the other hand, it isn't a very good Constantine comic. It's an enjoyable read but the characterization is just.... off. It's not up to the standard of the old Vertigo Hellblazer series and that results in at least a 1.5-star dock to the
...more
Μιχάλης
Jan 06, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: graphic-novel
Nearly destroyed by its temptations in his youth, John Constantine knows the price of magic’s corrupting influence all too well. Now, he fights the battle to maintain balance and prevent anyone from becoming too powerful...

Well, Bullocks!

Constantine fails to translate John Constantine in the DCU, probably because he was never in it, even back in the Saga of the Swamp Thing days. The plot is overdone and his subtle style and magical trickery do not fit the flashy spandex crowd. Towards the end, i
...more
David Schaafsma
I read this because it features, in this initial volume, the writing of Jeff Lemire, because it is the sort of New 52 version of Hellblazer, because Alan Moore wrote him into Swamp Thing (I think Moore actually invented him?), because he is a small part of The Sandman that I liked, because he is this roguish kinda punkish eighties character, and because my brother in law lent it to me. I think it gets it basically right but is pretty boring compared to other versions.
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Ray Fawkes is a Toronto-based fine artist and writer of comics, graphic novels, prose fiction, and games. Ray's work ranges in styles from introspective, dreamscape narrative to bombastic slapstick. He is an Eisner, Harvey, and three-time Shuster Award nominee, and a YALSA award winner for "Possessions Book One: Unclean Getaway". His recent book, "One Soul", debuted in July 2011 to critical acclai ...more

Other books in the series

Constantine (2013) (4 books)
  • Constantine, Volume 2: Blight
  • Constantine, Volume 3: The Voice in the Fire
  • Constantine, Volume 4: The Apocalypse Road