Constantine is based off of the one and only Hellblazer comics that started back in 1987. It's an amazing comic that is worth reading once you get a hold of them. I've been reading this 300 issue series about the most entertaining asshole you will ever read about. Constantine was created by Alan Moore, John Totleben and Steve Bissette as a supporting character to Swamp Thing in The Saga of Swamp Thing #37 - Growth Patterns.
Moore wanted to create a mystical character with a working class background as well as being based visually on the rock star Sting. [Constantine](movie:874314)'s back story however, can be mostly attributed to writer Jamie Delano, who was the first to write about Constantine in a real world environment, with the groundbreaking Hellblazer title. The comic has been running under the name Hellblazer since 1987 and its debut story ‘Original Sins’. The series ran for more than twenty years and is still in print, the character John Constantine has also made a variety of appearances in other comics as a regular character or cameo appearance. He has been seen at various events in the DC universe, as well as others such as Green Lantern #81 where he was spotted at the Funeral of Hal Jordan. -Thanks to ComicVine for writing it better than I would have.
The NBC TV show started back in October at 10pm on Friday's after Grimm. Which is now on it's 4th season. Sadly, this fabulous show hasn't had the best of ratings. So here I am attempting to get you to want to give this baby a shot.
Constantine is being played by the one and only Matt Ryan.
The main cast of Constantine consists of Matt Ryan, Charles Halford as Chas Chandler, Harold Perrineau as Manny and Angélica Celaya as Zed Martin.
Angélica appeared as Zed briefly in the pilot episode and appeared officially in the 2nd episode. She's been recurring ever since. She's doing an amazing job as the on again off again girlfriend of Constantine. However in the TV show she's been using Constantine to help her deal with her visions. It's a lovely relationship with great chemistry that I'm personally rather excited to see develop on screen.
Charles brings Chas to life in such a funny way. He works as a great contrast for John's intensity. Charles also matches Matt's superb acting with each scene. While he hasn't been in every episode, I've loved every scene that he's been in. Chas is one of John's only best friends and in the pilot we see just how special Chas is.
Chas is John's go to driver in London in the Hellblazer comics. He's also one of his only living friends.
Harold plays Manny, an Angel that has John working for him to try and redeem his soul for an incident with Astra at New Castle. The New Castle incident is a defining thing for Constantine throughout the original Hellblazer comics so it makes me rather happy that they have this plot in the TV show.
Papa Midnite appeared in episode 3 The Devil's Vinyl and will have a few more recurring episodes, this weeks, Friday November 21st being his 2nd appearance being portrayed by Michael James Shaw. Papa Midnite's one badass bastard both in the TV show and in the comics. Papa and John have one interesting relationship, more of friendly enemies that work together when they have to, which it looks like that's what they'll be doing in episode 5 on Friday. Papa Midnite had his first appearance in Hellblazer issues 1 & 2 where he helps Constantine and Garry Lester fight the demon Mnemoth from destroying New York City.
Garry Lester and Mnemoth make an appearance in Constantine 1x04 A Feast of Friends. Garry is played by Jonjo O'Neill.
Janjo is a very emotional Garry Lester for episode 4 A Feast Of Friends which was great to see. If you don't believe me, go give it a watch!
Emmett Scanlan will be playing New Orleans inspector Jim Corrigan/The Spectre as well. Executive producer Daniel Cerone stated that,
“For those who don’t know, Jim Corrigan is a police officer who kind of takes the law into his own hands… he ends up dying and is reincarnated as The Spectre. So it’s a perfect opportunity for us, because we can name this character Jim Corrigan and within our story, for the general viewer, that works, because now Constantine has a friend on the force. For the comic book fan, ‘My god, that’s Jim Corrigan!’
“And we can get back to that character and can slowly develop that character and who knows, maybe there’s an opportunity in the future to even see the origin story unfold within the framework of our TV series. It creates opportunities and creatively you just have to go in and lay that groundwork in and try and let it unfold naturally.
I've only read The Spectre in the Constantine New 52 trades but he is one fun guy to deal with. I think it will be a very interesting dynamic to have in the show, especially with Constantine's relationship with authority so far. Emett currently play's Simon Monroe in the TV Mini-Series In the Flesh if you'd like to see him in something else next to that brief Guardians of the Galaxy role as a the Head Riot Guard.
Jeremy Davies plays Ritchie Simmons, another one of John's New Castle buddies in the pilot episode Non Est Asylum that also starred Lucy Griffiths as Liv Aberdine, a character made up for the TV show. However Lucy has been written out hence why we have Zed now instead of Liv. Which isn't that all of a big deal for me. While I do enjoy Lucy Griffith's as an actress, I prefer Angélica's acting.
Each episode of this TV show has left me very happy with how the writers have adapted my current comic-book addiction. Matt Ryan does a kick ass job as John Constantine. He's just like the Hellblazer Constantine instead of the New 52 one, which is still enjoyable but trust me, the Hellblazer Constantine is such a lovely bastard. The New 52 one is a bit ah, let's say lovesick for conversations sake than the original version. Both are still very enjoyable. I have yet to read how Constantine is portrayed in the current Injustice Gods Among Us Year 3 arch.
And now I leave you with what I hope was an enjoyable and informative read on NBC's Constantine. While it's no Arrow or the Flash it is certainly a show worth watching! I personally would love for it to be on Thursday nights instead of Friday's but that's just me.