John Constantine. He first appeared in all his trench coated glory with in the pages of Allan Moore's run on Swamp Thing. The titular Hellblazer began his solo journey in January 1988 as a flagship tittle for DC'S Vertigo imprint. It was easy to see from the very beginning that there was something different about John. A truly refreshing character in a world dominated by super powered bafoonery. John Constantine was a guy that could save the world (which he has many times) and still see hated by everyone around him. Even the great Garth Ennis, whose run on Hellblazer was legendary, stated that after writing him for so many years, he grew to hate John. He wasn't necessarily a "good guy" but not really a bad guy either. No, john above all that. He was a man who put his own concept of the greater good above everyone else. The Constantine I knew and loved was a blue collar street hustler and reluctant practitioner of magic, who was never afraid to stick his finger in the Devils chest and blow a nice big cloud of smoke in his face. But then something happened. In 2013, Hellblazer ended it's run a issue #300. Fans breathed a sigh of relief however, as DC announced that john would live on in his new solo series, "CONSTANTINE," joining the mainstream continuity after the new 52 relaunch. From day one this new tittle left a sour taste in my mouth. John was no longer himself. Unlike most comic characters, john had aged seemingly in real time. Now stood this young youthful version of the primary protagonist, but let me assure you, this was not the real John Constantine. This John was merely a shadow of the original, too quick to go to his magical bag of tricks rather than his wits. For this fan, what makes the situation even worse is the fact that since the reboot, Constantine has been over over used and over exposed, which pains me to say considering my admiration of the character. Too often John was used as a plot device in a world of heroes that he just didn't necessarily belong in. I can recall opening up and issue of Injustice (great series) and saying "What is Constantine doing here? " His greatest appeal to me was always the fact that he had a niche audience. A group of dedicated fans. He was never the huge presence he became.
Now, Post-Convergance, John will be returning to his own solo tittle penned by Ming Doyle. The series will be tittle Constantine:the Hellblazer and Ming has stated they want to take John back to what made him so great. My hopes are that John once again returns from the dead and gets back to his deadpan, chain smoking ways. Be sure to check out the new book when it hits stores June 10th.