Constantine 1: The Spark and the Flame

7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 7/10

More mainstreamed version of Hellblazer

Solid but could be even better

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Constantine

Publisher:  DC Comics

Writer:  Ray Fawkes/Jeff Lemire

Artist:  Renato Guedes/Fabiano Neves

# of Issues:  6

Release Date:  2014


Constantine #1 Variant

Reprints Constantine #1-6 (May 2013-October 2013).  John Constantine has a whole new set of mystic problems on his hands when he faces off against the Cult of the Cold Flame to get a device called the Croydon’s Compass.  Now with the Cult of the Cold Flame after him (among others including the Spectre), John is facing even bigger problems when the world is threatened and John is forced to stare death in the face without flinching.

Written by Ray Fawkes and Jeff Lemire with art by Rento Guedes and Fabiano Neves, Constantine 1:  The Spark and the Flame is the first entry in the continuing New 52 Constantine series which took over for the long running Vertigo title Hellblazer which ended with Hellblazer #300 (April 2013).  The series contains the three part “The Spark and the Flame” and a Trinity War crossover involving Captain Marvel.

I know that I should love Hellblazer but I always had a hard time getting into the old Vertigo series.  What I read, I enjoyed, but I never enjoyed it enough to really seek out more issues to read.  With Constantine’s reintroduction to the standard DC Universe in Justice League Dark, it had me reassessing the character.  Constantine 1:  The Spark and the Flame has the same feel of Hellblazer and the same problems.


Constantine #5

I have no real problems with the story of Hellblazer and I like the scoundrel aspect of John Constantine.  It is interesting to see the overlapping aspects of this New 52 title and the old series with characters and themes resurfacing but in more of a mainstream way.  The obvious example of this is the involvement of Zatanna and Constantine’s harnessing of the powers of Shazam when he overtakes Captain Marvel’s powers in the Trinity War crossover.  It is kind of fun, but it also doesn’t match up with the character one-hundred percent.

Contantine’s art isn’t very experimental.  It is solid but I think some absurdity is something that I think could help the series.  I would have loved to see Travel Foreman or even coauthor Jeff Lemire take a stab at the art for an issue or two.  It could liven up the story or give the series a bit more weight with some different art.

Despite some misgivings about some of Constantine 1:  The Spark and the Flame, I will probably seek out future issues.  With his new series kicking off on NBC (being on NBC could be a problem since NBC often is the death knell for any series like Heroes and The Cape), Constantine will hopefully get some new eyes on him that possibly forgets the misfire movie starring Keanu Reeves.  I’ll be keeping an eye on Constantine…something the character expects from everyone he meets.  Constantine 1:  The Spark and the Flame is followed by Constantine 2:  Blight.

Related Links:

Constantine 2:  Blight

Constantine 3:  The Voice in the Fire

Constantine 4:  The Apocalypse Road

Hellblazer 1:  Original Sins

Constantine (2005)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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