mojopin's Constantine #3 - The Spark and the Flame, Part 3: The Big Smoke review

Simple Circles

The Good

CONSTANTINE #3 has a nearly flawless pace, and it's anything but predictable. Part of me was worried the arc would reach for a louder, messier climax, which the book isn't ready for yet. Instead, the conflict between Constantine and his rivals is settled by a plot device embedded in the middle of the script. The resolution left room for greater creative potential and diffused unnecessary baggage. I admire that kind of structure.

The artwork is entirely memorable. It contains the book's DNA, it's genetic plan to enhance to story with a signature look. There's something to be said for the expressive nature of each character's facial features and costume design.

DC's versions of the title character and his rival Sargon the Sorceress received some well-rounded development, from John's often predatory insight to our peek at Sargon's calmer side. It's always interesting to see such a violent character like the former in a vulnerable position. I hope we see more of her.

The Bad

While I enjoyed the pacing of this issue, there were two transitions which came across feeling forced. It wasn't terribly jerky (KATANA #4, anyone?) but it left me feeling as if I missed two pages in the first case and terribly confused in the last. What exactly happened to Sargon? I had to read the ending one more time to come to the conclusion readers were supposed to take home. It's unfortunately a point loser because it's connected to the plot.

Of lesser concern is the artwork attributed to the cover. I don't feel the expressive nature of John's face or the crude feelings it conjures up are indicative of the mood Lemire was going for here.

The Verdict

Read CONSTANTINE #3 when you're not in a hurry and give the art a good look through. You'll be stimulated in some level or another, guaranteed. It's also reassuring in a time where many comic arcs featuring mystical artifacts and the threat of mass murder end up feeling more than a little contrived.

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