Can the Upcoming CONSTANTINE Series Win Over HELLBLAZER Fans?

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#51 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (33885 posts) - - Show Bio
@Lvenger: Sure, I grew up reading this book. He's British, he's an asshole and he loves the occult, that's me all over and now all we'r gona get is the this half baked version. It would be like if they cancelled the Walking Dead and replaced it with Casper or if they cancelled Superman and replaced it with the Superman Family. Why should I reward a company who makes decisions like this? 
Hay, DC..... 
#52 Posted by Lvenger (20677 posts) - - Show Bio

@Jonny_Anonymous: I thought you were flipping me off for a second before I realised this was aimed at DC. I don't disagree with you there. Though I've never been into Constantine, which is strange because being British Constantine comes from good ol' Britain as well and there's that British flavour to it. I can definitely see the appeal of Hellblazer and certainly understand the outrage of DC trying to incorporate all their former offshoots like Wildstorm and Vertigo into the New 52 universe. Quite annoying really. Each part that DC formally had possessed its own charm to it. There was no need for integration IMO.

#53 Posted by TitanTempest (347 posts) - - Show Bio

Wow, Im amazed by how many people wont pick up a pick, just because THEY THINK it wont be good or comparative. I say every book deserves a chance. After a few issues you dont like it, then drop it. Some people are saying they wont read a DC comic again, thats ridiculous. I say they can stay in their own little and closed world, and miss out on great stories because they are hardheaded. It their own fault!

#54 Posted by Cavemold (1684 posts) - - Show Bio

hellblazer was canned for low sales like 9k sales. I doubt most of you guys even bought still.

#55 Posted by Billy Batson (58143 posts) - - Show Bio

@Cavemold said:

hellblazer was canned for low sales like 9k sales. I doubt most of you guys even bought still.

No, the same figure has been for years. It's a normal figure for a Vertigo series and the trade sales made up for it. And LOL @ the second part.

#56 Posted by VaizD (249 posts) - - Show Bio


#57 Posted by Spideycap (212 posts) - - Show Bio

I do feel bad for all of the fans of Hellblazer, but you should at least try to look at the positive side. This is going to be a lot of exposure for the character, which is well deserved, and they will most likely hold on to most of the grittiness that makes it so good. I dont know, it just seems like every single announcement people just go straight to the negative side and dont even think about what good might come out of it. Pretty obnoxious really.
#58 Posted by jpblair88 (45 posts) - - Show Bio

@snootchie_bootchies: the good news is Sandman is owned by Neil Gaiman so they cant use the characters at all without his permission.

#59 Posted by Kal'smahboi (3561 posts) - - Show Bio

Honestly, this just means that I'll be more able to read some other series, or maybe start collecting old Hellblazer trades that I've never gotten around to reading. Everything that made Hellblazer great will be washed away with this new series. I'll give it a try, but if it doesn't get me with the first issue, I'm going to drop it. I feel bad for Peter Milligan. Although, I completely expect him to write a terrific send off for the real John Constantine.

#60 Posted by Grey56 (752 posts) - - Show Bio

I've always been interested in listening to the cape-haters. Over time, I've even begun reading (by monthly pull title I might add - not by TPB) the non traditional books. I confess, I enjoy Hellblazer. It's marketed to a very small niche, however. I spoke to my local owner and inquired about the sales not even two weeks ago. Point blank he said he couldn't sell it off the shelves anymore - and only ordered it for those whom specifically requested it. Whereas that's not necessarily a bad thing - it does however imply a limited window to attract readers.

I do agree that it's going to be impossible to re-create the Hellblazer feel without being given the Mature label. That's implicit to the point of redundancy. If DC could see fit to allow it in some strange manner, it would save a lot of griping by long time fans who I truly feel for after a book that's been published for over 20 years and 300 issues is now being treated like a Chrysler project. I hope for the best.

#61 Posted by zachkastner (188 posts) - - Show Bio

I was really just introduced to John in JLDark when I stared up with Lemire taking over. He kept appearing throughout Animal Man too. Recently I've started reading Gaiman's works (a long overdue measure) and Constantine appears in Sandman among others. I haven't read Hellblazer yet (I will!), but I like the idea of giving him a New 52 title.

This doesn't make Hellblazer any less valid, and I can't wait to read more of the character in any iteration.

#62 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (33885 posts) - - Show Bio
@zachkastner: Cancelling the book makes it not valid? 
#63 Posted by hyenascar (194 posts) - - Show Bio

So the one reason I went out my way to buy all the Hellblazer trades, the dark realistic feel of the stories. It was ugly. Constantine had to live in the muck and and he dealt with it in the dirtiest ways. The Justice League Dark worked because he dealt with people we had seen him deal with before. They all knew how selfish he could be. Still,the title feels shallow in comparison to Hellblazer.

I get DC's point of view, they want to make money. You wanna make money you make them mainstream. So despite what was said they are gonna remove any defining characteristics that I loved.

All in all, I am very sad.

#64 Posted by NuclearLife (53 posts) - - Show Bio

It won't be anywhere near as good. When you take away the dark from dark magic you just get old plain magic. And like they mentioned it will have to be a PG version, which is not even close to how Constantine acts. The whole book is about blood sex and magic, and all your going to leave him with is a tamed down magic. I'll read the first few issues to see where it is going (since I'm already buy Hellblazer anyways, so it's no extra to my pull list), but if they throw away his past and Epiphany Greaves, I'm out. Nothing against Zatana (I'm really glad shes getting some face time for once) but to me Constantine is with Epiphany.

#65 Posted by SmashBrawler (5947 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm considering making this the first Dark book I don't buy. Mainly for two reasons:

  1. The damage its creation has done to Hellblazer fans and readers. I can perfectly relate to that, and if the failure of this book means the return of Hellblazer, then I'm all for it.
  2. I'm buying too much damn stuff anyway.
#66 Posted by Goldenboy_Prime (172 posts) - - Show Bio

@inferiorego said:

@NightFang said:

I was never really into Hellblazer, so i'll give the title a shot.

You should definitely check out Hellblazer. You can find all the trades on amazon. And they're finally numbered!

Based on the reaction of some of the people on this website, that's exactly what I'm going to do. I read JLD and dropped it, but I always thought Constantine was an interesting character so this is an appropriate option for someone to get into Hellblazer even if it is ending next year. I knew the flexibility of a smaller pull list would come in handy!

#67 Posted by The Toon Man (59 posts) - - Show Bio

I haven't read Constantine in the DC universe so how does he contribute to the Justice League Dark? He specializes in plans, manipulations, and deception while mainly avoiding physical battle because he always gets beat up. Has DC made him a little more fight capable or he is still a smart planner/weak fighter type character?

#68 Posted by Perfect 10 (1094 posts) - - Show Bio

and why cant they do both? i dont read hellblazer but i dont see why they have to end it. let hellblazer stay and do its vertigo thing and then have a constantine book for the new 52 (though i would prefer a zatanna or madame xanadu book)

#70 Edited by secondfallen616 (119 posts) - - Show Bio

As a fan of Hellblazer for many years i'm saddened by this news, (That book was the first one that i couldn't leave laying around where my mom could see it, pretty sure that it would've freaked her out more than seeing a Playboy lol) but, if you take out the cussing and occasional nipple or twenty then its a "T+ " comic book that has a really talented writer and artist and one of the most complex and interesting character in comics. Can't imagine Constantine ever being a totally mainstream character though, will give it a read for sure when it comes around.

The current arc in Hellblazer is getting good and now i understand why it's felt like a wrap up since the first part, worth a read to see what happens in the finale.

JLD is one of my faves of the 52, its been great overall. Yes hes been watered down and made younger and had that gnarly scar removed, but he's still seen constantly smoking and getting blasted drunk and being an all around jerk/bastard so not THAT much has changed except for him being part of a team.

#71 Edited by Jonny_Anonymous (33885 posts) - - Show Bio
@secondfallen616: There will be alot that they cant do in the DCnU other than swearing and nipples. Hellblazer had dying of lung cancer, depression, suicide, incestuous demon rape. No more Epiphany, no more Chas, no more history. John Constantine has lost a lot in this transition  
#72 Posted by Quandary (19 posts) - - Show Bio

@sentryman555 said:

God its like people haven't seen a reboot before. Its already happened to the rest of the DC universe! I'm just surprised this hasn't happened sooner. And I'm annoyed by the people saying even if its an amazing book they won't read it. Their is absolutely NO logic in that!

I think it's more a point of having principles to not read the new series regardless of its quality. The reason publishers come up with fan-alienating concepts like The New 52 is because the fact of the matter is, despite all their complaining, comic readers are easily manipulated and the business minds in comics know this. The fact is, Hellblazer is being cancelled for the sake of a gimmick despite it being one of, if not thee best title DC is putting out right now. This gimmick will cause a spike in readership and in the end that's all that matters to DC, but if the people who were enjoying Hellblazer just jump onto Constantine, they are proving the point that we don't care what is shoved down our throats, just take our money!

There are countless great comics coming out every month that people don't read because there's not enough money, why waste it on something that explicitly proves the publisher doesn't care about your personal interests. Go pick up something that actually fills the void of a creator-driven comic that Hellblazer left behind.

#73 Posted by lrod557 (3 posts) - - Show Bio

I just came across this kickstarter project. this group of filmmakers are trying to raise funds for a Hellblazer live action series which will be faithful to the comics check it out its actually pretty sweet.

#74 Posted by tomtomiii (25 posts) - - Show Bio

I'll pick it up. I like Justice League Dark, and I'll enjoy the chance to get more Constantine stories. That be said it's no Hellblazer and I am VERY sad to see it go.

I think it helps to just view it as not the same. The name maybe the same, and the basics are the same ... new 52 John Constantine ISNT Vertigo Constantine. But they've gutted a lot of characters I like for the new 52. Why not add one more?

I am just hopeful that Phantom Stranger takes out Pandora, and can convince a flash somewhere to undo Flashpoint ... but I know that won't happen either. I've given up on that too ...

But I do like the New 52 Joker!!

#75 Posted by pewsplosions (13 posts) - - Show Bio

I think the real question is not "Will Hellblazer fans read Constantine?" but instead "Will the narrow minded fanboys who already decided not to give Constantine a shot be replaced with enough new readers to make Constantine a success?"

And I think the answer is yes. Constantine will steadily sell more issues than Hellblazer ever did. "Welcome to the mainstream."

#76 Posted by RayeGunn (96 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm getting a sense of deja vu here. I was a Wildstorm fan, mostly Authority, but also some other stuff. Towards the end, it was selling pathetic numbers, (and the books themselves had lost the feel of what they had once been anyway, which probably helped explain the low sales. Hellblazer does not have that particular problem, though) so they ended the universe, and rolled parts of it into the DCU... the results... not so good. :-/ they've completely failed to capture the feel I came to expect from the books, in part because while The Authority and some runs of Wildcats (Joe Casey and such) etc. had adult oriented content, swearing, nudity etc, and adult themes, much like Hellblazer does, but now the characters books are rated "T+" and the characters have been neutered and often changed beyond recognizability, they're no longer the characters I cared about and liked, and the books aren't good enough to make me care about the new versions. I don't think he'll suffer as badly, because the character got off on a better foot in the DCU, but I don't think Constantine (the book) will be able to capture the same tone as Hellblazer unless DC actually goes with a mature rating on the book, which I doubt they will do. Even then, all his history is different, and while the differences may be smaller than some of the changes to the WS characters, they at least kept his core, it's still not really the same character.

I don't think it's a bad idea to have a DCU Constantine book, and I get that if Hellblazer is not profitable, it's not profitable, and it either needs to turn around in sales or be cancelled if it's losing DC money, but it still doesn't seem like a very good tradeoff from a fan's perspective.

#77 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (33885 posts) - - Show Bio

@RayeGunn: Hellblazer was selling the same amount as every other Vertigo book and that's the same amount it's always sold at. Pepole seem to be getting confused because it was selling lower than other DC titles when the fact is it WASN'T a DC title. All Vertigo books sell lower.

#78 Posted by kuonphobos (4898 posts) - - Show Bio

As a long time reader of Hellblazer of course I will give any title that has John in it a try.

BUT it won't even remotely be the same. First, too many members of the costumed set flitting around. Second, will Epiphany be coming along? I really like her a whole lot. And amazing characters like the First of the Fallen, how exactly does one come up with a "real" demon lord/devil and not have it be super-cheese in a "mainstream" continuity? Without real evil, what does John do? Why should I care?

Although from what I have gleaned from the current Animal Man/Swamp Thing titles, there is still a little creep factor in the New 52. But at this point it just seems like the writers are riffing on concepts Alan Moore created decades ago. The Green, The Red, The Rot, The Beef Jerky, the Potato is getting a little lame.....

#79 Posted by lrod557 (3 posts) - - Show Bio
#80 Posted by blackkitty (340 posts) - - Show Bio

It all comes down to writing people. This is what made Hellblazer so phenominal. Now do I hold out hope that this new series will be written just as well, hmm... judging by the other books I've read... No... sadly not. Undoubtedly Ann Nocenti will end up on the book at some point and drag it into the debths of no return. I just don't see how any of the stories can be the same as they were in this new universe. Time will tell i suppose.

#81 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (33885 posts) - - Show Bio

@lrod557: You should PM that to the Staff, they might make a News Post about it

#82 Edited by RayeGunn (96 posts) - - Show Bio

@lrod557: I understand that fans want to see it continue and fan-created work is perfectly fine to do that. But get ready for that Kickstarter to be shut down. They are making money off of DC's intellectual property, it's blatant copyright infringement, and DC WILL sue, no matter how much they insist it's non-profit

@Jonny_Anonymous said:

@RayeGunn: Hellblazer was selling the same amount as every other Vertigo book and that's the same amount it's always sold at. Pepole seem to be getting confused because it was selling lower than other DC titles when the fact is it WASN'T a DC title. All Vertigo books sell lower.

To be fair, while I don't know how steady the sales were, a quick glance at the charts shows it sells several thousand less than some other Vertigo books like Fables and American Vampire, and when you're working on a scale of around 17k or less, a few thousand can mean a lot. Some other Vertigo books have gotten cancelled for low sales (Northlanders, iZombie) at about the same level as Hellblazer, or even a bit higher. If the production cost is lower a series may get along with less (Sweet Tooth lasted a long time with very low sales, probably because Jeff Lemire both wrote and drew it, which no doubt cut the cost per page of making it a fair bit) but with the creative team it has, Hellblazer is probably one of the more expensive books to make. Plus the fact that unlike most other Vertigo books these days, it's NOT creator owned, and may be held to a higher standard of profitability as a result.

#83 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (33885 posts) - - Show Bio

@RayeGunn: Hellblazer always sold about that amount, so what if it wasn't the highest seller, it's not going to brake the bank. They could have just let us have one for the fans, just one book. It was the flagship Vertigo book and the last original title

#84 Posted by RScottH08 (249 posts) - - Show Bio

Like many, Hellblazer was my favorite series no doubt and it really is gonna be hard to move on with the cornerstone of Vertigo gone. Now I agree that the DCNU John is watered down, and I had no intentions of wanting to read this new series when first announced, but now I got to admit, I'm a little stoked. Robert Venditti has been one of my favorite writers for awhile now, and I hate to admit it, but I suppose having him writing my favorite character just really caught me off guard. So, I guess I'll be giving this book a shot even though I may regret it. So I can't really say if it will win me over or not yet, but if it doesn't, then at least I'll have the the good old classic stories and trades of the old Hellblazer.

#85 Posted by Nikoleta (14 posts) - - Show Bio

Hellblazer has been one of my favourite books since I first started reading it. I'm sad to know it's ending but I will at least try out Constantine. I'm not a fan of him in JLD and if that's how Constantine will be I'll probably drop it after giving it a try for the first arc or so. I don't want to say i won't even bother picking it up because I like to read things before I make my decision. it may not be the same but that doesn't mean that I won't enjoy it...or that I will.

#86 Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus (6885 posts) - - Show Bio

I think Warren Ellis' statement is the best way to put it...a PG Constantine. Much as I'm sure the book will do great and add character and dimension to Constantine, I just don't it will have the intensity of the Vertigo book.

#87 Posted by Loki9876 (3051 posts) - - Show Bio

they could have had constatine and hellblazer (two books)

#88 Posted by jammer44 (1 posts) - - Show Bio

Justice League Dark sucked. Constantines appeal is his dark anti-hero like personality. Watering down his persona is absurd. I will check it out but I am not expecting a good showing from DC on this one.

#89 Edited by IgiMancer (42 posts) - - Show Bio

I thought Venditti was writing? Why is Lemire writing Constantine?

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