The Constantine TV series trailer was released yesterday. The above is a link to it (since I struggle to embed things recently!!)
Before I give my thoughts on it, let me just explain my relationship with John Constantine
I REALLY HOPE THEY DO THIS IN THE SHOW – or even better, just pronounce it correctly from the beginning!
I first saw John in Alan Moores run on Swamp Thing. I had bought a couple of old Titan Reprint trades (Black and White interior art) and got hooked. When John turned up, all swagger and menace, I was hooked again. The introduction spoke of him looking like Sting and while the artwork did not really get that across perfectly, he definately looked like he meant business.
I even bought a couple of Titan reprints of the Hellblazer series (Again interior Black and White art) and occasionally dipped into the monthly comic. I always got the feeling I was missing something from the individual issues. They were enjoyable but I think they work better as part of the whole run.
Then the Keanu version came out. Now apart from the hair colour and nationality, it was a not bad version of the character. kinda like a cover version of a song you love. the cover version is not that good but you can tell there was good intentions in there and as a result, it gains a special place in your heart.
When money permitted, I went and bought the Hellblazer trades from the beginning. One of the advantages of coming into a comic series late is that you can pick up the whole story at a pace you want and not have to wait for the next issue. I did this with Preacher, The Invisibles, Doom Patrol and Transmetropolitan and am so glad I did.
Currently I have just finished Trade 4, so I have not read any of Garth Ennis’s run as yet. The complexity and depth of the stories in the first four trades just amazes me.
As the powers that be at DC decide that old JC needed to be brought into the mainstream universe, just in time for them to all New 52 it all. I wanted to give the new version a chance. He was good in patches in Justice League Dark but overall it was not enough for me to enjoy.
So having got that all out of the way, let me give you my thoughts on the TV version.
Firstly, he looks like Constantine. that is good.
He sounds like a weird welsh/scouse mix. I always thought of him speaking with a hard Cockney accent (despite Liverpool being the city of his birth) but my Local Comic Shop owner (they very awesome Asylum Books and Games) once told me that he just thought that Constantine sounded like Mike Carey.
The effects look great. Now if they can keep that level across the series (I refuse to use season as I am Scottish) then it may have a chance to attract fans of Supernatural and the like.
They seem to have kept Ravenscar and they mention the Newcastle incident, so hopefully this bodes well for using the best of the Hellblazer stories. Now just a shot of a Mucous Membrane poster in his pad and I will be a happy fanboy.
Overall I liked the trailer. It made me not worry as much as the initial announcement of the TV series did.
Where is the Fag???? (cigarette for my non British readers)
John Constantine smokes….like a LOT!! It has been integral to several stories (pre New52 Heckblazer anyway). It may seem like a small thing but it is little nuances like this that make the character so strong. The smoking, the haunting by former friends, his politics, the attitude, playing both sides off against each other…all of these and more make up that character and to remove any of them, takes the risk of not portraying him as he should be. Hell even Keanu smoked, even if the ending of that film he reached for chewing gum instead of cigarettes as he did in the comic (so the internet told me).
So there you have it. John Constantine makes it to TV. I wonder that if this is a success, that the Preacher TV series will be allowed to be close to the comics.
Just a thought
For those that are interested….the title of this post is from the Bruce Springsteen song “Better Days”. not relevant at all but I was listening to it as I typed!