One of the most popular comic book characters from DC Comics Vertigo line is getting his own television show. NBC has greenlit the series “Constantine” and will start airing the episodes in the 2014 fall season. The character has been adapted before in 2005 when Keanu Reeves starred as the character in the big screen adaptation of “Constantine.” However, while fun, the movie was not really indicative of what the character was really about.
The “Constantine” TV show will star Matt Ryan, someone who looks the role much more than Reeves did. The first “Constantine” trailer also raised the excitement level, because it is clear the sarcasm and depreciating characteristics of John Constantine shined through. Here is everything you need to know about Constantine heading into the new NBC television series.
Originally, John Constantine was introduced in the pages of the “Swamp Thing” comic book during the Alan Moore run on the series. Constantine was originally a supernatural advisor to Swamp Thing but became so popular that he earned his own comic book run, titled “Hellblazer.” Constantine was a magician who practiced the dark arts and his stories were dark horror tales, very similar to Neil Gaiman’s work on “Sandman.”
John Constantine is very much not a moral character most of the time. He smokes, swears, and goes above and beyond to achieve his goals, no matter who he hurts in the process. He has shunned both Heaven and Hell and knows that, when he dies, he faces eternal pain and suffering thanks to his actions on Earth. Also, despite being one of the greatest sorcerers on the planet, he often just uses his wits to win battles with his enemies.
The movie was made with some reverence to the source material. “Constantine” was very loosely based on the storyline “Dangerous Habits.” While looking and acting nothing like John Constantine, Reeves brought some level of respect to the character in his portrayal, but at the end of the day, the movie was a fun excursion that really didn’t bring fans the John Constantine from the comics.
The best “Hellblazer” storyline is “Dangerous Habits,” which the “Constantine” movie added some points from but changed the resolution almost completely. In the movie, Constantine was saved from lung cancer thanks to years of smoking by doing something selfless. That also gained him a place in Heaven. That was never the case in the comics. The most interesting thing about Constantine is that, unlike other superheroes, he ages in real time. He also developed lung cancer thanks to years of smoking. Using his magical skills, he was able to trick the demons of hell into curing his cancer, but reneged on his promises to them. That is the real Constantine. Fans have to hope the new “Constantine” TV show will keep the character of Constantine more in line with the beloved comic book character.