Wednesday 4 September 2013

Constantine #2 Review

Writers: Ray Fawkes & Jeff Lemire
Artist: Renato Guedes

I've been really enjoying reading Justice League Dark, and the first issue of this series was brilliant, so it looks like John Constantine's in good hands, and with Trinity Wars coming up things should get more interesting for the crafty Constantine.


John Constantine travels to Nyaung to find another piece of Croydon's Compass, but is faced with Mister E. As if that wasn't enough for Constantine to handle he has the Spectre to deal with as well.


This was another brilliant issue, and although the series isn't quite at top class level, it's getting close, and it shouldn't be long before we get a phenomenal issue. Ray Fawkes, and Jeff Lemire (both co-plot, and Fawkes writes dialogue) have once again done an amazing job, and although they've brought their dark, and mysterious style that they use on JLD, they've made this a very unique series, showing more of Constantine's characteristics. I've actually found this series to be slightly darker than JLD, and although it's still early days I'm liking that. I've also loved how Fawkes has written Constantine as although I've never read the Hellblazer series, and don't know exactly how close he is to his original self, I personally like that he's very confident, and controversial, and although what he does can be shocking, and morally wrong, it makes the story much more dramatic, which is always nice. I've also liked how Fawkes and Lemire have managed to introduce Mister E, and more so Spectre into this story, as they are both written brilliantly, but I'll talk more about that later.

The art was once again phenomenal, and Renato Guedes' art is simply amazing. I really enjoyed his art on Avengers, Secret Avengers, and Wolverine, but his art on this series is much better, and he really suits not only the Constantine character, but the dark and edgy style of series that this is. The detail in Guedes' art is also brilliant, as everything looks brilliant, and even the small details look realistic. I also love how Guedes manages to have the perfect balance between rough, and smooth art, as the outlines are very smooth, and the shading, and detail is slightly rough, which makes for a truly wonderful piece of artwork. I also love the way Guedes draws the facial expressions, as they make the story more dramatic, also giving more vibrance to the story, and you can really feel the characters emotions easily. He also draws all the character's, and lays out the artwork perfectly, as everyone from Mister E, to Spectre, and most importantly Constantine look amazing, and the layouts also give a more dramatic tone. Marcelo Maiolo's colours were also fantastic, really suiting Guedes' art, making it look even better than it already is. Maiolo's colours also really suit the tone of this series.


Seems I didn't want to talk about the end of the last issue in my previous review, as to avoid spoilers, along with the fact that the emotions from it carry into this issue, I've decided that I'll give my opinions of both that, and the follow-up in this issue now. Last issue Constantine sacrificed Chris to save himself, and although this isn't too big of a surprise coming from Constantine, it was still a shocking end. What I like about the follow-up, and one of the things I like about Constantine in general is that he feels guilty for what he does, and shows remorse, and regret, but at the end of the day he's both a survivor, and a bit of a coward, and would rather sacrifice someone else to save himself, than stay and fight. Anyway, I really liked the follow-up in this issue, and look forward to seeing if Constantine's conscience will bother him in future issues.

Moving on, this story basically has Constantine continuing to look for the other pieces of Croydon's Compass. Although I've never read any series that heavily feature Constantine, apart from Brightest Day Aftermath: The Search for Swamp Thing, prior to the New 52, I have read a lot about him, and one of the things that I find most interesting about the magical tone that comes with the character is the mystical objects. I loved seeing The Black Room in JLD, and it had some amazing artefacts within, but seeing Constantine going round the world searching for pieces of one artefact seems more interesting to me. I've really been enjoying the mystery around the artefact in this story, and look forward to seeing the development of it.

As I said earlier, Mister E features in this issue, and although I don't know much about him, besides the obvious fact that he's a magic based character, I enjoyed seeing him in this issue. What I liked most about Mister E is that he speaks in a southern accent. Now I know that's not really a huge thing, but I loved the way Fawkes wrote the dialogue, and it really made him feel more unique, and made him feel more sinister. I also loved the dialogue between Mister E, and Constantine, as it was really well written, and added a lot more drama, and even some humour to the issue, which was very nice. I am however really looking forward to seeing what Mister E has to offer throughout the rest of this story, as it should be really interesting.

The other big name that appeared in this issue was the Spectre. I've not seen Spectre since the prior to the start of the New 52, and to be honest I don't know a great deal about him besides his motives, and the fact that Hal Jordan was once the host body that the Spectre lived in, so it was nice to see him in this issue. Spectre in this issue was basically his usual weird self, wanting vengeance on Constantine, and this made for a very interesting, and dramatic sequence. I won't go into any more detail involving what he was up to in this issue, as to avoid spoilers, but I look forward to the possibility of him making another appearance in this series, which I'm sure he will.

I'll end by saying that the ending was also brilliant, and although I won't spoil it, I will say that I'm really looking forward to reading the next issue.

Final Verdict

A brilliant continuation to this series, and I for one am really enjoying it. This issue in particular was very interesting, and I really enjoyed the characters that appeared, as well as the mysteriousness of the story, and it's only a matter of time before this series becomes outstandingly amazing. I would highly recommend this, as it was a brilliant, exciting issue, and if you are a fan of JLD you're bound to love this.

Rating: 4/5

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