DC Comics has announced that John Constantine is headed to the Sandman universe in October in a new series from Simon Spurrier and Marcio Takara.
In THE SANDMAN UNIVERSE PRESENTS HELLBLAZER #1, the story begins in a moment originally seen in Gaiman’s miniseries THE BOOKS OF MAGIC. John Constantine finds himself haggard, bloody, and dying in an epic magical war—a battle that will soon consume the world. As he lies there, the vision of a young Tim Hunter stands above him, the naive youth seeing firsthand what his destiny holds. Horrified, Hunter flees back into the past, and Constantine is left behind to die.
Now, years later, Constantine reemerges, physically un-aged but with all of his memories intact—and yet the world has passed him by. Constantine must now fathom a new world torn apart by the same old political and social woes, while attempting to discover how he returned after all this time. But most troubling of all are the rumors of a new young magician named Tim Hunter, a boy destined to be either the greatest sorcerer of all, or the greatest threat to the world. If history is repeating itself, then is it John’s role to die all over again? Or is John here to stop the cycle—and stop Tim Hunter?
This sounds like a great way to reboot a series, and since DC Comics has declared that continuity doesn’t matter, you can enjoy your John Constantine in the DCU proper and now again in the magical world of the Sandman Universe (don’t call it Vertigo-lite).
“HELLBLAZER’s the one title I’ve always aspired to write. Ever since John Constantine slunk from Alan Moore’s brain into SWAMP THING, dropping secrets like grenades, bewildering vegetables, and spinning mysteries, I’ve been drawn to his misadventures with eerie gravity,” says Spurrier. “John Constantine is the cynic’s magician: a man of selfish drives and cataclysmic self-knowledge, who tries to do the right thing in spite of himself, in spite of the cost, in spite of the vile and violent world he occupies. He may not be the hero we need, but he’s definitely the bastard we deserve.
“In this new era, everything is different. Everyone and everything he loved and knew is dead or despises him. Alone, angry, older, and wiser, he beholds a world that is clearly going insane. The shadows are deeper than ever. So he does what he does. He breathes smoke. He grins to himself. And he goes to work.”
And once The Sandman Universe Presents Hellblazer #1 concludes, be on the lookout for the November 27th release of John Constantine, Hellblazer, written by Spurrier with art by Aaron Campbell.
I sense somewhere Neil Gaiman is standing with his hands out saying, “Are you not satisfied!?”
Oh, wait… here’s the real quote from DC Comics.
“Year One was just the start. Now you get to inhabit the worlds, books, and houses we built for you,” says Gaiman. “I was thrilled when I was told that John Constantine—the original, demon-haunted one who first showed up in SWAMP THING’s “American Gothic” story—is coming back to his murky and dangerous roots. More magic and more darkness and not a few gods and dreams are here for you to explore.”
Exciting times for
Vertigo DC Black Label in the coming months.