(Received from Netgalley for review.)
This is DC’s second try at making Constantine a part of the mainstream DCU, and it’s far and away more successful than the first attempt. Yes, it’s still a PG-13 version of the character, but he doesn’t feel particularly censored. Truth be told, by making Constantine’s bisexuality a matter of fact part of his character instead of something that’s occasionally alluded to but mostly ignored, he might be, on balance, less censored than ever. He’s still a bastard, though, because would we even recognize a Constantine who wasn’t?
The story, too, is way better. It actually feels like a proper Constantine story, instead of a box he was stuffed into because the writer wasn’t sure how to deal with him. As it turns out, you can write a Hellblazer story that’s rated PG-13 without taking out much of what is essentially him. Is it missing some bite? Oh, sure, and die-hard fans of Ennis’s take on the character, for example, will likely be less than thrilled. But I’m no Ennis die-hard. And if nothing else, the character of Georgiana Snow, the anti-Constantine, is a gift.
The art, though is… Well, it’s art, and it isn’t terrible, but neither is it terribly good. I got used to it, but I never liked it. On the other hand, it definitely gives the book a distinctive look, and that’s not the worst thing in the world.