Thursday, August 14, 2014

Constantine #17 Review and *SPOILERS*

Written By: Ray Fawkes
Art By: Edgar Salazar, Jay Leisten
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: August 13, 2014

Somewhere In Time

Constantine Always Has The Coolest Covers
Right off the bat I want to say that I love the fact that this issue is called Bits and Pieces and whether it's true or not, I'm saying Ray Fawkes is giving me a nod here.  Yeah I'm pretty vain, but let's get to why you're all here.  Last time in Constantine, our pseudo hero went to an old mage to see if he could undo the spell Zatanna placed on him to try and get him to be a better man.  I can understand completely why he'd want that nonsense out because being a better man sounds exhausting.  Before the spell could be concluded, we saw that elsewhere Tannarak and Sargon use the kill switch spell that Papa Midnite sold them in what seemed to be a betrayal against Constantine, because he's been spouting about a grand plan to take down the Cold Flame and in the end we saw our brash Brit go to pieces as the spell unmade him.  We've seen Constantine overcome death before, let's see how he plans on doing it this time.  Let's check it out.

Explain It!:

While I love Constantine and his series, I have to tell you that magic is hard as hell to Explain It!, but I'll do my best here as I try to convey this month's issue.  So as I said Tannarak and Sargon activated the kill switch spell during the spell to undo Zatanna's spell.......... SPELL!  So this had the affect of pretty much unmaking Constantine.  

So Constantine seems to be dead and he's flowing throughout himself and we find out that Papa Midnite didn't really sell out Constantine.  Yeah he sold the Cold Flame a kill switch spell, but it was laced with another spell to remake Constantine and transport him to two weeks into the future.  But with magic things are bound to go wrong and Constantine is remade right in the middle of the bombardment of Dar Es Salaam during World War 1, now for you learn-ed people or history buffs out there this might mean something to you, but me I'm ignorant to things that deal with the real world, so I'm glad Ray Fawkes spelled it out for me.  
Okay so dig this, during Constantine's foray into the past he lays down the big plan that he's been setting up to take down the Cold Flame and how it was supposed to go.  First off he was supposed to be transported to two weeks from when the Cold Flame thought they killed him.  At that moment another Cold Flame double agent Julia would report in and unleash Spellbinder, who was concealed in her unconscious and he would break the restraints of the Cold Flame oath that keeps fellow members from killing each other.  Following so far?  Julia would then take on Sargon, who was implanted with a subliminal spell by Constantine when they were having sexy time, that would make any killing spell she tried backfire on her.  Meanwhile Spellbinder would trap Tannarak with his head games and that's when Constantine's supposed to walk out of the shadows and finish the job.  But since he's in 1914, it looks like the plan is shot in the ass.

So Constantine has to figure out how to get back to his own time while dealing with German soldiers shooting at him and British soldiers bombing the coast.  Eventually Constantine sees a place that's familiar and finds himself in the company of Doctor Occult, who's pissed that he was interrupted in performing his peace ritual that would prevent mankind from ever having a war like that again.  Constantine tries to tell him how he knows him and why the spell didn't work and ultimately Doctor Occult does what Constantine wants him to do, by casting him away to wherever he was from.  But the way the spell would work is that Constantine would end up where he was born, so he reshapes the spell even though it could possibly destroy him, so that he can make it in time to enact his plan.  As Constantine's being transported he see's the underpinnings of the universe, which apparently everyone sees differently but for him it's always been chains holding the universe together.  Well if you thought things couldn't get any worse, Constantine loses the Moon Blade holding the soul of Mister E and he sees the vision that plagued him in an issue before about the chains of reality breaking, but this time it seems to be happening because of what he's done.  Fucking magic!  

In the end we see that Constantine's plans didn't work out because Sargon and Tannarak made short work of Julia and Spellbinder.  Also they feel what they call a violation of the universe and they have an idea who's responsible.  So where did Constantine go since he didn't make his fight to the death appointment?  Well it's the best way to get to the land of Five Years From Now that I've seen so far.  So next month in Futures End Constantine, we'll see our pseudo hero facing off against Parademons in the future.  But I could just be optimistic and this has nothing to do with the other.  I guess we'll find out next month, see you then.

Bits and Pieces:

While this series continues to be overly magically complicated, I can't help but love it as I try to unravel it's confusing spell casting jargon.  This issue we finally get some clarity about what Constantine has been planning against the Cold Flame and it's really fulfilling to see all the issues lead up to this one grand plan.  I really don't know how Ray Fawkes writes this book with so many magical levels and and keep it all straight in his head, but however he does it I commend him on a job well done, because even a dummy like me can get the magical gist to his grand design.  

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