Thursday, January 15, 2015

Constantine #21 Review and *SPOILERS*

Written By: Ray Fawkes 
Art By: Jeremy Haun
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: January 14, 2015

The Doctor Is In

Last month in Constantine, we saw our brash Brit show up at the front door of his doppelganger's house and just like in real life if you happened to come across a double of yourself, the Earth 2 John, tries to kill the impostor.  After the two are broken up and our John is mistaken for a "Wonder", the house is broken into by the insane people on the streets and our main character (can't say hero) leads his dead friends and family's doubles onto the street until eventually coming across an empty lot where John tells them he can take them all to another more peaceful world.  After the sigils are drawn, John tells his new band that magic like this tends to drawl other magic users and that they shouldn't trust them........... Enter Doctor Fate.  So the good Doctor is in and I can't wait to get into this story and see what happens when the Con Man and the Master of Fate come face to face.  Let's check it out.

Explain It!:

Now I want to start by saying that I think this will be a short "Explain It!" but I've said that before and have been terribly wrong but really the entirety of this issue has Constantine standing in his sigils and runes and the real story takes place internally.  Since Constantine gave his band of doubles the insight that magic users who abruptly show up when casting shouldn't be trusted, the family and friends don't know what to make of Doctor Fate when he suddenly arrives asking about why Constantine hasn't started the spell yet.  You see, he recognizes the symbols and all the mumbo jumbo and knows that Constantine is attempting to open a door to anther world and even though Doctor Fate is trying to come off as a concerned hero making sure that they can go on their way safely, he wants in.

Like I said at the beginning, the majority of this story is all an internal struggle about what Constantine thinks he should do.  If you remember, John doesn't really have full control of magic here because of his double and their souls being split between them, so as long as there are two Johns, nobody is going anywhere.  It really sucks too because while John is trying to decide what he should do, a horde of Parademons fly by and see them.  So now everyone is screaming for John to activate the spell because they have monsters coming down at them and Doctor Fate realizes John's dilemma and tells him that if he puts on the Helm of Fate, they can rearrange his soul and trick the spell into working.  Only problem there is, John knows Fate's game and he's not about to let some magical entity take over him.

In the end, after John struggles with whether he should let his double just kill him to get the magic to work, he eventually gives into his selfish nature and tells Earth 2 John that he has to die for the spell to take everyone he loves to safety.  With what might seem odd to people but comes off completely justified to me, John kisses his double goodbye and slides a knife inside him.  The first stage of the spell works instantly, masking them from everything including Doctor Fate and we see that Fate might not be the good guy we thought he was because he's willing to simply let this planet fall and move his operation to another.  As we close out this issue the Earth 2 Maureen begins strangling John for killing his double and says some really disparaging things while doing so.  It looks like we're going to have to wait until next issue to see if the second stage of the spell actually brings everyone safely to Prime Earth but Constantine reminds us that magic has a cost and to get everyone to safety, they're going to have a lot more to pay.

That's it for this issue of Constantine and man am I really digging Ray Fawkes taking this title while it's in Earth 2 and making it all about the internal struggles of Constantine and I really hope that this angle continues when our pseudo hero finally makes it home.  This was just a beautifully written story that really showed how Constantine wishes he could be the hero figure but allows his selfish and greedy nature to call the shots in the end.  It's funny because this entire issue was Constantine standing in place while everyone around him yelled for him to hurry up and all I did was wish the opposite.  I really wanted him to take his time and think more about he pros and cons to what he eventually ended up doing because it was so well told, I think I could of read it all night.  So we've got a great story here and to put the cherry on top we had some really nice artwork from Jeremy Haun, even if he refuses to trim up John's sideburns.......(I'm not letting it go Jeremy).  I can't recommend this issue enough and I hope that the writing style continues when we look at next month's issue and see if Constantine found his way home or not.  See you then.

Bits and Pieces:

I really don't know what changed in Ray Fawkes' writing when it came time to take Constantine to Earth 2 but whatever it is I hope it continues for a long long time.  The issues have become more about the character and the terrible things he justifies to himself that he needs to do and less about actually going places and doing things and you know what?  It works like gangbusters.  Constantine just keeps getting better and better and everyone out there should be reading this title.............DO IT!



  1. There are some obvious parallels to Constantine's Earth 2 storyline and Hellblazer's Golden Boy. I have to say I preferred the Golden Boy story more, but that took place in 1990, and I think Ray Fawkes has written a story more suited to 2015. I believe what you are seeing that seems so right in these last few issues, is what kept Hellblazer going for 300 issues. Now if they would just show Constantine's humanitarian side (he had one in Hellblazer) I'd be over the moon.

  2. ...yeah no still weird seeing the self on self action >.>

    1. When Eric told me about that scene it made me laugh and cry all at once. It just sounded so wrong. We are talking about him getting in that Ice Cream Van as a kid, right?!?

    2. Hey! They said they knew my dad and it seemed legit. Plus I was a fat kid and it was an ice cream truck, they had me at "hello"