Despite his appearance in a cross-over episode of Arrow, the character of John Constantine has always felt an awkward fit with the rest of the DC Comics television universe. Rather than being part of the usual milieu of masked superheroes with fantastic powers, or cartoonish metahumans or angst-ridden dark vigilantes, Constantine exists in an out-and-out supernatural universe of magic, demons and angels.
Originally co-created by Alan Moore, Constantine first appeared in The Saga of the Swamp Thing in the mid-1980s and was subsequently granted his own long-running comic book Hellblazer a few years later. A firm favourite with graphic novel fans for three decades now, the first attempt to make a live action version came in 2005 with a movie starring Keanu Reeves. Unfortunately that strayed too far away from the source material to satisfy fans, such as not honouring Constantine’s famously British (and blond) roots – although having heard Reeves’ attempt at an English accent in Bram Stoker’s Dracula I think we should call that a lucky escape.
This short-lived TV series produced in 2014-15 was much more respectful to the comics than the movie, and consequently rather better received. Even so, it only lasted 13 episodes on NBC before being cancelled; in the UK it’s been exclusive to the Amazon Prime streaming service, which is where I happened upon in this month. Read the rest of this entry »