Monday, October 27, 2014


I came late to the party. In fact, I started reading the Hellblazer series of comics long after the series ended after 300 issues, that’s almost 10 years, man, and long after seeing the Keanu Revees movie, Constantine, which I really admired.

I was sold out on Hellblazer. I loved the series. Most of it. Barring a few issues. And, I read all the 300 issues in a span of two months, every night. I was having John Constantine dreams, and I was loving it. I have read some of the issues more than several times since them. They are simply awesome.

So, I had to check out the new Constantine TV series currently playing in American television. I don’t want to express my disappointment at this moment, but the series is not a patch on the comic books. One thing is, despite being a visual medium, a graphic novel, like other written words, leaves a lot to imagination, and this is a must for an immersive reading experience.

This cannot happen in a movie medium. That’s one thing. But, if you completely transport Constantine from his English background, would he survive? I understand the need to do this. This is an American series and the audience needs an American locale. But this doesn’t gel well, despite Constantine’s showy British accent in the series. The magic and demons that Constantine encounters in the comic series are all spectacularly English. They cannot belong anywhere else. How would they bring out the story of Richard and Merlin, and God as the Shepherd, literally, and the brilliant Map, the self-appointed guardian of the city of London?

Then I had another problem. The stories, mostly stand-alone, featured in the first few episodes were not really related to the comic books. They were something else. And, why this is the Angel hovering around Constantine? And why is Chaz white and so meek?

Then finally, we got the first story of the comic books in episode 4, the story of the Hunger Demon, which incidentally occurred in the US, even in the comic book, and marked the first appearance of Papa Midnite. This was a two-part story in the comic book. It all ends in one single episode.

And what bothered me most was how they made Constantine the archetype hero, with rough edges and a heart of gold. Constantine in the comic books is much more complex. He is a good guy and an a-hole at the same time. In the TV series he appears much more simplistic.

I have problems with the TV Constantine.

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