Please, if you haven’t read Brightest Day ##24 yet, and have any interest in doing so, just stop reading now.
You all thought Grant Morrison’s superhero John Constantine was just a ridiculous, overblown, bit of fun courtesy of a Danny The Street dream in issue 53 of The Doom Patrol (art by Ken Steacy).
But maybe, just maybe, Morrison had been hitting the magic fungal medicine again and had a vision of the future, circa 2012, after John Constantine had been successfully reintroduced into the DC Universe proper?
By now John Constantine has made his return to the DC Universe in Brightest Day #24.
Now according to writer Peter Milligan, JC will live a double life – his old fag smoking, heavy drinking, swearing and grisly one at Vertigo will continue as the new DC Universe version begins. (story at Bleeding Cool). And Dan DiDio seems to confirm (Newsarama interview) that the DC Universe version will be a younger version of the character. He certainly looks like the Constantine that last appeared in the DC Universe in Alan Moore’s classic run on Swamp Thing:
(Yes John, just what I thought as well)
Okay, so this new John Constantine still has the fag and still gets to swear (although am I right in thinking that bollocks and it’s derivative bollix doesn’t have the same impact in the US?). But, and call me overly cynical if you want, I just can’t see this working out.
Milligan/DiDio seem to think we’re mature enough to cope with two versions of the same character. And of course we are, but I can’t see DC management being able to live with two versions, not in the long run. Which is a shame, since John Constantine, whilst never being a stellar seller, is as iconic a Vertigo title as Superman is a DC Universe character.
It may take a while, but eventually I can only see one version remaining. And heaven help us, eventually, with the “right” writers or artists coming up with a few “Hellblazer for our times” type of revamps, we may well get something looking a lot like this:
And I guess Constantine sums up my feelings towards the move in this image by Will Simpson, something you wont be seeing in the DC Universe anytime soon I imagine:
(Thanks to A Moment Of Morrison Tumblr for putting the thought in my head.)