Tag Archives: shocktober

New Comic Book TV Part V: Constantine

Constantine TV Logo

Constantine marks the last of the new Comic Book inspired TV shows to come out this year. You may have noticed I haven’t made a post on The Walking Dead yet. I will, it’s just I’m way behind on the series (currently only half way through season 3) so I’d like to catch up a little more before I write about it. However that reality is looking less and less likely so I’ll probably just go into it not knowing how the last season and half turned out. But we aren’t here to talk Walking Dead, we are here for Constantine.

Most of the new TV season came out during September with Constantine the only straggler premiering in late October. I think this was probably to coincide with the spookiness of Shocktober but also probably to get it a little breathing room from all the other shows coming out this year. Constantine is the only comic book related show on NBC and honestly the way they have premiered it late and have it showing on Friday nights (the night that TV shows go to die) shows the lack of confidence they have in it. I’ll never understand putting all the money and effort to get a show produced and then actively trying to harm it once it’s released but whatever…

Ravenscar Asylum

The show starts off with Constantine in the famous Ravenscar insane asylum. We get the impression that he has committed himself here during the aftermath of something that occurred in Newcastle. While in the asylum he performs an exorcism on demon which gives him a warning and leads him to Liv Aberdine. Liv is the daughter of Constantine’s mentor who is unaware of the entire supernatural world which Constantine introduces her to. They come across the demon Furcifer which after a fairly impressive CGI battle Constantine sends back to hell. Some things are revealed and due to a little intervening by Constantine Liv decides not to get into the exorcism business but leaves John with a map speckled with locations where supernatural events will soon occur.

Hellblazer 11

Overall this was a great first episode. We get an already battle worn John Constantine who we get the impression has been in the exorcism business for a while. We get the impression that the business has taken a toll on him and that mistakes have been made along the way. The early introduction of Newcastle is a nice little easter egg of the Newcastle Incident that appears in Hellblazer Issues 11 and 12. At first it’s mostly smoke and mirrors that something bad happened there but we get a better explanation of what went down during the end of the episode. We also meet Hellblazer regular Chas Chandler who you may remember from the 2005 movie played by Shia LaBeouf pre-I’m-not-famous stage.

Chas Constantine

While it comes together pretty well there has been some weird behind the scenes decisions which effected the episode. The character of Liv was meant to be the co-star of the show and work with Constantine though the series. Something happened behind the scenes and she was written out of the show which makes for her awkward introduction and quick disposal as a character. They do this as organically as possible but its pretty clear they had long term plans for her in the series and last minute decided to ditch her. I don’t know how this will effect things going forward but it seems like a bad choice to make. For a TV show the CGI did look pretty impressive which is good because with all the supernatural elements the series needs bad CGI will slowly make the show grating and hard to watch.

Things I Liked

Constantine Vol 1 Issue 1 Variant

Overall I did like the show. I think they had a good atmosphere and theme and did a good job of capturing the essence of John Constantine. John Constantine isn’t a great guy, he’s selfish and while he’s doing good work he’s generally doing it for selfish reasons. The show did a pretty good job of getting this across. I think it is undercut a bit introducing the Newcastle incident so early in the series. This was a real mess up for John and deeply affects him throughout the entire comic book series. It was good to see this was in the show but it would have been good to have more perspective about it. Constantine does dickish and selfish acts like what he did at Newcastle all the time generally feeling little to no remorse. The way they are portraying him I believe this will come out more as the show progresses and I think the over compassionate side of was just due to them only being able to show so much in a single episode.

Things I Didn’t Like

No Smoking symbol

I know. This has been discussed ad-nasium. From the moment they announced the show the first question was “Will Constantine smoke?” and for some its literally all they seem to care about. It’s a stupid thing to get to hung up on but it really is a big part of who he is. The “Dangerous Habits” arc about John getting lung cancer (which the 2005 movie was loosely based on) is one of, if not the most popular arc in the series. Would Don Draper be as iconic and intimidating if he didn’t smoke? Probably, but smoking is a part of who he is and has effected major story lines in Mad Men. NBC can’t show Constantine actually smoking. I believe their hands are tied in this matter and apparently network TV cannot show people smoking. I think they do a decent compromise with basically showing everything but him actually smoking. They make an obvious effort to show Constantine with his lighter at every possible moment and during the last scene of the show he’s shown putting out a cigarette he was clearly just smoking. We are probably just going to get more of this which is fine, it’s just dumb and annoying that NBC’s hands are clearly tied in this matter and these are the hoops they have to jump through.

jerry final thought

Overall I am really looking forward to this show. It looks like it’s going to be like a police procedural with John fighting new and interesting demons each week. Basically we are getting a new version of the X-Files and I am completely on board for that. There is a lot of backlash about how Constantine has been watered down since his reintroduction into the new 52. I really just don’t see this as the case. Is the new 52 version of Constantine different than the Hellblazer version? Sure. But at the heart I think it’s the same character and if there weren’t some changes or growth in the series it’d be stagnate and boring.

Shock-tober! Sabrina and Wytches

Shock-tober Continues!

In honor of shock-tober, the spookiest of months, we are going to talk about two brand new horror comics.  Horror isn’t really my thing.  I’ll see a scary movie from time to time but its really not my go to genre in film, books, comics, or TV.  So I didn’t really plan on picking up any horror books in this holiest of the horror months but two books happen to come out the same day that I couldn’t resist picking up.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #1

Sabrina issue 1

So this is not something I was planning on picking up.  I had slightly heard that they were doing a adult / teen oriented version of Sabrina the Teenage Witch but I had largely forgotten about it.  It was only recently that I even realized that Sabrina was actually part of the Archie universe.  I like to think I know some stuff about comic books but Archie is an entire corner of that world that I am blissfully unaware of.  I see it on occasion at the grocery store and it looks like the typical “American (fever) Dream” of the Leave it to Beaver 50’s.  I’ve seen these books from as far back as I can remember and have pretty much all ways looked the same back since I was a little kid and I assume that they even look pretty much the same as they did in the 50’s.  Now I do read about comic book news so I am aware enough to know that things have changed in Riverdale with the times.  There was the introduction of a gay character which lead to a gay wedding and there has even been a death of Archie issue recently.  I also remember recently the buzz around the release of Afterlife with Archie that centered around the cast of Archie being killed by zombies.

After life with Archie

I managed to get the first issue for free in some deal on Comixology and it was actually a lot better than I expected.  I don’t honestly know what I even expected but I do know it was better than that.  The series was a (I’m going to say surprise) hit which I assume lead to the release of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.

Sabrina Promo

When I think of Sabrina the Teenage Witch what comes to my mind is two things, Melissa Joan Heart and a terrible looking animatronic cat.  It wasn’t until I read After Life with Archie and found Sabrina using Necronomicon.

Sabrina Necronomicon

With this new badass Sabrina in mind, when saw a Sabrina horror comic on the shelves I decided what the hell and picked it up.  The first thing about this book is the art is really great.  It has a shaded water color style sort of like what American Vampire’s Rafael Alburquerque or Lil Gotham’s Dustin Nguyen does.

Sabrina Interioir

Story wise I was also pretty impressed with this book.  We get a sense of things to come but largely this is a origin story tale of Sabrina and it manages to break down from her birth to teenage witch years without it getting too annoying.  I again don’t know much about Sabrina but at least from the TV show I know she lives with her aunts and they manage to explain that into this story.  It also stays in the 50’s and 60’s as far as time goes which could be hookey but works well in this book.  She still has her talking cat Salem and we meet her Cousin Ambrose.  The story is mostly set up but it ends with a creepy naked woman in the woods which looks like its the first clue to the main story.  Overall I liked the book a lot more than I thought I would.  It seemed like this is a cash grab for the new audience they found in Afterlife With Archie but they don’t phone this in, the art and story are great and I’ll probably add this to my pull list.  There is also a small introductory back up story that introduces Sabrina and some concept art which were nice.  This is my first Archie comics book I’ve bought but like Image Comics there are no ads.  The book also comes in at 43 pages which for a 3.99 book actually makes the 3.99 price a lot more bearable.

Wytches #1


I’ve had this book on my pre-order list for a while now and have been pretty eagerly anticipating it.  This book is written by Scott Snyder and has artwork done by Jock.  Scott Snyder if you don’t all ready know is the Golden Goose of DC Comics right now.  He (with Greg Capullo on art) has been writing the flagship Batman title since the launch of the New 52 and has absolutely been killing it.  He also created American Vampire and has been writing Superman Unchained, The Wake, and Swamp Thing as well.  So far every thing I’ve read from him has been fantastic so any new book he has out I am going to give a try.  This book is mostly set up from what I can tell.  We don’t get a ton of information, its mostly groundwork which you expect from an issue one.  There is a pretty messed up scene right in the opening pages which give you an idea of the messed up places we are going to go in this book.

Wytches interior

The art is by Jock and is really fantastic.  It also is this watercolors style that becomes more and less exaggerated based on the tone.  It started off in a frantic scene so the colors bleed a lot into each other but then when it goes into the exposition section its more subtle and the art is clearer.  We are introduced to our main character who is a young witch and during a extreme situation with a bully seems to unlock some of her powers.  She doesn’t understand what happened and her father is keeping quiet but he clearly knows whats going on.  The book ends with some creepy stuff going on and a cliffhanger ending.  I don’t really know whats going on but am pretty excited to see where it goes.


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