It’s time for DC Comics to bring back Constantine’s Hellblazer with a twist

Hellblazer was Vertigo Comics‘ longest running series, and John Constantine’s story is of urgent relevance to today’s times.

Two of the most iconic elements of DC Comics are legacy and horror, which also happen to be the main ingredients of John Constantine Hellblazer series. Hellblazer was Vertigo Comics ‘longest-running series, spanning 300 issues until the series’ conclusion in 2013. Following the heart-wrenching adventures of John Constantine, a crook, wizard, and occult sleuth, Hellblazer mixture of gritty realism and fantasy during the twenty-five year history of the publication. With Vertigo now gone and replaced by DC’s prestige Black Label format, there’s a creative void in DC’s lineup that a Hellblazer waking up could easily remedy this.


While Constantine is currently part of DC’s Infinite border era, as a member of the Justice League Dark, he deserves his original series brought back in one of DC’s other imprints. With their Black Label imprint, DC has managed to create stories unrelated to the current continuity, giving creators carte blanche to reimagine DC’s most iconic characters in new contexts. In addition, DC also created the DC Horror imprint for the purpose of merging the existing properties of Warner Bros. as Conspiracy in comics, while providing a space dedicated to original horror stories. By bringing back Hellblazer, DC would have the chance to kill two birds with one stone, because Hellblazer falls within both Black Label’s mature reach and its emerging DC Horror imprint.

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Which makes Hellblazer such an iconic series is that, at its best, it balances political commentary, horror stories, and character studies of ordinary people on the fringes of British society. By combining all these elements, Hellblazer sought to elicit a larger truth about modern British life, a truth too gruesome to recognize at first glance. Coupled with the fact that it has brought together some of the best emerging comics talent, including Jamie Delano, Dave McKean, Steve Dillon, Grant Morrison, Neil Gaiman, Peter Milligan, and Garth Ennis, Hellblazer has been a creatively expansive series since its inception. With these three elements in play, Hellblazer was ahead of its time more than thirty years ago, and its perspective has never been more necessary.

John Constantine with a knife to the side of his face on the cover of Hellblazer Royal Blood

Despite what some may think, comics have always been political, and Hellblazer never tried to hide this fact. Constantine himself is an openly bisexual working class man from Liverpool, known for his hatred of the politics of Margaret Thatcher and the royal family. Early Hellblazer the comics depict Constantine’s clashes with xenophobic racists, a fact that seems too relevant today in the Brexit era. With UK politics in a current state of turmoil it is safe to say that Hellblazer would continue to provide an insightful look at the ills of society.

Moreover, the whole philosophy behind the character of John Constantine is truth, a value that speaks closely to the present day. It uses magic as a means to reveal the darker parts of society, keeping the fantastical elements of its story rooted in the present day. Despite being a con artist, Constantine’s refreshing and honest experience of real life makes him an unsung hero of the DC Universe. John Constantine has never felt more necessary in a world where the notion of objective truth has become a political weapon, and by bringing Hellblazer, DC Comics is fortunate enough to shine a light on one of its most important sentinels.

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