Is Constantine Marvel or DC? John Constantine is a fictional character who appears in American comic books published by DC Comics. Constantine first appeared in Swamp Thing #37 (June 1985), and was created by Alan Moore, Steve Bissette, and John Totleben.
The titular Hellblazer, Constantine is a working-class warlock, occult detective, and con man from Liverpool who is stationed in London. He is known for his endless cynicism, deadpan wit, ruthless cunning, and constant chain smoking, but he is also a passionate humanitarian driven by a heartfelt desire to do some good in his life. Originally a supporting character who played a pivotal role in the “American Gothic” Swamp Thing storyline, Constantine received his own comic in 1988. The musician Sting was a visual inspiration for the character.
The Hellblazer series was the longest-running and most successful title of DC’s Vertigo imprint. Empire ranked Constantine third in their 50 Greatest Comic Characters of All Time, while IGN ranked him number 29 in its Top 100 Comic Book Heroes, and the character ranked number 10 in Wizard’s Top 200 Comic Book Characters of All Time.
Is Constantine Marvel or DC?
John Constantine has earned a reputation as one of DC’s premiere sorcerers, a hard-luck mage who relies on his wits as much as he does magic. Yet, in the Marvel Universe, there exists a female version of Constantine that does the one thing he never would: works for the cops. Readers meet this unique Constantine pastiche in the first issue of 1996’s Pryde and Wisdom mini-series, by writer Warren Ellis (who would go on to write the real Constantine a year later) and artists Terry Dodson and Karl Story.
Companies creating pastiches of another company’s character is nothing new – the Squadron Supreme of America began life as a riff on the Justice League, and DC got their own back with their Avengers-alike Retaliator team – but Ellis and his collaborators take this to the next level with a gender-flipped John Constantine who pokes fun at the true Hellblazer’s trademark features.
Pete Wisdom and Kitty Pryde are searching for a mutant serial killer who has the ability to fossilize his victims. Sensing a deeper, occult connection, the two seek out the mysterious F.66, a paranormal police agency operating in Great Britain. Kitty and Pete Wisdom are introduced to the various operatives of F.66 including one Constance Johanssen, a blond-haired, trench-coat-wearing chain smoker described as an “occult detective.”
Readers learn that people close to Constance tend to die horrible deaths, and so far the count is at 200. During a briefing, Constance reminds everyone of this, saying “all my friends are dead and they bloody haunt me.” She prepares to go off on a dramatic soliloquy before being cut off and called back to task.
Marvel’s Parody of John Constantine Would Make the Original Sick
Pastiches can sometimes be played for laughs, and it is clear that is the case with Constance Johannssen. The name is an obvious riff on Constantine’s, and her acerbic personality, trench coats, blond hair and cigarettes match Constantine’s appearance and quirks perfectly. But what is truly hilarious about Constance is she works in law enforcement, even if it is an occult unit.
The real John Constantine’s personality and behavior would never let him become law enforcement, or even a government employee, so seeing it in his Marvel counterpart adds a humorous layer. Writer Warren Ellis would go on to a brief, but memorable, run with the Hellblazer a year later, so it is interesting to see John Constantine was already very much in Ellis’ mind at the time.
Constance Johanssen, and other pastiches like her, are ways for writers and artists to do new and creative things with a character they may not be able to do otherwise; Ellis created a female version of John Constantine with all John’s cliches turned up to eleven, but what is truly mind-blowing is this version has embraced law and order – something the real Hellblazer would balk at.
While John Constantine has brushed up against the establishment a few times just long enough to scam it, the idea of him embracing a full-time job, let alone one working for the “rozzers,” is the major difference that means as fun as Marvel’s version is, she can’t hold a candle to DC’s perennial conman and rogue.
Constantine sequel with Keanu Reeves still Hellblazing ahead amid new DC slate
Remember that sequel to 2005’s Constantine starring Keanu Reeves? How could you not? The Hollywood A-lister has been working for years to make it happen. Well, rest assured that, even in the face of a lot of reshuffling of the DC superhero slate, the film is still happening.
A spokesperson for Warner Bros. confirmed to EW that Constantine 2 is not scrapped. Internet chatter going around social media suggested it had been.
Reeves will be reprising his role of John Constantine, the magic-wielding occult expert made popular by Alan Moore and Stephen R. Bissette’s Hellblazer comics. The studio announced last year that Reeves would be back for another go with filmmaker Francis Lawrence, who directed the first movie adaptation.
Last week, James Gunn and Peter Safran, the heads of DC Studios, announced details on the first phase of their plans for DC’s pantheon of superheroes on screen. Constantine 2 had not been mentioned at the time.
Titles like Shazam! Fury of the Gods, The Flash, and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom are still coming to theaters, but they will be followed by what Gunn and Safran call Chapter 1: Gods and Monsters.
This phase will start with an animated Creature Commandos and continue on through a number of movies, including a Superman prequel and a Batman-based The Brave and the Bold. Other TV shows in the works include a Game of Thrones-esque Wonder Woman drama and the Viola Davis-fronted Waller, a Peacemaker spinoff.
It’s unclear where Constantine 2 will land in these plans. It’s worth noting that Gunn stated there are more projects that will be announced for Chapter 1. It should also be said that Constantine exists in the same dark fantasy-based sect of the DC Universe as Swamp Thing, who is confirmed for his own origin movie.
Anything that falls outside of that main DCU line-up, including the upcoming The Batman — Part II, will exist as standalone stories under the “Elseworlds” umbrella.
For now, you can rest easy that Reeves is still going to be raising Hell, no matter where he falls.
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