“…all trenchcoat and cigarette and arrogance…”
I was realizing this morning that It’s been something like 13 months since the Constantine trailer first leaked online and almost 6 months since the series finale dropped.
Airing just 13 episodes, from October 24 to February 13, Constantine, starring Matt Ryan as the quintessential occult detective, was pretty much what I’d hoped it would be.
It had tremendous potential, but the network ultimately made the call to cut it loose, and, despite a rabid #SaveConstantine campaign, John Constantine exited stage left.
Constantine’s troubles didn’t stop there either, if you can believe that. What I thought was a renaissance for the character has become more akin to character assassination.
His long running Vertigo series, Hellblazer, was cancelled after 300 issues in favor of a more DC Universe friendly version and a starring turn in Justice League Dark. Neither of these would ultimately last very long.
Constantine itself would tally just 23 issues, while Justice League Dark managed 40 before DC closed the door. John Constantine has returned to comics in Constantine: The Hellblazer, but let’s be honest, it’s serviceable at best.
I am in the occult detective business, both real and imagined. I really wanted Constantine to work out because we need a quality ghostbreaker on the small screen (sorry Grimm, you don’t cut it) and I had hopes he would transition to the big screen as well.
Matt Ryan played the character superbly and he recently addressed Stephen Amell and Marc Guggenheim’s interest in seeing Constantine appear on Arrow:
“I’ve heard the rumors and I think it would be really exciting. I think it would be cool to see how they wrote those two characters interacting with each other, you know?…I love the way he (John Constantine) reacts in the comics, in the DC Universe with all those other characters. It’ll just be a little bit of fun, to see how he would react to The Flash, the Arrow…I told them before I left that I’ll be up for reprising the role, if down the line if they would ever want me to do that.”
Well, that’s a start. Season 4 of Arrow has been said to have a “magic and mysticism” theme. Having Constantine and other DC Universe characters such as Zatanna, Deadman, and Dr. Fate, would go a long way toward appeasing me somewhat.
Ultimately, the genre needs a shot in the arm. Something fresh. Something exciting. There is a dearth of seriously good occult detectives out there, in any medium. There’s too much carbon-copy urban fantasy dreck cluttering things up.
There are writers out there pulling it off, like Brian Keene, William Meikle, and Joshua Reynolds to name a few, and Mike Mignola’s keeping the torch lit in comics. But we need something on the idiot box and up on the big screen.
I thought John Constantine to be the perfect fit for TV and the movies. Maybe a successful run on the CW as a guest star will convince the powers that be to give him another go. And maybe DC will pull their heads out of their arse and give him a proper comic run again.
Or maybe John’s working a long con and has more important things to do.