There comes a time in everyone’s life where they pick up a book, comic, movie…whatever, and have no idea what is going on. That time came for me this week when I reviewed Constantine…is it good?
Constantine #13 (DC Comics)
So what’s it about? The official DC synopsis reads:
John Constantine has been to Hell so many times it feels like home—and he knows that it’s no place to leave two scared little girls trapped. He’s got one shot to save Oliver’s kids, but he’ll have to fight Faerie, Blythe, Papa Midnite and a host of even worse things while he tries to fix this latest mistake.
Why does this book matter?
It’s the big climax! Also, Batman writer James Tynion IV is cowriting with Ming Doyle who is behind lots and lots of good comics. Plus it’s all about magic in New York City!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
The issue opens with a big seance, but an even bigger idea that Doyle and Tynion IV introduce quite well. I don’t want to spoil it, but it’s quite inventive and turns magic as you know it on its head like Neil Gaiman turned the idea of gods on its head with Sandman. Much like Sandman, gods (or what amount to gods) are making deals left and right in this issue and because of this Constantine’s clever mind is firing away, working to save the day. It’s hard to get an emotional heartbeat on a lot of it since I haven’t been following along, but it’s a tight conclusion that gets to the end quick.
The gang’s all here.
Eryk Donovan is the artist on this one and this subject suits him well. His work over at BOOM! Studios on Memetic and Cognetic proved he can do weird monsters, but also quite dialogue-heavy moments, and he continues to prove it here. Constantine in particular looks great and it’s easy to read his cocky attitude when necessary. There’s a fantastic double page spread involving the seance that makes Constantine look like a bonafide wizard that interconnects the people of New York in an interesting fashion.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Things fall into place almost too easily and much of the events in this issue are due to behind the scenes planning that we just don’t see. That makes this issue feel like the last parts of a caper film when all is revealed, but it’s hard to care since most of those dealings didn’t happen on the page. Of course I might have missed these moments having not read the last issues, but it does make the actual story here feel a bit flat. It doesn’t help that a certain character shrugs and walks off without checking to see if he was being duped!
Is It Good?
Constantine looks great with a very cool big idea to open the issue. Things wrap up adequately, but they fall into place too easily, making this a bit of a yawn of a read.