The Hellblazer is finally making his official television debut! And although a lot of viewers were introduced to John Constantine though the less than faithful film, this version of the character captures the spirit of the comic while giving unfamiliar viewers plenty to enjoy as well. And with over three hundred issues of the original Hellblazer along with the new comic, Constantine has plenty to pull from along with original stories to entertain with.
The pilot starts off a little confusing at first. John is in a mental hospital receiving “treatment” for an event that happened in his past. But once he realizes that he’s wasting his time and an old friend’s daughter is in danger, he checks out to protect her from a demon pursuing her. While the story was very simple and introduced a companion who will not be a part of the official show, the pilot set up big things for Constantine in the future. There are big things coming his way, and the angels need him more than they care to admit.
One of the things I like about the pilot is how John uses his wit to resolve his issue. He uses magic, but doesn’t rely on it as his main go to weapon. In other words, he feels less like some powerful sorcerer and more like a regular guy with a little bit of knowledge of the dark arts. Matt Ryan captures the character perfectly. The pain from Constantine’s past mistakes resonates in his performance. I can’t wait to see how he grows with the character over the season.
Overall, the pilot was pretty good. I feel the actual show will go in a different direction than its first episode, but it was a great introduction to the character. Recent news on the show have pointed to it having more of a comic book feel to it with more characters straight out of the book joining Constantine in the future. We’ll just have to wait and see which direction the series takes us. But not bad for a start. Not bad at all.