If you're a fan of John Constantine's activities, then surely this year turned out to be one with mixed feelings to be polite. In August, we saw John's solo title, The Hellblazer, mercifully come to its bitter end. Personally, I felt that so much of it felt out of place. The more I read of that series, the John that was being presented to me did not seem like the antihero of old. Now before you dog pile me in the comment section, I mean that the stories came across as being just thrown together. However, I did feel as if Tim Seeley did a commendable job, given the tools and parameters he had to work with at that time.
We saw Matt Ryan resume his role as John Constantine as a season regular in the CW abomination of DC's Legends of Tomorrow. That show is so cringe-worthy that I find myself fearing for the worst for the future of our occult detective. If I thought he was homogenized before during the New 52 in Constantine and Justice League Dark, it appears that more of that seems to be the status quo for John in these other mediums. At this point, I can only hope that Matt Ryan will wrap up with that show in season four. While there are rumors abound that Matt Ryan as Constantine may return to his own show resuming with season 2 on the DC Universe app, nothing has been confirmed at this time by DC Entertainment. It would be great though if John were to show up in one of the episodes of Swamp Thing in 2019.
There were some things though that seemed to shed a darker light of promise on the Hellblazer returning to his classic Vertigo roots this year. With the 30th Anniversary release of the Hellblazer trade paperback put out by the Vertigo imprint, one can only hope that DC is trying to gauge the fan base as to where the character should go from here. With John featured prominently in the Black Label miniseries, Batman: Damned, hopefully we will get a return in the future of a more mature direction. It seems like we are starting to get a little of that with this year's Constantine: City of Demons.
Whatever DC decides to do with John in 2019, the appeal of John is that he does not work well with other protagonists. In fact, the number of good acquaintances can be counted on one red right hand, but even that number is dwindling as the years go on. I don't fancy John as a superhero. He's always been the counter culture to the superhero culture and it seems as if somebody at DC has forgotten about that, or perhaps they are just choosing to ignore it entirely.
Here's hoping for a better 2019, Hellblazers!