Advanced Review: Justice League Dark #0
Let me put the record straight, this is not Hellblazer, this is the John Constantine of the DCnU. In many ways it is close, but not so far as to say they are the same character. They share the same name and the same innate ability to be a deadly bastard when push comes to shove, but that is where the similarities generally end. And when it comes down to the bottom line, at least as of late, Jeff Lemire's John Constantine wins -- hands down!
An origin story, at least for the hows and whys of the trench coat, Justice League Dark #0 does a fine job of familiarizing the audience of the key players of the book and their roles in forthcoming storylines. It is a glimpse of Constantine's "coming of age" trek to America, where he can build upon his magical skill set. It is also the first meeting of Constantine and Zatanna, a meeting that sets in motion everything we know about Justice League Dark thus far.
The name Jeff Lemire is synonymous with great stories, and this one is no different. He incorporates miniscule nuggets of knowledge from character back stories, thus enhancing his vision of the character as well as placating to the inner "fanboy" in all of us (thanks for the Mucus Membrane T-shirt nod by the way!). But it his depth of character he creates that separates him from most writers today. He reaches into a character, pulling them apart to see how they function, and evolves them past their current incarnations. He makes them richer, more complex and, in the case of John Constantine -- darker! It is this evolution of the Constantine character in a 32 page format, that makes this book so perfect.
Fans of the Hellblazer series should be excited to have their favorite character mucking up the DCnU, and doing justice to the original incarnation as well. Fans of comics in general, will be ecstatic to finally get the New 52 origin of one of the most beguiling characters ever created -- John Constantine!