Once again, NBC has continued to ramp up my interest in what I was certain would be an outright shitshow. The look of everything is still brilliant and Constantine’s dialogue is snarky and well-delivered, however, they open up a can of worms here, with a potential cameo that, while spot on thematically, veers the series firmly in the direction of the DC New 52 Constantine series, rather than the original Vertigo Hellblazer . The newer version of John Constantine exists firmly as a member of the DC Universe proper, adding him as a member of the newly formed Justice League Dark, which handles the more supernatural threats to the world, in contrast to the Justice League you know, which counts Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman (who we all know are rubbish against ghosties and demons) amongst its members.
In the new trailer, for a brief couple seconds, we can clearly see someone admiring Dr. Fate’s iconic helmet. Dr. Fate is an extremely powerful individual whose powers are derived from a collection of magical items, the centerpiece of which is the helmet seen in this clip. This gives me pause because, aside from a few other Vertigo title appearances (Swamp Thing, The Sandman, Books of Magic, etc.), Hellblazer was always its own beast. It was never diluted with tights running around sillying things up, and it never gave you the impression that it lived in the same world as those things (until more recently, with certain DC crossover events), and that allowed John Constantine’s world to have a more visceral, grungy, scary feel. There were no Supermen to save it, just a severely flawed, but terribly clever con-man.
Thusly, this gives me a renewed bout of hesitation about the whole affair. I am not wholly surprised that DC would take this angle, as they try to copy Marvel’s crossover media dominance plan, but I am fairly skeptical of them doing it with my favorite character. At least I am satisfied that the crossover character is sufficiently magical in nature. Fingers crossed they don’t take the cameos too far.