The final issue of Hellblazer is bring written by the current creative team of writer Peter Milligan with artwork by Giuseppe Camuncoli and Stefano Landin. DC promises that this issue will bring a rather bloody conclusion to the character who, like other Vertigo characters, occasionally teased appearances within the mainstream DCU but was not considered part of DCU proper. There was a lot of crossover with the Vertigo Swamp Thing title in the past (that I can remember – I own much of the Alan Moore run) and that title was the closest to stand on both sides of the DCU and Vertigo fence. But this announcement has made the formal introduction for John Constantine to take his place among the current New 52 DCU.
The new title will be written by Robert Venditti, who is new to DC but is also taking on the responsibility of writing Demon Knights after Paul Cornell takes his leave. Venditti has comics experience, writing the science ficiton graphic novel series The Surrogates as well as a stint on Valiant doing X-O Manowar, so DC giving him the reigns to 2 series (which are both mystical in nature) makes some sense. Artwork for the series will be created by Renato Guedes (Superman, Secret Avengers). The book is slated to be released in March 2013, meaning it will be published shortly after the previously announced Justice League of America month of titles in February.
So what does this mean for DC’s chain-smoking demon fighter?
Well let’s speculate:
- He’s going to be more connected to the mainstream DCU (as he is now)
- DC appears to be broaching more of the mystic titles, with those books lasting much longer than their combat-based counterparts
- With Venditti writing both Constantine and Demon Knights, could there be some sort of crossover there somewhere? We see some shared characters between then and now, and a confrontation between Constantine and Etrigan in the current DCU would be great
But perhaps there is something more structured at work here… With Constantine now part of the mainstream DCU and a member of a Justice League team, and with a Constantine movie previously launched, it’s possible DC and Warner Brothers could be seriously considering Guillermo Del Toro’s wish to create a mystical movie with DC characters… (This is all pure speculation, and call me a conspiracy nut but I am seeing connections…)