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Constantine #20

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By Ray Fawkes, Jeremy Haun, Richard & Tanya Horie w/ Juan Ferreyra

Ray Fawkes’ Constantine has continued to deliver as it takes John out of his usual stomping ground into a world where he actually has something worth fighting for. His family. He finds himself having a conflict with himself, a lighter one who has seen less tragedy than his own. Naturally, it’s hate at first sight. The resulting aftermath is very interesting indeed as Fawkes continues to make the most of the adventures in World’s End, and makes it easily accessible for readers like this reviewer who are not necessarily following any other Earth 2 related titles.

The dark atmosphere that Constantine has created over the course of the series has continued to develop and particularly during the World’s End stuff has really been rammed home. With the fact that we don’t know any of these secondary characters as they’re from an alternate universe, nobody is safe and although there are no major deaths in this issue you get the feeling that with the John from the world that we know in town, it won’t be long before the killings start happening thick and fast. And to make things even more interesting, the cliffhanger at the end of the episode teases an appearance of a character that makes next month’s issue a must read.

By all rights, the combination of Constantine and Earth 2 shouldn’t be working as well as it has been, but it’s proved to be the perfect mix with Ray Fawkes knocking it out of the park with another good issue here. The pace is pulled off well and Fawkes manages to make it accessible to readers who aren’t necessarily familiar with John’s past as well, whether they picked it up because it was a new number one back when it first came out or jumped on because they liked the TV show. This issue provides a glimpse into the life that John Constantine could have lived, as well as showing the darker, twisted reality that is his own.

The artwork by Jeremy Haun is great as always and he is really making Constantine his own. There are a couple of pages, such as the whole cast constructing the magic symbols and the final cliffhanger reveal at the end of the book, that look especially awesome. This is further enhanced by the colours of Richard and Tanya Horie, who really make the artwork continue to look awesome. It’s also worth noting the fantastic cover art from Juan Ferreyra, who has managed to make each issue look stunning and this one is no exception. It just looks great.

Another interesting aspect is that Constantine’s narrative in this issue really works.  Again, it’s near the constructing of the symbols, where John is talking about how he thinks he has a ‘hope in hell of tricking a God’. It’s used to great effect here and it’ll be very interesting to see what Fawkes has planned for the characters going forward.

Constantine #20 then is a pretty strong issue proving that the move of the character from the main Earth to Earth 2 might not have been as bad an idea as it initially seemed, with Fawkes really pulling off the book incredibly well, and as a result, next month’s issue can’t come quickly enough. In this reader’s opinion, this is one of DC’s strongest titles on shelves right now.

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