By Ray Fawkes, Jeremy Haun, Richard & Tanya Horie w/ Juan Ferreyra
Constantine has been one of the books that has actually benefited from the crossover with Earth 2, which is something that few expected going into the arc, with even this reviewer being slightly doubtful about what would happen next. But the end result has mostly been a success so far, and even though there were a few flaws in this issue, Ray Fawkes is able to prove once again why he’ll be missed when the book gets relaunched post-Convergence under the new name of Constantine: Hellblazer.
As you would expect, this issue sees John continuing to try to escape from Earth 2, following the death of his counterpart last issue. Now not only has he now got to deal with the consequences of his actions, with the angry reactions of the family members of the other Constantine, but also the interventions of the mysterious Dr. Fate. To make matters worse, a confrontation with Apokolips is established pretty well in this book’s penultimate issue, that should have fans looking forward to the finale.
Whilst this week’s issue may not be quite at the level of the previous ones that this series has given us, Constantine #22 is still a pretty solid entry from Fawkes as the apocalyptic scenario is somewhat scaled back to focus more on the division between John and his companions, which as one would expect, is pretty emotional as they’ve just seen the death of their Constantine. But by doing this, it not only robs the book of its momentum in places, losing tension, it also unfortunately feels like a retread of what’s come before. Yes, it may not be a bad read, with Constantine even still managing to be one of the better titles on DC’s shelves, but this issue felt like the first weak leak since John arrived in Earth 2 properly.
Even though some of the tension is lost, the character moments in this issue really work. We really get to sympathise with the family of the other John with his father being one of the characters who’s pulled off the strongest in particular. Whilst it looks like they won’t make it out of the arc alive, or at least, not all of them, the impact is still felt.
The artwork by Jeremy Haun isn’t quite up to the usual standard that we’ve seen him bring to the table in previous issues of Constantine as well, even if there are still some pretty good scenes in places. There’s a couple of panels that feel out-of-place, lacking the usual consistency, but the colours by Richard and Tanya Horie are still top-notch for the most part and the background details that Haun brings to the table are also pretty strong for the most part as well. And once again, Juan Ferreyra us some stellar cover art, that’s really amazing.
Much like the script then, the art is hit and miss, with some parts working and others not working as well as they should. However, Constantine #22 still manages to be a decent read despite these problems, and lays the groundwork for what should hopefully be an awesome finale next month.