Book Review: Constantine – Volume 1: The Spark and The Flame by Ray Fawkes, Jeff Lemire, Renato Guedes, and Marcelo Maiolo

Image Description: Constantine (a blonde man in dress-pants, tie, and detective-style jacket) thursting a bright robin’s egg flame forward towards the reader. The flame in his hand is blue pentacostal star with a circle around it.  

Title: Constantine, Volume 1: The Spark and the Flame
Creators: Ray Fawkes (writer), Jeff Lemire (writer), Renato Guedes (artist), and Marcelo Maiolo (colourist)
Social Media: Goodreads
Publisher: DC Comics
Format and Price: Paperback from my local library
Stars: 3 stars out of 5

About The Creators:
Links provided above.

About The Book:
The star of Justice League Dark and Hellblazer–the longest-running Vertigo series–is unleashed in his own DCU title! Liar, cheater, manipulator…John Constantine is all of these, and yet he uses these skills and more to protect the world from the darkest corners of the DC Universe. Collecting: Constantine 1-6

General Observation:
~Adding To The TBR Pile: I’m supposed to be completing books on my already established TBR pile, instead, I find myself adding to it. In my defence, I’ve had the Hellblazer series (and Hellboy series) on my “I’ll get around to reading that” list for a while now, so it was only a matter of time before Constantine showed up on my blog.

~Sliding Scale of Plot versus Character: This comic sits further along on the Plot end of the scale, however, the Plot and Character elements are well balanced in this graphic novel. There’s enough space between events for the characters and the reader to take stock. There are panels of actual self-reflection between the intense action scenes and the puzzle-pieces of information scattered here and there.

~Drawing style: The aspect that prevented me from giving this five stars out of five is the drawing style chosen for this series. Mostly concerning the odd choice of facial angles. I’ll give some examples: one of the big ones being Constantine’s face, it’s never shown from the same angle, which results in a series of odd aesthetic choices.

Such as when there’s a single-page spread showing Constantine’s private basement sanctuary. In this scene, Constantine is accompanied by Chris, and the basement is a fascinating room, however, the reader is seeing the back of Chris and Constantine’s heads for some reason? I haven’t read enough DC Comics to know if this is a DC thing or an artist thing.

All in all, an interesting paranormal comic that explores the gritty and darker possibilities of magic within the DC Comics universe. I’m eager to get my hands on the next volume.

Available for puchase: Amazon | Book Depository

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