When he was first introduced by writer Alan Moore (Watchmen) for the comic book Saga of Swamp Thing, Liverpudlian magician John Constantine lived in a world filled with sorcerers and superheroes. It wasn’t uncommon for Constantine to walk the streets of Metropolis or Gotham City. It was only when Constantine’s own comics title, Hellblazer, moved to DC Comics’ mature-readers imprint Vertigo that these direct connections was slowly deemphasized.
There’s plenty of new content shown in the latest trailer for Constantine, but easily the most intriguing reveal shows a certain golden helmet lifted from dust and cobwebs. DC Comics superfans will recognize the headwear as belonging to the magic superhero Doctor Fate – one of the oldest and most venerable characters in the DC canon.
The appearance of Fate’s helmet raises intriguing, somewhat head-scratching questions about the larger universe of the televised Constantine. The first looks at the series seemed to be pulling from a combination of the Keanu Reeves-starring 2005 film and the superhero-light Hellblazer. Now, we must wonder whether the NBC series will actually be more like John Constantine’s current comic iteration – fully a part of the DC Comics universe.
That said, this brief glimpse of a magical superhero could simply be an Easter egg for sharp-eyed viewers. Everything else about the teaser suggests the more self-contained world of Constantine’s Hellblazer years rather than his more over-the-top superheroic adventures.
Then again, this need not be the case for the entirety of the show’s run. After all, Arrow seemed determined to stay grounded and (more or less) realistic during its first season, only for superpowers and secret societies to run rampant during its second. It will be interesting to see just whether Constantine will attempt that kind of narrative arc.
Constantine stars Matt Ryan (Criminal Minds), Lucy Griffiths (True Blood), and Harold Perrineau (Sons of Anarchy). The series’ pilot episode was directed by Neil Marshall, lately of the rip-roaring “The Watchers on the Wall” episode of Game of Thrones.
Constantine will be summoned on NBC at 10/9 Central on October 24th, 2014.
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