Caught somewhere between heaven and hell is John Constantine: petty dabbler in the dark arts and the subject of NBC's new supernatural show Constantine, which is based on the long-running series of Hellblazer comics that were, until the series' recent cancellation, published under DC's Vertigo imprint. Starring Matt Ryan (Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag) in the lead role, the first season of Constantine will begin airing later this month.
As a new TV spot for Constantine illustrates, the show's reluctant hero has something of a dark past that involves a ritual gone wrong and Constantine accidentally sending a young girl to hell, damning his own soul in turn. In the pilot episode Constantine is voluntarily locked up in Ravenscar Psychiatric Facility and is attempting to recover from the trauma of the event, but it isn't long before he finds himself drawn back into the world of the supernatural.
Accompanying the TV spot is a brand new comic book style poster for Constantine, courtesy of Hero Complex, that was created for NBC by artist Gene Ha and will be distributed by comic book retailers to help promote the show. Aside from Constantine's strangely over-sized chin, one of notable aspects of the poster is that Constantine is shown holding a lighter but no cigarette, since NBC's broadcasting rules have forced the showrunners to find workarounds in order to establish Constantine's heavy smoking habit without ever actually showing him inhaling smoke.
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Standing on Constantine's left side in the poster is Papa Midnite, an occasional antagonist and ally in the comic books, who will be played by newcomer Michael James Shaw. On his right side is Zed, a character who appeared in a couple of early Hellblazer arcs, and who will be played by Angelica Celaya (Dead West). Featured on Constantine's shelf of supernatural goodies is the helmet of sorcerer Doctor Fate, which can be seen in the pilot.
The poster definitely pushes the heaven vs. hell imagery that will be introduced in the pilot with Constantine's angel acquaintance Manny (Harold Perrineau). This initial story arc may have been part of an effort to appeal to fans of The CW's Supernatural since later seasons of that show had a similar storyline. According to actor Misha Collins, his character's costume in Supernatural was actually based on Constantine's appearance in the Hellblazer comics.
With angels, demons, voodoo and ghosts all being thrown into the mix it will be interesting to see what works and what doesn't in Constantine, and whether the show will be successful enough to make it beyond a first season.
Constantine will premiere on October 24th on NBC.
Source: Hero Complex