DC has sent over a preview of the New 52 Hellblazer relaunch, renamed Constantine, possibly after the Keanu Reeves film (which was surprisingly decent). As you can see below, where the Vertigo Hellblazer tended to stay in its own sandbox, this one starts out immediately integrating itself with the DCU.
Superman may be the first public superhero, but it seems like all the old magical adventurers were around before that, with Zatara, Sargon, Mister E and Doctor Occult getting the flashback mention. The PR blurb suggests more of a PG-13 edge, less the swearing, than the preview shows. The color palette seems brighter to me than Hellblazer. And it looks like it still sucks to be the person standing next to Constantine.
It’s hard to tell much from 5 pages, other than the obvious emphasis on the shared universe aspect, in terms of changes to the format. Scroll down and have a look for yourself.
Official PR and some pages.
You may already know this mischievous Brit from the pages of JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK or Vertigo’s acclaimed HELLBLAZER series, but come this spring, you’re going to see John Constantine in a dark, gritty, and exciting all-new light.
Hitting stands on March 13, CONSTANTINE #1 kicks off an ongoing series starring John Constantine within the ever-expanding DC COMICS-THE NEW 52. From the co-writers of JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK, Jeff Lemire and Ray Fawkes, and fan-favorite artist Renato Guedes, CONSTANTINE shines a spotlight on the notoriously flawed antihero as he works to protect the world from the darkest corners of the DC Universe.
“CONTANTINE is turning into the window through which readers can see the dirtiest side of superpowers in the DC Universe, the nasty magic side,” Fawkes teased about the series.
“John has a very specific fight he’s actually involved in in this series,” Fawkes continued. “The first issue will reveal what it is he’s after. But he’s the instigator in a lot of the stories that are going to happen. In this book, he’s the one looking for the trouble. Sooner or later trouble starts to find him because of all the things he’s doing … John is not your typical hero-type character. He has a lot of vices. You’ll see him indulging in just about all of them. I mean sort of the only thing I can’t do with him in this title is swearing directly. In the book, he drinks, he smokes, he does a lot of other dirty things.”
Todd Allen wears a lot of hats. At various times he’s been (alphabetically), a bouncer, college professor, humor columnist, Internet producer and an NBA/WNBA Beat Writer, among other things. He’s the author of Economics of Digital Comics. You should probably read it.