With television shows such as “Smallville” and “Arrow” under their belt, DC comics has released their most recent TV adaptation of a comic: “Constantine.”
The show kicks off with the introduction of the main character, John Constantine, who has checked himself into a mental institution after seeing a demon kill a young girl.
However, he is soon ripped from this twisted getaway by a demon who infiltrates the institution. The demon sends him a message that a girl, who was a daughter of a late friend of his, is being hunted by a demon and will die if he does not protect her. John is pulled directly back into action when he decides to hunt the demon before it kills the girl.
John Constantine is an exorcist, demonologist, and self proclaimed master of the dark arts. This character is a new take on a hero: the anti-hero. His sarcastic, snappy and self-centered attitude is not one of a conventional hero stereotype.
However, his eventual actions show that beyond the wall of twisted humor he puts up, his true intentions are to save others from harm’s way. In the scene where Zed, the girl the demon is hunting, is on a rooftop talking to John before they deploy a trap for the demon, he reveals a few windows into his tortured childhood.
His mother died while giving birth to him, so his father gave him the nickname of “killer,” and when his father was drunk, he would punch John in the face while saying it was a punishment for what he did to his mother.
John searched for a way to bring her back; this is where his journey with dark magic began.
Along with mourning his mother’s death, John experiences flashbacks of a traumatic experience he constantly tries to suppress: the death of a 9-year-old girl, Astra, who was damned by a demon.
There are constant reminders of Astra throughout John’s jump back into action, and during one of the final scenes of the first episode the demon he is hunting tries to conjure an image of Astra to manipulate John into setting him free.
The television series is based off of DC’s comic: “Hellblazer,” and while many of the details of “Constantine” have been consistent with the comic, the setting of the comic is in London while the show is in Atlanta. Also, in the comic, John has a smoking habit, which was cut from the show.
However, this habit is symbolic of his self-destructive tendencies which is somewhat necessary to his character development.
The sarcastic and witty humor by John creates an interesting set for the action taking place: this man confronts the things that go bump in the night, and comes out almost completely unphased.
There are many details that leave the audience curious, such as a back story on how he started hunting demons and how the demons manifest themselves, but the show seems to be unraveling them one by one. The first episode is far from mind blowing, but the acting is well done. Some of the graphics are a little cliche, however, most come out to be pretty intense for an NBC television show.
Overall, the beginning may not have been fantastic, but it seems as though the show is set up for an interesting plot direction, and is certainly worth viewing a few more episodes.
This is not the only television show DC has released recently: “The Flash” and “Gotham” are two big hits that came out in the last month. Both of these have been widely successful in premiere viewings, so there are high hopes for “Constantine” to continue to be popular in the coming months.