It finally arrived. We've been waiting for what seems like an eternity to see whether the small screen adaptation lives up to the pure awesomeness that existed between the covers of the much revered Hellblazer series, which ran for an epic 300 issues between 1988 and 2013.
This version sees John brought bang up to date with a contemporary setting, although the storyline comes straight out of the very early issues of the comic. As a long time fan of the comic I was more than happy that they seem to be winding up to deal with the whole Newcastle/Astra/Zed/Nergal plotline from the off. Although a lot of it has been toned down for the TV audience it still looks pretty promising.
There are more than a few nods to the comic book audience with easter eggs such as Doc Destiny's helmet being casually picked up and waved around. Yup, one the most powerful objects in the DC universe had its very own cameo. Nice.
As for the characterisation of Constantine himself? Well, I have to say that he had me at 'Bollocks'. His accent wobbles its way through Scouse, Mancunian, Welsh and all manner of others over the course of the episode, but it's early days and will hopefully settle down over the course of the series. He most certainly looks the part, and my only real gripe is the lack of smoking. Sure, he plays with a zippo a lot, but he doesn't actually spark up. I imagine this was a call by the network, who felt they couldn't have a hero who chain-smoked.
Another thing that doesn't quite sit right with me is this version of Chas. I'm really not sure what they're doing with him, but they seem to have converted him from the best mate and everyman into something else entirely. Time will tell on this one, but I kind of miss the sense of charm, wonder, cynicism and humanity that Chas brough to the comic.
In summary, I loved it. I can't wait to see where they go with the rest of this season's plot arc and hope that it is allowed to get darker as the series continues and matures.
You can see Constantine on NBC in the states and exclusively on Amazon Prime Instant Video in the UK.