What would John Constantine, working class warlock and notorious scumbag who tends to end up doing the right thing anyway, do if billionaires with angel wings started hurtling from the sky and impaling themselves on church spires? He’d probably be pretty chill about it, to be honest, but we’re going to find out for sure in September’s Hellblazer: Rise and Fall, the new DC Black Label book from Tom Taylor and Darick Robertson.
Taylor and Robertson got their first crack at Constantine in 2019’s DCeased: A Good Day to Die, the tie in/expansion to the surprise hit zombie book, DCeased. But even before that, Robertson was no stranger to over-the-top gore played for righteous humor: he’s also a co-creator of The Boys, among many other books in his legendary career.
“There’s a time when you need a hero, and there’s a time when you need a bastard,” said Taylor. “When you’re fighting an alien invasion or a giant robot monkey, sure, you want someone with a cape and a reassuring smile, but when you’re fighting something messier, something with more shades of grey, something that’s clawed its way in, then you want a magician with a trenchcoat and a smug smirk. As a Hellblazer fan and as a Darick Roberston fan, I couldn’t be more excited by this book. Putting Darick and John on the same page? Well, it’s bloody magic.”
The book’s mystery kicks off when a well known billionaire falls from the sky onto a church spire with angel wings attached to his back. Then more be-angeled businessmen tumble from the heavens, while Constantine visits an old friend, Detective Aisha Bukhari That chat sets the pair off investigating how the wealthy meteors tie into the first death Constantine ever caused, and a shared moment between the two in their collective distant pasts.
“Working on this book feels like I’ve come home to a character that I’ve really only ever drawn once before,” said Robertson. “Spending time with a character is like getting to know someone, and I feel with Tom’s script, Constantine and I are getting to be friends… which means my future is probably in danger.”
Black Label is DC’s mature readers line that has seen great creative and sales success recently with books like Denys Cowan’s return to the Question; Tom King, Doc Shaner and Mitch Gerads’ newest prestige comic, Strange Adventures; and Kami Garcia’s supervillain psychological procedural, Joker/Harley: Criminal Sanity.
For more on John Constantine, or suggestions about which businessmen should be dropped from the sky and in what order, stick with Den of Geek!