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Constantine and Batman in Batman: Damned - Starting This September

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Art of the upcoming Constantine x SW Manor reunion Batman team-up "Damned" by Azzarello and Bermejo for DC's new mature-readers imprint Black Label has been floating around on the internet for a while, but now we finally have our look at the words of this tale.

https://screenrant.com/batman-damned-comic-preview-constantine/

Batman-Damned-Preview-Page-5.jpg?q=50&fi

My first thought... what's up with the choice of font and style for John's narration here?

I'm cautious regarding this project, overall. Maybe Azzarello will turn out a surprise worth reading like his Wonder Woman run, or maybe he'll get lost up his own "Azz" once again like a certain storyline concluding his run for certain character appearing in this story.

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Yeah, I always get concerned when Azzarello is in territory he is comfortable with, as he seems to be a writer who doesn't know his strengths as a writer. He's too caught up in all this "tough guy", "street-wise" shite, and he's not the best at writing that sort of thing. He's too influenced by the pop culture he's been exposed.

When he's put on a book where his usual "talents" don't seem to fit, like with Wonder Woman, he opens up creatively and is able to really do a better job. I'm concerned that this is a Batman book, and a dark Batman story, as his original work on Batman wasn't top quality. Not to even mention that it features JC and we know what happened with him on HB.

John Constantine is speaking in the third-person, so that's always a positive. heh

The narration isn't bad for John though. It reads a lot more authentic than how Azzarello wrote John during his HB stint, at least from the little we see here. Maybe Azzarello has studied classic JC since his original run, and won't be making the same mistakes.

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I'm sick and tired of "I'm John constantine: I lie".

It's not like he was some sort of the greatest conman there was that occasionally lied and played games, no it's just pathological by now. At the height of it lying was his superpower...

Artwork is amazing.

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"Always the worst words could be spoke at me"? Fuck off Dick van Dyke. 🤮

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It actually reads, "Always the worst words could be spoke of me".

The font is just hard to read.

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11 hours ago, JasonT said:

"Always the worst words could be spoke at me"? Fuck off Dick van Dyke. 🤮

Wasn't that a Garth Ennis tale?

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On 8/17/2018 at 3:10 AM, Christian said:

It actually reads, "Always the worst words could be spoke of me".

The font is just hard to read.

 

1. You're right, thanks for the correction. :blush:

2. That's worse.

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Sorry but fuck off with this DC. Azzarello's Hellblazer run was one of the worst and most un-Hellblazer run in the entire series' history and you decide to give him another miniseries where his inacurrate Hellblazer-without the Hell or the blazing is going to get exposure with unfamiliar readers due to the Batman connection ?

Also this line

" and with John Constantine soon to be followed by other masters of the occult - Zatanna, Etrigan, Deadman - even Batman is heading into uncharted territory. Luckily "

Does this mean John is just gonna be in the one issue or whatever and then have at least three other characters besides Batman to focus on ?

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It's not like it matters what they do with John Constantine anymore, after three failed series that featured watered down or kid friendly versions of our John. I think that the creators have more control over what they include in these "Black Label" books, because (as far as I understand) the books are "Elseworlds" and won't be part of continuity*. So, I would assume that Azzarello had a free-hand in getting to choose JC. Plus, it says a lot that this one page reads more like Constantine than the past five years worth of Hellblazer-lite comics. Not because Azzarello is a trusted name to write John (he's obviously not), but just because of how badly handled the character has been since the Vertigo series ended.

*Obviously, the plot "The Joker is dead, and Batman might have killed him." is definitely not in continuity, but I'm hedging my confidence on the fact that it could be revealed that "The Joker's not really dead", so I'm giving that little bit of leeway. I know that the Frank Miller Superman: Year One book won't be in continuity. I fairly certainly believe that the Black Label line is considered to be Elseworlds titles though.

I know that Deadman is supposed to play a prominent role in this first issue, as well at Batman and JC. I would assume that John is scheduled for all three issues, alongside Batman, and then each of the three issues will co-star one of those supernatural characters, starting with Deadman in the first issue.

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On ‎8‎/‎16‎/‎2018 at 5:33 PM, A. Heathen said:

It actually read, "Azza - no worst words could be wrote for me".

Azz talk pretty one day.

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3 hours ago, Christian said:

It's not like it matters what they do with John Constantine anymore, after three failed series that featured watered down or kid friendly versions of our John. I think that the creators have more control over what they include in these "Black Label" books, because (as far as I understand) the books are "Elseworlds" and won't be part of continuity*. So, I would assume that Azzarello had a free-hand in getting to choose JC. Plus, it says a lot that this one page reads more like Constantine than the past five years worth of Hellblazer-lite comics. Not because Azzarello is a trusted name to write John (he's obviously not), but just because of how badly handled the character has been since the Vertigo series ended.

Eh I still think Seeley did a better jab in his slightly lackluster run than Azzarello in his entire American shitfest.

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Ahead of Damned #1's release this Wednesday, Azzarello and Bermejo have done an interview for Syfy.

In regards to John:

John Constantine has always been a tone-setter; the rules can be broken. How did you both view John?

Azzarello: John's telling the story. We're seeing it through his point of view.

Bermejo: John is the perfect foil for Batman, he's the perfect sidekick/partner for this story. He's the bridge between what Batman knows and what he doesn't.

Azzarello: He's also not afraid to point out the absurdities of Batman, his life and how he's living [laughs]. Or how he's dressing up, like "You want to put that on? Whatever."

John Constantine is a bit out of place in the DCU, but Black Label allows you to keep him in his classic, non-family friendly tone. You can focus on all the things Hellblazer fans love about him.

Bermejo: He needs to be able to say "f***" and "c***." Words that are his words, that he would use. In a superficial way, I feel like that's the Constantine that I know.

Azzarello: Yeah, we're bringing him back to Vertigo. He's a con man at his core. He's not doing any magic. Or is he? Maybe. John's all about what you believe. Not what he believes.

Brian, it's been years since you last wrote Constantine in Hellblazer (issues #146-174, 250). How did you arrive at needing him here?

Azzarello: When we first started talking about Damned, well, John's gotta be in it if we're doing something like this. He's organically part of this story.

 

 

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Well, I already have a problem with it. It's magazine sized, instead of regular comic sized. I don't know why DC had to do with their Black Label line. Maybe it's for reasons of the artwork, but it makes the comics damn hard to store. Yes, there were magazine comics back in the 1970s, but I don't want to store a comic from 2018 alongside of my magazines comic books from all the way back in the '70s, ok? I was hoping it would just be in that "prestige format" that DC used in the '80s and '90s.

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Eh, it's about what you would expect. Azzareelo seems to be trying hard to mimic those 1980s "intellectual" mature reader comics, and it reads like a guy in 2018 trying hard to recapture that feel from decades before, and not having a vision to do justice to what those comics managed to accomplish. This is really just "dark" for the sake of it.

I have no idea what is up with Azzarello's writing here. Yes, he does write a horrible John Constantine voice. I'm not really sure he's ever heard an Englishperson talk before, to be honest ("Oi, friend", really?). However, I'm not even sure it's just that though, as look at the dialogue for the homeless man too. Maybe what it really needs is an editor.

"I seen him with my own too eyes"....is that meant to be some sort of pun I can't understand, or more likely, just a typo?

"Heart rate: 120 over 86."...really? Apparently, Azzarello also doesn't have an elementary school understanding of the medical field either. How did no one catch that error?

Also....I don't know what the fuck they did to Zatanna.

It's not exactly terrible, although perhaps most of Azzarello's Hellblazer run could be ranked as better than this, but the artwork is what really carries the book. Very fine artwork.

I definitely wouldn't buy this for the JC co-starring role, if anything John's internal monologue commenting on everything in the story ends up more annoying than anything,, and I won't buy the second issue.

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I suppose this issue shows that in hindsight, it was good that Azzarello didn't have John doing narration for much of his Hellblazer run.

Bermejo's art is a career best, but there isn't much to say about the words pasted over it.

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I think in hindsight, yes, instead of Azzarello deciding to go back and try to make John the "mysterious stranger" seen through others' eyes akin to the Moore Swamp Thing days, the real reason for Azzarello's writing his run on Hellblazer the way he did was due to the fact that Azzarello has no idea how an Englishman might speak.

Azzarello:"They speak with their syntax all jumbled up, right?"

Editor:(bored and playing on his cellphone) "Sure, Brian Azzarello, whatever you want."

Azzarello:(while checking pulse) "And you're sure my heart rate is good at 120 over 80?"

Editor:"I'm not a doctor, but yeah, whatever. That sounds healthy, I think."

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Agreed with all comments above, the artwork is gorgeous but Azzarello's narration for John is shit awful.  I read it digitally, so I missed out on the Bat Cock until I saw it in some news article, they're really swinging for the fences with the mature readers label now aren't they?  

As with most things by Azzarello, I feel like he's trying way too hard to be edgy and "deep", which makes it all come out as insufferably hard to read through.  Plus, he's got all of his favorite wordplay puns out in force, which is probably the thing I dislike about his writing the most.  I'll stay reading just for the artwork, but the story had done absolutely nothing for me.  

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What even was the purpose of the Batcock? I mean it's a pretty common trope to utilize male nudity to depict vulnerability, but did it actually call for several panels of Bruce's swaying Batawang? Really just seemed like a heavy handed attempt by Azzarello to show how adult this Batman story is.

And now DC's announced they'll be censoring it in all future printings (they've already censored the digital editions) which means that DC's essentially made a collector's item out of Bruce Wayne's genitals. The nudity didn't add anything, but it does feel kind of contradictory to make a mature readers label to show all the stuff you can't in the mainline books, only to censor it...

I guess it's just the old American adage that bullets blood and bad words are a-ok, but sexuality is a big no-no in action.

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Yep! Sex is unnatural. Violence is just a part of human nature though. Maybe sometimes something like rape can be portrayed, because, you know, sexuality is messed up. But, things like a person being nude without being humiliated or punished? Consensual sex between two loving people? No way! That stuff is just sick and perverted, man!

Maybe DC was worried about the sales on this book, so they decided they could pull a publicity stunt like this.

Look at X-Men: Gold #1. The sales were pretty terrible, considering it was the first issue of the relaunch of the X-line. Until, someone discovered that there were anti-Semitic and anti-Christian commentary hidden in the artwork. Suddenly, the book completely sold out. Marvel made a real collector's item out of it.

Maybe DC was going for the same thing.

Once again, though, it makes me wonder if there was any sort of editor working on this book. Easily detected typos and errors, Azzarrello seeming to forget the English language at times, nudity....it all seems to have escaped notice.

I wish DC would apologize to readers for mixing up heart rate and blood pressure in a mature readers book. That's the real apology I want from DC.

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