The holly jolly world of The Hellblazer himself, John Constantine gets the anime treatment in this release from DC Animation. But what does it do for the character and franchise?
“Sometimes shitty things happen because that’s just the way the world is”
City Of Demons is a spin-off from the 2017 animated film Justice League Dark and an adaptation of the Vertigo graphic novel Hellblazer: All His Engines by Mike Carey and Leonardo Manco.
Johns oldest (and arguably only) friend seeks help for his daughter, Trish who has been affected by a mysterious epidemic. After finding evidence of demonic magic the pair search out the cause of the illness and the location of Trish’s Soul.
Executive producers Sam Register, Sarah Schechter, Greg Berlanti and David S. Goyer deliver a well-rounded animated feature and a seemingly welcome introduction for Hellblazer inductees. This outing for the sorcerer seems easily accessible and nearly serves as an origin story (of sorts).
Great to hear Matt Ryan‘s dulcet tones again. Since the absolutely criminal cancellation of Constantine (the live-action series) there’s been a feeling that Ryan is the only Constantine that the fans need. The Assassins Creed Black Flag voice actor cemented himself as the chain-smoking trenchcoat-wearing smart-arse some time ago. Despite a brief stint here or there (most notably JL Dark and the Arrow series) the character has been lurking in the shadows for the most part.
The art style lends itself to a more adult anime vibe and it’s safe to say this would have been an absolute treat on the big screen. The animators easily manage to capture both the ego and vulnerability of the Dark Arts Master.
Much of the source material illustrated Johns efforts to play the long game and move chess pieces into check for the maximum result. Or at least a result with as little collateral damage as possible.
City of Demons shows us a very reactionary John Constantine – thrust into a quest and on the backfoot from the off-set. We see the character tumbling down a rabbit hole rather than making snide remarks in-between smokes.
But in true fashion we do see John making a deal with the Peter-demon to pay the Paul-demon, as it were. Playing with humans and demons alike.
Both character and story are treated with respect bordering on reverence and this release is highly recommended.
Check out the trailer below :
*Keep your ears out for a nice Dr Strange MCU reference in the movie itself!