DC have announced the cancelling of their longest running comic series, Hellblazer
From Superherohype: DC announced yesterday, via the AP, that their current longest running comic Hellblazer will come to an end in February with issue #300. The Vertigo title will be replaced with a New 52 version of the John Constantine series titled Constantine. The series will launch in March with Robert Venditti (The Homeland Directive, Demon Knights) writing and Renato Guedes (Superman) serving as artist.
“Few characters in comics are as complex and entertaining as John Constantine, and I’m finding him to be every bit as enjoyable to write as he is to read,” says Venditti. “It’s my goal to have the new CONSTANTINE series be equal parts familiarity and surprise. This will be the Constantine we all know and love, but facing new and unexpected challenges from both inside and out.”
John Constantine is no stranger to DC’s New 52, as he appears in Justice League Dark with minor appearances in Sword and Sorcery and Animal Man. DC has said in the past they want to keep the number of ongoing comics they publish at 52 so something will have to be canceled to make room for this new addition.
Backlash has already kicked off online with Warren Ellis, who penned the title in 1999, tweeting: Hellblazer cancelled, replaced by PG version. Sad to see that place for British horror stories go.
Scottish writer Ian Rankin, who has penned a Constantine story feels that this could be the end of the character: Just heard Hellblazer comic book is for the chop. Only series I’ve ever written for. Only one I wanted to write for. Constantine RIP.
Former 2000 AD editor Andy Diggle said: “Desperately sad to hear that Hellblazer will be coming to an end after 300 issues. I cannot overstate the importance of that book, and the character of John Constantine, not only to my work but to my worldview,” he said.
“I was lucky enough to write Hellblazer a few years back, and it was like meeting up with an old friend. I just knew him. I don’t mean that in an arrogant way. Just that I’d been following him since his first appearance in Swamp Thing when I was 15 years old.
“True fact: John Constantine is the reason I started reading [and eventually writing] American comics. Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing led me to my first comic shop to hunt for back issues. F**k, I feel like I’ve lost an old friend.”
Will this backlash turn DC’s decision around?