cover image Constantine, Vol. 1: The Spark and the Flame

Constantine, Vol. 1: The Spark and the Flame

Ray Fawkes, Jeff Lemire, Renato Guedes, and Marcelo Maiolo. DC, $14.99 trade paper (144p) ISBN 978-1-4012-4323-4

When a group of evil sorcerers becomes dead set on retrieving Croydon’s Compass, an artifact that would allow them to find any magical resource on Earth, one of the most powerful mages in the world, John Constantine, must travel from Norway to London, Myanmar, and beyond in order to stop them. What makes this PG-13 revamp of DC’s long-running magician series engaging, however, is its treatment of the idea that power comes at a price—that one doesn’t simply tap into the universe without the universe, at some point, tapping back. “Take it too far,” Constantine observes, “and very bad things happen. The sacrifices get costly.” What makes an even deeper impression is Guedes and Maiolo’s perfect color palette, along with their excess of bird’s-eye, bug’s-eye, and spectacular full-page panel views that frequently throw the reader off-balance. (Feb.)