Why would DC lose the name “Constantine” from the title? Granted, the NBC series may not have made too huge an impact in non-comics’ readers minds, but still… Matt Hawkins popped up on Arrow once; he may do it again. The character is known as Constantine to the general public, especially as a lot of non-comics readers even like the Keanu Reeves movie. It may seem like a strange decision, but then again, it makes a strong callback to how John Constantine first appeared under the Vertigo imprint.
He was the Hellblazer then; when the New 52 happened, he became the friendlier, younger, more male model-ish Constantine, and last year the book got gloriously weirder again and became Constantine: the Hellblazer, sort of a compromise of sensibilities. In August, DC lays claim to the time that made the character great. I can’t speak to Simon Oliver’s writing, but Moritat’s art (Elephantmen) has the potential to take John Constantine into terrifically odd realms. Maybe the next time Matt Ryan gets to put on the trenchcoat, they’ll just come out and call him Hellblazer, and all will be right with the world. Actually, if John Constantine shows up, we can pretty much guarantee that nothing is right with the world.