The Boys co-creator Darick Robertson will join Injustice: Gods Among Us writer Tom Taylor for Hellblazer: Rise and Fall, a new, three-issue miniseries from DC's Black Label imprint. The story, which will begin publishing in September, centers on a series of gruesome murders that appear to have some kind of ties to fallen angels. That, of course, is a perfect place for John Constantine to come in. This is the second time Taylor and Robertson have collaborated on a Constantine story in recent memory, with the last being DCeased: A Good Day to Die, and now DC has provided fans with a first look inside of the prestige-format series.
In Hellblazer: Rise and Fall, a billionaire mysteriously falls out of the sky and is gruesomely skewered on a church spire. Even stranger, they have angel wings attached to their back. More bodies soon follow, raining death and causing widespread panic. Detective Aisha Bukhari is stumped by the phenomenon, until she's visited by her childhood friend, occult investigator John Constantine.
"This is a very twisted book," Taylor said in a statement. "But, I actually want to give people exactly the John they've seen before. I want to write the bloke who steps out of the shadows with the smirk, the lit cigarette and all the answers. I want a story of shocks and sadness and triumph in the face of utter horror."
You can see the full cover and a number of preview pages below.
Per the official description from DC, Constantine "soon discovers a link between the falling elite and a shocking moment in his and Aisha's misspent youth. How do these killings tie to the first act of magic ever committed by John Constantine? How does this involve Heaven and Hell? Thirty years later, Constantine's no stranger to supernatural threats and hard-pressed to consider stopping any monster who haunts a nation by killing the most corrupt among its citizens."
The decision to make John Contantine a bit of an anti-authoritarian, anti-one-percenter is not much of a stretch, of course. The working class antihero and self-described bastard fits right in with a story like that.
"I love writing characters who speak truth to power," Taylor said. "John doesn't just speak truth to power, he tears power a new one any chance he gets. He's also not your standard perfect hero. He makes a lot of mistakes and people in his orbit get hurt. But there’s a beautiful heart beating in the bastard…there's something very cathartic about class warfare where the upper class doesn't win every damn battle."
The trick, then, is finding the sweet spot where John's basic decency takes over and he motivates himself to stop the wealthy and corrupt from being "punished."
Hellblazer: Rise and Fall debuts September 2020. All three issues of Hellblazer: Rise and Fall will carry DC’s Black Label content descriptor (Ages 17+) and will retail for $6.99.