A review of ‘Constantine: Distorted Illusions’

Megan Anderson , Staff Writer

Imagine being an 18-year-old London youth with your life going in no direction. Your parents want you to go one way, but you have dreams of your own: to be a punk rocker and write music. But your parents say no, because you are the son and stepson of a famous yet infamous sorcerer and mage. You know enough about magic, and don’t need training from a nose-in-the-air elder mage, thank you very much. One day, your mom begs you to learn magic the proper way: from a mage in the United States. Luckily, you have a best goth girl friend who lives in the U.S. and is starting a punk band called Mucus Membrane.  

This is the current life of comic book character John Constantine, who isn’t your average bad boy. No, really. He is slightly smarter and knows some cool magic spells. He’s also quite the hot dude for a musty punk band member. As a matter of fact, the artists in this graphic novel drew him quite innocent-looking for someone who’s usually an anti-hero and a very cunning sorcerer.  

An anti-hero is someone who lacks traditional traits of your typical hero, such as stereotypical righteousness and prolonged speeches of doing good. It’s also usually in a story where the bad guys and the good guys are harder to distinguish. 

Authors Kami Garcia and Isaac Goodhart do a very good job of not making our protagonist too much of a perfect guy. As a matter of fact, most of the problems caused and fixed are the result of him and his friends in the band messing with unknown magic. Regardless of the mistakes he and his friends make, they pay the price and very much regret it. After all, acts of boldness will eventually catch up with you.  

This graphic novel is a true page-turner and colorful. It also combines some of my favorite things: sorcery, youth rebellion and music. It is a great modern take on a classic DC Comics character in his younger years.