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Comics: Hellblazer returns in Sandman Universe; Rooster Teeth launches new comics

By Matthew Jackson
Sandman Universe Presents Hellblazer cover

For the first time in more than five years, Hellblazer is returning to DC Comics, and with it comes the integration of John Constantine in The Sandman Universe.

Last year DC Comics introduced The Sandman Universe, a line of comics curated by Sandman co-creator Neil Gaiman that further explored the various realms of Sandman in a deeper way. The line has since introduced the ongoing series Books of MagicThe DreamingHouse of Whispers, and Lucifer, and this October they'll also feature the return of John Constantine as longtime readers of Vertigo Comics (and Gaiman's original Books of Magic miniseries) remember him.

It all kicks off in October with a one-shot issue titled The Sandman Universe Presents Hellblazer #1, from writer Simon Spurrier and artist Marcio Takara. The following month DC will begin publishing the ongoing series Hellblazer from Spurrier and artist Aaron Campbell, marking a new era for John Constantine and a welcome return to the realm of Sandman for the character. 

Hellblazer’s the one title I’ve always aspired to write. Ever since John Constantine slunk from Alan Moore’s brain into Swamp Thing, dropping secrets like grenades, bewildering vegetables, and spinning mysteries, I’ve been drawn to his misadventures with eerie gravity,” Spurrier said in a press release. “John Constantine is the cynic’s magician: a man of selfish drives and cataclysmic self-knowledge, who tries to do the right thing in spite of himself, in spite of the cost, in spite of the vile and violent world he occupies. He may not be the hero we need, but he’s definitely the bastard we deserve."

Sandman Universe Presents Hellblazer cover

After his introduction in the pages of Saga of the Swamp Thing, John Constantine bounced around various DC Comics titles for a while, including Sandman, before landing his own ongoing series at the launch of Vertigo Comics in 1993. That series, Hellblazer, continued for two decades and became Vertigo's longest-running title, cementing Constantine as a mature readers character off in his own little pocket separate from the rest of the DC heroes. That began to change in the early 2010s, and since the launch of the New 52 Constantine's been a fixture of DC Comics, particularly in titles like Justice League Dark. Now he gets to go play in a slightly darker world again with a story that begins with a direct connection to Gaiman's Books of Magic.

The Sandman Universe Presents Hellblazer #1 arrives October 30.

If you're a fan of Rooster Teeth's acclaimed animated series, get ready for the fictional worlds of gen:LOCK and RWBY to expand even more, courtesy of DC Comics. 

Rooster Teeth and DC announced at RTX this week that they have creative teams and release dates in place for new digital-first comics series based on two Rooster Teeth hits: the mecha pilot series gen:LOCK and the monster hunter series RWBY. Acclaimed writer Marguerite Bennett (Batwoman) will team with artists Mirka Andolfo (Hex Wives) and Arif Prianto (Deathstroke) for the RWBY series, while the gen:LOCK series will be helmed by writers Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing (Green Arrow), with artist Carlo Barbieri (Adventures of the Super Sons).

“We’re thrilled to be able to announce the talented artists and writers who are bringing the RWBY and gen:LOCK comic books to life,” said Matt Hullum, Rooster Teeth co-founder and CEO. “Connecting with DC and like-minded brands inside WarnerMedia has been a dream come true, and we’re excited for the future of Rooster Teeth. The journey to bring out the RWBY and gen:LOCK comics has been an awesome and fun experience with DC and we can’t wait for fans to get their hands on them.”

The RWBY series will launch first in late August, followed by the gen:LOCK series in September. Both comics will be digital-first, publishing two chapters a month that will then be collected into monthly print releases. The first print releases of both RWBY #1 and gen:LOCK #1 will feature variant covers by DC Comics Publisher and comics legend Jim Lee.

DC Comics RWBY cover