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Constantine: City of Demons is an American animated web series from executive producers Greg Berlanti and David S. Goyer. It is based on the DC Comics character John Constantine, a demon hunter and occult detective. Tangentially tied to the live-action series Constantine through actor Matt Ryan, the series is set in the DC Animated Movie Universe, is a spin-off of the 2017 animated film Justice League Dark and is an adaptation of the Vertigo graphic novel Hellblazer: All His Engines by Mike Carey and Leonardo Manco. The first half was initially released as five separate episodes on The CW's online streaming platform, CW Seed, on March 24, 2018, after premiering at WonderCon 2018. The series was released as a feature–length film released on DVD and Blu-ray on October 9, 2018, and later compiled and completed as two episodes on CW Seed on January 19, 2019.

Constantine: City of Demons
Constantine City of Demons.png
GenreHorror
Based onCharacters appearing in DC Comics
Written byJ. M. DeMatteis
Directed byDoug Murphy
Voices ofMatt Ryan
Composer(s)Kevin Riepl
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes2 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s)Butch Lukic
Editor(s)Kyle Stafford
Running time29–39 minutes
Production company(s)
Release
Original networkCW Seed
Original releaseSeries: March 24, 2018 (2018-03-24) –
January 19, 2019 (2019-01-19)
Film: October 9, 2018 (2018-10-09)
Chronology
Related showsJustice League Dark
External links
Website

Contents

PlotEdit

Chas Chandler visits Ravenscar Asylum where John Constantine is being treated, after a failed exorcism led to the damnation of a young girl named Astra and the deaths of two of their bandmates by the demon Nergal. Many years later, Chandler reunites with Constantine, now a seasoned exorcist, to help his daughter, Tricia, who is in a coma. Constantine suspects a supernatural cause and consults Asa, the "Nightmare Nurse", who explains that while her body is still functioning, her soul is not present. They are given the Los Angeles address of the demon responsible for the coma. They travel to the United States while Tricia is protected by her mother Renee and Asa.

Constantine and Chandler meet Beroul, a demon who operates in the soul industry of L.A. and possesses Tricia's soul, as well as several others who are in comas. Beroul blackmails Constantine into hunting down his local demon competitors. Later, Beroul reveals his true identity as Nergal, who is keeping Tricia's soul within his own heart. Constantine has a liaison with Angela, the living embodiment of Los Angeles, who offers support for Constantine. Constantine then makes a deal with Mictlantecuhtli, an Aztec god who has abandoned his worshippers. They trick Beroul's competition into a derelict church, where they are trapped and devoured by Mictlantechutli, who then succumbs to his wounds.

Constantine and Chandler return to Nergal to find that he and Angela have formed a reluctant pact and Nergal keeps possession of Tricia's soul to further blackmail Constantine. A miserable Constantine gets drunk, vandalises a local bar and is arrested, before he is bailed out by Chandler. Constantine and Chandler form a plan - Constantine tries to fool Nergal into believing that he has opened the gates of Hell, unleashing many demons into Los Angeles. Nergal is unconvinced, so Constantine uses a Tricia's soul to channel Renee and Tricia's love for Chas into Nergal's body, which is a "cancer" to Nergal. Nergal offers to release Astra's soul but Constantine allows him to die, as saving Tricia is "redemption enough".

Though Tricia wakes from her coma, Constantine reveals that the course he used to defeat Nergal required a sacrifice; Tricia and Renee lose all memory of Chandler, and Chandler in turn begins to forget them. Constantine also sacrificed all of Chandler's memory of their friendship. Angela offers to look after Chandler and Constantine decides to return to London.

Cast and charactersEdit

ProductionEdit

In January 2017, it was announced that Matt Ryan would reprise his role from the live action series as John Constantine on a new animated series, after having made a guest appearance in Arrow's fourth season. The CW president Mark Pedowitz noted there had not yet been discussions regarding whether or not any other characters from the live-action series might appear in the web series, or if this version of the character would "connect back to the live-action storylines he's been a part of".[5]

The series was developed by Warner Bros. Animation and Blue Ribbon Content, with Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter, and David S. Goyer serving as executive producers, and Butch Lukic as producer. J. M. DeMatteis wrote the series, which was directed by Doug Murphy.[1] The series is an adaptation of the graphic novel All His Engines.[6] Warner Bros. Animation and Blue Ribbon Content Vice President Peter Girardi said the series aimed to be "darker" than the live-action series, and closer to the Hellblazer comics published by DC's imprint Vertigo.[7]

While it was originally stated that City of Demons would tie into the live-action series Constantine, the two series differ significantly from one another with different takes on characters and plot points.[2][6] According to J. M. DeMatteis, the series is not a continuation of Constantine, but is in the same universe as the 2017 film Justice League Dark. He added that "time will tell" whether the show is part of the Arrowverse.[8] Peter Girardi referred to the show as part of the "Constantine animated universe".[9]

EpisodesEdit

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
1"City of Demons: Part One"[a]Doug MurphyJ. M. DeMatteisMarch 24, 2018 (2018-03-24)
John Constantine awakes from a dream of whispers from around the world. He finds himself in his London flat amidst empty bottles and cigarette butts as he is surrounded by miniature trench-cloaked projections of his inner demons. They attack John, who then uses magic to absorb the demons back into his subconscious. He is visited by his old friend, Chas Chandler, whom he has not seen in a decade. Chas asks John to help his daughter Trish, who has unexpectedly fallen into a coma, which Chas suspects to be the result of dark magic. John uses magic on Trish and discovers that her aura is tainted. He summons the Nightmare Nurse, also known as Asa, to help pinpoint a diagnosis but Asa cannot find Trish's soul. Trish is briefly able to communicate through Asa before a demonic entity takes over and gives John an address. As John and Chas travel to Los Angeles to get Trish's soul back, Asa and Chas' wife Renee stay with Trish. Asa magically compels Renee to tell the story of Newcastle that John will not talk about. Renee reveals that John and Chas had been best friends since they were kids and even formed a band together as young adults. When they found out that their mentor Alex Logue was using his daughter Astra to enact a dark spell below his Newcastle night club, John, having practiced occultism since he was a boy, attempted to save Astra by conjuring a real demon. The demon Nergal killed Alex and his followers, but also slaughtered the club-goers and took Astra with him to Hell. However, Renee does not remember sharing this information with Asa. John has a dream of the worldwide whispers again and suspects that someone is messing with his mind. Chas drives them to the address and they are greeted at a mansion by an anthropomorphic pig butler. Inside the mansion, John stumbles upon a pool of decaying corpses before the monstrous demon Beroul presents himself. The demon explains that his soul-snatching scheme was just a ploy to enlist John's services. Beroul reveals that he intends to create his own branch of Hell, but needs John to eliminate his demon competitors.
2"City of Demons: Part Two"[b]Doug MurphyJ. M. DeMatteisJanuary 19, 2019 (2019-01-19)
Beroul reveals himself to be Nergal, and that he is behind the plague of coma victims. The demon forces John to aid him by showing that he has Trish's soul trapped inside. John first meets with Angela, the collective consciousness of Los Angeles. Seducing him, she admits that she unleashed his inner demons as a test, and tells him that she will not allow demons of despair to poison a city of hope. Returning to Chas, John admits that he doesn't have the power to defeat Nergal's enemies on his own. He then hatches a plan. He first entices the Aztec death god Mictlantecuhtli to attack the demons for him. He then lures the demons to an unconsecrated church by promising to hand over Nergal, traps them inside with holy water, and allows the god and demons to fight each other, then finishes off the victorious god with a spell. Returning to the hospital, John summons Nergal. He attempts a bluff: cutting Nergal off from his wards, harassing him with the inner Constantine demons, and opening all of the gates between Hell and Los Angeles, leaving Nergal with 5000 competitors to face instead of 5. Nergal calls John's bluff, forcing him to use his fallback plan: the Candever Curse. Unleashing all of Trish's and Renee's love for Chas blasts the demon apart, since Trish's soul is locked inside him. This frees the girl, saves the coma victims, and destroys the demon. But later, at a diner, John reveals to Chas that love was the sacrifice that powered the curse: Trish and Renee will never again remember Chas, and, further, Chas will not remember John. Angela appears in the form of an old man, thanks John, and promises to take care of Chas. John heads off to return to London, with one surviving inner demon to keep him company.
  1. ^ Initially released as five short episodes on March 24, 2018. Later released as part of the film release on October 9, 2018, broadcast under the title Constantine: The Legend Continues on October 15, 2018, and then compiled and released as one longer episode on January 19, 2019.
  2. ^ Initially released as part of the film release on October 9, 2018. Later compiled and released as one longer episode on January 19, 2019.

ReleaseEdit

The first half of Constantine: City of Demons was released as five short episodes on CW Seed,[1][10] on March 24, 2018, after premiering the same day at WonderCon 2018.[11] Writer J. M. DeMatteis later confirmed that seven more episodes were planned for release,[12] as well as a DVD and Blu-ray release featuring 20 minutes of extra footage, similar to Vixen: The Movie.[13] The feature-length version released on Blu-ray and digital on October 9, 2018,[14] following a special screening at New York Comic Con on October 4.[15] The series made its broadcast debut on The CW on October 15, 2018, hosted by Ryan under the title Constantine: The Legend Continues.[16] After the first half was initially released as five separate episodes, the series was later compiled and completed as two episodes on CW Seed on January 19, 2019.[17]

ReceptionEdit

Jesse Schedeen of IGN awarded the first half of the series an 8.1 out of 10, noting the episodes "build a straightforward but enjoyable conflict featuring the wily magician, and they serve as a reminder that Matt Ryan is a terrific fit for this character in either live-action or animation".[18] Schedeen later awarded the completed movie 7.5 out of 10, noting that the plot does "drag a bit in the middle" but "gathers steam again by the time the climax rolls around".[19]

Renee Schonfeld of Common Sense Media, awarding the movie 3 out of 5 stars, said that the movie's "distinctive animation, rousing battles, and top-notch vocal performances serve this off-beat DC Comic 'hero' well -- with a caution that it's a grisly affair."[20]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Keene, Allison (October 6, 2017). "First 'Constantine' Poster Resurrects the Demon Hunter for New Animated Series". Collider. Archived from the original on October 8, 2017. Retrieved October 11, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Wickline, Dan (March 24, 2018). "Constantine: City of Demons Recap and Review". Bleeding Cool. Archived from the original on March 24, 2018. Retrieved March 24, 2018.
  3. ^ "Constantine: City of Demons – The Movie".
  4. ^ a b c d e f Constantine: City Of Demons: The Movie, ending credits.
  5. ^ Schwartz, Terri (January 8, 2017). "Constantine Is Back With Matt Ryan as a CW Seed Animated Series". IGN. Archived from the original on January 9, 2017. Retrieved October 11, 2017.
  6. ^ a b Anderson, Jenna (March 25, 2018). "7 Ways 'Constantine: City of Demons' Differs From NBC's 'Constantine'". comicbook.com. Archived from the original on March 30, 2018. Retrieved April 3, 2018.
  7. ^ Trumbore, Dave (January 10, 2018). "CW Seed's Animated 'Constantine' Series Aims to Be Darker Than the Live-Action Show". Collider. Archived from the original on January 11, 2018. Retrieved January 12, 2018.
  8. ^ DeMatteis, J.M. [@JMDeMatteis] (March 28, 2018). "Not a continuation of the series. It IS in the same universe as the JL DARK movie and I guess time will tell if it's in the Arrowverse!" (Tweet). Retrieved April 2, 2018 – via Twitter.
  9. ^ Anderson, Jenna (March 25, 2018). "How Does 'Constantine: City of Demons' Factor Into the Arrowverse?". comicbook.com. Archived from the original on March 26, 2018. Retrieved April 3, 2018.
  10. ^ Prudom, Laura (March 23, 2018). "Constantine: City of Demons - Watch a First Look from CW Seed's Animated Series". IGN. Archived from the original on March 24, 2018. Retrieved March 24, 2018.
  11. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (February 28, 2018). "'Black Lightning', 'Krypton', 'The 100' & More Part Of WBTV's WonderCon Footprint". Deadline. Archived from the original on February 28, 2018. Retrieved February 28, 2018.
  12. ^ J.M. DeMatteis [@JMDeMatteis] (March 27, 2018). "By the way: You can watch the first five episodes of CONSTANTINE: CITY OF DEMONS right here: www.cwseed.com/shows/constantine-city-of-demons/episode-one/?play=558e7c11-16e0-453e-bffe-13e15cf2c52d … This is just the beginning. There are seven more episodes to go!" (Tweet). Retrieved March 27, 2018 – via Twitter.
  13. ^ J.M. DeMatteis [@JMDeMatteis] (March 26, 2018). "It's basically a full-length animated movie broken into these mini-episodes. There will eventually be a DVD release with something like 20 minutes more story included" (Tweet). Retrieved March 30, 2018 – via Twitter.
  14. ^ "'Constantine: City of Demons' Movie Trailer Released". comicbook.com. July 31, 2018. Retrieved August 1, 2018.
  15. ^ Beedle, Time (September 26, 2018). "John Constantine's New Movie Gets a NYCC Premiere". DC.
  16. ^ "The CW Seed's CONSTANTINE: THE LEGEND CONTINUES to Air on The CW October 15h". Broadway World. Retrieved August 26, 2018.
  17. ^ "Constantine: City of Demons Episodes". ComicBook.com. Retrieved February 8, 2019.
  18. ^ Schedeen, Jesse (March 24, 2018). "Constantine: City of Demons Review - DC's Occult Detective Shines In Animated Form". IGN. Archived from the original on March 24, 2018. Retrieved March 26, 2018.
  19. ^ Schedeen, Jesse (October 9, 2018). "Constantine: City of Demons Review - Finding danger on the other side of the pond". IGN. Retrieved February 7, 2019.
  20. ^ Schonfeld,, Renee (October 9, 2018). "Constantine: City of Demons". Common Sense Media. Retrieved February 7, 2019.

External linksEdit