The onslaught of TV show adaptations of comic books continues. NBC’s drama “Constantine” has cast former “Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior” star Matt Ryan in the title role of John Constantine, a master of the occult who battles demons and can view the dark underworld parallel to reality.
With so many comic-book characters popping up on TV, it’s easy to see them get watered down or lose touch with what they were originally about. While The CW’s “Arrow” is a beloved show among its fans, it strays from the source material on a somewhat regular basis. For example, in “Green Arrow,” Oliver Queen doesn’t kill people. Stephen Amell’s version can’t really make that claim.
With that in mind, here are a few things that really need to be present in “Constantine” to keep it honest to its roots.
- Constantine will fight demons on a weekly basis, which makes sense, but his ultimate goal needs to be finding the soul of his deceased mother.
- Bring in the secondary characters around Constantine. He needs his best fiend Chas, sister Cheryl and her husband Tony. Eventually even Epiphany, the woman who becomes Constantine’s wife, should enter the series. Not too early, though.
- Don’t take away his trade. Constantine is a magician and con artist. While he’s the hero of the story, he’s also very flawed, in addition to the whole fighting demons thing. Little touches like this will help build out the character. Besides, it’s not like there are many magicians on TV.
- It wouldn’t hurt to bring in some writers of the comic, if they have time. Garth Ennis is going to be too busy with his “Preacher” adaptation, but using people like Warren Ellis and even Neil Gaiman, if he’ll do it, would help greatly because they know the story. Gaiman only authored one issue of the comic, but it would make for a wonderful episode.
- Don’t be too concerned with thinking up crazy demons for Constantine to fight. The comic has done the heavy-lifting here with a well-rounded army of bad guys for the hero to face off against, including Satan himself. Doing that means we might get to see Constantine vs. his unborn twin, The Golden Child. That would be a sight to see.
There are endless possibilities for a “Constantine” series. Let’s hope NBC takes the time and care needed to make sure it’s done right.