‘Constantine’ Primer: The Five ‘Hellblazer’ Stories To Read Before The Show Premieres

Art by: Leonardo Manco

All His Engines (Standalone Graphic Novel)
Writer: Mike Carey
Artist: Leonardo Manco

All His Engines plays like a compilation of John Constantine’s greatest hits, baking many of his defining traits and some of the series’ favorite narrative devices — supernatural plagues, a Big Bad derived from mythological sources, culture clashes, Machiavellian approaches to paranormal problems — into a dynamic standalone tale. Hellblazer veteran (and accomplished novelist) Mike Carey reconciles years of disparate takes on Constantine into a single eloquent whole and successfully fleshes out the relationship between him and long-suffering friend and driver Chas. Leonardo Manco’s art enhances the noirish atmosphere, his trademark muddy browns well suited to the twilit Los Angeles setting. Stuffed with baroque horror set-pieces, cinematic plotting and clever dialogue, it’s a perfect one-stop introduction to the character.