Well, maybe he is and maybe he isn’t. Unfortunately for Constantine, in that same issue, his once-and-future potential wife Epiphany Greaves finds herself jettisoned to London circa 1979 by Shade, The Changing Man.
The story, written by longtime Vertigo veteran Peter Milligan, hits stores in October and CBR News spoke with the British writer about his attempts at making an honest man of DC’s one and only hell-blazer.
CBR News: First things first, is it really true, will we see Constantine get married?
Peter Milligan: Well, Constantine plans to get married. He’s asked Epiphany to marry him. But there are forces possibly greater than Constantine that don’t want it to happen.
It doesn’t help that Epiphany is stranded in 1979.
That is just one of the obstacles they’re going to have to overcome if they’re going to get married. Even Constantine will probably have to be in the same place and time as the person he’s marrying.
What is it that makes the two a great couple now? They certainly haven’t always seen each other eye to eye?
It’s been a slow burn, as these things generally are. Events in the storyline “Sectioned” begin to make Constantine re-think his feelings towards Epiphany. Of course Epiphany told John up-front that he turned her on. Since then, there have been some scrapes and fights, but I feel there’s always been some underlying connection between the two of them, regardless of the age difference, the difference in musical taste and the fact that Epiphany’s father has threatened to kill John if he touches his daughter.
Does Epiphany still have some mysteries about her that Constantine has yet to discover?
Epiphany has had a very unusual past and an equally unusual family, so there are bound to be a few skeletons rattling around the cupboard. Though she seems a happy-go-lucky kind of alchemist, there is tragedy in her past.
Why do you feel Constantine is ready to get married? Is it because, unlike most comic book characters, Constantine actually ages, or it a simple case of it just being time?
It’s not just age, but with age his attitude to life might have changed a little. I’m not sure if Constantine – or anyone else – is actually ever consciously “ready” to get married. A big part of him is amazed that he’s thinking of doing such a thing. Why he’s doing this, and why he’s doing this with this particular young woman is the subject of the next storyline. As usual with these things, there is no one easy, pat answer. The human heart is a complex organ. John Constantine’s heart is more complex – and dark – than most.
Shade, The Changing Man is a character you have a long history writing, and lately, he has played a major role in the series. Have you enjoyed returning to the character and what is it about him that works so well opposite Constantine?
I’ve really enjoyed it. I’ve also enjoyed having to re-read some of the old Shade stories, most of which are being republished right now. The character is great because he’s flawed and over-sensitive. Sometimes you don’t know whether you want to slap him or kiss him. And his strange “powers of madness” allow you to do some really interesting and rich psychologically stuff, to really dig into his soul and turn it inside out.
He’s also a great foil for Constantine, who though possessing his own kind of madness magic is in most ways the polar opposite of Shade.
Do you have future plans for Shade, and/or will he continue playing a role in the series?
He’s appearing in the “Bloody Carnations” storyline but I don’t have concrete plans to give him an ongoing role.
Once this whole wedding thing is sorted, what’s ahead for Constantine, specifically after the conclusion of “Bloody Carnations?”
If he manages to get married – there are forces in Hell who don’t want him to – the first thing he needs to do is get his thumb sorted out. Or his lack of one thumb. How does a man like Constantine go about finding a new thumb?
How about waiting at an infamous accident black-spot so he can nip in and slice off a casualty’s digit before the emergency services arrive?
Shifting topics a bit, reports indicate that “Greek Street” is coming to an end. Is that the case, and do you have enough issues remaining to wrap up the larger story you were telling?
It’s a shame, but that’s the way it goes. In fact, I’d originally conceived of “Greek Street” as a much shorter, finite storyline, so I will have enough episodes to wrap up the larger story, for sure. I was going to fit in some shorter, self-contained Greek influenced stories within the “Greek Street” world, and some of these will now not be written. Or perhaps they’ll find themselves reworked and told in a different place.
Any other news for you coming out of San Diego about new titles or projects?
I’m starting a new series for DC, but I can’t talk about that yet. I’m also doing a few things for Radical Comics. “After Dark,” which will be out at San Diego, and something I’m developing which has a working title of “Saint Death.”
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