So when it came to Constantine's involvement in "Trinity War," the upcoming crossover event pitting the three Justice Leagues and Trinity of Sin characters against each other in "Justice League," "Justice League of America" and "Justice League Dark," the first question Fawkes had to address was the simplest -- what's in it for Constantine?
"Honestly, this is sort of a situation for John where we're talking potential apocalypse. I know you guys don't know what type of apocalypse, that's part of the surprise of 'Trinity War,' but speaking from his perspective of a purely selfish character, he wants there to be a world for him to wake up in tomorrow," Fawkes laughed as he spoke with CBR about his book and upcoming summer event tie-in.
With another chuckle the writer added, "John's the guy looking for angles. He not only wants to prevent the bad things from happening, he wants to end the whole story in a way that he's further advanced than he was before; not only does he have to save the world, or at least stop it from being ruined, he also sees something he can gain from it."
Until recently Fawkes had been co-writing the New 52 adventures of the British necromancer with fellow Canadian and "Justice League Dark" cohort Jeff Lemire. However, Fawkes takes over as the sole writer on the book beginning with issue #5, the same issue exploring John Constantine's involvement in "Trinity War."
"I knew the crossover was coming, so the first thing was asking why is John doing this? What is he going to get out of this?" Fawkes recalled. "It wasn't that much of a jump from working with Jeff on the book because he's writing the 'Trinity War' stuff with Geoff Johns, so I was still talking to him. It became a thing where I was completely steering the ship on 'Constantine.'"
Beyond hinting "Trinity War" has wide repercussions for the entire DC Universe, Fawkes stated there are huge personal changes for Constantine resulting from the crossover that, though currently ambiguous, do affect the series moving forward.
"What John does during 'Trinity War' changes his life very drastically. He has an encounter with someone in his crossover, and that person says something to John that threatens and undermines his outlook on life," Fawkes teased.
One of the newest titles gracing the New 52, after only three issues the writer admitted "Constantine" is still finding its feet and is aware fans of the original Vertigo incarnation, "Hellblazer," have been intently watching Fawkes and Lemire's first arc.
"Fan reaction is what it is. All I can do when it comes to fans is write the best stories I can and hope it appeals to them," the writer said, adding that he himself is a fan of the original character, one of the reasons he was drawn to write "Constantine" in the first place.
In fact, according to Fawkes the greatest hurdle for him has not been dealing with fan expectations but trying to keep the character true to his loner, conman roots while interacting with the rest of the superhero-driven DC Universe.
"The biggest challenge was taking John from a world where all the unusual, crazy stuff was hidden. It was a world where magic's underground and the demons, angels, vampires and whatnot he encountered were able to sneak through," Fawkes said. "Now we're transplanting him to a world where your average person is aware of metahuman creatures. Superman and Green Lantern are flying through the sky every day; he's a power player in a world with very public supernatural creatures."
Thus, according to the writer, "The challenge was how do I maintain the mystique of a conman and a secret operator in a world where a lot of people don't see that's necessary?"
Of course, Fawkes admitted all of Constantine's scheming and determination to remain in the shadows may not help him when it comes to slugging it out with the Justice League at the outset of "Trinity War."
"Perhaps given some preparation and the quickness of his wit, Constantine can stand in the ring with Wonder Woman -- I mean, his chances aren't good!" Fawkes said, concluding with a laugh, "He does have a talent for making his way out of those situations without completely compromising himself!"
"Constantine" #4 goes on sale June 14; Fawkes' solo run begins with "Constantine" #5, a "Trinity War" tie-in available July 17