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Interview: Ray Fawkes on CONSTANTINE, FOREVER EVIL: BLIGHT, and Working With DeMatteis

Fawkes goes in depth about what he's working on at DC.

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All of the DC Dark books are currently involved in a huge crossover event called FOREVER EVIL: BLIGHT.

COMIC VINE: For newer readers out there that are interested in CONSTANTINE and the dark books, what's been going in them and who is Blight?

RAY FAWKES: With "Forever Evil" telling the story of the elimination of the Justice League and the conquering of Earth by the evil Crime Syndicate, four of the books in DC's Dark line - Constantine, Justice League Dark, Trinity of Sin: Pandora, and Trinity of Sin: Phantom Stranger are crossing over in an epic story called "Forever Evil: Blight", which examines the effects of the invasion on the supernatural heroes of the DC Universe.

Blight itself is a monstrous manifestation of all the world's evil. With the coming of the Crime Syndicate and the removal of the Justice League, the balance of good and evil has been seriously disrupted, and Blight has actually drawn itself out of the Collective Unconscious and turned its attention on Earth. But he's not even our heroes' biggest problem - while they're wrestling with Blight, John Constantine and his compatriots learn that many of their fellow mages - including heroes like Zatanna, Black Orchid, Shade the Changing Man, and others - have been captured by forces allied with the Syndicate and are being... changed.

Forever Evil: Blight is the story of the remaining mages' battle with Blight and their attempt to free the magic of the DC Universe from the grip of evil.

CV: In issue #11, Project Thaumaton is revealed! What can you tell us about it and what long term effects will is have on Constantine?

RF: Project Thaumaton is the terrifying plan that the Syndicate has for the mystic forces in the DC Universe. I don't want to say more than that for fear of spoiling the fun for readers who haven't gotten to it yet.

CV: Are we going to see some sort or larger DC Mystic War?

RF: Well, you can't round up 95% of the world's magical characters and submit them to torturous alteration without expecting some kind of fallout. Read on and see.

CV: In the last issue of PHANTOM STRANGER, Constantine's old enemy Nick Necro reappeared, along with Justice League Dark villain Felix Faust. What part does Necro play in all of Forever Evil and is he a character we'll see a lot more of down the line, aside from issue #12?

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RF: Necro is one of the villainous forces allied with the Crime Syndicate. Think of him as an even less morally stable Constantine (if that's possible), and now he's backing what he thinks is the winning horse. He's willing to commit atrocities to do what he thinks he needs to do - and that's going to bring him into direct conflict with all of our heroes. After this, he may end up being one of the most notorious villains of the mystic side of the DC Universe, so you'll see more of him, yes.

CV: Forever Evil: Blight has been this large, interweaving story between four different titles (JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK, PHANTOM STRANGER, CONSTANTINE, PANDORA) how did you and writer J.M. Demmateis keep this event so together? And how is it working with him on this project?

RF: I'll tell you, I'm lucky to be working with J.M. DeMatteis, who is a consummate professional and incredibly inspiring collaborator. I have nothing but the utmost respect for his skill and the amazing heart he brings to his work. This crossover is big, and has a lot of moving parts, but he and I have worked very closely to make sure that everything meshed well. There were a lot of phone calls, even more emails, and so many exchanged scripts and notes that it makes my head spin to think about it. But the moment we were done, I think we both breathed a sigh of relief...and then said that it was a shame to see it end.

CV: What's been the most satisfying part of this event for you? A single moment in the books or something that just came together really well?

RF: It's hard to pick a single moment - especially since there are a few good ones that readers haven't seen yet. From the parts so far, I'm going to say that my favorite was Pandora's epiphany in Trinity of Sin: Pandora #7 - when she finally saw all the goodness in the world, and was personally transformed from a revenge-seeker to a representative of light and redemption. Francis Portela did a beautiful job rendering that scene.

Maybe you should ask me again when you see what happens in Constantine #12, though.

CV: Anything else you'd like to tell us about these upcoming issues? Anything fans should be looking out for?

RF: Yeah. Look out for some of the most intense magical action I've ever seen in comics...and for some unbelievable moments involving John, The Phantom Stranger, the Swamp all gets really nuts. This is a fight for the future of all magic here.

CV: And just because I ask it every time I talk to you, Ray, will there be a return of the Trenchcoat Brigade in the future?

RF: And I'll say what I probably always say: never say never!

Thanks a lot to Ray Fawkes for answering our questions and make sure to check out both CONSTANTINE and TRINITY OF SIN: PANDORA and the rest of Forever Evil: Blight!

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Edited By dagmar_merrill

Who wouldn't want to work with DeMatteis?

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Posted By Jonny_Anonymous

Nick Necro is one of the worst characters ever created, yuck.

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Edited By 2cool4fun

I like this, and it feels like a weekly comic ( which is what makes it so cool ) but I can't wait for John Constantine & Phantom Stranger to do their own thing.

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Edited By Outside_85

Sadly I feel Nick Necro is a bit of an unnecessary character, since all he seems to be is Constantine on one of his poorer days. Like, couldn't all Nick has been doing in FE have been done by John who just at the end turns on Faust and all that? (This is a man who doest shy away from sacrificing his own friends to demons if he has to after all.)

FE: Blight to me it just sorta reeks of an editorial mandate; the Dark books had to play into this dumb event, it has to end roughly at the same as FE and feature certain books. It's a great idea that they tell the story across the books as if it was all just one big book... but it also makes the books feel like the story has the pacing of a glacier, and most of the time has so far been spent fighting something almost completely unrelated to FE.

Even if FE: Blight manages to deliver something grandiose for the finale of this, I really cant wait till it's all over and the books return to their own directions.

(PS: I am still pretty ticked off that Raven is off with the Titans doing nothing and not involved in any of the stuff thats shaping the magical corner of DC for the next long while) :(

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Posted By manwithoutshame

This Blight crossover has been solid so far. It's not amazing, but it's getting the job done.

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Posted By ptigrusmagus

Wish this book still had the art from the first arc

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Edited By longbowhunter

JLD #0 was a decent read and I got a kick out of Necro being like a phony Keanu Reeves Constantine. But he's no more than that, not a character that deserves arch nemesis level status.

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Posted By The Stegman

I dropped all dark titles, Blight has been long and boring.

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Posted By Jeremy1989


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Edited By lifeboy

FE Blight has been a win for me. I haven't read any Constantine comics yet but that is something I will remedy soon. I plan to get constantine FE back issues and read the whole FE Blight story one more time!

I have however been reading mr Fawkes's Pandora. Issue 1 was one of the top comics I've read so far. Also, Pandora 7 had the best scene out of FE Blight. SPOILER* for pandora 7. That is when Nightmare Nurse is asking Pandora if she's ready because she has zoned out and gone inside her own thoughts to reflect on all she's done. Then she comes back right as the doors open to the House of Mystery to let the team out for the last battle against Blight! At that moment Pandora was pure AWESOMENESS!

Thanks mr Fawkes! :D

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Posted By Jonny_Anonymous
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Posted By lifeboy


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Posted By lifeboy
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Posted By Jonny_Anonymous

@lifeboy: I wish they would at least follow Sanderson's Three Laws of Magic, I'm kinda getting sick of people just shooting fireworks from there hands.

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Posted By AMX

I still miss Hellblazer

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Posted By Perfect 10

@ptigrusmagus: totally agree, my only real complaint. loving all the magic books from dc though. the only good thing about the new 52

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Posted By Jake Fury

I started out really enjoying this crossover but its gotten to the point where I just want it to end. It definitely could have been 8 issues instead of ten. Be glad when these books get back to their regular directions after FE.

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Edited By TheThe

I think Fawkes and DiMatteis need to give space to others characters too. JLA is too much centered around Constantine, i almost feel like i'm reading a solo title. It's annoying. This arc is good, but it lacks some of the epicness of the one about the books of magic. I suppose it depends on the way the tale is told....Also, JLA has an habit of weak ends after good stories. They need to fix that too.