- Title: Constantine vol. 4: The Apocalypse Road
- Author: Ray Fawkes
- Artist: Edgar Salazar
- Line: New 52
- Characters: John Constantine
- Publication Date: 2015
- Publisher: DC Comics
- Date Reviewed on GoodReads: 01/07/2017
**Spoiler Alert** Constantine Volume 4: The Apocalypse Road is the fourth and unfortunately, final volume of the New 52 Era John Constantine (Hellblazer) comics and graphic novel series. Fortunately, Constantine has been introduced again in DC Rebirth – but the first graphic novel collection of the newest series won’t be available until April. DC has, however, also collected the various Vertigo Constantine stories – so there is more to look for coming or available if you like the character and want to see different takes on him.
This story picked up after the cliffhanger from the last volume. John finds himself on an alternate Earth – an Earth where “John Constantine” isn’t a Mage of the Third (or as John says in this volume) Fourth Order. Rather, this alternate John is a rock musician. Mage John’s parents and his friends are still alive as well. Mage John is shocked by all this. However, no one is likely to survive for long – this alternate reality’s Earth has been invaded by aliens, aliens using an atmospheric gas to produce feelings of doom, depression, and helplessness to make it easier to subdue the population. And once that is done, the planet will be turned over to Darkseid to destroy at his leisure.
As John’s coming to terms with that, and meeting himself and his friends, and seeing his other path as potentially better but doomed – they realize he is a mage. At first full of anger, everyone from John’s parents, to his friends, to the other version of John, begs him to help them escape. Reluctantly, John agrees, but explains that Magic Always Has A Price. Unfortunately, no one really understands what that means. Mage John ends up paying a terrible cost, and makes a horrific sacrifice. However, his spell works and nearly everyone makes it back to our Earth. Unfortunately, Darkseid follows. John then pulls out the second spell in his pocket, metaphorically speaking. With it he manipulates Darkseid and saves our Earth. Again, the costs are very high.
At times this last graphic novel in the series felt a bit rushed; as if, knowing the series was cancelled they tried to wrap-up any loose ends. But it’s still one heck of a roller coaster ride and nothing that happened felt out of character. In fact, some of the darkest moments of the book were that devastating because they felt so realistic to the characters and their behavior. I highly recommend Constantine both this book and the entire series, and it’s companion series, Justice League Dark.