Distorted Illusions is the magic of punk rock

  • Distorted Illusions of Constantine
    Constantine: distorted illusions

    Kami Garcia

    Isaac Goodhart

    steve chopsticks

    Cover artist:
    Isaac Goodhart



    Release date:

    Ruth Redmond

Constantine has always been one of the bad guys in the DC Universe. He’s a supernatural hero, but he’s also a big mess. So it’s no surprise to find him in his own YA graphic novel. Constantine: distorted illusionswritten by Kami Garcia, with art by Isaac Goodhart, color by Ruth Redmond, and lettering by Steve Wands, explores Constantine’s life before he became an occult detective and professional wizard.

Urged by his mother and stepfather to pursue an apprenticeship with America’s top magician, Constantine agrees to check her out. But, in truth, he has no intention of studying with her. Instead, he joins his best friend, Veronica’s punk band. However, Constantine cannot avoid the magic forever, leading to many problems for him, the group, and the woman who caught his eye, Luna.

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Punk rock, witchcraft and Constantine are an obvious mix. The world of Distorted illusions is magical at its core, embracing the genre of urban fantasy. It’s no surprise, because Garcia has written a lot of contemporary fantasy before, from beautiful creatures at Teen Titans: Raven. His interest in the occult and the supernatural is fully visible in Constantine: distorted illusions, and readers will want to explore every corner of this world with Constantine. Whether it’s literal spells or the magic seen in everyday events, Garcia finds a way to incorporate mysticism and magic into every part of Constantine’s life. The book is populated by magical beings who are on top in the best possible way. Goodhart offers iconic designs to remind readers that witches, wizards and wizards shamelessly live by their own rules.

Redmond colors complement the designs. Constantine: distorted illusions uses a cool color scheme, with lots of purples and blues. Purple often represents spirituality, royalty and mystery, while blue tends to be linked to imagination, inspiration and sensitivity. All of these are key elements of Distorted illusions. Constantine must feel lost, alone and in love. Cool colors complement the character’s isolation and frustration, while bursts of pink and purple resonate with her romantic subplot.

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Romance is one of the weakest parts of Constantine: distorted illusions. While far from being the worst of DC’s published YA novels, it feels rushed. This is partly due to a deception early in Constantine and Luna’s budding relationship. While it’s something they can work out and makes for an interesting plot point, Garcia doesn’t take enough time to flesh out their relationship.

In addition to this, there are two other interesting relationships in Constantine: distorted illusions. The first is the father-son dynamic between Constantine and his stepfather, Roderick. There is a solid arc between the two. By the end of the book, fans will want Roderick to be part of their family. It’s a nice detail that underscores the importance of found family – something that’s seen throughout the book.

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The second engaging relationship is the friendship between Veronica and Constantine. It’s always refreshing to see a platonic relationship between a man and a woman, because so many mainstream stories romanticize these dynamics. Constantine finds love and acceptance among the people who choose to be part of his life. Constantine being an overtly odd character in DC, and especially in this book, seeing him find his people here is satisfying and empowering. It’s also a refreshing take on his homosexuality, as it’s not just about a coming-out narrative or romance, which are often the stories reserved for expressing a character’s sexuality.

Constantine: distorted illusions is a magical book, and it knows exactly who its audience is. It’s for readers who feel like they don’t fit into the mainstream. It’s aimed at teenage readers, but Goodhart and Redmond’s mystical art is sure to appeal to fans of all ages. The story also has great potential for future installments, as it’s a fun take on Constantine, and the world deserves more exploration. Constantine: Distorted Illusions is a magical addition to the DC YA catalog.

Constantine: Distorted Illusions is available now.

About Joan J. Hernandez

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