It is not an easy task to adapt a comic book such as The Sandman for the screen. Since the first issue of The Sandman was published, Neil Gaiman had over three decades to update and tweak his story. However, even small changes like character appearances can cause upset among long-time readers.
Many Sandmancharacters like Lucienne and Lucifer have been gender-swapped in Netflix’s live-action series . The Netflix live-action series just wrapped its first season. Johanna Constantine, an occult detective, was possibly the most controversial.
The character played by Doctor Who’sJenna Coleman is actually based upon John Constantine, a DC Comics warlock, from the Hellblazerseries. Fans may recognize the name from a 2014 Constantinetelevision show on NBC starring actor Matt Ryan or back in 2005 with Keanu Reeves’ Constantinefilm. Johanna Constantine and John Constantine are both featured in The Sandmancomics early, but only Johanna is in the Netflix series. Johanna is supposed to be John’s 18th century ancestor. However, Netflix’s Sandman chose to have Coleman play both her and her identical descendent of the present.
Gaiman claims that Coleman was the reason for this decision. Gaiman stated that Jenna was the best Constantine so far. “Weirdly, somehow, she is the truth because she both has humor, and the attractiveness and that sleazy and doomed quality.” . You know that falling in love with her will make you a demon-fodder. You also know you cannot help but fall in love with her.”
Fans have loved Coleman’s Constantine, even though she only appeared in two episodes of The Sandman’s first season. The main episode featured numerous references to Hellblazer characters, including Ric the Vic and Agileth. It also included the disturbing nightmare sequence from Hellblazer #11. Johanna’s ex Rachel even named-dropped several of John’s exes in the comics, including Sarah, Oliver, and Kit Ryan.
It was a joy to watch and a new character to embrace. She’s not a gender-swapped John. “She’s another Constantine,” Neil Gaiman wrote via Twitter — and fans seem to agree.
Although the series is yet to be renewed by Netflix for a second season, there has been talk of Johanna Constantine’s spin-off. Jenna Coleman said that she was thrilled to be able to enter the world of dark and epic fantasy. “There aren’t many female roles as [Johanna]- she is really complicated and layered; humor is her defense mechanism but she is clearly a really tortured person… She is an exorcist.
Let’s hope Coleman can make it to Season Two.