I think what surprised me the most about this issue was despite the hoohar over Carrie Kelley (Robin from Frank Miller’s Batman: The Dark Knight Returns) making her first in-whatever-passes-for-DC-Universe-continuity appearance, there wasn’t an immediate rush on copies by folks looking to make a quick eBay buck. It’s selling…okay, like a normal issue of Batman and Robin, without the recent sales bumps fed by “Death of a Family” and the death of Robin follow-up issues. I suppose in a few months, if Carrie Kelley sticks around (and that linked article explains that is the intent) sales will pick up on this issue. It helps that the Kelley material in the book is actually the best part, compared to the very odd Batman/Frankenstein Agent of S.H.A.D.E. crossover that makes up the rest of the story. Always nice to see Frankenstein again, even if pitted against what feels like a strangely out-of-character-even-if-grieving Batman. Interesting, even if it didn’t…feel right, you know?
This is the “DEMO” cover for the Mad Magazine variant for Batman #19 (even says “DEMO” up in the corner, there), provided one per comic shop to allow interested parties to see the fold-in in action without daring to damage their rare collectible item. …Well, I have to admit, decades of funnybook-sellin’ have instilled in me a deep resistance to deliberately folding creases into a comic book cover, even on comics explicitly intended for that purpose. I suppose if I had to, if someone insisted on it, I, with tears in my eyes and a trembling hand, would fold the cover over to reveal Mr. Jaffee’s hidden image. Or I could just take that scan and do a little area selection/dragging to do the same thing on the store computer.
Judging at least by our store’s sales, most of the people who read Constantine #1 came back for #2, either still in the “trying out the book” stage or, maybe, are attracted by the prospect of long-consigned to the Vertigo universe properties once again tied back into the DC Universe. The direction for the series seems to be tying itself together a little further…it’s a quest storyline, with John chasing down various pieces of a mystical artifact while running into a couple of old magical DC folks. It’s a stronger effort than the first issue, I think, presenting John trying to squeeze out of some tight spots with the gift of gab and a wee bit of magicking, which, you know, is pretty much what I want from a Constantine comic. And yes, I’m enjoying the novelty of the DCU tie-ins, too.