While the world's attention was on the trainwreck that is DC Comics' professional relationship with its creative talent, the beleaguered publisher actually put out some comic books yesterday. One of those comics was Constantine #1, the first issue of the series that the beloved, long-running Vertigo title, Hellblazer, had to die for. Bleeding Cool noticed something... off about the cover. It seems that Constantine had a cigarette photoshopped right out of his mouth, as evidenced by an earlier snapshot of the image from Comixology. Well, it's good that DC is paying attention to what matters.
"We felt we needed to address this issue," said Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns as a high-ranking member of DC's accounting department forced open the window behind him, climbed out onto the ledge, and leapt to his death. "Do you know how many kids there are out there who would be negatively impacted by seeing their hero engaging in disgusting tobacco usage?"
While Johns was speaking, one of DC's editors ran past us, being pursued by two writers clutching steak knives. "Kill you, you bastard!!" shouted one of the writers.
"We feel it's our responsibility to look out for the health of our readers," Johns continued as no less than four creators stormed in and angrily threw resignation letters onto his desk. "Constantine smoking is a problem, and when I see a problem, I address it."
While Johns excitedly brandished the new cover, featuring a wholesome and healthy Constantine, Editor in Chief Bob Harras barged into the office. "You never saw me," gasped the out-of-breath executive as he ducked behind Johns' desk. Moments later, an enraged Scott Lobdell stalked past Johns' office, waving around a lit flamethrower.
"Oh, hey, is that the new Constantine cover?" asked Harras, poking his head up after Lobdell had passed. Screams rang out from down the hallway. "Nice job on that!"
If you haven't already, pick up a copy of Constantine, in stores yesterday, at your local comic shop. Pick up two, and give one to an impressionable child. Because he's kid-friendly now. Because he's not smoking.
DC Comics: focusing on what really matters.