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Dresden, Constantine, ho'd win spoilers - Dresden Files and Hellblazer/Constantine

#1 User is offline   Inane Babble 

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Posted 05 November 2014 - 04:51 PM

Read all the books within the past month and have to throw my lot in with studlock and andorion, these are a fast and dirty thrill to read that you don't spend a lot of time on after you're done. The Blasphemy coming out of my mouth right now huh guys? :wacko:

I couldn't place why the books seemed so "meh" to me when the prose was good and I pretty much liked the characters you were supposed to and disliked the ones you were supposed to. Then I visited the dresdenfiles subreddit and there was a thread wondering who would win between Harry Dresden and John Constantine. It wasn't even a contest for me on who would win. John would wipe the sodding floor with Harry every day of the week you'd care to mention.

After reading Hellblazer for over a decade the Dresden Files unfortunately pales in comparison. At least part of the problem is Harry's immense and growing circle of friends and at-least-sometime-allies (read: every time they need to be his allies). He just can't get into THAT much trouble when he's a spoilers for rest of series
Spoiler


He just has all the cards on his side, he has play dates, not life or death situations.
Contrast that with Constantine from Hellblazer as a counter example, John HAD a lot of people over the years, they ALL DIED. He got a lot of them killed, or worse.
Spoiler
He actually has it rough. He has to muddle on through like the rest of us mortals and he wins with relatively little power, instead he uses cunning.

And this is just a personal peeve with all serial fiction; stop having Harry just get knocked out by the bad guys. Jesus.
Spoiler

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#2 User is offline   Illuyankas 

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Posted 05 November 2014 - 06:02 PM

Yeah but Constantine is an abhorrent shit of a person who, yes, ends up directly sending every single person who ever cared for him into eternal torment for completely avoidable reasons in a way that is inexcusably his fault. He deserves worse than to have been played by Keanu Reeves.
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#3 User is offline   Aptorian 

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Posted 05 November 2014 - 06:29 PM

I'm not understanding your arguments. You are saying that Constantine would win over Dresden because he is a terrible human being? Or because you find Constantine's comic more interesting than the Dresden series?

That has no actual input in the question of who'd win. Admittedly it's been years since I read some Hellblazer but Constantine is not a combat mage. He's a witch doctor/conman exorcist. Does he actually have spells he can throw at you?

Because from what I remember of Contanstine and what I know for certain about Dresden, Dresden would ruin Constantine. Actual physical fisticuffs, Dresden has the height, weight and skill advantage. Constantine fights dirty but Dresden has been doing that for 20 years. Dresden also has a readily available arsenal of weapons and tools from a big gun and a shotgun to blasting rods and shield bracelets, powerrings, etc. and then there's the most important part. Dresden could hurl a fireball the size of a house at you if he was angry enough.

In a straight up magical fight does Constantine have any juice at all? I know he caries around relics and has shaved knuckles and stuff but Constantine would seem more likely to strike a deal with some heavenly or hellish entity and have them attack Dresden. Which is just a normal tuesday for Harry Dresden. That stuff just makes Dresden mean.

EDIT; Also regarding Harry getting hurt:

Spoiler

This post has been edited by Apt: 05 November 2014 - 06:34 PM

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#4 User is offline   polishgenius 

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Posted 05 November 2014 - 06:34 PM

Constantine is the big dog alpha male of this sort of urban fantasy and I think still comfortably the best character of those around. The quality of the series itself varies wildly, although certainly Dresden, as much as I love it, doesn't stand up to Garth Ennis' run on the series, and Mike Carey's is pretty up-there too.


However, it seems a bit weird to conflate opinion into a who'd win. In a straight fight, Dresden would obviously come out tops. Hell, you even mentioned the reasons why. Although I find some of your criticisms invalid because although Dresden is very powerful and some of his allies are too, so are his enemies, and many of his allies are treacherous as hell too.
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#5 User is offline   Illuyankas 

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Posted 05 November 2014 - 06:55 PM

I was clearly putting forth my opinion that Constantine should lose a bit too subtly. Dresden should win, but Constantine would win if it came to a popular vote.

Also he means debilitating injuries which are his hand and his Changes injury, of which the hand is arguably and the Changes event is definitely his fault.
Hello, soldiers, look at your mage, now back to me, now back at your mage, now back to me. Sadly, he isnít me, but if he stopped being an unascended mortal and switched to Sole Spice, he could smell like heís me. Look down, back up, where are you? Youíre in a warren with the High Mage your cadre mage could smell like. Whatís in your hand, back at me. I have it, itís an acorn with two gates to that realm you love. Look again, the acorn is now otataral. Anything is possible when your mage smells like Sole Spice and not a Bole brother. Iím on a quorl.
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#6 User is offline   QuickTidal 

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Posted 05 November 2014 - 07:02 PM

Dresden summons his Winter powers. John Constantine freezes solid.

Dresden smacks Constantine-sicle with his staff. It shatters into a bajilllion pieces.

Done and done.
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#7 User is offline   Tiste Simeon 

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Posted 05 November 2014 - 07:04 PM

View PostQuickTidal, on 05 November 2014 - 07:02 PM, said:

Dresden summons his Winter powers. John Constantine freezes solid.

Dresden smacks Constantine-sicle with his staff. It shatters into a bajilllion pieces.

Done and done.

You forgot to add "Dresden makes witty quip that has everyone's eyes rolling."
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#8 User is offline   Aptorian 

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Posted 05 November 2014 - 07:07 PM

You know it has to be a pop culture reference.

"Is it cold in here or is it just me?" *kicks off head*

This post has been edited by Apt: 05 November 2014 - 07:07 PM

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#9 User is offline   polishgenius 

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Posted 05 November 2014 - 07:09 PM

Of course, the thing to remember is that Constantine is effectively Magical Batman and if he knows Dresden's coming, he'll send him running every which way, steal all his stuff, then summon Swamp Thing or Zatanna to fight him for him.
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#10 User is offline   Aptorian 

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Posted 05 November 2014 - 07:16 PM

At which point Harry manages to just barely defeat the terrible minion, bruised, tired and close to breaking down, somebody gives Harry a pep-talk or Constantine insults Dresden's cat and Harry becomes terribly vexed. Cue Dresden burning down everything. Then ale and cheese steak is consumed.

This post has been edited by Apt: 05 November 2014 - 07:16 PM

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#11 User is offline   Illuyankas 

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Posted 05 November 2014 - 07:17 PM

No, you see, I have an infinity plus one shield.
Hello, soldiers, look at your mage, now back to me, now back at your mage, now back to me. Sadly, he isnít me, but if he stopped being an unascended mortal and switched to Sole Spice, he could smell like heís me. Look down, back up, where are you? Youíre in a warren with the High Mage your cadre mage could smell like. Whatís in your hand, back at me. I have it, itís an acorn with two gates to that realm you love. Look again, the acorn is now otataral. Anything is possible when your mage smells like Sole Spice and not a Bole brother. Iím on a quorl.
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#12 User is offline   QuickTidal 

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Posted 05 November 2014 - 07:19 PM

View PostApt, on 05 November 2014 - 07:16 PM, said:

At which point Harry manages to just barely defeat the terrible minion, bruised, tired and close to breaking down, somebody gives Harry a pep-talk or Constantine insults Dresden's cat and Harry becomes terribly vexed. Cue Dresden burning down everything. Then ale and cheese steak is consumed.


A cold one, preferably from Mac's "Old Peculiar" label.
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#13 User is offline   polishgenius 

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Posted 05 November 2014 - 07:26 PM

As long as it's not Newcastle Brown. It might give Constantine bad flashbacks.
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#14 User is offline   Inane Babble 

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Posted 05 November 2014 - 07:41 PM

FAO everyone: this post was moved from the other thread growing irritations which is why it doesn't seem to make a lot of sense (thats my excuse and im sticking to it)

The broad point I was making is that constantine is a better realised, more human character than dresden who has to go through a whole lot more difficult situations which made the Hellblazer series more compelling/enjoyable/better overall. That was the main point, not the fight between them, that was just the thing that made me realise why. Also big thanks to the mod for moving and removing all context of my post to make it almost nonsensical without any indication that you did.

Re the fight;
I said Constaine mops the floor with Dresden because they are both at their cores, supernatural investigators/protectors.

If you put Constantine and Dresden in a town and told them there was a supernatural threat they had to eliminate (the threat is each other) I would put my money on Constantine and not even feel the need to check the result before collecting the winnings. Of course if you stick them in a small room and have them blast at each other Dresden would win, but that is NOT what Dresden or constantine is about. Harry is a freaking investigative wizard and Constantine is a supernatural conman.

When it comes to sneaky planning and investigation and countering another supernatural threat, Dresden is still 15 books in getting his scenarios spoon fed to him by mommy.

This post has been edited by Inane Babble: 05 November 2014 - 07:42 PM

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#15 User is offline   Aptorian 

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Posted 05 November 2014 - 08:32 PM

View PostInane Babble, on 05 November 2014 - 07:41 PM, said:

The broad point I was making is that constantine is a better realised, more human character than dresden who has to go through a whole lot more difficult situations which made the Hellblazer series more compelling/enjoyable/better overall.


I think this is a matter of taste.

While I find Dresden's continued ignorance, stubbornness and unflexible personality bothersome, these are also traits that make him sympathetic. Dresden is a likable man.

Constantine is an asshole. As such, I don't really feel as invested in his stories. The stories are certainly more grunge but also do not have the same draw as the hollywood blockbuster formula of the Dresden books.

View PostInane Babble, on 05 November 2014 - 07:41 PM, said:

When it comes to sneaky planning and investigation and countering another supernatural threat, Dresden is still 15 books in getting his scenarios spoon fed to him by mommy.


I agree with this but

View PostInane Babble, on 05 November 2014 - 07:41 PM, said:

Of course if you stick them in a small room and have them blast at each other Dresden would win, but that is NOT what Dresden or constantine is about. Harry is a freaking investigative wizard and Constantine is a supernatural conman.


I think this is wrong. In my assessment Harry isn't actually a detective. He's too dumb to be a detective. Detective is the guise or persona that Dresden has assumed to hide his secret identity, that being a superhero wizard.

Dresden isn't an investigator. He's a cleaner. He's the guy you point at a problem that isn't easily solved and Dresden sets fire to it for you. He works as a detective because that is the way he finds something to give his life meaning.

My point is, Harry is a warrior. Every fiber in his body is made to fight. That's his problem. He doesn't know how to back down. He doesn't know how to compromise or use diplomacy. He uses brute force in most situation. Be it in a conversation or in a fight. Yes, after Changes, this has begun to change but he is still an incredibly dumb, stubborn bastard.
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#16 User is offline   polishgenius 

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Posted 05 November 2014 - 08:39 PM

It struck me just now that Johnny Marcone is actually a much closer match for John Constantine than Harry is:


Driven by guilt over a tragic incident in his past involving a young girl: check.
Otherwise basically a total bastard: check.
Very good at manipulating and controlling everyone he comes across: check.
Not that innately magically powerful in himself: check.
But nonetheless commands the attention and sometimes respect of extremely potent supernatural entities: check.
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#17 User is offline   amphibian 

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Posted 05 November 2014 - 08:51 PM

It's a tiny bit unfair to compare Constantine, which has 30 years of continuous publication, dozens of story arcs and many talented writers working on it in a shared universe with some of the most popular/powerful characters in all of comics, to Harry Dresden, who has fifteen books (and a few side projects) put out in fourteen years.

They are characters aimed to do two different things, even if they are both magicians working with the unknown and the dangerous located mostly within a big city.
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#18 User is offline   Inane Babble 

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Posted 05 November 2014 - 08:59 PM

View Postamphibian, on 05 November 2014 - 08:51 PM, said:

It's a tiny bit unfair to compare Constantine, which has 30 years of continuous publication, dozens of story arcs and many talented writers working on it in a shared universe with some of the most popular/powerful characters in all of comics, to Harry Dresden, who has fifteen books (and a few side projects) put out in fourteen years.

They are characters aimed to do two different things, even if they are both magicians working with the unknown and the dangerous located mostly within a big city.


As I said above, the point I was trying to make when it was just a post in another thread was that, the Dresden Files series suffers from having a protagonist that is too safe from harm, I just used hellblazer as an example.
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#19 User is offline   Tiste Simeon 

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Posted 05 November 2014 - 10:13 PM

Is there a definitive list of Constantine books/graphic novels/whatever? Sounds like something I would be into.
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#20 User is offline   Inane Babble 

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Posted 05 November 2014 - 10:27 PM

View PostTiste Simeon, on 05 November 2014 - 10:13 PM, said:

Is there a definitive list of Constantine books/graphic novels/whatever? Sounds like something I would be into.


http://hellblazer.wi...er_publications

http://www.amazon.co...lm/B8G9EH8NDSF9

Be aware that this IS quite an old series that was ongoing for a few decades. It may be a bit of a cultural shock (nothing too serious, just little things), or hard to read clearly early on because comic speech/formatting conventions have changed a bit. Strongly recommend sticking it through to the end of dangerous habits if you find yourself not quite pulled in at early on.
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