Constantine Apparates from Page to Screen

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Matt Ryan is Constantine

This Friday night, DC Comics' John Constantine makes his first live action appearance in the NBC series, Constantine. So far, it appears that the writers are doing the series right this time, eschewing the "Hellblazer in name only" platform that was established with the Keanu Reeves vehicle.

Constantine is played by Matt Ryan, whose resume includes such titles as The Tudors and "Layer Cake." In Constantine, however, producers are relying on him to carry the series as the lead -- something he seems quite capable of handling, if the trailers are any indication.

Like other DC Entertainment television series, there are indications that the wider DC universe is open for exploration. A viral marketing campaign earlier in the year provided an 800 number to contact John's voice mail, where a hint to Alec Holland, the Swamp Thing, would be heard. There are others seemingly on the way, with Michael James Shaw playing the role of Papa Midnite, the immortal voodoo mob boss, and Emmett Scanlan as Jim Corrigan -- which raises the spectre of hope that even more DC supernatural heroes are on the way. (With a "Justice League Dark" movie being teased a few years down the road, could Constantine be DC's response to Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.?)

Check out the clip below from Constantine's debut episode, as John faces what is perhaps the greatest of his personal demons -- himself.