The whole argument of what's better and what isn't is ridiculous.
Constantine has been an awesome character in the New 52. And he was introduced as a character who could interact with the DCU at large. Moore planned an entire super-hero crossover around the guy, for christ's sake.
Vertigo Constantine is practically an institution. He is unique in that he has aged in, more or less, real time. He's unique in that he's one of those eighties horror properties that has stayed relevant and edgy. While there have been terrible Hellblazer stories, if I had to pick between Constantine and Sandman, personally, I would take John any day. As great as the lord of dreams is, he's a bit, eh, what do you say... mopey, overwrought, and overblown. Hellblazer at its best has quietly explored much more relevant territory- again, just in my opinion. What isn't opinion is that the character in this incarnation is important, if not to some individual fans, in the landscape of these fictional territories we all love in one way or another.
But there's room for both. Ennis' Punisher MAX (for the most part) is a perfect book... that aged Frank in real time... and addressed adult, real world concerns. Not unlike Hellblazer. While that was running, Matt Fraction brought Frank back to the more age appropriate Marvel Universe. They both worked.
What I get out of the adventures of the John who runs around being a mild fuck-up in Justice League Dark is completely different from what I get out of the edgy, aging, cradle-robbing Constantine in the Vertigo line. If they want to reinvigorate the Vertigo version there are plenty of ways to do that. Shutting the title down just to cement him as a New 52 only character seems like a silly, unnecessary development.
Aside from the controversial nature of this issue, I am getting a bit put off by the expansion of the Dark line of titles. Granted, they put out some of the best titles of the New 52, but it just seems to negate some of the notion that they're about the creepy, dark underbelly of the DCU when they represent nearly a quarter of the line.
I live in Paris, France. The first trip to the local comic shop I did was a little over 20 years ago. A friend of mine was all over this new wave of comics that came with Image. During that fateful 1991 summer, I discovered during a swedish holiday the joy of Sandman, Shade the Changing Man, Doom Patrol... and Hellblazer. I had always enjoyed comics, but until that summer those were the european ones, Tintin, Spirou, Neige, etc, incl a lot of cool but frankly average ones. I had read the odd US comic, Batman, superheroes, Conan, or even some Dark Horse, Judge Dredd, Tyranny Rex, etc, but nothing as powerful or creative as the stuff I had discovered with those pre vertigo titles. So when I heard my friend talking about this shop where you could fine OG US comics, especially those early Image ones, I followed him t the city (lived in the suburbs back then), intending to buy Sandman. As I had some extra cash, I could afford one other comic and had to choose between Shade and Hellblazer. As I had missed the early Shade and finding back issues in Paris back then wasn't as easy as in our internet days, I settled for Hellblazer, which seemed to publish self contained storylines. So my first issue was one written by John SMith and illustrated by Sean Phillips I believe. It took me a few years to track down the earlier issues. A TPB of the first 10 was very helpfull, but if you remember correctly, it took DC decades before they would reprint anything between this and the Garth Ennis stuff.
Well, ever since that issues, #51, I've paid a weekly visit to my LCSs to get several different titles, a growing amount actually, but Hellblazer has always followed me, and since it only took me a few months to follow those initial two purchase with Shade, I was extremely happy to see Peter Milligan write it and succeed.
I'm a very sad comic book reader tonight. I buy an average of 55 comics a months these days. But this sole cancelation sounds like the first real way out of the whole hobby. I know it's not rational, but I might very seriously bid my farewell to the whole industry come issue 300. ANd this is by no way some kind of angry threat, just a simple sad self reflection.