I just get the impression some people (probably primarily superhero readers) just have a knee-jerk reaction to him and Vertigo in general.
You are obviously not one of them though!
I have been reading Delano's stuff in trades and yeah, he does some horrible things to his "mates" but its mainly in the interest of self-preservation and you just see it as a bloke who has very little options most of the time.
I know a lot of people say Delano's stuff is the best but it hasn't really taken off for me yet. First volume was good but the next 2 were a bit of a slog to be honest. Looking forward to the Family Man being reprinted in a couple of weeks as I've heard thats fantastic. But so far it can be a bit purple-prosey and heavy-handed and it feels more dated than the Ennis stuff.
That's another thing I can never understand - you have one of the most celebrated runs on the character by the team of Ennis and Dillon, one of the most celebrated pairings in modern comics, and it's not kept in print, and doesn't even seem to be that widely known about in general. Why? It's bloody fantastic!
Well the whole point of Constantine is that the only reason we like him is because we're seeing him from the Fourth Wall and can understand him on an interpersonal level. Otherwise, we wouldn't be able to tolerate him. A lot of writers have talked about how the character has become so personal to them to the point where "he writes himself." So the character is still "a bastard" as he's always called, but we at least know where he's coming from.
Rorshach is an odd comparison, because he was meant to be unlikable, but the audience reacted much differently.
John on the other hand is perfectly likable on the day to day basis, hanging with his friends/having a pint etc. It's when the chips are down he becomes really scary.
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I notice John has become decidely more brutal over the years. In Highwater he reaaaaaly fucks up those Nazis, not to mention the prison riot in Hard Times. What he did to the guy who killed his ex-girlfriend in Haunted was pretty nasty too. Compare with how tore up he is to kill the Family Man, a straight up serial killer.