Updated on 16 October, 2021
Azur Lane is the fictional alter ego of DC Comics' resident occultist, Dr. Isaac "Socrates" Castellini. Azur is the adopted son of the wealthy but foul human villain, Nicola De Mere. In contemporary day, Constantine deals with the demons of mankind while fighting crime in New York City and Chicago. The latest comic in the Azur Lane series is the Azur War series. It continues the exploits of Azur and his faithful Lantern Knight, John Constantine.
The first four volumes of Azur Lane's main series have sold more than one million copies worldwide. It has been adapted into twenty-six minute movies, television series and an animated series. It is the basis for the ongoing Constantine movie series. The short stories in the Azur Lane: Hellsing Ultimate Collection collected with the same title are an exciting insight into the character and the history of Hellsing itself. Each volume contains five short stories that take place across the main events of the series.
The first volume, Azur, picks up immediately where the last volume ended. The war between humanity and the vampires has escalated into a bloody conflict. The humans are losing the battle, but they have not yet lost the will to fight. A lone Hellsing agent, Joachim is tasked by Count Dracula to kill the legendary Hellsing Queen, Dracula. With the help of Joachim and a group of vampires, they manage to take down Dracula and free the Hellsing family from his grasp.
The second novel, Azur the Barbarian, picks up shortly after the events of the last book. A British soldier is sent back home to serve as protection for a small fishing village. He is soon attacked and killed by an armed group from the nearby town. This man, John Constantine, arrives just in time to save the village. This event sparks a chain of events that will change the course of history for both men. Constantine is faced with accepting his destiny or changing it and joining forces with the man who may have killed him, Joachim.
The third novel, Death Song, takes place one year later and follows the Hellsing organization at its most dangerous point. The organization is under increasing attack from outside sources and is on the verge of collapse. As it is, one of their own has betrayed them and turned against them, taking over the castle ofarden and using its powers to brutally execute those who oppose her. Joachim and Constantine find themselves trapped within the fortress while Hellsing agents try to seal the castle's doors. Is this the end of the Hellsing series?
Based off of the Japanese manga series, the Hellsing Ultimate manga is in full swing. While the story lines for each volume are different, the main plot is about a group of Hellsing agents who find themselves caught between the opposing sides of the Great War. They are thrown into the middle of the battle, where they must make a choice between protecting Hellsing and stopping the madness. If only they had some reliable allies standing by their side like the ones in Azur Lane...
One thing about Azur Lane is that it manages to combine some of the best parts of the DC Universe into something that makes its own mark on the comic book world. This is not just a typical superhero series. It is an original take on an idea that has lasted through decades. In a time when superhero movies seem to be made every week and television shows that adapt action-adventures seem to air at least two or three times a week, Azur Lane stands alone as something worth checking out. If you love the Hellsing franchise, then I recommend picking up a copy of Azur Lane and having a look for yourself.
Don't let the length of this article fool you. Because of its excellent artwork and engaging storyline, I highly recommend you pick up a copy of Azur Lane if you have not already done so. Even if you haven't read the comics, I'd still recommend it. Trust me, you won't regret it.