- You shouldn't ever take shit off anyone, Gemma. I never did. But you don't need magic or whatever. Get Angry if you want. Chin the wee bitch... Just make sure that people know who you are and what you're about, and that they'd better not try any oul' cuteness.
- — Kit Ryan
Appearing in "End of the Line"
- Robbie Brooks
- Brendan Finn (Mentioned only)
- Chas Chandler (Mentioned only)
- Sandra (In a photograph only)
- Tony Masters
Synopsis for "End of the Line"
A week ahead of Christmas, John Constantine and Kit Ryan are invited to John's sister Cheryl's home in Liverpool for a visit. A curt word from Cheryl sets Kit to noticing that young Gemma seems to be in trouble with her mother.
John notices the terseness too, and confronts Cheryl, who blames him from influencing Gemma badly. John doesn't know what she's on about, so she pulls out the curse board she found in Gemma's room, with a photo of another girl covered in thumbtacks. John swears that he didn't give Gemma the board. In fact, he is quite put out by the idea that Gemma would be dabbling in magic at all. He promises to help.
Later, Kit and Cheryl get acquainted, and Kit explains that as much as John might have got wrapped up in magic over the years, Cheryl and Gemma are a great comfort to him, and he wouldn't hurt them in a million years. Cheryl responds that Kit herself is a great influence on him too.
Meanwhile, John is in Gemma's room, questioning her. She admits that her friend Sandra stole a boy she liked from her at a friend's party. A boy at the party gave her the curse board, promising that Gemma could get even with it. John presses his niece to reveal the boy's name, secretly contemplating ways in which he will punish this person for daring to involve Gemma in magic. Despite fear that the boy will curse her for giving him up, Gemma responds that she was given it by a boy named Robbie Brooks. She had been about to drop blood onto the board with the photo on it when Cheryl caught her.
John worries what might have happened to Sandra and to Gemma if the girl had succeeded. Gemma bursts into tears and falls into her uncle's arms. John wonders what she was doing getting mixed up in this sort of thing, and she admits that in addition to the allure of getting revenge, there was also something exciting about being able to use magic. John knowingly realizes that Gemma is at a turning point in her life. While John decides to give this Robbie Brooks a talking to, Kit convinces him to let her talk to Gemma about the trouble with magic.
John hopes to simply give the boy a talking to and get out of there, but he is frustrated to discover that Robbie Brooks has heard of him, and thinks on him as an idol. The boy seems surprised that John would be angry that he had tried to turn his niece onto magic. Rather than try to explain his way out of his hypocrisy, John spouts a slew of Latin phrases, and claims that he has cursed the boy. Robbie is too ignorant to know that John was just spouting nonsense, but it gets the job done, and John warns him that he'll get worse if he ever goes near Gemma Masters again.
Kit, meanwhile, has taken Gemma clothes shopping, explaining that with some trendy new clothes as a Christmas present, she'll have the confidence and the look to catch any boy's eye. They have pizza together, and Kit explains to Gemma's surprise that though she lives with John, his life in the world of occultism is kept separate from their relationship. As such, she knows the real John Constantine.
Gemma doesn't realize that she knows the real John too, but Kit explains that his attempts to keep her safe and to keep her out of magic have been extensions of who he really is, outside of the magic. She points out that while John has done plenty of wild things and seen incredible stuff, the cost of that has been that many of his loved ones have experienced terrible pain. He doesn't want Gemma to ruin her life the same way that he did. Meanwhile, Kit points out that Gemma need not use magic to get even. She should stand up for herself, and if necessary, she can resort to physical violence to show that she won't take that kind of shit.
John has begun to worry whether the Constantines are doomed to become bastards and occultists. He knows of one way to get some perspective on the matter. Several years back, he discovered that one of his ancestors, Harry Constantine, had become immortal, and long ago, the Queen ordered that he be buried alive, simply to get rid of him. He had dug up that ancestor as a younger man, and it had been a bit a mess. Now, he heads to an old grave yard near the seashore where he reburied Harry, and digs him up once again. Twenty years back, when he dug Harry up, he had thought he could defy his own heritage, but he was wrong.
Now, Harry reminds how fate seems to trick all of the Constantines into being seduced by magic. John has learned since their first meeting that all Constantines struggle to buck that fate until the very end. Harry wonders if maybe, that struggle is all they have. He suggests that it always comes down to a point of choice, and young Gemma has met hers. Maybe, some words from John can turn her off of the path. John realizes that Gemma has probably already turned in the right direction, and satisfied, Harry admits that the time has come for him to rest. Offering forgiveness from one bastard to another, John gives his ancestor death.
John returns to Cheryl's and checks in on Gemma. He reflects on the fact that he is the last remaining Constantine, and realizes that there is no failure in that - because now no one else has to be.
- This issue features a special insert in which Death talks about AIDS and safer sex.
- This is the final issue of Hellblazer to be released as part of the DC Universe before the switch to the Vertigo imprint.
- No trivia.
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