"Forty": John Constantine takes longer than usual to realize what day it is. It's his fortieth birthday, and unfortunately, his girlfriend Kit Ryan has disappeared leaving a note that she is visiting her sick Aunt June.
- m'I tou fo ym ecaf...
- — Zatanna
Appearing in "Forty"
- Chas Chandler
- Header (First appearance)
- Kit Ryan
- Lord of the Dance
- Nigel Archer
- Rick the Vic (First appearance)
- Swamp Thing
Synopsis for "Forty"
John Constantine takes longer than usual to realize what day it is. It's his fortieth birthday, and unfortunately, his girlfriend Kit Ryan has disappeared leaving a note that she is visiting her sick Aunt June.
Disappointed to be abandoned on his birthday, John turns to his friend Chas Chandler for some company. Unfortunately, Chas is stuck working til six in the morning. He would give up the work if his wife weren't on his back. Regretfully, Chas promises to reschedule for tomorrow.
Sighing, John gives up on the thought of a happy birthday, and heads to the shop for a carton of silk cuts. The lady at the cash casually comments that the previous customer bought a surprising amount of booze just before John popped in. John snidely responds that he 's glad someone is having a good time.
John returns to his darkened apartment to be surprised by a group of acquaintances. Though they aren't the friends he expected, they are still friends. John catches up with old friends like Chantinelle, the Lord of the Dance, Zatanna and Nigel Archer. In the process, John gets quite drunk, and ends up relieving himself on the wall outside. A voice from behind startles him, and he turns around, accidentally pissing on his visitor's shoes. He looks up to see the imposing Phantom Stranger, who had originally intended to join the celebrations, but has now become so embarrassed by the urine on his shoes that he must remain a stranger.
Later, the party is interrupted by the sudden appearance of the Swamp Thing, who is suspicious of a letter he received inviting him to this location. As usual, he is impatient and distrustful of John until it is revealed that it is John's fortieth birthday. Feeling obligated to make amends for his negativity, the Swamp Thing agrees to help out by turning one of nigel's small marijuana plants into a voluminous bush. With this development, the party-goers proceed to get stoned and drunk out of their faces.
After a good time, partying long into the morning, the guests begin drifting back home, until just John and the Lord of the Dance remain, drinking whisky. Their conversation becomes more serious, as the Lord of the Dance admits that John will be in for a rough few years. John has pissed off the last people he ever should have, but he promises to be there for him when the time comes.
Later in the morning, Kit returns to her flat to the horrific mess left behind by the party, and when she finds John still quite drunk and asleep in her bed, she warns him that he is a dead man.
- This is the first issue of Hellblazer to be published under the Vertigo imprint. Despite the series' usual creative separation from other DC publications, this issue features several other DC Universe characters, including Swamp Thing, who would go on to continue its own series under the Vertigo imprint in the same month. The issue also features Zatanna, a prior romantic interest of Constantine and prominent member of the Justice League. This is one of the few times Constantine interacted with the mainstream DC Universe before the "New 52" initiative in which Constantine's presence was more notable.
- This issue takes place on John's 40th birthday, May 10th 1993.
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