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Quote1.png My name's John Constantine, and I think we could do each other a favor. Mind if I smoke? Quote2.png
John Constantine src

John Constantine is a powerful and crude occult detective from Liverpool, England. His violent and anti-social attitude makes him a formidable anti-hero, and he's known for doing whatever it takes to get the job done.

American Gothic

John Constantine was an occult investigator in England. He had heard tell of a coming dark entity, and he used many of his contacts to determine what that thing was and how it would appear. Eventually, he was led to the Louisiana swamp, where he met the Swamp Thing. He revealed that the Swamp Thing was, in fact, a plant elemental, and connected to all other plant life through a force called The Green. However, he refused to reveal more until Swamp Thing agreed to meet him in Rosewood, Illinois.[1]

After Swamp Thing had dealt with the threat of vampires there, Constantine appeared to him and gave him another location. At each location, the Swamp Thing learned of an evil growing across the land, and then Constantine would give him another location, but not much information.[2][3][4]

Meanwhile, Constantine began trying to prepare his companions for the coming threat of a crisis. When the Swamp Thing finally completed Constantine's final task, John showed him how the crisis was affecting the earth, and then took him aboard the Monitor's satellite to explain the nature of the crisis. While there, he commented that for people like he and the Swamp Thing, another supernatural crisis would be on its way. An evil South American cult called the Brujeria had raised an Invunche in order to facilitate sending a message that would raise a Great Darkness.[5][6][7]

Finally, Swamp Thing and John Constantine met in Brazil at the source of the river Tefé, where John explained that Swamp Thing's destiny as a plant elemental has heritage which extends back through something called the Parliament of Trees, to whom he then introduced the Swamp Thing.[8]

Finally, John, Swamp Thing, and the remainder of the Newcastle crew prepared to face the Brujeria in Argentina. In the ensuing battle, the Brujeria managed to transform John's friend Judith into the messenger they sought, and Swamp Thing allowed her to escape rather than allow John to be killed by the cultists.[9]

With the Great Darkness' coming inevitable, John and Swamp Thing split up to recruit a force who could help them fight the evil off. John gathered many occultists and magicians including Zatanna and her father John Zatara; Mento; Baron Winters; Doctor Occult; and Sargon the Sorcerer.[10]

Together, John's team used Mento as a conduit to send their magical energies to aid the Swamp Thing's own team in the Spirit World. Unfortunately, the Great Darkness lashed out, and Sargon was burnt to death. They were forced to maintain their circle, holding his charred hands, lest they lose contact. Later, the Great Darkness chose to attack young Zatanna, but her father redirected the magic on himself, and she was forced to watch her father burn alive. Angrily, she cursed Constantine for involving them. After Swamp Thing managed to ease the threat of the Great Darkness, Mento watched as the Darkness clasped hands with the Presence, which drove him insane. With three casualties on his team, John Constantine declared the event a draw.[11]

Much later, John Constantine sensed that something was amiss in The Green, and realized that it was a reaction to the Swamp Thing's attempts to avoid being the protector of the Green, and focus on his relationship with his wife. He went to Louisiana to chastise Swamp Thing for shirking his duty, which was not at all well-received.[12] Seeking alternative methods, John reconnected Jason Woodrue with the Green in order to discover that the turmoil was caused because the Parliament of Trees had begun to create a replacement for the Swamp Thing, thinking he had been dead, after disappearing from Earth in Gotham City.[13]

Realizing that the Green requires a sacrifice to become the next elemental, so that the Swamp Thing can retire without causing calamity, Constantine orchestrated a series of events which led to a plane crash, only to have Swamp Thing guide the intended host off to Heaven inadvertently.[14][15] Angered by Swamp Thing's failures, John washed his hands of the issue.[16]

The Search for Swamp Thing

 Main article: Brightest Day

On the Brightest Day, the Entity resurrected Alec Holland from death, which in turn lead to the return of the Swamp Thing.

Constantine began to investigate when corrupt polluting executives were found dead - apparently the returned Swamp Thing's victims.[17] Determined to track down his old friend, John discovered that the Swamp Thing had gone mad, and intended to kill him as well.

In his effort to find Swamp Thing, John unsuccessfully attempted to enlist his favourite super-hero, Batman; the world's greatest detective.[18] Superman took him to the Star City forest, where he was attacked once again. They realized there, that without Alec Holland's consciousness, the Swamp Thing had become a brutally savage manifestation of The Green, attempting to eradicate humanity. He wasn't merely trying to kill Constantine, he was trying to absorb him as a host.[19]

Constantine teamed up with Batman and Superman again to calm the Green at its nerve center, while they stopped an attempt by LexCorp to control it. Alec Holland, meanwhile, learned that to bond with Swamp Thing again he would have to die, and instead chose to live.[20]

Powers

  • Magic: Constantine is a magician but unlike most magicians, Constantine rarely uses magical spells, unless he really has to, especially in combat.

Abilities

  • Deception: John Constantine is an excellent con artist and negotiator. These skills are often more useful than his magical ones. Constantine faces most of his challenges relying primarily on his cunning. He is widely considered as the world's greatest con-man.
  • Occultism
  • Prestidigitation
  • Hypnosis
  • Escapology


Transportation

Taxi.

Weapons

His trench-coat has some demonic powers.

  • John Constantine's creation and first appearance involves a bit of backstory.
    The character of John Constantine was created by Alan Moore on something of a whim. He had asked his artists Steve Bissette and John Totleben what they would most like to draw, and both had said that they wanted to draw a character that looked like the musician Sting. Taking their suggestion, Moore built the character solely around that idea, eventually deciding that the character should be a working-class magician.
    However, this decision has led to the first appearance of Constantine becoming a contentious issue.
    An unnamed, non-speaking character, drawn by Steve Bissette and John Totleben to resemble Sting appeared in Swamp Thing (Volume 2) #25. Though this cameo character shares no other traits with the character that would later become Constantine other than physical inspiration, some people have claimed this to be Constantine's first appearance.
    Similarly, another unnamed and non-speaking character resembling Sting appeared in DC Sampler #3, in a series of panels indicating Swamp Thing's future - making it an arguable option for Constantine's true first-appearance as well.
    For the sake of certitude, the DC Database stands by the "official" Swamp Thing (Volume 2) #37 appearance as first.[21]
  • Following the creation of the Vertigo imprint, John Constantine appeared almost exclusively within his own title Hellblazer, requiring several stand-in and knockoff creations to take his place in the mainstream DC Universe. The Vertigo Universe version of the character, who aged in real time, is located at John Constantine (Vertigo Universe), and remained in publication until Hellblazer #300. Meanwhile, the New Earth version of the character appeared infrequently until a prominent return to the mainstream DCU in the Brightest Day storyline. While the Hellblazer Constantine and the New Earth Constantine were treated as the same character prior to Vertigo's creation, they were treated as separate incarnations by the time of Brightest Day's publication.
  • Due to the complicated nature of his publication history, there is naturally some biographical overlap between the New Earth and Vertigo Universe versions of this character.
  • John's favorite brand of cigarettes are Silk Cut.
  • Pop artist Sting was the visual inspiration for John Constantine. Sting lived in the district of Newcastle, which the character is associated with.[22]

Related

External Links

Footnotes




Swamp Thing Character

Alec Holland 02.jpg
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This character specifically relates to the Swamp Thing and is predominantly seen in the Swamp Thing family of titles. This character may be part of the Swamp Thing's supporting cast, a minor acquaintance, or one of his adversaries. This template will automatically categorize articles that include it into the Swamp Thing Characters category.
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