- I'll kick them in the bollocks and spit on them when they're down, and then I'll be gone back into the darkness, leaving only a nod and a wink and a wisecrack.
- -- John Constantine src
John Constantine is a gritty supernatural detective. Originally a member of the mainstream DC Universe introduced as a supporting character to Swamp Thing, his stories were later moved to the Vertigo Universe. This version of Constantine continued to age real-time in his own Hellblazer stories, while the mainstream version did not reappear until Brightest Day. They both exist independently of each other.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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. Angered by Swamp Thing's failures, John washed his hands of the issue.
One day, John returned to his apartment to find that his old friend Gary Lester, who had become a drug addict over the last ten years, waiting for him there. Unfortunately, Gary had been touched by a demon that he had failed to exorcise properly. Recruiting Papa Midnite, John concocted a plan to trap the demon inside Gary and let their mutual hunger cancel each other out. Unfortunately, this meant allowing Gary to be consumed by the demon, thereby reducing the already dwindling numbers of the original Newcastle Crew by one more.
Despite being haunted by the ghosts of his dead friends, John had the good fortune of meeting a strange and beautiful woman named Zed, who he took as a lover. When John heard that his niece, Gemma was kidnapped by a strange man, Zed accompanied him to Liverpool to deal with it. While investigating his sister's home, John encountered his brother in law, who had fallen in with a new fundamentalist Christian group called the Resurrection Crusade. While John managed to save Gemma, he could not help but notice that Zed seemed to have a troubled past with connections to the Resurrection Crusade. Additionally, an opposing force called the Damnation Army was discovered.
John encountered the Resurrection Crusade again when they convinced a town in rural Iowa that their sons, who had been declared MIA during the Vietnam War could be returned to them through the Pyramid of Prayer. John witnessed the results of their prayer turn to carnage.
Later, John discovered that the force behind the Damnation Army was a demon called Nergal. At the same time, Zed was being tormented by young men from a group called the Tongues of Fire. John had his friend Ritchie Simpson, the last of the Newcastle Crew, use his computer prowess to find out more about the Resurrection Crusade. Ritchie discovered that the Tongues of Fire were a more action-oriented offshoot of the Crusade, but in the process of searching, Ritchie's physical body was destroyed by the Tongues of Fire's security system, leaving his mind trapped in cyberspace. John was forced to shut off the computer and let the last of his old friends die. When Ritchie's ghost began to haunt him as well, John became distressed and threw himself from a moving train.
Unfortunately, while John was incapacitated, the Tongues of Fire kidnapped and brainwashed Zed in order to have her do what she was made to do - mother a new race of angel-human hybrids. Meanwhile, the Swamp Thing discovered John's crippled body on the side of the train tracks, and took him to a hospital. There, John was disturbed into wakefulness by the demon Nergal - the one behind the creation of the Damnation Army. The demon offered John the opportunity to join him, pointing out that John's friend Ray was murdered by the Resurrection Crusade's bigots. Meanwhile, Nergal warned that Zed was to fulfill a prophecy that would upset the balance between Heaven and Hell.
John agreed to prevent the divine conception, given the threat that Nergal would start consuming the souls of innocent infants. The demon healed John's broken bones, but the process required the use of Nergal's own blood. This action laid a taint deep within John that would be of great significance later.
John then went to Gotham City, where he realized that it was his 35th birthday. All day, he was plagued by some kind of spirit, which had been trying to chase him down. Evading it, he returned to Glastonbury, where he snuck into the Resurrection Crusade's ceremonies to see Zed. She allowed him to make love to her one last time, not realizing that his demon taint would taint her as well. Afterwards, he returned to his apartment, where the Swamp Thing found him and took control of his body.
After having grown himself a more powerful brain in order to solve the issue of what to do with the Sprout, Swamp Thing realized that he could use John's body as host in order to impregnate his wife with the Sprout, so that it could be grown as a human child and taught. Needless to say, John was not pleased by the arrangement.
After the Swamp Thing took control of John Constantine's body, he took it back to the Louisiana swamp to make love to his wife Abby, and with John's human body, conceived a child that was both human and plant in nature..
John's soul, meanwhile, was displaced into the astral plane. From there, he was able to see the consequences of all of his actions of late. He had made love to Zed one last time before she was intended to be taken by an angel as a lover and to conceive a divine child. However, the taint of the demon Nergal's blood within John was spread to Zed in that act, and the angel destroyed her along with her cult, the Resurrection Crusade.
Nergal was pleased to see that John was successful in overturning the prophecy that he feared, but the demon soon realized that something was changing within The Green. By using John's body, Swamp Thing was able to reproduce with a human, and because of the taint which ran through John's veins, that child fulfilled the prophecy.
After being returned to his body, John went to Newcastle, the site of an event which had haunted him for the last ten years. He remembered how in 1978, he and his friends had encountered a young girl who had been so abused by her father that she conjured a demon to kill him. The girl was driven insane and the demon remained, so John decided to call a stronger demon in order to fight it.
He and his friends called on a demon, but instead of appearing in a human form, it possessed the girl's body. At John's command, the demon killed the opposing demon, but it soon revealed that it had not done so because of any obligation. The demon had come of its own accord, and as payment, it demanded the girl's soul. John attempted to escape with the girl, but he failed, and she was killed. Since then, each member of his team was killed, one by one, and it always seemed to be John's fault. Ten years later, John discovered the identity of the demon who got the better of him: Nergal. As there is power in naming - a thing he had not known at Newcastle - John planned to take on Nergal once more, and win.
Though John spent a week trying to come up with a way to kill Nergal, it was not until he discovered that his friend Ritchie Simpson was still alive, albeit trapped in cyberspace, that he came up with a plan. John entered cyberspace and lured Nergal to follow him there. With Ritchie's help, John brought Nergal to the edge of Heaven, where Nergal's soul was destroyed. Having thwarted the minions of Hell three times, John Constantine was free to go unpunished, though Agony and Ecstacy warned that one day, he would die, and Hell would come to collect.
After returning to London, John discovered that he was wanted for the murder of the two thugs in Paddington that he had seen Nergal kill. He attempted to hitchhike out of town, but when the police nearly caught him, he was forced to flee into the forest on foot. There, he met a young girl named Mercury, who appeared to be a medium of some sort. She was part of a commune of once-members of the Peace Convoy, who now traveled as nomads across the English countryside.
John decided to travel with them, and they soon met up with another group of travelers at a park-up. He befriended many of the other new-agers, including a man named Errol, who claimed to have met with Zed after John had watched her die in the astral plane. John also attempted to seduce a woman named Myra, but when she revealed that she knew that he was wanted for murder, he was forced to try to hypnotize her. The attempt failed, but he was soon spirited away by Mercury, who wanted to take him to see a stone circle along the ley lines.
At the stone circle, Mercury suddenly became overwhelmed by a feeling of fear, and the site had been commandeered by a facility of some kind, run by a company called Geotroniks. One of the facility's administrators, a Dr. Fulton, seemed to recognize Mercury's psychic potential, but John managed to talk their way out of trouble.
Upon returning to camp, John attempted to apologize to Myra, and though she accepted his apology, she also drugged his tea with highly toxic mushrooms. The eventual psychedelic trip led John back to the stone circle, where he saw a Russian man attempting to perform tests on the stones. John and the man were suddenly overcome by fear, and the other man began dashing his head against the rocks. When John finally came to his senses, there was no sign the other man had ever been there.
The next morning, Fulton had men posing as the police raid the camp, and take Mercury and her mother Marj into custody. Later, Marj was drugged and released, allowing Fulton to escape with Mercury unopposed. John went into town and found Marj at the local police station. Before taking her back to camp, he overheard the name "Beale" - another name to add to his list of Geotroniks employees, along with "Davis." While Marj and the nomads decided to meet up with the Pagan Nation in Scotland, John decided to return to London, promising to find Mercury somehow.
John's train back to London became the target of a psychic attack of pure fear by Geotroniks, who were hoping to find and kill a Russian spy, whose partner they killed earlier at the stone circle. John managed to save that spy's life, but not before the train had crashed and most of the other passengers were killed.
In London, John encountered a Detective Chief Inspector Geoffrey Talbot, whose failure to succumb to corruption within his department had made him subject to the bullying and ridicule of his coworkers - particularly a man named Davis. In fact, Davis had begun writing threatening letters to Talbot's wife, who eventually was driven to suicide. Afterwards, John decided to look into a guest at the same hotel as him, who was a reporter working on a story about a string of suicides associated with Geotroniks employees. Upon arrival at the man's room, John discovered that someone had tried to murder him.
John rescued Simon Hughes, and listened to all the reporter had to say about Geotroniks. With this information, John deduced that the company was a cover for some kind of weapon development, using psychic energy and ley lines as the delivery system for a payload of fear. The Black Squad run by Beales and Davis must have kidnapped Mercury in order to power that weapon.
This was indeed the case, and Doctor Fulton had begun training Mercury to extract the fear from phobics, and transfer it into a special receptacle for it. One day, she decided to look into that receptacle and discovered that a horrible fear-monster was growing within it. A man who had been consumed by the creature warned that Geotroniks hoped to bring about the coming of a creature called Jallakuntilliokan.
John took Hughes and Talbot to meet with the Russian spy, only to have everyone but John arrested by Davis and taken captive. Meanwhile, Mercury had influenced Doctor Fulton to let her leave the facility for the day, and then he allowed her to escape. Seeing that Fulton had failed, Webster killed him, and then began the ritual of human sacrifices that would lead to Jallakuntilliokan's awakening. The Geotroniks director appeared to inform Webster that the grand lodge of Freemasons has ordered that their operations be shut down, but was horrified to find that Webster's actions were far beyond his control.
On his way back to Scotland, John was reunited with Mercury, and they later met up with the Pagan Nation and Marj. Unfortunately, the group had been attacked with some kind of powerful magic that killed many of the male members of the commune. John attempted some meditation to see what they were up against, and he witnessed Simon Hughes being murdered by Webster while Talbot and the Russian remained trapped in the room with the Fear Machine.
John and Zed determined with the Pagan Nation that Webster was attempting to awaken the male half of the Ying and Yang; a great dragon. Zed explained that without the balance of its female counterpart, that dragon's awakening would be chaos. John sent a team to try to cut off the dragon's power source at the ley lines while he, Zed, Marj, and Mercury attempted to raise the female dragon.
Unwittingly, Talbot brought about the coming of Jallakuntilliokan by strangling Davis to death in vengeance. To counter this, Zed and Marj used John sexually in order to conceive the female dragon. Zed gave birth to the dragon, restoring the balance. Then the oceans rose, and washed them all away, leaving John alone.
John later woke on a fishing boat, with all threats to the earth apparently gone without a trace, along with his female companions.
After returning to England, John decided to stay with an acquaintance of his named Jerry O'Flynn. Jerry's exploits were so legendary that authors of fiction had begun to base their characters on him. However, for Jerry, the line between his real life and his life in fiction had begun to blur. Before long, Jerry was captured by fictional characters and put on trial for blurring the line too much, and he was taken away.
John decided to stay in Jerry's unoccupied mansion, where he discovered a safe containing drugs and money. Apparently, Jerry had become addicted to the act of trade. John was then interrupted by a visit from an elderly gentleman, who claimed to have a longstanding agreement with Jerry in which he would trade a package for an envelope of certain information. While the man was not looking, John looked into the envelope and saw that it contained information about an average English family. After the man had left, John discovered a ledger in which Jerry wrote of how he had begun trading souvenirs from an active serial killer known as the Family Man in exchange for potential victims. Seeing this, John realized that he had facilitated one of these murders.
After three months of avoiding the issue, John's feelings of guilt grew to the point that he was tortured by nightmares of the murdered family. So, he decided to pay a visit to Reed Hackett, the man who had been collecting the Family Man's souvenirs. After framing Hackett for the murders, John made sure that he was caught in a press photo of the arrest so that the killer would know he was coming.
Unbeknownst to John, the killer - a retired policeman named Samuel Morris - had already begun looking for him. Not wanting to let a witness go, he did a background check on John, and decided to pay a visit to Thomas Constantine, who he then murdered. News of more murders in the Paddington area soon reached John, who discovered that he was not one step ahead of the killer after all.
John laid low in an apartment above his friend Chas Chandler's workplace, where he received a call from his sister Cheryl, to tell him that his father was killed. Shaken, John promised to come to Liverpool for the funeral, though he feels responsible for the murder. Determined, John purchased a gun and arranged to stay with Chas' cousin Nora - a prostitute - for the night. As the Family Man followed John to Nora's, Chas followed him back to his own hotel, and reported back to John to warn him of when the killer planned to wake up.
The next morning, John snuck out the back of Nora's place and watched as the Family Man waited for him to come out the front. He could not bring himself to shoot the man in the back, and so went back inside and came out the front doors - as expected. He tried to lure the killer into a construction site, but Morris realized it was a trap, and decided to let John go to Victoria Station and catch a bus to Liverpool unharmed. However, when the bus stopped for repairs, he appeared in disguise and attacked John with a knife. John managed to run out of plain sight, and in their struggle, he grazed the killer with a bullet. This experience shook Samuel Morris into remembering how he had murdered his own parents as a boy, and rather than see this memory, he forced John to pull the trigger again, and put him out of his misery. John was very uncomfortable with the thought of killing anyone, and he vomited at the thought of what he had just been involved in.
Later, John attended his father's funeral, where he discovered that his niece Gemma was seeing her grandfather's ghost, and it was driving her to distraction. Eventually, he realized that the reason his father could not rest was that he had cursed his father as revenge for burning his books on occultism by tying his father's soul to that of a decaying cat's corpse. At the time, he had realized that his father would die if he did not do something about it, so he had preserved the cat in formaldehyde and buried it. As the cat remained preserved, so too did Thomas Constantine's soul remains attached to it. So, John and Gemma burned the cat's corpse on top of his mother's grave, and they said goodbye to Thomas, at last.
Having fallen into a state of perpetual drunkenness and depression over his father's murder and his own murder of the Family Man killer, John returned to London and looked up his old friend Mercury and Marj. Mercury sensed his depression and knew that he would try to abuse her mother's love for him by demanding sex, but she could do nothing to prevent it.
The act of being forced to kill the Family Man reminded John of his boyhood when he and his sister were sent to stay with their aunt and uncle. He had been bullied into trying to steal from the drunken caretaker of a nearby quarry, and in the process of running away, he had discovered a skeleton and a stone which he believed was the fossilized heart of a boy the caretaker had murdered. As he carried the stone around, John began to believe that it was influencing him toward evil acts. He returned to the quarry, to throw the stone back to the place from which it came, but it landed on the roof of the caretaker's shack. When the caretaker failed to come out of the shack, young John believed that the stone must have smashed through the roof, and killed him.
When John went out looking for Mercury, she accused him of having allowed himself to become a wreck out of fear of what awaited him in death. With her ability to know what people fear most, she reached into John's psyche and forced him to see his own death. In that glimpse of the future, John was an old man; forced to leave a hostel for his smoking and failure to fall in line. As he attempted to meet up with a much older Mercury, a pack of hellhounds attacked him, knocking him into the river, where he drowned.
After recovering, John agreed to stay with Mercury and Marj for a while, and they traveled to East Anglia on Mercury's recommendation. There, their van broke down, so John and Marj walked into town. In the meantime, Mercury encountered a boy named Martin Aclin, whose father was a sadistic butcher. They became friends, but when Martin's father came to collect him, the boy was made to watch as his father slaughtered pig after pig. Drunkenly, Martin's father strung him up like a pig, and stripped him to his underwear, humiliating him. Mercury intervened and used her abilities to give Martin's father his just desserts. Thenceforth, Martin began traveling with them too.
John and company reconnected with the Pagan Nation with Zed and Errol, though John had begun to sense something within himself that made it seem to Marj that he would not be staying much longer. He had Zed throw his tarot, and he was given a vision of his birth, when he had wrapped his twin brother's umbilical cord around his foot in utero, cutting off the circulation and killing him, along with their mother. Feeling that this first act of murder had both informed the direction of his entire life and prevented his twin brother from becoming the powerful magician he was meant to be, John ventured out into the night while very high on psychedelic mushrooms and re-entered the womb.
In a parallel universe, John's brother became a powerful magus. He had used his power to create a kind of commune of magicians, but late in his life, he began to have visions of the brother that he had murdered in the womb. He tried to kill the vision with magic, but it backfired on him, and apparently killed him. He did eventually recover, but the event shook him, and he determined to face his demons. In the astral plane, he encountered John, who had been waiting for him there some 40 years. They concluded that neither of them was the "right" twin - they were two halves of one whole. They would have to merge.
The next morning, Errol, Mercury, Marj, and Zed found the cave John had entered the night before collapsed, with his footprints leading away. His clothes were hung from a stone, on which an epitaph had been carved: "From Womb to Tomb and Back Again, the Journey Wobbles On." Zed commented that John would certainly have to live and die a thousand times in order to become a true Magus.
John - still alive - laid low for a while, but thirty packs of silk-cuts a day had caught up with him. John had been diagnosed with lung cancer. Morbidly, he took a tour of a cancer ward, in order to prepare himself. While there, he befriended a man named Matt Higgins. Though John admitted that he planned to check in to the ward soon, he inwardly swore that before he did, he would try any harebrained scheme he could think of to escape his fate.
John tried asking his friend Brendan Finn, a heavy-drinking Irish magician, for help in curing his affliction. Brendan had discovered a spring of holy water in his cellar, and with John's help, he turned the water into beer, magically. When John mustered the courage to ask for help, Brendan admitted that he had been hoping that John could help him cure his liver disease. All the drinking they did actually cause Brendan to die that night, and the First of the Fallen himself came to collect. Slyly, John urged the devil to try some of the beer, and then changed it back to holy water, burning him from the inside. The distraction allowed Brendan's soul to go to Heaven, but the devil swore vengeance against John.
John turned to his demon friend Ellie for help, but she could do nothing. She warned that the First of the Fallen had begun preparing cruel punishments for him. So, John tried the snobby angel Gabriel for help. Gabriel refused, claiming that John's fate was deserved. Drowning his sorrows in beer, John concocted a new plan.
John took the next day to say goodbye to his friends and family. He made his goodbyes with his sister Cheryl. He left a letter and some money for Chas. He said his final goodbyes to Matt Higgins, explaining that he wanted to go out on his own terms. Then, John returned to his old flat in Paddington. There, he summoned the demon Beelzebub, and promised him his soul. Then, he summoned Azazel, and offered him the same. Finally, he took a razor, and slit his wrist. With his death inevitable - by blood loss or by cancer - John was visited by the First of the Fallen, who took great pleasure in his suffering.
When Azazel and Beelzebub appeared to claim the soul for themselves, the First of the Fallen realized that they were duped. Each of the three rulers of hell was promised John's soul, and one of them had to claim it. While none would give up his claim, they could not war over it, lest the forces of Heaven intervene, and take the soul and Hell for themselves. With no other option, Lucifer angrily removed John's cancer - in the most painful way possible - and returned him to perfect health. John could not help but rub his victory in.
John spent three days drinking, realizing that the demons would likely be watchful for any mistake that would give them the opportunity to visit suffering on him. While wandering the streets, he encountered Brendan's ex-girlfriend Kit, and they caught up. While out for coffee, they bumped into Chas, who reminded John that he had not told anyone he was not going to die. John remembered just in time to see Matt Higgins before the old man died. Matt had reminded John to stay close to his true friends - people like Kit. John felt responsible for his friend's death and ran away, but Kit found him in the street and embraced him, underlining her importance to his life.
After a long period of confusion for John, he and Kit admitted their feelings for each other on Christmas Eve. John began to spend so much of his time at Kit's flat that she suggested he move in with her, on the condition that his occultist activities never come home with him. But while things were looking up for John, a violent and brutal killer was on the streets of London, and Sir Peter Marston knew exactly who the killer was.
Marston tracked down John and took him to the Caligula Club - and exclusive place where Britain's rich and powerful could engage in debaucherous and even criminal behavior. There, he explained that a certain prominent individual had attempted a demonic summoning, and become possessed. What was especially troubling about this situation is that the possessed killer was the Prince of Wales.
While at the Caligula Club, John ran into the prince's younger brother, who tried to convince him to both the exorcism he had been asked to do, such that the elder prince would die, and he would be moved one step closer to the throne. John refused and began preparations for a seance by contacting his acquaintance Nigel Archer. Nigel led John, Marston, and three witnesses to the summoning in the seance; Marston having brought along three of the killer's victims as well. The victims and drew the demon out, and John convinced the demon to give up its name to its victims in exchange for the lives it took. The demon gave them the name Calabraxis and hinted that it had once possessed the man who became known as Jack the Ripper.
Meanwhile, the possessed prince had become eager to remember his identity and be free of the parasite in his brain. Unable to access his own memories, he accessed those of the demon and saw the seance of the night previous. He recognized Marston there and realized who he was. Before the prince could cry out, the demon wrested control away and decided that they should go to the Caligula Club and kill this meddling John Constantine.
In the meantime, John moved in with Kit, sneaking a page from Ben Cox's Grimorum Verum in amongst his luggage in hopes that it would help him exorcise the demon without losing his own life. Marston, meanwhile prepared his man David Hezlet for the eventuality of killing John and Nigel, given that they planned to go to the press as soon as the exorcism was complete. John and Nigel appeared soon after, awaiting their briefing, but a commotion outside drew Marston away. John decided to search Marston's desk while he was out, and discovered that he too had pages from the Grimorum, indicating that he had some direct involvement in Calabraxis' summoning. A scream from the hallway drew John out, and he was horrified to discover that the killer had come to him. The prince leaped upon him and bit deep into his shoulder.
John woke to find that his wound had been treated by Hezlet, while the man had incapacitated the possessed prince, for the time being. Hezlet was, at that moment, seeking out the remaining witnesses to the summoning, and then killing them. John and Nigel attempted to form a plan that would see them escape the scenario with their lives. John pilfered a pair of handcuffs from the younger prince's office and then returned to demand of Marston why he intended to use the Grimorum to put a demon on the throne. Marston explained that he had hoped to create a new regime where there would only be the ruler and the ruled, without democracy. In disgust, John handcuffed Marston to a pipe and then began the exorcism.
John called the demon out of the prince's body, and then directed it to enter Marston instead. Unable to move away from the pipe, the demon was left with no one to kill but its host. Through Marston, it began tearing and eating away at its own body. Hezlet returned and attempted to stop the madness, but John managed to knock him toward the demon, resulting in his bloody death as well. With all of those responsible for the killings dead, John and Nigel left the prince alive, knowing more problems would be caused in his death than leaving him alone.
The First of the Fallen eventually discovered that the succubus Chantinelle and John Constantine were acquainted. When he attempted to rape her and use her to get to Constantine, Chantinelle made her escape from Hell and contacted John for help. Reluctantly, John agreed, knowing that his girlfriend Kit Ryan would not like him getting more involved with demons and black magic, and banking on the debt that the succubus would owe him if he did help.
Chantinelle owed John already because years ago, she had come to him pregnant with the spawn of an angel. The result of their forbidden love would see their child taken from them, and both Heaven and Hell targeting the parents for death. John had agreed to help, setting them up in an abandoned house, and using runes to mask them from the sight of demons. Eventually, he discovered that nobody in Hell had even known about the affair. Unfortunately, it was not so for Heaven, and the seven archangels came down, slaying Ellie's angel lover, and taking her child from her. Though she had lost everything, Ellie still owed John for saving her from the wrath of her masters.
While the First of the Fallen and the Queen of the succubi, Triskele were seeking Chantinelle, John gathered the tools he would need, and brought Ellie to the same house where she had given birth. The demons caught up with him there, too late to find the missing succubus, because a masking sigil had obscured their sight. John explained that he had carved that sigil into Chantinelle's very soul. They would never be able to find her again.
This counted as the third time that John had tricked the First of the Fallen, and according to the laws of Hell, this meant that his intended torture would instead be visited on the fooled demon. When Agony and Ecstacy came to visit that justice on him, he tore them to pieces, swearing to get revenge on Constantine, no matter what. Ellie, meanwhile, would have to get used to life on earth, and indebted to John.
Since his last encounter with John Constantine, the archangel Gabriel had begun to doubt himself. Constantine had warned him against dealing with a man called Charles Patterson, a racist. Now, the angel had begun to wonder why a just god would allow him to associate with such a man in the first place. Confused, he decided to take a walk. This both alerted Patterson's spies and afforded him the opportunity to meet a young woman named Julie, with whom he became enamored. The issue of racism was also at the forefront of John's mind, as he encountered his friends Dez and George Foster at a pub after they had been run out of Birmingham by white supremacists. Eventually, Patterson discovered that Constantine was at the root of the archangel's doubts, and ordered that some men kill John's girlfriend Kit Ryan.
While Gabriel's relationship with Julie grew stronger, Kit's own relationship with John had reached a point where she would be willing to stay in London for him. When a knock came at the door, she was surprised to find two thugs armed with knives. Though she managed to wound them and escape, she was heavily shaken by the invasion. John, meanwhile, had decided to look into connections between Patterson and the attacks on the Fosters when he and Dez were attacked and kidnapped by Patterson's own thugs. He woke up later, tied to a chair, where Patterson revealed that he had disfigured Dez to such a great extent that he would surely bleed out overnight. Seeing that, John realized that Kit would not be safe either.
Patterson's plan had been to use the archangel Gabriel to get political power in Britain and enforce his racist agenda. This plan would not work out, however, as John had already ensured that the angel would not be able to do so. While Gabriel and Julie consummated their relationship for the very first time, the woman suddenly transformed into the succubus Chantinelle, whose task it was to seduce the angel. While he was in the throes of passion, she tore out his heart and sent him back to Heaven to be cast out by his master. While the fallen angel would be of no use to Patterson, he would be of much use to John. With the foreskin bible he had just acquired, and the heart Ellie had got him, the archangel was now beholden to him, as a protector against the vengeance of the First of the Fallen.
John managed to escape when Dez' brother George discovered where they were, and killed Patterson and his men in revenge. When he returned to Kit, her horror had turned to rage. He had promised to leave her out of his demons and darkness, but he had failed.
- Tainted Blood: Constantine's blood is demonically tainted, initially by a blood transfusion from the demon Nergal, and later by sex with a succubus. His blood has been shown to have healing properties. It has also acted as a defense mechanism when attacked by the King of the Vampires.
- Magic: Constantine is a magician but unlike most magicians, Constantine rarely uses magical spells, unless he really has to, especially in combat. Some examples of Constantine's magic:
- Black Magic Cursing: Placed a curse on his father that caused him to waste away, casting a curse on a host for vengeance, putting a curse to a gang that put them into catatonic insanity, or using a spell that traps someone between the gaps of time. Constantine's curses are strong enough to affect demons.
- Dimensional Travel: Being chased by Nergal, Constantine opens a path to Heaven. He leads Nergal to the borders of Heaven where the angels attacked Nergal and ripped him apart.
- Divination: Used a pendulum and map to find the location of a magical disturbance.
- Exorcism: bound, immobilized, and sealed the demon goddess Kali, and destroyed a demon using a spell. Constantine has summoned a demon and made it physical thus rendering it powerless and vulnerable, allowing Header to shoot it with a shotgun. John also uses the right kind of spell than can destroy gods or seal them away.
- Golemancy: John was capable of raising a golem.
- Illusion Casting: Made people think he is someone or something else and change another person's image.
- Invisibility: Used sigils to make himself invisible, and he can spot many invisible forces.
- Magic Circles: Protection magic that John uses for defense against both supernatural and physical attacks.
- Mind Control: John is able to use magic to control the minds of others. He once mind-controlled a whole penitentiary of inmates to madly riot and bring him a cigarette., and was even able to erase a man's traumatic memories.
- Necromancy: Raised a group of murder victims as ghosts to attack their murderer, and raised soulstorms to attack his enemies.
- Pyromancy: Created fires or hellfires sometimes from his cigarette or lighter to attack his enemies.
- Resurrection: He has allowed himself to be killed, but later resurrects himself by exiting the afterlife.
- Spirit Ward Creation: He placed a magical sigil on Ellie's soul that prevented the forces of Heaven and Hell from tracking her, as well as using sigils to hide himself from Satan. He has also placed various sigils on an abandoned caravan that he housed himself in to hide himself from the demon Nergal. Constantine can also write sigils in his body that protects him from magical attacks and possessions, and to prevent any demons from physically touching him.
- Summoning: Summoned a djinn to attack some military officers. John can also summon other celestial beings such as angels and gods. John also summoned the demon Nergal to destroy a monster for him, which it did (although John lost control, due to his inexperience).
- Synchronicity Wave Traveling: An instinctual supernatural ability to be in the right place at exactly the right time. This has led John to uncanny luck, like winning incredible amounts of money from Arcade machines and Casinos. Avoiding harm. And more times than not - to meet the right kind of ally to help prevent or stop an apocalyptic event from happening. He can also use it to reshape the battlefield to his own accord.
- Time-Travel: John used a time-portal spell that sent him back to 1979.
- Arcane Knowledge; Constantine possesses extensive knowledge of occult concepts such as magic and the supernatural.
- 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. Even with pressure, lack of time and preparation, Constantine can think of a strategy to defeat his enemies in a fight, letting him outwit both Heaven and Hell while striking fear into them.
- Hand-to-Hand Combat (Basic): Constantine's skills in unarmed combat varies depending on the writer. Some portray him as a poor physical fighter, while others as a capable hand-to-hand combatant. However, he has occasionally won fights, either by using magical weapons, fighting dirty, or by quick-thinking. During his fight against the god-demon Nergal, John ripped the spine off of his back with ease. Aside from conventional close-quarters combat, Constantine also uses stealth to take down foes, like using illusions and sigils to sneak up on opponents.
- Tactical Analysis: John is a master tactician and strategist and he can plan a strategy on the go. Although his IQ is never stated he is known to possess great intellect. Constantine has fought against many of the most powerful; gods and great intellectual minds alike. His achievements stand amongst gods.
- Possession Resistance: With the use of his magical knowledge, Constantine can resist many psychic attacks such as telepathy, soul and body possession, and powerful mind controls. Constantine can even use sigils to block off omnipresence.
- Prestidigitation: Constantine has also exhibited considerable mastery in "stage magic skills"
- Despite a knack for evading direct consequences for his actions, John's friends regularly pay the price that he does not.
- John is almost never seen without a pack of his favorite Silk Cut cigarettes and trench coat.
- Various magical artifacts
- Most typically, Constantine uses his friend Chas' taxi to get around, though Chas begrudges him the favors.
- The character of John Constantine was created by Alan Moore, on something of a whim, originally. 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 Sting. So Moore built the character around that idea, solely, 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. Despite the resemblance to the singer, the character appears to have no other connection to Constantine. 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 first-appearance. For the sake of certitude, the DC Database stands by the "official" Swamp Thing (Volume 2) #37 appearance as first. The character was developed further in his own series by Jamie Delano and later still by Garth Ennis.
- John Constantine is afraid of needles.
- Constantine once won a bet wherein he predicted the exact month, day and hour that President Lyndon B. Johnson would suffer a fatal heart attack. He used his winnings to finance a series of free rock concerts in the New York area in the early 1970s.
- Pop artist Sting was the visual inspiration for John Constantine. Sting lived in the district of Newcastle, which is also the site where John performed his botched exorcism in 1978; an exorcism that earned him two years as a patient at the Ravenscar Secure Hospital.
- Hellblazer: Original Sins
- Hellblazer: The Devil You Know
- Hellblazer: The Fear Machine
- Hellblazer: The Family Man
- Hellblazer: Dangerous Habits
- Hellblazer: Bloodlines
- Hellblazer: Fear and Loathing
- Hellblazer: Tainted Love
- Hellblazer: Damnation's Flame
- Hellblazer: Rake at the Gates of Hell
- Hellblazer: Son of Man
- Hellblazer: Haunted
- Hellblazer: Setting Sun
- Hellblazer: Good Intentions
- Hellblazer: Freezes Over
- Hellblazer: Highwater
- Hellblazer: Red Sepulchre
- Hellblazer: Black Flowers
- Hellblazer: Staring at the Wall
- Hellblazer: Stations of the Cross
- Hellblazer: Reasons to be Cheerful
- Hellblazer: The Gift
- Hellblazer: Empathy is the Enemy
- Hellblazer: The Red Right Hand
- Hellblazer: Joyride
- Hellblazer: The Laughing Magician
- Hellblazer: Roots of Coincidence
- Hellblazer: Scab
- Hellblazer: Hooked
- Hellblazer: India
- Hellblazer: Bloody Carnations
- Hellblazer: Phantom Pains
- Hellblazer (Volume 1)
- 317 Appearances of John Constantine (Vertigo Universe)
- 149 Images featuring John Constantine (Vertigo Universe)
- 66 Quotations by or about John Constantine (Vertigo Universe)
- Character Gallery: John Constantine (Vertigo Universe)
- John Constantine at Wikipedia.org
- John Constantine article at Wikipedia
- Hellblazer article at Wikipedia
- Constantine (movie) article at Wikipedia
- ↑ Swamp Thing (Volume 2) #37
- ↑ Swamp Thing (Volume 2) #38
- ↑ Swamp Thing (Volume 2) #39
- ↑ Swamp Thing (Volume 2) #40
- ↑ Swamp Thing (Volume 2) #44
- ↑ Swamp Thing (Volume 2) #45
- ↑ Swamp Thing (Volume 2) #46
- ↑ Swamp Thing (Volume 2) #47
- ↑ Swamp Thing (Volume 2) #48
- ↑ Swamp Thing (Volume 2) #49
- ↑ Swamp Thing (Volume 2) #50
- ↑ Swamp Thing (Volume 2) #65
- ↑ Swamp Thing (Volume 2) #66
- ↑ Swamp Thing (Volume 2) #70
- ↑ Swamp Thing (Volume 2) #71
- ↑ Swamp Thing (Volume 2) #73
- ↑ Hellblazer #1
- ↑ Hellblazer #2
- ↑ 19.0 19.1 Hellblazer #4
- ↑ Hellblazer #5
- ↑ Hellblazer #6
- ↑ Hellblazer #7
- ↑ Swamp Thing (Volume 2) #74
- ↑ Hellblazer #8
- ↑ 25.0 25.1 25.2 Hellblazer #9
- ↑ Swamp Thing (Volume 2) #75
- ↑ Swamp Thing (Volume 2) #76
- ↑ Hellblazer #10
- ↑ 29.0 29.1 29.2 Hellblazer #11
- ↑ 30.0 30.1 30.2 Hellblazer #12
- ↑ Hellblazer #14
- ↑ Hellblazer #15
- ↑ Hellblazer #16
- ↑ Hellblazer #17
- ↑ Hellblazer #18
- ↑ Hellblazer #19
- ↑ Hellblazer #20
- ↑ Hellblazer #21
- ↑ Hellblazer #22
- ↑ Hellblazer #23
- ↑ Hellblazer #24
- ↑ Hellblazer #28
- ↑ Hellblazer #29
- ↑ Hellblazer #30
- ↑ 45.0 45.1 Hellblazer #31
- ↑ Hellblazer #34
- ↑ Hellblazer #35
- ↑ Hellblazer #36
- ↑ Hellblazer #37
- ↑ Hellblazer #38
- ↑ Hellblazer #39
- ↑ Hellblazer #40
- ↑ Hellblazer #41
- ↑ 54.0 54.1 54.2 Hellblazer #42
- ↑ Hellblazer #43
- ↑ Hellblazer #44
- ↑ Hellblazer #45
- ↑ Hellblazer #46
- ↑ Hellblazer #49
- ↑ Hellblazer #52
- ↑ Hellblazer #53
- ↑ Hellblazer #54
- ↑ Hellblazer #55
- ↑ Hellblazer #59
- ↑ 65.0 65.1 Hellblazer #60
- ↑ Hellblazer #61
- ↑ Hellblazer #64
- ↑ Hellblazer #65
- ↑ Hellblazer #66
- ↑ Hellblazer #202
- ↑ Hellblazer #146
- ↑ Hellblazer #276
- ↑ Hellblazer #182
- ↑ Hellblazer #180
- ↑ 75.0 75.1 Hellblazer #250
- ↑ Hellblazer: Son of Man
- ↑ The Trenchcoat Brigade
- ↑ Hellblazer: The Fear Machine
- ↑ Hellblazer #167
- ↑ 80.0 80.1 Hellblazer #149
- ↑ Hellblazer #258
- ↑ Hellblazer: City of Demons
- ↑ Hellblazer #238
- ↑ Hellblazer #150
- ↑ 85.0 85.1 Hellblazer #217
- ↑ Hellblazer #230
- ↑ Hellblazer #176
- ↑ Hellblazer #181
- ↑ Hellblazer #227
- ↑ 90.0 90.1 Hellblazer: Pandemonium
- ↑ Hellblazer #85
- ↑ Hellblazer #181
- ↑ Hellblazer #206
- ↑ Hellblazer: R.S.V.P.
- ↑ 95.0 95.1 Hellblazer: All His Engines
- ↑ Hellblazer #90
- ↑ Hellblazer #247
- ↑ Hellblazer #274
- ↑ Hellblazer #176
- ↑ Hellblazer #273
- ↑ Chas: The Knowledge
- ↑ Hellblazer #57
- ↑ Hellblazer: Rake at the Gates of Hell
- ↑ Cronin, Brian (June 5, 2008). "Comic Book Legends Revealed! #158". Comics Should Be Good!
This character exists under the Vertigo Imprint which is intended for Mature Readers. Vertigo titles although they may cross over into regular DC continuity.
This template will categorize articles that include it into the category "Vertigo Characters."
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.