"Totems": John Constantine throws a New Year's party.

Totems #1 is a one-shot with a cover date of February, 2000.

Appearing in "Totems"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Other Characters:

  • Bernie Madden (First appearance)
  • Dave (First appearance)
  • Nicole (First appearance)
  • Sara (First appearance)


Synopsis for "Totems"

John Constantine throws a New Year's party.

Waiter Bernie Madden is obsessed with conspiracies and esoteric wisdom and he gets to see the assembled heroes partying. He is convinced that something strange will happen at the stroke of midnight and wants to see how these strange beings will encounter it. He pesters all of the guests with his theories until he convinces Animal Man, Black Orchid, and Swamp Thing to join their connections to The Green and The Red in a unified field. Shade and Madden also surreptitiously join and they emerge from the experience immediately before midnight, with the heroes believing that the experience was an empty gesture.

When the New Year begins, the world erupts into widespread violence with aliens, ancient pyramids, Pagan cults, and global madness. The heroes dive into the fray but Swamp Thing is immediately immobilized: The Green is polluted by this event. Only by linking with Animal Man and Black Orchid again can he be regenerated but A-Man makes a mental connection with a feral hound and attacks the two plant creatures before Orchid uses her pheromones to make him sleep.

Robotman leads Shade and Madden to try to save innocents and Shade lashes out angrily at all of the senseless violence. Orchid theorizes that it is Madden's obsessions and mental illness that have polluted all life by combining with the morphogenetic field.

They link again and purge Madden's mental instability from reality and disappear, leaving Robotman holding the waiter. He walks away in disgust and Madden picks up a revolver and decides to visit his ex-wife and daughter in their old home.

He recounts the story to his former lover and her new partner while they lie in bed at gunpoint. He explains his night and he resolves to be a better man if Sara will take him back. She refuses and he points the gun at himself to commit suicide. When it jams, her new boyfriend beats Bernie and deposits him on the lawn.

Bernie wakes up with a new-found appreciation of life and goes shopping.


  • Part of the V2K New Year's event, released in December 1999.


  • No trivia.

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