John was born in Liverpool, but has spent most of his life growing up in London, from the sixties onward. He was born a twin, which he happened to strangle in the womb. His mother died in labor and his father blamed John for the death of his mother and that was the root to the friction between them. When not running away from home John Constantine was raised by his older sister Cheryl Masters.
Known as “The Constant One,” John is a descendant from a long line of magic users. Fascinated by the occult from a young age, John threw himself into learning magic to escape his unhappy family life. He eventually moved in with roommate Chas Chandler, the two became best friends. Around this time John began following occult circles around London (as well as the Punk music scene), and eventually became the magic using, demon tricking con artist he is today.
Constantine is a chain smoker and has been from the very start of his characters introduction, his brand of choice is Silk Cut, though he has been seen smoking Marlboro or Camel’s from time to time, presumably when out of the country or when Silk Cut are unavailable. Despite being a chain smoker himself, Constantine does not take any other drugs, and once called his friend a “dirty lowlife bastard” when he found a needle with a nondescript drug in it.
Within the current DC Universe, Constantine’s back story heavily involves the sorcerer Nick Necro whom he learned under. His signature trenchcoat was stolen from him.
John Constantine is the star of the comic book Hellblazer. The character was originally created by Alan Moore, John Totleben and Steve Bissette as a supporting character to Swamp Thing in The Saga of Swamp Thing #37 – Growth Patterns. Moore wanted to create a mystical character with a working class background as well as being based visually on the rock star Sting.
Constantine’s back story however, can be mostly attributed to writer Jamie Delano, who was the first to write about Constantine in a real world environment, with the groundbreaking Hellblazer title. The comic has been running under the name Hellblazer since 1987 and its debut story âOriginal Sins’. The series ran for more then twenty years and is still in print, the character John Constantine has also made a variety of appearances in other comics as a regular character or cameo appearance. He has been seen at various events in the DC universe, as well as others such as Green Lantern #81 where he was spotted at the Funeral of Hal Jordan.
DC Comics: New Earth
John Constantine has had many incarnations over the years. Alan Moore first presented him as a morally gray character, which appears before a great event. He was almost like an omen; some may say a great “Constant One”. This version of John is still present in his seldom appearances in Swamp Thing, however this version is different from the Hellblazer John Constantine that was fleshed out from Jamie Delano and the writers after him. This original version at one time resembled the pop singer Sting, but has moved away from that look in DC Comic’s fear of him taking legal action.
The character of John Constantine is one of the very few comic characters that have actually aged with real time (and therefore his age as of now is 57 whereas when Hellblazer #1 came out he was 34), though this might have changed due to the demon blood of Nergal. Constantine is normally shown wearing a dark brown trench coat with shirt and tie, his dress sense hasn’t changed from the start of the series where his first appearance is leaving a taxi after the flight back to England (Before this his whereabouts are unknown). During the first series he is shown wearing a dark blue or black suit including the suit jacket (which is often missing in later issues) with a white shirt and tie, his hair is short, often slicked back and blond in color.
“I’m the one who steps from the shadows, all trenchcoat and cigarette and arrogance, ready to deal with the madness. Oh, I’ve got it all sewn up. I can save you. If it takes the last drop of your blood, I’ll drive the demons away. 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, a wink and a wisecrack. I walk my path alone… who would want to walk with me?“
Post- Flashpoint: Earth Prime
John Constantine, heads to New York City looking to become well versed in all things magic, since he felt he had already learned everything he could in Europe. There he meets Nick Necro the best Mage in the U.S. and his girlfriend, Zatanna, at the Oblivion Bar. Nick wants nothing to do with John until he saves his life from The Cult of the Cold Flame outside the bar. After seeing John’s skill he allows him to become his apprentice. It is during his time with Nick that he begins to have feelings for Zatanna. Nick becomes obsessed with finding the the Books of Magic and begins to drive John and Zatanna away. One night the two share a kiss and are caught by Nick who tells them it’s time for them to go. Months go by and John receives a call from Nick telling him that the cult of the Cold Flame has caught up to him and he needs John’s help. John and Zatanna quickly rush to Nicks aid only to find that they have been set up. Nick tells them that the Cold Flame is now helping him find the books and he is giving them Zatanna and sending John to Hell. In the end John and Zatanna defeat the cult and send Nick to Hell instead.
Justice League Dark
Due to circumstances unknown, June Moon, Enchantress’ human host, suddenly was separated from the powerful witch, causing her to go mad. Magical events started popping up all over the world wreaking havoc, while Enchantress searched for June Moon. Not even the Justice League were able to stop her, so Madame Xanadu took it upon herself to form a team that could. While Xanadu attempts to reach various magic heroes, June ends up on the doorstep of Dawn Granger aka Dove, who is Deadman’s girlfriend. Deadman want’s to help the girl, protecting her from the Enchantress, and due to stress in his relationship with Dove, he begins to grow feelings for June. Meanwhile, Zatanna attempts to subdue Enchantress herself, but is unable to do so, getting trapped in a magical coma of sorts, which Constantine snaps her out of. With Shade being the first to work with Xanadu, the both of them attempt to recruit the others, to no avail, all the while Enchantress is getting closer to June and Deadman. With Enchantress’ attacks growing in power, Zatanna finally excepts Xanadu’s recruitment, just as Enchantress finds and corners Deadman and June. Using Shade’s powers, he attempts to open a teleportation door that would allow Deadman and June to transport themselves to their location, but only Deadman makes it through, leaving June at Enchantress’ mercy. Angered, Deadman flies off in order to find June again and protect her, but before Enchantress can do anything to June, Constantine appears, casting a magical barrier around the two. Constantine had deduced that for some reason, it was Xanadu who had split June and Enchantress apart, and begins to repeat the spell that would bind them back together. Deadman finds Constantine doing this, and not knowing what Constantine is doing tries to stop him but is unable to. After this John successfully binds June and Enchantress back together, quelling her madness. Sometime later, Constantine, Shade, Deadman and Zatanna meet with Xanadu, who admits to causing the trouble, saying she had a vision of the future and needed a reason to bring the heroes together. None of the would be team are too pleased with Xanadu, ignoring her warnings, and storming off separately.
Rise of The Vampires
After their battle with the Enchantress, Constantine, Zatanna, Shade and Deadman all begin to have horrid dreams. This brings them all back to Xanadu’s magic shop, where she explains that they are glimpses of the future that would have come true had she not brought them all together to fight Enchantress. She continues, saying that whether or not they like it, it’s best that they stick together as a team, to prevent such futures from occurring. Suddenly, Xanadu is stricken with a great pain as she senses a disturbance in the world’s magic. What she’s sensing is the death of vampire Andrew Bennett in Gotham City, leading to the resurrection of Cain the original, and most powerful vampire. The JLD travel to Gotham where they are met with a massive attack on the city from Cain’s vampire forces, which he took control of from Mary, Queen of Blood, Andrew’s lover. Cain’s presence also begins to siphon all magical energy towards himself, which leaves the teams powers weakened. In order to combat Cain, Xanadu tasks Constantine and Deadman to enter Purgatory in an attempts to retrieve Andrew, while she enters a trance in order to enter an astral plain in an effort to acquire more help, while Zatanna and Shade are forced to protect her body on a rooftop as they, along with Batman and Andrew’s allies square off against more and more vampires.
Angry that her horde was stolen from her, Mary eventually comes to the defense of Zatanna and Shade, but Cain begins to power up his new army with all the magical energy he siphoned. While Constantine and Deadman find Andrew, he seems uninterested in coming back to fight, saying he has nothing left in him, meanwhile, Xanadu has the Crystal One shift the tides of magic. Back in Gotham, Shade begins to have an emotional breakdown, leading his M-Vest to transport himself to a plain outside reality where he would stay with his love Kathy George, never to be seen again. Zatanna eventually transports herself, Xanadu and Mary to Robinson park where Constantine and Deadman show up empty handed, followed by Cain and his vampires. Before the team can be attacked, the effects of the Crystal One’s shifts are seen, as a rejuvenated Andrew appears, proclaiming he found some fight left in him. With his new powers, he takes control of the vampire horde, proclaiming he is to lead them, and reuniting with Mary. He uses the horde to hold back Cain while he decapitates the primordial vampire. With Cain gone, Mary suggests finishing the job, killing the humans, but Andrew stops her, saying they’ve exposed their kind enough for one night, and uses his powers to erase the memory from all but the JLD and his friends. Before Andrew leaves to lead his species to a new life, he is confronted by Constantine, as the JLD believes they just switched one vampire threat for another, but Andrew assures them that he is the least of their worries, as there are bigger threats on the horizon, and when the time comes, he would lend his aid to the team.
Books of Magic
John Constantine is a member of Justice League Dark. Steve Trevor recruits Constantine to track down Faust. He lures Constantine in by showing him the Dreamstone of Doctor Destiny’s. Trevor tells Constantine A.R.G.U.S. calls the team Justice League Dark. Trevor will allow Constantine into The Black Room for 5 minutes when the mission is completed. Constantine has trouble getting the group on board. He reveals to Zatanna that he say a picture of The Black Room that Trevor showed him and he saw her fathers hat and stage outfit.. He will retrieve them for her if she can get the group to go to The Amazon. They defeat Faust and retrieve the map to The Books of Magic. Constantine takes the map and the team to The House Of Mystery.
Constantine tells the team he won the keys to the House in a poker game from Father Time and Doctor Occult. He is seen Xanadu’s vision where he is in possession of The Books of Magic and has killed millions of people including Etrigan, Swamp Thing, Frankenstein, Andrew Bennett, Zatanna, and Black Orchid. He tells Xanadu no person should take possession of the Books because they are too strong. He whispers the name of Timothy Hunter, who is pure enough to possess The Books before the vision ends. Constantine no longer being controlled by The Books of Magic recruits Bennett, Tim Hunter, Frankenstein, and Amethyst to defeat Nick Necro and his group. The final battle takes place in Nanda Parabat. The JLD team defeats Black Boris and Black Brair Thorne. The JLD locates Nick Necro, Felix Faust, Dr. Mist, and their hostage, Zatanna. Necro and faust are working on opening the Tesseract to unleash The Books of Magic. The Books of Magic repel Faust and Necro because as long as Tim Hunter lives no one else can control The Books. Tim Hunter opens The first book and it reboots and begins to transport him home. Zatanna grabs onto Tim’s legs and they are transported to Tim’s home. A.R.G.U.S. travels to Nada Parbat to take Necro and Faust into custody and will be held in their underground metahuman facility. Constantine calls the Phantom Stranger from his safe realm and asks him to join the JLD. The Phantom Stranger chooses not to join The JLD even though Constantine has the last silver coin that will complete The Stranger’s necklace.
After unexpectedly winning a horse race by betting on a horse with incredibly low odds of winning, John Constantine is attacked by a previously unknown assailant, causing a massive explosion in front of him. Madame Xanadu, sensing another catastrophic event calls on the aid of her team. Deadman, Frankenstein, and Constantine arrive within minutes, and Xanadu explains the dire situation regarding the danger that has come to Constantine. The House of Mystery has been nicked from him, as his link to it was severed in his panic. Knowing that the Swamp Thing connects to all plant life force, Constantine beckons his aid, hoping that the creature could locate where the house went. Upon his arrival, Swamp Thing attacks Constantine, but is calmed down once Frankenstein vouches for Constantine’s good intentions.
Upon trying to locate the house, the Swamp Thing vanishes in pain, and great nightmares persist outside them. The House of Mystery has been compromised, and someone is releasing the nightmares that it conceals.Constantine is plagued by copies of himself drawn from his own blood, Deadman battles a group of cannibalistic carnies who try to eat him, Xanadu is haunted by his dead lovers, and Frankenstein’s horrific spawn appears before him consuming his wife. Swamp Thing is revealed to be chained in the House of Mystery, with his captor being Doctor Destiny.
While horror and carnage go amok Manhattan, The Flash, sensing a Justice League distress signal, sprints toward the source, only to find out that it’s source was Frankenstein, not a member of any official Justice League team. The spawn attacks them, and The Flash vibrates his way right through him, causing it to disappear completely. The nightmares were mere illusions that The Flash could disintegrate at the right frequency of vibration. Upon hearing of this, Frankenstein suggests he locate Madame Xanadu, and Deadman. After saving both, the four ventured towards Constantine, but The Flash was unable to disintegrate the blood-drawn copies of Constantine, and he was frozen in place to constrict his movement. Reversing the blood spell, Constantine withdraws the nightmares, and the five of them set out to find the House of Mystery. The Flash immediately finds the house, and reports that it sits atop the penthouse.
Upon reaching their destination, Frankie and The Flash decide to stay to combat the nightmares and to sweep through Manhattan and defend the innocents. Xanadu, Constantine, and Deadman go up to confront the thief, only to face Doctor Destiny’s rampage, and find Swamp Thing weak and held in place. Doctor Destiny is revealed to be Madame Xanadu’s son.
Upon seeing her son, Xanadu is drawn into another apocalyptic vision. Her son, Doctor Destiny, has caused ultimate destruction 20 years from the present. She saw her team dead, stuck onto spears, and only she and John Constantine remain. It turns out, Boston Brand or Deadman has possessed John Constantine hoping to be with Madame Xanadu just one last time before it all ends. The two share a kiss, and Xanadu’s vision ends. The JLD began their battle with Doctor Destiny, with N’aal, the demon butler of the House of Mystery fighting alongside Doctor Destiny. Frankenstein takes on the demon, but he is held back by his weakness–fire. Deadman attempts to free the Swamp Thing by possessing him. After which, he realizes that the whole house is alive, and he begins to possess it, controlling all the horrors that the house beholds. Meanwhile, Xanadu combats her son, and The Flash arrives on scene to aid the suffering Frankenstein. With Doctor Destiny unable to fight back, Swamp Thing holds him into place with vines, and Madame Xanadu confronts him. Deadman begins to show affection for Xanadu, and despite her wanting to reciprocate, she holds back. To ensure that her vision remains that way–just a vision, Madame Xanadu decides that she has to kill her son. Using Frankenstein’s swords, Xanadu takes out the gem that is his son’s heat and ends his life. The father is never revealed, as Xanadu declares that some secrets should never see the light. As the day ends, Madame Xanadu laments on her loneliness, she has been alone for a long time, and though she longs for someone, she believes that in order for the world to survive, she must continue to walk it on her own.
Justice League Dark (2018)
In the current Jld book John is a frequent character, appearing in almost every issue. He’s frequently seen there to help Zatanna and isn’t actually counted as a member of the team itself as a member. John first appears in the first issue to give Zatanna a warning about what’s to come. Later during the same story-arc in a fight against the Upside Down man he helps during the fight.
As Stated before John isn’t actually a member of the team although he has helped out in every major fights. This is because him along with many other members of the magic community don’t like being associated with superheroes.
Major Story Arcs
DC Comics: New Earth
When created by the Swamp Thing team of Alan Moore, John Totleben and Steve Bissette they wanted to create a character that looks like Sting the rock star, although his appearance has grown away from that, it is still something a lot of fans associate with the character. Alan Moore has stated that he wanted this character to be a sort of working class, blue-collar warlock. The name “Constantine” is intended to be pronounced “Con-Stan-Tine” (rhyming with “mine” rather than “teen”). John Constantine was used as a supporting character within many major Swamp Thing story arcs. His character has become a key character in the modern Swamp Thing mythos.
John Constantine was introduced in the “American Gothic” arc created during Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing run. This run was Alan Moore’s take on horror in America. It has dealt with Werewolves, Vampires, evil cults and monster made men. John Constantine’s character was used not as a focus point, more as an omen. Once John Constantine appeared to The Swamp Thing, that meant the evil to good ratio in the world was off balance and The Swamp Thing must balance it once more.
Swamp Thing uses John’s Body to Makes Love to His Wife Abby Holland
The Swamp Thing (Alec Holland) was sent on many trials that always seemed to be delivered by John Constantine. These trials help shape and improve Alec Holland’s knowledge of that he is now. Alec was no longer a man. He was a Plant lying to himself he was a man, and his man was named Alec Holland. Alec Holland developed many powers he never had before with the introduction of John Constantine to his life. Such powers included the ability to travel anywhere in the world, just by discarding his old body and growing a new one elsewhere. Another ability was to growing “tubers” which as almost like narcotic yams. These “tubers” allowed whoever to consume them to enter the “Green”, the Green is the subconscious world of the plants. These so called “tubers” were used so Alec could make “Love” to his wife Abby Holland.
The Swamp Thing had the ability to increase growth speed of any plant form. This ability showed destructive abilities in humans as that the Swamp Thing could increase the size of plants you have consumed in your stomach, making you very uncomfortable if he doesn’t want to kill you this way. This growth of food ability may have led to why we never see John Constantine eat anything, but that is up for interpretations.
John & Swamp Thing Daughter Tefe’
The ties between John Constantine and Alec Holland became joined in blood when Alec “confiscated” John Constantine’s body to use as his vessel to create a child. John Constantine’s body was then used to “make love” to Abby Holland’s body and help contribute the male part of the equation to make a baby. This baby was born a young girl named Tefe’, named after the forest in Brazil in which the Parliament of Trees live. John Constantine serves as the surrogate father, while Tefe’ considers Alec being her true father. Tefe’ has yet to cross-over to John Constantine’s Hellblazer, her only currently interaction with John has been within the pages of Swamp Thing Volumes 2-4.
Brightest Day Aftermath: The Search For Swamp Thing
John Constantine was wanted by The Green to become the next Swamp Thing. He recruited Batman and Superman through his own manipulations to find the recently resurrected Alec Holland. John was able to find Alec Holland and when he asked Alec if he wanted to become Swamp Thing Alec vehemently said no. Alec Holland turned and left.
The story arc starts with a young John traveling the bustling streets of NYC. It’s in the issue, we first see Mnemoth, a demon that has been captured by Gary Lester. After causing chaos throughout, Mnemoth flies off to do bigger things, leaving a mess in Constantine’s lap. Quickly he gives the problem to Chas Chandler, by telling him “You’ll need to buy three days worth of food, fags and dirty books”, adding “he owed him.” John leaves with a picture of the African man that Gary Lester had captured and had the demon exorcised out of. The next day, John takes it to a magical professor and determines from there that the tattoos on the boy’s head were from a tribe in Southern Sudan. Leaving him no option other than to call, Papa Midnite.
After heeding his words, Constantine flies to Sudan. Soon, he finds a hill and a top the hill is an old Shaman. Constantine goes into the hut and meets with the older wiser man. He is then asked to perform a ritual with him. It is revealed that John can’t stop Mnemoth on his own. So upon returning to NYC, he and Gary meet with Papa Midnite. Papa Midnite explains he will consider helping John but nothing definite. Constantine leaves, leaving Papa to handle Gary. Constantine heads to the scene of the crime where his girlfriend, Emma has died from Mnemoth’s wrath. Later, he finds Mnemoth through the help of Emma’s ghost.
The Devil You Know
The major event in this trade is the famous “Newcastle” story (issue 11) which John Constantine has talked about even in the pages of Swamp Thing. The Newcastle incident is told in a flashback story titled “Newcastle: A Taste of Things to Come“. This is a story of when John Constantine is not proficient yet with his magic skills. He is hanging out with The Newcastle Crew, they decided to check out a shot spot known as the Casanova Club, where there was a monster with a child, Astra. The Newcastle Crew attempted to get rid of it by summoning their own demon. But they didn’t have control of the demon and once it had destroyed the child’s monster it took the child to hell. This John would have a nervous breakdown from this incident, which would get him sent to a mental institution. The rest of the Newcastle Crew was left mentally and physically scarred. John was never fully cured at the mental hospital because he was sprang by London crime-lord Harry Cooper.
John learned that he had contracted lung disease.
John had attempted, and failed, to save his own life. He was also mad at the First of the Fallen, for cheating him out of a friends soul. So John made a deal with the three rulers of Hell. He promised his soul to each of them. Eager to get the infamous John Constantine they each accepted, separately.
For his plan John committed suicide (by slitting his wrists) bringing each of the Fallen forward to collect his soul. Realizing they all had a claim to his soul, but none of them were willing to give up their claim to John, they were forced to save his life, ridding him of lung cancer. As they left John flipped them his middle finger.
In the year 2000 John was framed for the murder of his old friend “Lucky” Fermin, who had really committed suicide, he was locked up in prison. He escaped with the help of FBI agent Frank Turro. John then traveled across America, looking for Lucky’s wife, Marjorie, now a widow, to ask forgiveness, because he felt personally responsible for Lucky’s death.
John encountered psychotic relatives of Lucky (who made porn), a black bear, and a group of snowboarding killers on his trip. After all this he figured out Marjorie had joined a neo-Nazi group. Lucky’s ghost revealed to him that Lucky had committed suicide as a deal that Lucky and Marjorie had made with Stanley Manor , who John had swindled years before, so as to frame John for murder. John tricked Stanley Manor into committing suicide, but unfortunately, in the process Agent Frank Turro was killed.
John returned to London in 2003 and reconciled with his sister, Cheryl Masters. John then got involved in a magic war in London. He then was horrified to discover that his niece, Gemma Masters, was a witch.
Reasons to be Cheerful and The Gift
John’s three children by Rosacarnis ( Maria, Saul, and Adam Constantine) attack any people who have been associated with John, since they can’t kill him directly. This results in the deaths of several people in London, such as Alba Suria and Albert (who serves Clarice Sackville), but John manages to save Angie Spatchcock, with the help of Chas who was possessed by Nergal. Both the worst affect is the death of John’s sister, Cheryl. So John goes to retrieve his sister’s soul from hell. He gets dragged into a plot by Nergal to regain his thrown. John reaches the House of Nergal, to confront Rosacarnis, while Nergal goes to get a better body. John confronts Rosacarnis and says he will help her, because Nergal has his sister’s soul (which Nergal does, it is unclear when John discovered this), she agrees but the First of the Fallen kills her quickly after this, after Nergal swears allegiance to the First.
Eventually Cheryl is seen, confused about where she is. John says that the First of the Fallen must release her, since she is an innocent soul, but instead the First offers Cheryl an option; either Cheryl returns to Earth or she remains in hell with her husband, Tony Masters (who had committed suicide when realizing that he had killed Cheryl) and Tony’s double punishment would be split between them. Cheryl decides to stay in hell with Tony, and the First of the Fallen returns John home to London, devastated. unable to look at his niece, John runs out into the night, barefoot and crying.
John Gets Married
In the Peter Milligan run, John has tied the knot and married Epiphany Greaves. At his wedding Demon John (who had replaced him in the ceremony) attacks Gemma in the bathroom so she swears revenge on her uncle (believing it was actually John who did it to her). She got help from a witch and summoned a demon for John to fight and stole his trench coat. She then sells the coat online.
John Constantine was first mentioned in issue two of the Sandman, though he didn’t appear until issue three. He is mentioned by the three-fates who said John had traded Morpheus’ bag of sand to a demon. Morpheus tracks down John in the human world, coming from the Dreaming Realm. John helps Dream get his bag of sand, and in return, Morpheus cures him of the nightmares he’s been having from the guilt of Astra.
Constantine is not seen again until issue 71 of Sandman. In Sandman Presents: Love Street, we see a young John Constantine in the house of Morpheus “Dream” of the Endless was still being held captive. The Sandman as well had interactions with one of John Constantine’s ancestors, Johanna Constantine.
House of Mystery
So far John Constantine has had one “advertisement” appearance for the House of Mystery, in which he talks about his former visits to the House of Mystery. A short story of his life was also presented in both the first and second Halloween Annual. This stories takes place within the Peter Milligan Hellblazer run.
Powers and Abilities
Constantine is very much a “brains over brawn” character, while he has been known to engage in combat with someone he would much rather outsmart his opponents then beat them up. If he is in a physical confrontation he has been know to utilize magic or fight dirty. He is considered a master con artist and is expertly manipulative (even conning the Devil himself). His manipulation and cunning are how he prefers to win against his opponents. Though his manipulation is not drawn out over long periods; he prefers to make instant decisions, relying on his miraculous brain to get himself out of tight situations rather than preparing for things long in advance. A “power” as such of his is supernaturally good luck; referred to sometimes as “synchronicity wave travelling”, it resembles a form of localized, low-level reality warping, granting him enormous luck and explaining how he has survived all that he has survived.
Constantine’s blood is also tainted with demon blood, which gives an extended longevity (slowing his aging process but not stopping it) as well as a slight enhanced healing ability. It has also proved helpful when it came to fighting vampires (a sort of “bitter taste” defense).
Constantine is also famous for being a magical adept with his utilization of magic spells and sometimes potions. Some examples of the magic John has used are Divination, Demon Summoning, Cursing, Golemancy, Occlumency, Necromancy, Vivimancy, Illusion, and various stage magic tricks like hypnosis, sleight of hand, and escapology. John has also shown the ability to resurrect himself in Hellblazer: Pandemonium where he was killed and later came back by leaving the afterlife. He also showed the ability to resurrect himself in the Hellblazer Rebirth.
While not enjoying the use of firearms, he is a talented marksman, and owns a .357 Magnum, which he has used on occasion. Though he relies on his supernatural powers and holy magic.
John Constantine is known for his unique personality as much as he is for his occult skills. A cynical, weathered magician with few real relationships, Constantine displays on occasion a compassionate, humanist side to his personality, and is not afraid of risking his life for a heroic cause.
He finds making friends very easy, as well as establishing romantic links and relationships. However, a lot of people who are associated with Constantine end up dying, a fact that John is quite aware of. In Hellblazer issue 69, when The King of Vampires killed a man in front of John and asked Constanine if the man was his friend, John replied “Must be. He’s dead.”
John proposed to alchemist Epiphany Greaves. Before he gets an answer, Shade kidnaps Epiphany, and then sends her to 1979, London. John goes through a lot of trouble, but manages to return Epiphany to the present. Epiphany then accepts his proposal. After John and Epiphany tell Terry Greaves, Epiphany’s father, that they are engaged he (after finally agreeing to it, when John offers to do a job for him that he had previously refused) sends invitations out to many old friends of John’s (such as Kit Ryan, Beano – the old drummer in John’s punk band Mucous Membrane, and John’s niece Gemma Masters) without John knowing or agreeing to it. The couple marry in an old church (that is no longer a church) with Chas as John’s best man.
The Constantine family has had at least five other people involved with magic such as lady Constantine and more distant ancestors in Arthurian times. John was a twin, he strangled his twin in the womb. His twin brother in a parallel universe survived, and became the much loved magician John never was. His mother, Mary Ann, died in childbirth, and his father blamed John for this which caused great conflict between John and his father. He lived with his old sister (who is older then him by 7 years), Cheryl, for sometime. His sister later dies, and is in hell, because she takes part of the punishment of her husband, Tony Masters, who had killed her. John has a niece Gemma Masters, who is a practicing witch. He is the biological father of Alec Holland‘s daughter, Tefe’, as Alec Holland inhabited John to sire a child with his wife Abby Holland. He also had two short lived demon children with the succubus Rosacarnis.
Chas Chandler, Friends and Girlfriends
John’s longest surviving friend is Chas Chandler, who has assisted John in many of his adventures. Chas is a taxi driver, and usually ends up driving John where ever John needs to go. John tries (and tends to fail) to keep Chas out of the dirtier aspects of what he does. Chas’ wife, Renee, dislikes John greatly. Most of John’s friends find themselves killed in some way or another, often haunting John as ghosts. These include Gary Lester, Frank North, Benjamin Cox and Judith. John has also had many girlfriends (and the odd boyfriend) such as Kit Ryan, Zed and Stanley Manor.
John originally appeared in Swamp Thing, giving Swamp Thing challenges. John has helped Swamp Thing use his powers better, and they have stayed “friends” over the years. Although their friendship mostly consists of John using Swamp Thing and Swamp Thing remaining distrustful of Constantine. Swamp Thing’s wife Abby, is none too fond of John either, though they all came together to help them conceive a child by the name of Tefe Holland.
John has a had an on and off relationship with the magician Zatanna since his earliest appearances in Swamp Thing. This is also seen in comics such as Everyday Magic and Come Together. Their relationship fell apart when Zatanna’s father, Zatara, died and blaming John in the process. Despite this, they remained good friends over the years, and would sometimes drop by to borrow a magical hand when needed. In the current DC Universe, their relationship is more strained, though they still remain on and off again.
He is/has also been a member of the Newcastle Crew, and the Trenchcoat Brigade and the Justice League Dark. In fact, there are very few mystical or magical being in the DC Universe that John hasn’t met, including several run-ins with The Phantom Stranger and mentoring Timothy Hunter. Among his adversaries are the demons Nergal, First of the Fallen, Nick Necro and the angel Gabriel.
- Height: 5’9″
- Weight: 150 lbs
- Eye Color: Blue
- Hair Color: Blond
- Citizenship: British
- Place of Birth: Liverpool, England
- Marital Status: Single
- Occupation: Magician, occult detective
- Known Relatives: Thomas Constantine (father, deceased), Cheryl Constantine (sister, deceased)
The current Hellblazer ongoing series John Constantine is given a very British lifestyle in an American comic. It is common tradition for British comics to be finite and/or allow their characters to age in “real time”. Another example of a British comic character allowed to age in real time is Judge Dredd. The Hellblazer series that has been running longer then the Vertigo imprint it is printed in Vertigo has given John Constantine this rare gift that comic book characters have, which is a change to grow old naturally. The ongoing John Constantine has celebrated Birthdays and other life events, such as watching his niece Gemma Masters grow up to a beautiful woman. Even if this standard John Constantine is in his late 50s he has maintained vitality because of his occult practices. At average most of the series is considered canon with this current John Constantine. Nergal gave him the Demon Blood the first time, Chantinelle (or Ellie) would be the donor of Demon Blood later on. It is believed the tainted blood he possesses has great healing power, which was confirmed in Mike Carey’s run. The main version of John Constantine would also now have a scar over his left eye and lacking a thumb to his left hand because of Peter Milligan’s run.
John Constantine was originally revealed to be a bisexual by a guest writer’s mention of John Constantine having the occasional boyfriend with writer Brian Azzarello later adding to this concept by having him be in a sexual relationship with another man. Constantine has thus far never had a serious boyfriend during Hellblazer, though he has had a couple of serious girlfriends. John Constantine is currently married with four children from two different “women”, two of these children are deceased and only his daughters (Tefe’ Holland and Maria Constantine) are alive. Since The New 52, DC has made more effort to show John’s sexuality without making it a focal point of any stories: when he flashes back to past relationships on meeting The Presence, one panel shows him kissing another man; flashbacks to his tutelage with Nick Necro show both of them along with Zatanna kissing naked, and in the present Necro speaks as an angry former lover; and on meeting his Earth-2 counterpart, John says aloud that he would shag his counterpart, and lands a lingering kiss on him when forced to murder Earth-2 John. The post-New 52 soft relaunch of Constantine in Constantine the Hellblazer #1 (2015) firmly established his bisexuality; he contemplates sex with an attractive male bartender, with thought bubbles indicating his intention and flirting; he has sex with female demon Blythe, who recalls previous bisexual threesomes they’ve had; and Blythe reels off a list of Constantine’s ex-lovers, including many male and female names. He continues to see the male bartender, Oliver, in subsequent issues, but denies himself the opportunity to sleep with him due to concerns about his lover always getting hurt. However, in #7, he takes Oliver home with him.
There are other versions of John Constantine within the ongoing series. John Constantine would develop a “Demon” John Constantine during Paul Jenkin’s run. Another important variation to the main John Constantine is his unborn “twin” brother, known as “The Golden Boy”, who was first introduced in Jamie Delano’s main run. The Golden Boy would be fleshed out more during Andy Diggle’s run on Hellblazer.
Alternate Delano versions
The “Bad Blood” John Constantine would be the first possible future for John Constantine. This is a future written by the original Hellblazer writer Jamie Delano and it is set in the year 2025. John Constantine is still alive, still likes women and tends to be an omen for major events. In this future there is scandal in the Royal family and the series is presented as a satire. No ongoing writer has returned to this version of John.
The ” Pandemonium” John Constantine is presented as older than the John written at the time in the ongoing series, which was Andy Diggle’s John Constantine, who ironically was playing tribute to the classic John Constantine Delano fleshed out. John Constantine in Pandemonium interacts with Nergal as if he still had Nergal’s blood in him while technically Nergal’s blood is gone from John Constantine and it is instead Ellie’s blood that now runs through him. Pandemonium John can be considered an Elseworlds story since it is not connected to the main ongoing story.
John Constantine would obtain another “Elseworlds” version in Books of Magick: Life During Wartime. Timothy Hunter was supposed to be the DC universe’s greatest magician until the Vertigo universe split and Tim Hunter never obtained that status.
In the 2005 attempt at the Books of Magic(k), Timothy is a bit older and he still has a connection to John Constantine, Constantine being one of his teachers in the original Books of Magic, by Neil Gaiman. In Books of Magick: Life During Wartime, there is an alternate “Evil” John Constantine known as Lord Constantine.
City of Demons
Part of the 25th anniversary celebration Vertigo would release a mini series called Hellblazer: City of Demons, which was written by Books of Magick: Life During Wartime writer Si Spencer. “City of Demons” John Constantine is a different take on what tainted demon blood could do. As in the main series, John’s Blood has healing properties, the City of Demons is written on the premise that John’s blood infects people and makes them demonic monsters.
John has appeared in the DCeased universe in the 2019 one-shot Dceased: a good day to die. John is also planned to appear in the sequel to DCeased in 2020’s Dceased: Dead Planet.
John Constantine is changed significantly for the big screen adaptation, known simply as Constantine (pronounced constan-TEEN rather than the British constan-TINE). In the film, John Constantine was portrayed by actor Keanu Reeves, and the setting is moved to the United States of America, rather than the traditional comic book setting of England.
In the film, Constantine has the ability to see and interact with half-breed Angels and Demons as well as seeking redemption from a life in Hell due to attempting suicide in his youth.
The film only very loosely bases itself on the Hellblazer comics, focusing much more on religion than magic but includes characters such as Chas, Papa Midnite and Gabriel. Integrated into the plot of the film is the story arc “Dangerous Habits” where John realizes he has lung cancer, and must trick demons (The Devil in the film) into prolonging his life.
Despite being initially poorly received by film critics and Hellblazer purists, it developed a strong fan following.
Justice League Dark (2017)
Matt Ryan reprises his role as John Constantine in what would be the character’s animated film debut. This animated movie features a powerful supernatural force that is causing chaos and mayhem across America. Batman enlists the help of Constantine to form a team of magic-based metahumans, called Justice League Dark. The team must unravel the mysterious origins of the supernatural force and battle the evil forces behind the siege. The film received positive reviews from fans and critics alike.
Constantine makes his debut on the small screen in NBC’s TV series from producers Daniel Cerone and David S. Goyer. Welsh actor Matt Ryan appears as the titular character along side other Hellblazer characters such as Chas, Zed, and Papa Midnite. The series also includes appearances from other occult DC characters including Jim Corrigan and Felix Faust.
The first 13 episode season was loosely adapted from the American Gothic story line in Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing as well as early Hellblazer stories such as A Feast of Friends and the Resurrection Crusade.
Constantine (2018 Web series)
Matt Ryan will reprise his role as John Constantine in an upcoming animated web series on the CW seed. The series is set in the Arrowverse and serves as a continuation of the 2014 live-action series of the same name. Constantine previously appeared in the Arrowverse as a guest character on the Arrow Season 4 episode “Haunted.”
- A video game based on the 2005 Constantine movie was released the same year by THQ for PC, Xbox and PS2.
- John appears in the video game Lego DC Super-Villains as a dlc character included in the Justice League Dark character pack.
- John is in the online mmorpg DC Universe Online (dcuo) as a non-playable character as a hero that helps the player.
- John has two cameos in Injustice 2. The first one is the Doctor Fate’s arcade ladder ending where he is pictured along Zatanna and his daughter. The second is in Raiden’s arcade ladder ending when he appears in a version of the Justice League Dark.
- He appears on IGN’s Top 100 Comic Book Heroes (2011), as #29
- Is in an Alex Ross tribute poster to Alan Moore
- In the DC Universe Tarot card deck he is the Fool
- Has a drink at The Lux in Lucifer
- An unofficial walk-by cameo in Preacher #7
- He is a memory in Hitman #16
- Even Alan Moore has claimed to have had an encounter with John Constantine at a bar, told in Snakes and Ladders
- He and the rest of the Trenchcoat Brigade teach prodigal mage Tim Hunter in Neil Gaiman’s The Books of Magick, and come to his aid once again in Names of Magic
- He also is part of the two secret origins, numbers #23 and # 27
- In 2012 a set in Heroclixs called Justice League New 52 in the DC Comics relaunch. John Constantine was made in the set with cult symbols behind his back he and Zatanna and Mindwarp, Deadman are all made from the come series called Justice League Dark.