John Constantine is an occult detective and professional sorcerer from Liverpool, England. His gritty and brutal attitude makes him recognizable as a cynical, foul-mouthed, chain-smoking anti-hero.
Born in Liverpool, England, John's mother, Mary Anne, died giving birth to John and his stillborn twin brother because an earlier abortion forced on her by John's father had weakened her womb. Because he was unable to accept responsibility for his wife's death, Thomas blamed John and the pair grew up with a deep dislike for one another.
John and his older sister Cheryl lived briefly with their aunt and uncle in Northampton to escape from their father's alcoholism and subsequent imprisonment. They moved back to Liverpool when their father was released.
One of John's first acts of magic, as a child, was to hide all of his childhood innocence and vulnerability in a box to rid himself of it. Later, a teenage John ran away from home, but not before a botched curse caused his father to become withered and frail. John eventually made his permanent home in London, rooming with Francis "Chas" Chandler, a young man who has since gone on to become John's closest—and longest surviving—friend.
John became involved in occult circles in London. He traveled other countries and visited San Francisco, where he met, and subsequently began a relationship with, the female magician Zatanna Zatara. He also became enamored of punk rock; after seeing the Sex Pistols at the Roxy Club in London in 1977, John cut his long hair and formed his own band, Mucous Membrane, whose members included Chandler, a drummer named Beano and Gary Lester. They later released an album called Venus of the Hardsell.
John's first venture into occult "heroism" was a disaster. On tour with Mucous Membrane at the Casa Nova Club in Newcastle, he found the aftermath of a magical orgy gone horribly wrong: an abused child, Astra, had conjured a hideous monster that took revenge on the adults who were tormenting her, and the monster refused to leave. John convinced some members of the band, along with several occultist friends, to try destroying the creature by summoning a demon of their own. Unfortunately, this demon was not under their control and after it had destroyed the child's monster, it tormented Constantine's friends and took the child to Hell. John suffered a nervous breakdown after this incident, and was committed to a mental institution, which he drifted in and out of over the years.
The guilt of Astra hung over him for many years until, in his mid-forties, he used some magic and con-artistry to free not only her, but also the souls of all the other children trapped in Hell.
Years later, John was able to persuade the same group to help with his investigation of the Brujería cult. However, the cult murdered most of them, including John's then-lover, Emma. These people, and others who have died due to John's carelessness, have continued to appear to him as silent, reproachful ghosts.
While in his late thirties, John contracted terminal lung cancer. During this time, he sought the help of a dying friend who had sold his soul to the First of the Fallen, the most powerful lord of Hell. When the First came to collect the soul, John tricked him into drinking holy water, which rendered him helpless and prevented him from collecting the friend's soul at the appointed time, breaking the contract.
For this, the First promised to make John suffer unprecedented torment in Hell when he dies. Slowly dying from cancer, John hatched a plan to save himself from eternal torment and secretly sold his soul to the other two Lords of Hell. When they discovered Constantine's actions they realized that they could not allow him to die, or else they would be forced to go to all-out war over his soul. As a result, they were forced to cure John of his cancer.
Combat Statistics Edit
- John Constantine introduces Artifacts to both heroes and villains in Artifacts: Oblivion Bar, taking them on through a one-time Event mission to complete, traversing through Hell, Oa, Apokolips Necropolis and a Government Warehouse defeating Brother Blood, Glomulus, Steppenwolf and Major Force that rewards a choice of 3 Artifacts, with 2 Damage and 1 Support options.
- He is the Watchtower and Hall of Doom as a vendor providing the remaining Artifacts and Catalyst Caches for Marks of Victory.
- John Constantine resides within the Hero Garrison in the Gotham Wastelands. He must be talked to for the Wrath daily missions.
- John Constantine is a random boss in the Desecrated Cathedral duo for Villains.
- John Constantine first appeared in Saga of the Swamp Thing #37 (1985).
- He is voiced by Shannon McCormick.
- Constantine's appearance was inspired by singer-songwriter Sting.
- John Constantine, Doctor Occult, Mister E, the Phantom Stranger, and Rose Psychic are together known as the "Trenchcoat Brigade" due to their common dress-code. The group first united to defeat the god M'nagalah.
- Although he uses Sorcery as his main power, Constantine mainly uses his cunning and manipulative abilities to get his way. He is also known to use invisibility and some Quantum powers.
- John Constantine summons a giant Guardian named Earth Golem in the Artifacts: Oblivion Bar Event mission and was shown in promotional art for Sons of Trigon to possess the ability to use magic of different elements to create a giant Earth Brick Golem.