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Hellblazer: Original Sins

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One day, John Constantine returned to his apartment to find that his old friend Gary Lester, who had become a drug addict over the last ten years, was waiting for him there. Unfortunately, Gary had been touched by a demon that he had faile


One day, John Constantine returned to his apartment to find that his old friend Gary Lester, who had become a drug addict over the last ten years, was waiting for him there. Unfortunately, Gary had been touched by a demon that he had failed to exorcise properly.[1] Recruiting Papa Midnite, John concocted a plan to trap the demon inside Gary and let their mutual hungers 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.[2]

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 couldn't 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. [3]

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.[4]

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.[5] 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.[6] Meanwhile, the Swamp Thing discovered John's crippled body on the side of the train tracks, and took him to a hospital.[7] 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.[8]

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 in to 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 stole control of his body away from him.[9]

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.[10] Needless to say, John was not pleased by the arrangement. However, in having helped the Swamp Thing to reproduce, John had inadvertently fulfilled the prophecy that Nergal feared. The demon's taint, however, would be passed on to the child.[11]


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