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Quote1 Ordinary people, they operate within a certain set of parameters, right? Rules. Limits. Then there's blokes like me, yeah? We cheat. Quote2
-- John Constantine src

John Constantine is an occult detective from Liverpool, England. His violent and anti-social attitude makes him a formidable anti-hero, and he's known for doing whatever it takes to get the job done.

Early Life

John Constantine was born in Liverpool, England. When he was a child, he first began to experiment with magic when somebody told him about a spell that would make him a powerful magician. However, the person didn't tell him that the spell required a sacrifice and, while performing it, his family home caught fire and killed his mother and father. [2]

When he was a young adult, Constantine was a wild, silver-tongued punk with no idea what he was destined to become. Though he always had a knack for being a conman, Constantine had continued to dabble in magic from his childhood, showing interest in anything of the occult but never getting serious enough for it to be anything more than a hobby. [3]

Constantine and his first love Veronica Delacroix formed a mystical-themed punk band named "Mucous Membrane" with their friend Gaz Lester. The three lived the rock-star lifestyle for a while and also began getting more serious with the magic they were interested in practicing together until, eventually, everything hit the fan when a spell gone wrong caused Delacroix to slowly lose her connection to the mortal world and Constantine was unable to stop it. The band, in turn, fell apart, and Constantine became more determined to focus on his skills as a magician.[4]

Magical Beginnings

After his stint as a rock star, John had been learning all he could of the occult and magical in Europe before travelling to New York City to learn under one of the greatest mages in the world - Nick Necro, who had himself studied under the great Giovanni Zatara and Baron Winters. Nick's girlfriend at the time was Zatara's daughter Zatanna, who was herself a powerful magician. When John first laid eyes on her, he fell in love, too.

The three of them studied together, battling occult threats like the Cult of the Cold Flame. Nick, however, soon became obsessed with the search for the fabled Books of Magic and, in his obsession, betrayed his friends and allied himself with the Cold Flame. [5] John and Zatanna dated for a time afterwards until they were eventually driven apart when John caused her father to die during a spell gone wrong. [6] Before their breakup, Zatanna casted a spell on John, commanding him to be a better person. [7]

Shady Past

At some point, John returned to England and fell in love with a young woman named Maureen, but her involvement with John eventually lead to her committing suicide, something John would always blame himself for. [8] John later began dating a woman named Margaret Ames, and the two bonded by going on amateur magical adventures until Constantine decided she deserved a normal life and left her without explanation. [9] John also had a casual relationship with the demon Blythe, but the two never got more serious than the occasional shag. [10]

Also in England, John ran into the travelling hippie convoy that the girl Mercury and her mother Marj belonged to. John and Marj became lovers for awhile before John caused the conoy to break up and left. [11]

Constantine was further shaped as a magician in the city of Newcastle when he and the Newcastle Crew attempted to save the girl Astra Logue from the demon Nergal, only to fail the spell and send Astra right into Nergal's clutches, this event becoming one of Constantine's greatest failures. [12] John checked himself into Ravenscar Asylum to recover from the experience, only to be mistreated by the staff. [13]

Finding himself cursed from ever returning to London again by a demon he had crossed, Constantine instead returned to one of the places he had first learned magic - New York City. [14]

Justice League Dark

Alerted by a magical shift in reality, John and a group of other magicians united to fight the Enchantress, who was causing havoc in the world in search of her lost host, June Moone.[15] After the group had successfully fused Enchantress and June once again, the magicians went their separate ways, having grown annoyed with their conflicting personalities. [16]

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Trinity War

Main article: Trinity War

About one year after he had first arrived in New York, [17] Constantine was alerted to the fact that a magical artifact - Croyden's Compass - was being targeted by the evil magical organization he had fought in the past - the Cult of the Cold Flame. [18] After going on a world tour for its pieces and fighting a few high ranking members of the Cult, Constantine successfully destroyed the compass and returned to New York. [19]

Constantine and the power of Shazam

Constantine and the power of Shazam

Upon his return to America, Constantine walked into a conflict when the mysterious Pandora attempted to contact heroes and villains she thought might be able to open her box. Constantine had his own plans though and, knowing that if the hero Shazam were to touch Pandora's Box, it would disrupt all the magic in the universe, temporarily stole Shazam's powers away from him. With the powers of Shazam at his fingertips, Constantine was ambushed and defeated a member of the Cult of the Cold Flame before having to return his powers back to Billy. [20] Mortally wounded from battle, Constantine was begrudgingly saved by Papa Midnite, who saw John as a lesser of two evils when compared to the impending threat of the Cold Flame. [21]

The Cult continued their assault against Constantine while he attempted to juggle the war over Pandora's Box. Stealing all of Constantine's magical artifacts from his base in New York, the three leaders of the Cold Flame transferred all of the items' magical value to themselves. Mister E, one of the leaders, then attempted to finally kill Constantine, believing him to be at his weakest, but was instead vanquished by Constantine, E's powers then transferring to the final two remaining leaders. With the invitation to take E's spot as leader of the Cold Flame, Constantine agreed, secretly planning to take the cult down from the inside-out.

Constantine then returned to handle the war over Pandora's Box, gaining possession of the box in the chaos and watching as its true purpose was unleashed - summoning a doorway for the Crime Syndicate from Earth 3.

Forever Evil

Fighting evil incarnate

Fighting evil incarnate

With the Crime Syndicate's takeover and the apparent destruction of the Justice League, villains roamed free across the Earth and a new threat, the magical embodiment of evil named Blight, was formed. Constantine was among the few heroes that had escaped the Syndicate's grand entrance and began assembling a team of other magic users to fight Blight in New York City and relocate his lost love Zatanna.

Together, the team then managed to contain Blight themselves and set their sights on rescuing the heroes that were being kidnapped and stored in Nanda Parbat by the Crime Syndicate. Reaching the building's core, Constantine became locked in an intense battle with one of his former mentors and greatest enemies Nick Necro, working with Secret Society. Constantine successfully killed Necro and worked the free the captive heroes.

With the world saved from the Crime Syndicate, Constantine returned to the House of Mystery only to realize the House had chosen a new connection during his adventure - Zatanna. Constantine bitterly gave up command of the newly reformed Justice League Dark to the woman he had worked so hard to rescue, choosing to go back to working alone yet again. [22]

World's End

Main article: Earth 2: World's End
Between two worlds

Between two worlds

With the world finally safe for heroes again, John set his sights back on taking down the Cult of the Cold Flame. Having become a full-fledged leader within the cult when he took down Mister E, Constantine began to secretly ally himself with other independent magicians who might be threatened by the Cold Flame. [23] However, a failure in Papa Midnite's spell caused the entire plan to collapse, and John was transported cross-dimensions to Earth 2 as it crumbled during Darkseid's attack. [24]

Finding his Earth 2 counterpart, a version of himself who lived a happy life with his friends without the curses of magic, Constantine connected with the counterparts of family members he had lost before designing a spell he thought could transport himself and as many Earth 2 residents as possible back to his world before Darkseid finally destroyed the planet. The spell was destructive, causing Constantine to watch as some of his friends and family's counterparts died in front of him again along the way, but, nonetheless, he made it back with some of the survivors and resettled back into his life in New York City. [25]

The Fight for New York

Having gotten comfortable with his life in New York, Constantine was contacted by the ghost of his old friend Gary Lester, who asked for his help to fight a monster that was killing roaming souls. [26] After failing to trap the monster and getting Gary's ghost killed, [27] Constantine traveled to Manchester to request the assistance of his and Gary's former friend Georgiana Snow, now a skilled paranormal detective. [28] The two tracked down the monster to discover they were actually fighting the spirit of their old friend Veronica Delacroix, and, in usual Constantine fashion, the conman tricked Georgiana into killing Veronica's ghost for him so he wouldn't have to live with the guilt. No longer on speaking terms with Georgiana, Constantine returned to New York. [29]

Saving New York

Saving New York

Taking jobs as a freelance exorcist to pay the rent, John lived a normal life for a while (relative to Constantine-standards), even beginning to date a man he had met in the city named Oliver. However, this brief period of calm was soon interrupted when Oliver's life was endangered by Papa Midnite, who forced Constantine to help him get his club back from the demon Neron. [30]

Having uncovered Neron's plot to take over New York and make himself rich in the underworld with all the souls he could reap, John called for the assistance of some of his former Justice League Dark comrades to sully Neron's plans and chase him out of New York. Constantine's boyfriend Oliver, whose daughters had been used as leverage to keep Constantine out of Neron's plans, had independently made a deal to save them from the demon and was dragged to Hell before Constantine's eyes. Though John had managed to save all of New York City, he was alone yet again. [31]

Rebirth

Main article: DC Rebirth

Finding it was time to make a change from New York, Constantine returned home to London even though he was still cursed to never return. Confronting the demon who cursed him, Constantine managed to reverse the spell and begin his new adventure in his home country. [32]

Constantine was not in London long before being contacted by Swamp Thing, looking to collect on a favor: Abby Arcane had gone missing from the Rot, and Swamp Thing wanted Constantine to find her. Constantine, reconnecting with an old "friend" of his named Mercury, soon discovered that Arcane's disappearance was connected to an evil Djinn that lived in London named Marid, who plotted on changing human history. Constantine and Mercury traveled to Paris to find more information on how to fight a Djinn but, by the time they got their hands on the information, they were confronted by Marid. In the fight, Mercury and Constantine were separated and, since John had no idea how to find Mercury again, returned to London. [33]

Powers

  • Magic: John is a highly skilled sorcerer, having been practicing magic since he was a teen. He quickly mastered all the magic that Europe had to offer and went to America to train under Nick Necro, a notable magician.

Abilities

  • 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 skills.
  • Escapology
  • Hypnosis
  • Indomitable Will: John possesses the willpower to resist being possessed by Deadman and was not corrupted by Pandora's box.
  • Intimidation
  • Investigation: John is a highly skilled occult detective.
  • Multilingualism: John speaks some amount of French. Though he claims the only thing that stuck from his French classes was "il, elle, nous sommes", this was probably a lie. [42]
  • Occultism: John possesses extensive knowledge of magic and the supernatural.[43][44][45] He even knows the true purpose of Pandora's box, which no one else knows.
  • Prestidigitation
  • Singing: Before Constantine became an experienced magician, he was the lead singer in the punk-grunge band Mucous Membrane.[4]


Transportation

Weapons

  • Moonblade: The Moonblade appeared as one of John's arsenal of magical weapons. The blade is said to shape with the different faces of the moon (Longsword when its full moon, dagger when its new), and just like the twin blade, it can kill anyone with one clean hit. John used it to kill Mister E. Those killed by the moonblade has their spirits stored in it, making them the perfect slaves for Constantine.
  • Yellow Power Ring: (formerly)
  • Helmet of Fate (formerly)
  • Constantine doesn't know how to ride a bicycle. He never learned. [46]
  • Constantine hates the word "moist". He admits he'll jump through verbal hoops to avoid saying it. [47]
  • Constantine doesn't like the band Coldplay. He considers their music to be "for bed wetters". [48]

Related


Footnotes



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This character is or was a member of the Justice League of America, or the Justice League in any of its various incarnations, sworn by a duty to act as guardians of America and the world by using their skills and/or superpowers to protect Earth from both interstellar and domestic threats.
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This character is or was a member of the Sinestro Corps, chosen by Sinestro to counteract the Green Lantern Corps and spread terror throughout their sector with a Power Ring.

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