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Ritchie was one of several amateur mages who joined with John Constantine as part of the colloquially named Newcastle Crew. In 1978, they learned of a purported demonic possession taking place at the Casanova Club in the borough of Newcastle and sought to lend their services. The exorcism failed terribly, and the crew disbanded shortly thereafter.
Ritchie continued to enhance his knowledge of the occult and became an adept techno-mage. He learned that a virtual plane of reality existed within the electrical field of computers, which he dubbed the Fifth Dimension. Ritchie developed a device that enabled him to download his consciousness directly into a computer's hardware, from which he could travel throughout the virtual network, hacking into nearly any computer system he encountered.
In 1988, Ritchie was reunited with John Constantine, who had since become a mage of ill repute. John asked Ritchie to look into an organization known as the Resurrection Crusade, and Ritchie plugged himself in to his system to see what he could find out. By tracing the Crusaders' computer networks, Ritchie discovered a splinter group known as the Tongues of Fire. He attempted to hack deeper into the Tongues' computer files, but an electrical backlash surged across the system causing Ritchie's physical body to burst into flame. Constantine was horrified as he watched his friend's body burn to a crisp within seconds. Ritchie's consciousness however was still trapped inside of the computer. Realizing that there was no way to truly save him, John elected upon a mercy killing and pulled the plug on Ritchie's computer. Ritchie died, but his spirit rose from the grave and joined the ghosts of the other late members of the Newcastle Crew - all of whom had died strange and violent deaths over the past several years.
John Constantine later called upon Ritchie's spirit in order to search the global computer banks for information concerning the D.D.I.
- Mechanokinesis: Through the study of magic, Ritchie Simpson developed the ability to communicate directly with computer systems. He could insert his consciousness into a computer's hardware and explore the undiscovered realm of cyber-space, which he referred to as the Fifth Dimension.
- No Physical Body: Ritchie's soul is bound to John Constantine. Like the other members of the Newcastle Crew, Ritchie's spirit haunts John and appears before him at times of great grief.
- 8 Appearances of Richard Simpson (New Earth)
- 2 Images featuring Richard Simpson (New Earth)
- Quotations by or about Richard Simpson (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Richard Simpson (New Earth)
This character exists under the Vertigo Imprint which is intended for Mature Readers. Vertigo titles although they may cross over into regular DC continuity.
This template will categorize articles that include it into the category "Vertigo Characters."