Created by writer Alan Moore and artists Steve Bissette and John Totleben.
The chain smoking cynical con artist and mage from England. John is a complex character with a long, dark history to him filled with magic, demons, devils, death, and ghosts. He forays into this world out of an adrenalin junkie desire. He takes risks with all forms of supernatural forces, and sometimes it pays off, other times not. He is haunted by the ghosts of friends he wasn't able to save, and that only fuels his jaded, cynical attitude. Regardless, John Constantine is a hard man to get the better of because he doesn't play fair. He even conned several lords of Hell into saving his life from lung cancer. He rarely wins in physical combat, and so, it's fortunate his blood is demonically tainted, offering some measure of enhanced healing. Still, John prefers to rely on his cunning and knowledge of the occult to defeat his adversaries.
Okay, this is an odd addition. Admittedly, I have not read much Hellblazer, but it's not for a lack of trying. I have read the classic graphic novel Dangerous Habits, and I do own the Rare Cuts trade paperback. Still, it's not much considering he's been around since 1985. I love everything about the character, and it was not the printed medium that introduced me to him. It was the 2005 Keanu Reeves film Constantine. Yes, there were numerous changes made to the chacter and the world he inhabited. For starters, the John Constantine in the film was a darker haired American who wears a black overcoat. These and other alterations inevitably upset many die hard Hellblazer fans, but it intrigued me. This was mainly because, in many ways, this version of John reflected a character and concept I had developed. It was almost like watching a movie of my own character, named Murdoc, or at least, that's how I felt in 2005. Since I was introduced to the character of John Constantine this way, I can uniquely allow both to co-exist in my fandom.
I once had the intention of making a fan film featuring John Constantine crossing over with Clive Barker's supernaturally themed detective Harry D'Amour (portrayed by Scott Bakula in the film Lord of Illusions), but I never finished the script. There would've been a fan swerve at the film's start with a character who looked like Keanu Reeves' Constantine appearing, but then, being killed by a warlock. He would've been a friend of John's and a client of Harry's. If I slapped a neck tie and a cigarette on one actor I was working with on another film of mine - P.I. Dangerous - he would've been just about a perfect looking Constantine, or I could've given him a katana (which was also used in that film) and he would've been Christopher Lambert in Highlander. The jeans and trench coat look on a fair-haired man with a European accent is very interchangeable, apparently.
That being said, creator Alan Moore actually based John's appearance on the musician Gordon Sumner, or better known as Sting, the frontman for the British rock band The Police. The iconic wardrobe of the tan overcoat with a loose neck tie, white dress shirt, and dark pants ended up influencing the look of the angel Castiel, portrayed by Misha Collins, on the TV show Supernatural. John Constantine himself is a unique character in comics in that he has aged in real time since 1985, and is currently in his 60s. Peculiar even more is that the New 52 DC Comics continuity depicts a separate and younger version of Constantine. In that universe, he is a member of Justice League Dark, but the original version of John Constantine continues on in the Hellblazer monthly comic, published by the Veritgo Comics imprint.
John Constantine appears in books published by DC Comics
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