British occultist John Constantine elevated Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing, and it wasn’t long before John had his own spinoff comic titled John Constantine: Hellblazer. This anthology, edited by Rich Handley and Lou Tambone (of Sequart’s Somewhere Beyond the Heavens: Exploring Battlestar Galactica), examines the mage’s history from his earliest appearances to the present – not only in Swamp Thing and Hellblazer, but on film and television as well – with a special foreword by none other than Hellblazer‘s creator himself, Jamie Delano.
Constantine has a weakness for narcotics, alcohol, and sex; an unnatural obsession with the occult; and a long list of lovers he’s betrayed, hurt, and discarded. He’s slain his twin brother in the womb, taunted Satan, outwitted demons and angels, been trapped in Hell, and even fathered an elemental. No matter what the universe throws at him, he somehow always seems to come out on top… though his loved ones have usually ended up caught in the crossfire.
At times, John can be a bastard. He has questionable hygiene and a lack of ethics, and he’ll likely hurt anyone foolish enough to let him into their lives. But John is nonetheless a hero – well, a Byronic hero, in any case. As fans, we wouldn’t have him any other way.