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"So. Magic. What's it all about, then? I wonder what you were after when you got into the game. It's usually something. Something specific that you think is worth taking risks for. Money. Sex. Revenge. Power. Enlightenment. Thinner thighs in thirty days. It's a long time ago for most of you, I know. Maybe you don't remember. Fuck, maybe you don't even want to. But I'll tell you something for free. At rock bottom, it's always about the same thing. It's always about entropy. The Universe is winding down. Things fall apart. The moving finger writes, and what it writes is 'Tough shit.'"

A long-running Vertigo Comics horror title that spun off from Swamp Thing in 1988, running for 25 years before concluding in 2013 with an impressive 300 issues. Hellblazer followed Con Man, Occult Detective, gambler and magician of ill repute, John Constantine (rhymes with "turpentine"), as he tangled with Hell, Heaven, the police and the criminal underworld. The comic typically combined horror and fantasy elements (demons, ghosts, vampires. etc.) with a gritty 'real world' setting and an occasional dash of political and social commentary. The majority of the series was set in modern urban Britain, particularly London. Virtually every British comic writer of repute has written for Constantine, such as Jamie Delano, Garth Ennis, Warren Ellis, Neil Gaiman, Denise Mina, Paul Jenkins, Andy Diggle, Ian Rankin and Peter Milligan among others.

Hellblazer was notable for averting Comic-Book Time, with John steadily growing older along with the rest of us. An ancestor of his, Johanna Constantine, appeared in some issues of The Sandman (1989) and was fairly badass.

For the tropes specific to John himself, regardless of his incarnation, see the Hellblazer – John Constantine page.


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  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: The blade crafted from the remains of the First of the Fallen's two not-brothers, which is sharp enough to kill the First himself... but not permanently.
  • Adventures in Comaland: in Hellblazer #100. It might have been All Just a Dream, but this is left ambiguous; while John is comatose in the hospital, did the First of the Fallen really spirit him away to have some fun watching John confront his damned father, or did John just dream the whole thing?
  • Afterlife of Service: Lord Burnham makes a deal with the blood mage Mako to create a palatial soul cage so he can spend eternity in an Artificial Afterlife torturing and raping sex slaves (including children), who suffer every moment they aren't pleasuring him. Constantine instead traps Mako in the cage, frees the slaves' souls, and waits for Burnham to start his lethal injection before telling him the cage now contains only a very pissed-off Mako. The cage is then hidden in a nuclear facility expected to last forever.
  • Alien Abduction: Happens when Shade: The Changing Man took John for a ride.
  • Alternate Continuity: The John Constantine who appears in the DCU's Justice League Dark is apparently the young thirty-something who first helped Swamp Thing come to terms with his identity, rather than the one in Vertigo's Hellblazer who's possibly pushing 60. The New 52 book continuity also has a number of differences with the classic. In the traditonal Hellblazer, John cast roughly less than one spell per book, and those were typically low-level scrying or hypnotism. He used wits and deals instead of wands. New 52 Constantine has some of the same characteristics, but while he still doesn't blast toe to toe in wizard duels, there are a lot more glowing lines and magic tricks spurting around.
  • Alternate Personality Punishment: In order to escape Hell, John Constantine creates a kind of Evil Twin by removing all his more unsavory aspects (baser urges, demonic blood, clinginess over an ex-girlfriend...) and leaving it in his place. This screws him over later when Demon Constantine is on Earth and ends up raping John's niece Gemma (during John's wedding). Believing it was the real John, Gemma summons a vengeance demon and sics it on her uncle. While the misunderstanding is cleared up, their relationship is irreparably broken (and John considers her right to hate him).
  • Always Chaotic Evil: The demons. But The First is the most evil of them all.
  • Ancient Conspiracy:
    • In the "Fear Machine" story arc, Constantine has to fight the Freemasons, who were trying to summon a Cthulhu monster that eats reality.
    • The Order of St Oran in "Empathy is the Enemy" (also a Cult).
  • Anonymous Ringer: In "Royal Blood", various members of the royal family are portrayed as braying, cocaine-addled, incestuous perverts - but to appease DC's lawyers, they go unnamed.
  • Another Dimension: In "The Magus", John went to an alternate dimension where he died in the womb, not his twin brother. Also, a 2006 tie-in novel describes the ill-fated movie as taking place in an alternate universe.
  • Antichrist:
    • John's thwarted him a few times. If it comes to it, he'll take an axe to a newly-born devil spawn (which just so happens to resemble a human baby) if it gets the job done.
    • And yet became the one to summon it. In the Son of Man arc, John finally came across the newly born Anti Christ. After bluffing away the demon who summoned it, John was the one who ended up killing it with an axe. Though it was never seen.
  • Anthropomorphic Personification:
    • John encounters the embodiment of rape in "Son of Man."
    • In "The Horrorist", John's hot on the trail of "Angel", the embodiment of oppression, famine and murder.
    • Then there's Havoc, who resembles a skinned human with horns and is the demonic representation of chaos and violence everywhere. It takes a particular interest in causing riots at football grounds. Constantine only met it once, when was it was trying to cause another bloody football riot. John convinced him to take the life of a single thug rather than allow the stadium to descend into violence.
    • First of the Fallen, who is the Devil in the series, is the embodiment of sin and evil.
  • Anyone Can Die:
    • Many characters, those who were long-lived and short-lived, die horribly. Only Chas and Gemma got lucky.
    • Even John Constantine got the end of it too. When the three Fates try to tell him he was going to die, John instead accepts death rather than cheat it like he always does, having lived a good and awesome life. But then he seems to find somewhat of a loophole in it, too.
  • Apocalypse Cult: Freemasons, Order of St. Oran, Damnation Army, and many other unnamed cults.
  • Arch-Enemy: Nergal. Later, the First of the Fallen. Then Nergal again.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Papa Midnite's description of his building's defenses.
    First are the pits. My army of the undead, penned and waiting for command. They are unchained, unmastered, and without my totem, they will tear us apart.
    Should we manage to pass through their lair, we will come to a room of eyes, which will see through every aspect of your mind, every little self-deception. You will hear whispers, whispers of your true self that will shatter your identity.
    Then you come to the room of fire. A cleansing fire that erases your mind, so that you may never find the handle that may lead to your escape. There are things in the fire you would never want to find you, but they will.
    Beyond that is the room of spirits. The souls of those I've rendered lifeless, screaming in agony, ready to teat the spirit out of your body.
    Then you find yourself in the humans pens. The few who have even made it through the gates emerge soulless, lifeless, and I then sell them to the highest bidder. This is the most guarded room in all of Midnight, and the antechamber to my personal quarters.
    And then, of course, I have a very sophisticated electronic alarm system on my loft.
  • Artificial Afterlife: A late arc has a corrupt politician arrange to create one for himself (called a soul cage) filled with unwilling Sex Slaves and other perversions, preventing his soul from reaching its richly-deserved place in Hell. Instead, he gets trapped inside forever, along with the sadistic mage he contacted to build it for him, who was trapped in the cage by Constantine and is not happy about it.
  • Asshole Victim: Virtually everyone whom John Constantine has tricked and intentionally gotten killed had it coming.
  • Author Tract: This is a major theme in Hellblazer. Since the beginning of its publication, writers have been putting their own political and philosophical British ideals in it, and since it follows real time than Comic-Book Time, a lot of those ideals are come from what was happening in contemporary UK. Examples of this include Jamie Delano's negative views of Thatcher's regime and by 2005, includes the War on Terror. When Garth Ennis took writing, he included racism, drugs, and religious fanaticism which was popular at that time. The most controversial writer, Brian Azzarello, tackled issues such as Neo-Nazism, prison rape, and homosexuality. During Warren Ellis' run, he included American school shootings in a one-shot issue which led to a major controversy. As such, much of Hellblazer's horror often comes in the crisis and controversies of its time.
  • Autocannibalism: A bodybuilder in the first issue of Hellblazer falls victim to a demon's curse that makes people ravenous for what they desire most; he starts devouring his muscular arms.
  • Back from the Dead:
    • The First, in "Critical Mass", also Nergal.
    • By the time of The Roots of Coincidence arc, John's long lost dead twin brother, whom John killed in the womb, comes back to visit in flesh, now showing he's more powerful and righteous.
  • Backstory: Hinted at in Swamp Thing, explained in detail in Hellblazer.
  • Bawdy Song: Constantine frequently sings these when drunk.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: Sir. Francis Drakewood and Aleister Crowley was portrayed as a powerful sorcerer.
  • Beleaguered Childhood Friend: Gary Lester in "Hunger", Chas in "Son of Man".
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: The djinn or genie in Pandemonium. It clearly showed those U.S. Marines some Middle East hospitality.
  • Black Spot: In an issue where one of Constantine's friends finds himself stalked by characters from fiction, he is warned of his fate by Blind Pew from Treasure Island slipping him the black spot.
  • Body Horror:
    • This being a horror comic, there a lot to pick from any of the writer's taste and style.
    • Demons tends to be like this to show they really are physically evil, like having animal and inorganic parts in their bodies. One particular demon, named Fuckpig, was a demon that resembles a big penis with no eyes
    • And then there's the mobster who gave birth to Antichrist. The poor man got himself pregnant, and his womb was twice bigger than his old body. Not to mention his limbs being thin, and blood was coming out from every hole in his body.
    • The demon Nergal is an artist concerning this trope. By sewing and combining the dead bodies of four soccer hooligans, the demon created Ironfist the Avenger; grotesque creature with four heads, six arms, and eight legs.
    • Then there's the Newcastle Calling arc. A creepy story about a gang of punk documentary who got cursed one by one when they stumbled upon a haunted club. One of the poor sods, after seeing a rope seemingly attached inside his hand with the words "pull me" written on it, started pulling the rope out of his hand. He ends up pulling his organs, eyes, and bones off his body, and he never stopped. And let's not get started with the other guy who ends up fucking a dead rotting dog.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: John Constantine does this from time to time. The "Son of Man" arc has John Constantine speaking to the reader where narration boxes or thought bubbles would more typically be used.
  • Broken Ace:
    • John's twin brother from an Alternate Universe where he survived instead of John. He's handsome, strong-willed, powerful in magic, and beloved by everyone who knows him. He's also so hell-bent on being right that he doesn't bother to see the crimes he commits against his little brother as crimes, and his refusal to admit that he's just as capable of being wrong as everyone else winds up screwing up his people and ultimately gets him banished to who-knows-where by John.
    • Depending on who you ask, John himself is one. Being an incredibly resourceful trickster magician with Memetic Badass status able to outsmart and outgambit even the most dangerous of foes and send one Eldritch Abomination after another running in fear. Despite that, he has no healthy lasting relationships, graveyards of dead loved ones because of his Doom Magnet status, and is a genuine mental patient with real mental health issues, including often crippling depression that can even veer toward psychosis and suicidal thoughts.
  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: Though no arm was broken, Chas did tried to punch the demon Beroul, and he got teleported to somewhere in Los Angeles for doing it.
  • Brown Note: Subverted. Despite building up the First's confession as something what will drive anyone who hears it to madness, when John does receive it, he takes it for exactly what it is; an evil bastard's pathetic attempt to recast himself as a hero, if it's even true.
  • Bury Your Gays: John's friend Ray Monde, who is openly gay and gets beaten to death by fundamentalists early on in Jamie Delano's run.
  • Butt-Monkey: The amount of crap the universe slings at Chas is unbelievable.

  • Caged Inside a Monster: In "All His Engines", a demon has stolen Chas' granddaughter and keeps her in a cage inside him. He allows John inside to see her, but John ended up covered in gunk as he lunged for the cage, so it's not surprising that she interpreted John's "We're coming to get you!" in an entirely different context.
  • The Cameo: Morpheus in #19; Swamp Thing, The Phantom Stranger and Zatanna in Forty (#63).
  • Cannibalism Superpower: Mako, who eats other magicians to gain their magical powers.
  • Character Overlap: John has appeared in dozens of other comics. Other characters to appear in Hellblazer include Swamp Thing, Zatanna, The Phantom Stranger and Lucifer.
  • The Chessmaster:
    • Aside from John himself, many of his enemies such as Mako the cannibal, homosexual politician/magician Stanley Manor, The Beast, gangster/demon Ronnie Cooper, Joshua Wright, Domine Fredericks,Myrddin, John's twin brother, and Roscarnis and her demonic children.
    • God and The First of the Fallen, where the mortal realm is their playing field.
  • Comic-Book Time: An Averted Trope. An early incident in the series is heavily implied to have produced side-effects like prolonging John's life and youth, but everyone else in the comic ages in real time. Gemma, when first introduced, is about eight years old, and has gone through grade school and her early 20s at appropriate times.
  • Conspiracy Kitchen Sink: Constantine trolls a reporter by claiming that British royalty are in fact space reptilians who first mated with German royalty in the 1700s who killed Princess Diana so that they could retrieve the unholy fetus implanted inside her. A network of tunnels runs under Buckingham Palace and around the world, including Roswell (The Greys are also reptilians). He tops it all off by faking his own death in the pub restroom.
  • Continuity Drift:
    • Since the series has been written by different British writers from the past, it has its own share of the trope. One particular instance is Chas Chandler and Gary Lester's relationship. During Jamie Delano's arc, Chas says he doesn't know who Gary Lester is (which John Constantine described as an "old" acquaintance in his band years), but in Azzarello's run, both Chas and Gary is shown to have been best mates together with John Constantine in early years.
    • Near the end of Jamie Delano's run (the first writer for John's ongoing series) John says that most of his old friends are dead. While most of Jamie Delano's supporting cast were dead by that point, later writers would make it a tradition to introduce old friends of John, most of whom ended up dying horribly.
  • Continuity Overlap:
    • The Family Man/serial killer convention overlapped with The Sandman (1989); the vampires and The Ace of Winchesters overlapped with Hitman.
    • In a funny continuation thereof, Kathryn O'Brien from Hitman is explicitly the same character who later shows up in several arcs of Garth Ennis's run on The Punisher under Marvel's MAX imprint. That connects Hellblazer to The Punisher, one step removed.
  • Corrupted Contingency: Lord Burnham's plan to escape punishment for his crimes is to commit suicide and transfer his soul into a soul cage outfitted with all manner of sex slaves and intended to last for eternity. Burnham hires the blood mage Mako to construct the cage in exchange for a hell mirror, a powerful artifact that will greatly amplify Mako's powers. Constantine impersonates Burnham to catch Mako off-guard and frees the souls of the slaves. Constantine then impersonates Mako and waits for Burnham to perform the lethal injection on himself before smashing the mirror and informing Burnham that the villain now has an eternity to spend with a very angry Mako.
  • Crapsack World: Constantine's world is NOT a nice place to live in. It's filled to the brim with demons, a spiteful entity first created by God known as The First who wants nothing more than to see Constantine suffer, said God being supposedly insane, and humanity's hope lying in a cynical, cancer ridden man whose life is doomed to continue soaked in bloody death and misery. As for humanity itself, they're often just as bad as any demon or angel when it comes to sheer depravity or blind zealotry.
  • Crossover Cosmology: Death of the Endless called him in to help spread the message on AIDS and practicing safe sex. His embarrassment over the demonstration of how to use a condom with a banana is a crowning moment of funny.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The succubus Eli, even though being a demonic seducer, tends to be a sweet young lady.
  • Deal with the Devil:
    • Every variation used, too, including both figurative and literal ones. Whenever someone asks John for help, it's a crapshoot as to which one of them's the devil in the deal, too, even if the real Devil is involved.
    • The worst one, though, goes to John's just-murdered sister. The Devil tells her she's free to go to heaven or back to the world of the living, but her husband — her murderer — killed himself, too. The Devil tells her that if she stays in Hell with her now twice-damned husband, he'll fairly divide the infinite torment for eternity between them. She still loves her husband, and accepts the deal.
  • Death of a Child: As with older children, babies die. A lot.
    • One example shows John putting all of his weakness and fears into a form of a baby...before throwing the poor thing off a cliff. What a Magnificent Bastard.
    • And let's not forget all those babies used as a sacrifice in the Son of Man arc. There were a LOT.
    • One of London's bridges is haunted by the many, many ghosts of babies who were dumped in the river there by a witch who ran a daycare.
  • Deathless and Debauched: This is Lord Calvin Burnham's ultimate goal in "Roots Of Coincidence": having hit upon a soul cage as the ideal means of avoiding being Dragged Off to Hell after death, Burnham has the Evil Sorcerer Mako transform the blank interior into a luxurious palace and furnish it with as many houris as the depraved aristocrat needs to stay amused for eternity. Even more revoltingly, the harem is specifically made to suffer for every minute they aren't pleasuring Burnham... and it includes children. Constantine magically hijacks this process, erasing the sex slaves and imprisoning Mako inside the soul cage - leaving Burnham trapped alone with an extremely pissed-off war mage when he finally passes on.
  • Demon of Human Origin: Nergal lived in ancient Babylon before he was burned as a witch for sexually abusing children. He was then tortured in hell for thousands of years before he was initiated into demonhood. He would later oversee Anton Arcane's transformation into a demon.
  • Demon Slaying: John Constantine isn't called the "Hellblazer" for nothing. He's so good at this profession, that he can kill a demon with just a one sharp glance in Hellblazer #50.
  • The Descendants of Cain: The "Third Worlds" story arc has John meet with a tribe consisting of Cain's descendants, living near the entrance of the Garden of Eden in the Middle East in a state of perpetual penance. Their religious zeal leads his current girlfriend to mistake them for Islamists.
  • Deus ex Machina:
    • Played literally in the series. One of John Constantine's signature and most powerful magic is synchronicity wave travelling, an ability he inherited from his bloodline as the Laughing Magician. This allowed him to literally make his own luck, reshape the battlefield to his own accordance, and be on the right place at the right time.
    • Very helpful when the demon Nergal tried to hit a dazed Constantine and his wife on the road (who have just finished their time-travelling adventure). John's wave travelling automatically set in, and the car just suddenly skedaddled and fell over a cliff.
  • The Devil Is a Loser: The First of the Fallen is supposed to be the most powerful demon in Hell and one of the most powerful magical beings around. However, he is repeatedly tricked by everyone, for decades fails to accomplish much against Constantine compared to other demons, barely knows the rules he is forced to work within, and for years his greatest victory was sitting on his butt and entire story and flipping John off at the end. All in all, a lazy, guileless, petty being who cannot accomplish anything outside of brute strength.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: John's getting married, all his friends are and ex-lovers are coming, there's no Deal with the Devil waiting to backfire on him... and then his demon half shows and rapes Gemma (who doesn't know he has an Evil Twin. She ends up thinking her own uncle raped her until it's explained to her, by which point it's too late to recall the vengeance demon she sicced on him.
  • Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?: When John angers the First while his life is ticking down towards death by terminal lung cancer from too much smoking, he nearly breaks down on finding a solution until he realizes a lot of what happens next hinges on himself. So he makes a contract to the other two portions of the Devil, so all of them have a claim to his mortal soul that will come soon as he cuts himself with a razor to summon them — which they not only cannot readily agree upon as they argue among eachother, but threaten war over a matter of pride. John himself then points out that if they did go to war, God himself might catch onto this and come to step on their territory once Hell is left in ruins. By all accounts, the rulers of Hell agree that they hate John for it, but heal his self-inflicted wound and his cancer, for John dying would effectively be hell for Hell. Sure, they put him through utter agony in the process, but they effectively have to protect John for the rest of his mortal life as he gives them the bird and tells them, "Up yours."
  • Dirty Old Monk: "The Mortification of the Flesh" involves a room in the Vatican where clergy can indulge in lust without fear of punishment, as it's warded off from God's eyes. According to John, it was created by Borgia, who used it to satisfy his pedophilia. The arc is started when Father Grimaldi brings in a prostitute who turns out to be a succubus.
  • Distaff Counterpart: John's ancestor Lady Johanna Constantine (premiered in The Sandman (1989)), who lived at the time of the American and French Revolutions. Her miniseries implies that the Constantine/the Laughing Magician is the same entity reincarnating along their bloodline (and killing his/her twin in the womb each time).
  • Doom Magnet: It really doesn't pay to be John's friend. In one issue, it's even implied just knowing John too well is enough to damn someone to Hell. In another issue, an unlucky idiot who just seemingly sat beside Constantine got immediately axed by the King of the Vampires, and that guy didn't even know Constantine.
  • Downer Ending: Many stories. Especially #300, the last issue of the original Hellblazer series.
    • Much of this are caused by John trying to save the day. Like that time John attempts to save his dying sister but ends up sending her soul to Hell, or when he tries to save a little girl from an elemental demon but ends up with the girl in pieces, or that time in Rake at the Gates of Hell arc when one-by-one John's closest friends either sacrifice themselves or get killed trying to save John.
    • In the one-shot issue by Neil Gaiman Hold Me, Constantine celebrates the life of a dead friend; meanwhile, a spirit torments people because it just wants to be shown a little bit of human kindness. Caught up in the mess is a lesbian couple looking to have a kid and a little girl who lost her mother. A touching story.

  • Early-Bird Cameo: "Original Sins" contains two exceptional examples, a nameless shaman who tells Constantine the history of the opening arc's demon, and a crime boss quoted in an article as an old friend of Constantine's. Neither show up again until Andy Diggle's run, nearly 20 years later.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: "The Fear Machine", "Staring at the Wall" and "The Red Right Hand".
  • Eldritch Abomination: John Constantine met and defeated two Lovecraftian gods from different story arcs. Jallakuntilliokan, a two headed dragon/floating meat who eats reality, and M'Nagalah, who is the god of cancer.
  • Enfant Terrible: Little Harry in "Son of Man". He's actually the dead son of a crime boss whom Constantine was blackmailed into bringing back to life. Since he was unable to do so, John settled for summoning a demon into his body.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: The Highwater arc goes to lengths to show one guy as a loving father and a neo-Nazi murderer.
  • Evil Is Petty: For all of his power and status as the ruler of Hell, the First of the Fallen is primarily a vulgar, petty being prone to taunting Constantine from a distance leaving it up to other demons to battle him, flying into rages at any perceived slight, being an Ungrateful Bastard, and for years his greatest "victory" over Constantine was one time flipping him and walking away.
  • The Evils of Free Will: According to the First of the Fallen this was the reason he turned against Heaven; he didn't believe the human race could be trusted with it. Even Constantine thinks he might have a point.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Many antagonists in the series are villainous magic users. Most notable is Mako and Stanley Manor.
  • Exact Words: Nergal's daughter saves John's life in exchange for a day of his life. A "Groundhog Day" Loop ensues, during which John sires and raises a child with her over more than a decade (while she looks like his ex-lovers no less), three times over, in twenty-four hours.
  • Extreme Omnisexual:
    • The Archangel Gabriel is no stranger to this. Among those he bedded and raped are the Virgin Mary (resulting in you know who) and a disguised succubus (although that one was consensual, and it's implied that was the first time he'd done so).
    • Speaking of succubi, Ellie has the powers of seduction for being one, which she used to seduce angels and Vatican priests quite rather easily.
  • Failure Is the Only Option:
    • Perhaps the closest to an unequivocal victory John ever has is in the issue End of the Line, where he kills an ancient ancestor and dissuades his Gemma from a magical initiation, apparently ending the Constantines' Weird Shit heritage. He maintains that "I beat fate. It's no failure to be the last Constantine, cause now no one else has to be." You know your life sucks when your ultimate success is removing yourself from the gene pool.
      • And it doesn't stick. Not only does John have an estranged biological daughter in Tefé Holland, Gemma still goes back to magic.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • Being a "Suggested for Mature Readers" comic, Hellblazer plays this trope very nicely.
    • Angels and demons tend to be this to all mortals. The former itself are sometimes portrayed to be more racist than the latter, treating human beings like lower-life forms and toys. One issue involves luring a living human being to Heaven just for the fun of it. Somehow changing the history of literature forever.
  • Forced Euthanasia: Lord Burnham is a depraved aristocrat who arranges for Mako the blood mage to build him an Artificial Afterlife full of sex slaves of every age before committing suicide, thus escaping Hell. Constantine shows up just after Burnham started the lethal injection to inform him that the slaves' souls have been freed, and now Burnham gets to spend the rest of eternity with a very pissed-off Mako, desperately trying to stop the injection.
  • For the Evulz: One of the trope that introduces the First of the Fallen. Being the sole personification of evil himself, John is surprised to discover the Devil and his friend Brendan had made a deal to give the latter the biggest wine collection, even though John knew Brendan was just a simple pathetic drunkard. The First, of course, responds by saying he made the deal because he found Brendan to be amusing, and wanted to see him fail as he tried to cheat the Devil. This of course triggers John to try and save his friend. The rest was history.
  • Friend on the Force:
    • During John's adventures in America, he has FBI Agent Turro tracking his tail until he gets murdered.
  • From Bad to Worse:
    • John ends up with this trope in many of his greatest battles. Seen thoroughly when John's plan of tricking the First backfires with the latter killing everyone John ever loved.
    • Lampshaded greatly during John's battle with the Beast. At first, John thought that the Shadow Dog was the one which was causing the end of the world, and thus succeeds in destroying it. Suddenly, the nigh-omnipotent being called the Beast appears and relatively took over the world in a small amount of time, to the shock of John and his team. The Beast later explained that the Dog wasn't the one which was causing the end, but was actually the sole thing preventing it by keeping the Beast locked up. With the Dog gone, the Beast finally took every consciousness in the world and seemingly accomplishes what John was trying to prevent in the first place.
  • Gag Penis: The demon Fuckpig, who is also the total embodiment of rape.
  • Gainax Ending: The final issue takes a sudden, unexpected, The Invisibles-ish swerve right into this trope in the last five pages or so.
  • Gasshole: Blathoxi, the aptly named Lord of Flatulence.
  • Genuine Human Hide: In an early issue, John clashes with yuppie demon soul brokers. He is sitting in the house of a pair of them and thinking how normal everything looks when he notices that the lampshade has a tattoo.
  • God and Satan Are Both Jerks: And John won't hesitate to tell the minions of either one of them that, either.
  • Gods Need Prayer Badly: Gods in the Hellblazer mythos oftentimes disappear when not worshipped. Others, such as Nergal, became demons in order to survive.
  • Good is Not Nice: Well, "good"... When a Crowley wannabe turns one of John's exes into his Sex Slave, then gets bored and forces her into prostitution before finally raping and sadistically murdering her, John has him ingest acid and locked up naked inside the morgue drawer containing her mutilated body. And the refrigeration is turned off, so it's starting to run... Inverted when it comes to her ghost, as John arranges for her to meet another bitter, lonely ghost, and both are seen walking off together in the end.
  • Gorn: Most prevalent when Garth Ennis is writing the series (it's practically his calling card), but crops up occasionally in other writers' runs as well.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The First of the Fallen. Many of John's other enemies who are Big Bad bows down to this guy.
  • The Grim Reaper: Two version appear in the series. Mictlantecuhtli the Aztec God of Death, and Death from The Sandman (1989).
  • Guile Hero: Constantine. He far more often wins through wits, trickery and luck than brawn. His magic isn't particularly powerful, either.

  • Ham-to-Ham Combat:
    • Brendan and O'Flynn's first meeting which degenerates into actual combat, since they're both the type who need to be the center of attention.
    • John and Ellie's fight in "Mortification of the Flesh". Since they were in the Vatican, they used the corniest lines they could think of.
    Ellie: We meet again, my old adversary! I should have devoured your soul in Rotterdam!
    John: Do your worst, hellspawn!
  • Hate Plague: Inverted in "The Red Right Hand", in which the plague makes people incredibly empathic - to the point that they share each other's misery and cause mass suicides.
  • Have a Gay Old Time: "Fags" being British slang for cigarettes, and Constantine being a chain-smoker, lines like "'d better go and get yourself three days worth of food and fags" can sound rather odd to American readers. During American Brian Azzarello's first storyline, the double meaning is exploited as Constantine emerges from a shower in prison and claims, "We're all out of fags."
  • Hell: Hell in the series aren't often the fire and brimstone of myth. It constantly shifts and shapes to accomodate to different kinds of sinners. So everyone has his/her own Hell. If you think you'll like Hell because you like fire, well guess what, Hell isn't that generous and will make sure you WILL NOT LIKE IT.
  • Hide Your Children: So horribly, horribly averted.
  • Hidden Badass:
  • Historical In-Joke: Constantine and many of his relatives have had a hand in various events throughout history. For example, the "man from Porlock" who interrupted Samuel Taylor Coleridge during his writing of "Kubla Khan" was one of John's ancestors. And it was deliberate: some rogue angels were using Coleridge as a vessel for the "Empyrean Manifesto," a document that describes Heaven, which would've helped bring about a new era of faith. John's ancestor didn't want anyone mucking about in human affairs, and broke up the party.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: When Nergal visits John in the hospital to get him to help in bringing down the Resurrection Crusaders, he brags about being the demon that screwed John over in Newcastle, thus letting slip what that demon's real name was. John catches the slip-up and files the information away for later use when he's in a better position to take advantage of it.
  • Holy Ground:
    • Played with in one arc. John makes a deal with a bunch of demons to get a little girl's soul back. The summoning takes place in an old church, so they're trapped in the circle. Which is when John brings in the other party to the deal, an Aztec death god who, having been around for longer than Christianity, has no problem with the holy nature of the church, and starts eating the demons.
    • He also once sets up an ambush by waiting for chasing demons to reveal that they're standing on the grounds of an old church that was later turned into an insane asylum.
    • Seen also in Brendan's vain attempt in cheating the First, by entrapping himself in a fountain blessed by a saint. This however gave Constantine the edge to finish the job.
  • Horrifying the Horror: From "Son of Man": even the mob torturer with the codename of Gestapo is horrified learning that Ronnie raped The Antichrist into his father
  • I Know Your True Name: Comes up every now and then.
    • Newcastle went the way it did mostly because 'Sagatana' wasn't the real name of the demon John was conjuring up like he thought. It's Nergal.
    • In one story, Constantine was tied to the bottom of a pier by a mobster who'd disposed of quite a few unfortunate souls by letting the tide wash over them. Constantine eggs him on until he blurts out the names of the people he's killed, and is more than a little surprised to find his victims suddenly rising from the water, looking for revenge.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: In the Damnation's Flame story arc, castaways stranded in a different dimension tried to eat Constantine when he was thrown there.
  • Imperfect Ritual: Hellblazer 108 - "Day of Wine and Roses": John is hired to do some fertility magic to spice up an orgy. He fully intends to con his employer by doing a bogus ritual with the added bonus of gaining blackmail material on the rich participants. His secret "magical chant" is the list of ingredients off a packet of muesli. The ritual still manages to summon spirits called the Mendw that possess the participants and wreak havoc.
  • Insane Troll Logic: A racist justifies that Adam was white because his names means "to blush".
  • Interspecies Romance:
    • The tragic relationship of Ellie the succubus and Tali the angel. Ellie also has her own share of romance with John Constantine.
    • Then there was the Archangel Gabriel and the Virgin Mary... though that was more of the rapey kind...
  • Kill the Host Body:
    • One arc had a demon summoned inside a corpse and sent to attack a crimelord's house, dragging the corpse behind it. While the demon itself was Immune to Bullets, one of the mooks quickly figured out that shooting the corpse damaged the demon.
    • One story has John exorcize a little girl by threatening to kill her (specifically, by setting fire to a strand of her hair which would consume her body via Sympathetic Magic). The demon leaves and John is punched for his methods, before revealing it was a bluff- he'd gotten the hair from a wig, as even he wouldn't knowingly sacrifice a little girl.
  • Knight Templar: Usually the forces of Heaven; also the Order of Saint Oran in "Empathy is the Enemy".

  • Ley Line: Among the various forms of magic that shows up in the series. In an early story, "The Fear Machine", they are actually artificial, created by ancient magicians in order to channel the natural magic of the earth in controllable ways. A modern-day sect attempts to "tap into" this network with new technology, as part of a ritual meant to blanket the country in fear.
    Constantine: It makes sense, man. Did you ever hear of a straight line in nature?
  • Light Is Not Good: Angels, who are all too often self-righteous racists (and at one point attempt to enslave humanity with the help of a human cult.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: In-Universe, John threatens an Aztec death god (in a way that involves murdering a little girl by setting her hair on fire). The god backs off, John gets punched for his trouble... before revealing the hair was from a wig.
  • Long Runner: With the DC relaunch and cancellation of Uncanny X-Men, Hellblazer became the longest running series from the Big Two to never have been cancelled or renumbered (noting that Action Comics and Detective Comics went back to #1 without being given the chance to get to #1000).
  • Loser Deity: Implied. God stays offscreen, but is arguably insane, Can't Take Criticism, and created the First of the Fallen as a conscience he could beat up for backtalking. However, this is according to the First himself; later appearances with different writers portray him closer to a Big Good.
  • Made of Evil: The First of the Fallen, being the Devil and Satan, is the embodiment of sin and evil.
  • Magical Society:
    • John once was member of the Tate Club, a London-based sorcerer's guild.
    • John later becomes part of the Trenchcoat Brigade to fight the Cult of Cold Flame and save Timothy Hunter.
    • Justice League Dark
  • Magick: Unlike other fantasy genre magic who is filled with shooting lightning from your hands, and casting spells with wands. Magick in the Hellblazer mythos (and the whole Vertigo universe) is spontaneous and invisible. This means that although Magick is powerful, it is not flashy as seen in many fantasy genre.
  • Magic Versus Science: Magick in Hellblazer is heavily differentiated by users from science, though both can be combined to create greater effects. Magic and science are two different forms of logical reasoning, but science is more widely accepted as it is easier to apprehend, whereas magic is complicated. This is the reason why mages were executed in ancient times because of their powers. This is further explained in Books of Magic.
  • The Magic Versus Technology War: John once defeated the god-demon Nergal by trapping him inside a computer, before the computer opened a gateway to Heaven where angels ripped Nergal apart.
  • Manipulative Bastard: John Constantine and his name-sharing twin brother, who lies, cheats, and steals his way into and out of all kinds of trouble.
  • Memory Jar: A particularly horrible example: John encounters a sweet, grandmotherly old woman who sends her son to kill prostitutes and hack off chunks of their flesh with a razor which she then keeps floating in jars. She can then relive the victim's happiest memories, which John compares to a drug high.
  • Mesopotamian Monstrosity:
    • The demon Nergal has the name of a deity from Mesopotamian Mythology. It’s implied that he passed himself off as a god, back in the day.
    • The vile Julian, introduced in issue #251, is a Babylonian entity called an "ekkimu".
  • Mistaken for Disease: The opening issue features random people across New York gorging themselves on the objects of their obsession - only to starve to death moments later, instantly reduced to Nothing but Skin and Bones despite being in perfect health beforehand. One talk show suggests that both symptoms are the result of a virus, but by this stage, Constantine already knows that this is the work of Mnemoth the famine demon.
  • Mister Seahorse: A London gangster's pregnancy goes undetected, as everybody thinks he's just overweight. An enterprising demon wants to emulate the immaculate conception, only in reverse: gang boss Harry Cooper was selected for his sterling record of sadism (he raped his aunt at age 13). Making London the birthplace of the antichrist was no accident, either. ("Where the misery is built into the bricks and mortar...)
  • Monster Progenitor: The King of the Vampires is this to the Vampires.
  • Mundanger: In "The Family Man", the titular monster turns out to be an elderly Serial Killer. In "Good Intentions", a creature that is killing people in the wilderness around a mountain village turns out to merely be an enormous boar.
  • Mystical City Planning: The Knowledge is the name of all the routes, roads and geographical information London cabdrivers need to know before they can get a license. In the Chas: The Knowledge, we're told it's actually a complicated sealing ritual to contain a demon.
  • Nature Tinkling: Issue 15 begins with John Constantine getting out of his tent to piss in the forest.
  • Never Given a Name: The Beast was a denizen of Eden who refused to be named by Adam. It hated the idea of being defined, and thus limited, by man. As a result, the Beast became a powerful spirit who lacked a body to call its own who is dedicated to wiping out humanity.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • The Newcastle seance - until "Critical Mass," in which more details are revealed.
    • This may also count as a Double Subversion: you do see the exact incident in issue #11 (Newcastle: A Taste of Things To Come), but until recently, issue #11 had never been re-released in a trade paperback.
  • No One Could Survive That!:
    • Chas also has his few shares. The guy survived from almost being raped by a demon, to having a long nose fuel truck dropped unto his head... before exploding. And he even had no scratches.
    • The god-turned demon Nergal also has this. Years of fighting with Constantine, the demon survived the end of John's wit. This included being ripped apart when John bait him to the gates of Heaven (but not before trapping him in a computer!), to being completely destroyed by the First of the Fallen.
  • Not So Invincible After All: Done to the First of the Fallen twice in Ennis' run. Constantine tricks him into drinking stout transmuted from holy water, then transmutes it back. At the end of Ennis' run, Ellie kills the First outright, making him wonder where the Devil goes when he dies. Answer: Greece, if you must know.
  • Off Screen Moment Of Awesome: Seen in Hard Times story arc. During John's days incarcerated in a penitentiary, a gang of inmates decided to rape the Englishman while he was taking a shower. Unfortunately John isn't too keen in getting butt-plugged. Although readers never saw what was going on inside the shower room, John seemingly saves his ass by cursing the would be rapists with catatonia. Apparently it was too awesome to be seen.
    • When a prison riot breaks out, John makes the lead rapist look like a naked woman to all the other inmates. Several days later, they're still at it.
  • Only Good People May Pass: The "All His Engines" story has John exploit this by summoning a bunch of demons inside a church (so they can't pass the door). Cue an Aztec death god, who is older than Christian rituals and thus could not care less about them, plowing through the wall and devouring them all.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different:
    • Werewolves in the Hellblazer mythos looked vaguely different from traditional animalistic werewolf. Although still retaining their bloodthirsty instinct, they are still capable of communications, and can ride horses too.
    • The demon Norfulthing is a powerful werewolf/demon/elemental who eats people, and it can even detach its head and home in on its prey.
  • Out with a Bang:
    • The 'fuckpig' ("You're taking the piss.") has a three-foot phallus and isn't afraid to use it. ("Son of Man")
    • John's dong saved the world once. It involved having sex with all the suffering in the world. ("The Horrorist")
  • Painting the Medium: In issue 58, the icy-cold Dr. Amis asks Chas where his nickname comes from. Chas tells him that it's after Chas Chandler, the manager of Jimi Hendrix. Dr. Amis replies, "Jimmy Hendricks?" The two names would be pronounced identically; the different spellings are to indicate that he is unfamiliar with Hendrix or his music.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: A gang of neo-Nazis kills their gun supplier when he makes the mistake of noting the irony of neo-Nazis using Israeli-made weapons. The gunrunner's boss Stanley Manor (himself a serious nutcase) ends up offering a Sadistic Choice to the Nazis' boss: either Manor jizzes in his mouth... or his daughter's. The old man spares his daughter from being raped... who all but spits on him, since he taught her that homosexuality is a sin.
  • Perpetually Protean: The Third of the Fallen exists in this state: unlike the First and the Second, he is constantly transforming into different shapes, often taking wildly different forms from panel to panel. In this first appearance alone, he appears as a Blob Monster, a flaming serpent, a floating brain with eyeballs, an armoured warrior, a skeleton, Elvis Presley, and many more. For this reason, he's known as the Lord of a Billion Faces.
  • Pietà Plagiarism: Literally, on the cover of issue 217.
  • The Plan: Too many to count, perpetrated by John as often as his enemies. It makes sense, for a hero who is so much more about using cunning than using his fists. These frequently spin off into Gambit Pile Up played straight, as John's enemies are both numerous and rarely fools themselves. If John's inadvertently pissed off the wrong bastard, odds are good he's relying on plans that his enemies have already countered, if not co-opted themselves.
  • Post-Modern Magik: In the Hellblazer mythos, magic exists even in the modern world, albeit mixed in with its culture. There are even sorcerers who can blend magic and technology as technomancers such as Ritchie Simpson who can open portals to different realms using computers.
  • Posthuman Nudism: In "The Devil You Know," Constantine and Ritchie Simpson are able to bait Nergal into a deadly trap on the astral plane, allowing the latter to seize the demon's vacant body as a replacement for his now-deceased physical form. After reshaping it into a format more to his liking, Ritchie manifests of a neon-skinned humanoid figure crackling with electricity, completely naked and lacking genitals - and makes it clear that with his power, he might just be able to take over the world. However, before he makes up his mind what to do with said power, Agony and Ecstasy drag him off to Hell so he can learn the ropes of being a demon.
  • Prison Rape:
    • During the Hard Time arc, John almost gets this while taking a shower ala "drop the soap". But John, being one step ahead, curses the would be rapists with catatonia.
    • The inmate who wanted to rape him first ends up raped over several days by inmates who think he's a woman.
  • Psycho for Hire: Gestapo, from the Son of Man arc. His employer even remarks that he's "to all intents and purposes a serial killer".
  • Rage Against the Heavens: In "Original Sins", John fought off an attempt to create a new messiah.
  • Razor Apples: When John gets locked up in prison, an inmate attempts to spike his food with ground glass. Tables get turned, but God only knows how. Results are messy.
  • Replaced with Replica: One story has a priest who let a succubus (disguised as a prostitute) loose inside the Vatican then is inspired by an angelic vision to ask John for help. John comes up with a plan requiring the use of a book from the forbidden section, putting a glamour over a Yellow Pages directory so the book isn't missed. Once the demon is defeated, the priest goes to return the book, only to find himself with two Yellow Pages in his hands. We then see the entire thing was John's plan (the prostitute, succubus and angel were all played by Ellie the demon) to get the book: the lost gospel of Constantine.
  • Retcon: In Swamp Thing John said he was in a mental hospital for "a couple of weeks" after something terrible happened in Newcastle. In Hellblazer, that was retconned to several years. Additionally, the comic adds old (but hitherto unseen) friends and enemies on a relatively regular basis.
  • Remember the New Guy?: In the first story arc of Hellblazer, Chas Chandler is shown to have no knowledge of who Gary Lester is, but by the time of Brian Azarello's run, it was retconned that Chas and Gary have been bandmates together with John Constantine back the.

  • Satan:
    • The First of the Fallen, the leader of Hell, is John's arch-enemy.
    • A bit more complicated than usual: the actual Lucifer, the former Devil, quit his job in Sandman... a plot point which was eventually carried over to Hellblazer, but then it had to be explained who the current Devil was. Turns out the First was God's first creation, and predates even angels. In the Hellblazer mythos, Lucifer and Satan are different.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Supernatural Powers!: Many magic users or persons with access to magic in the comic has this to some degree particularly the First of the Fallen and John Constantine. Human magicians use their magic to break human laws to varying degree with Terry Greaves and Joshua Wright as stand out examples. Demons cannot break certain magical rules, but twist twist them to the best of their ability and when they can break them do. By Hell's laws, The First of the Fallen was supposed to suffer the torments intended for Constantine in Hell after Constantine bested him three times. Thanks to being the strongest demon, the First ripped to pieces the demons who tried to enforce the law.
  • Self-Inflicted Hell: Which now contains John's father, sister and brother-in-law. Also his evil half (don't worry, he got a new one).
  • Serial Killer: In "The Family Man", "Dangerous Ground" and "Out of Season".
  • Sex Magic: Used at least twice:
    • One arc involved the summoning of a giant dragon. It was neutralized by summoning its counterpart... via threesome.
    • Another had a young woman chosen by a cult to bear the Second Coming of Christ, ensuring humanity would be enslaved to the angels. John (who had demon blood in his veins at the time) thwarted that by having sex with her, tainting her so the angel wouldn't go in her.
  • Shared Fate Ultimatum: In "All His Engines", John gets an Aztec death god to stop possessing a little girl (Chas' granddaughter) by setting a strand of her hair on fire and threatening to let Sympathetic Magic do the rest. The god backs down, Chas punches John for being ready to sacrifice her... and it turns out John was bluffing: the hair was from a doll.
  • Shellshocked Veteran:
    • Ross in "When Johnny Comes Marching Home."
  • Sidekick: His best mate and occasional foil Chas Chandler.
  • Shout-Out: Issue 214 had the screen names of various Hellblazer fans as graffiti on a wall; issue 229 featured one of the fans as a character; issue 230 featured two fans as ghostly apparitions.
  • Spotting the Thread: John may be a blue-collar type, but he's definitely not dumb. In one issue, on being shown postcards from Gemma, who's staying in Lyons, he immediately smells a rat: for one, the postcards all show scenes from Normandy, in the north of France, rather than Lyons, which is in the south, and for another, they haven't been stamped with French postage.
  • "Spread Wings" Frame Shot: A cover for Rise and Fall sees John stand in front of a brick wall painting of angel wings.
  • Sub-Par Supremacist:
    • The Highwater arc, set in the rural U.S., features a gang of neo-Nazis who use Uzis (a machine gun invented by an Israeli).
    • The same arc features the gang's leader Gage, a homophobic white supremacist given a Sadistic Choice by the Big Bad S. W. Manor: either he or his daughter perform oral sex on Manor. At the end of the story, we see Gage went through with it... and his daughter immediately disowns him for being a homosexual.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: In the Dangerous Habits storyline John gets lung cancer from "smoking 30 cigarette's a day since he was 17". He bitterly resents after years of battling demons, gods, and other supernatural forces his death seeming going to be something so mundane.
  • Take That!:
    • One of Garth Ennis' stories features an unnamed member of the British royal family as a member of a particularly depraved club for the rich and bored, who volunteered to possessed by a demon in the hopes of becoming a leader capable of ruling uncontested.
      Marston: I wanted to restore the monarchy of this country to its rightful power. I wanted a king who would have the iron will to rule absolutely. And believe me, he was willing... He would be backed by the military and advised by me. There would be no parliament. No opposition. No radicals. No liberals. No thinkers. No immigrants. There would simply be the rulers and the ruled... and we could do anything.
      Constantine: You're talking about putting the thing that used to be Jack the Ripper in charge of us? The bastard eats people, you headcase!
      Marston: Ah, but Constantine... What has our royal family ever done... Except feed off the blood of the people?
    • Also features said member's equally-deviant brother who wouldn't mind the possessed guy being killed, as this would put him one spot closer to the throne. Why, yes, Garth Ennis is Irish, why do you ask?
    • And the usual British comic jabs at Margaret Thatcher. One of John's punishments by demons is left hanging upside down in front of a TV covering an election, ending with Thatcher winning, while the First of the Fallen mentions how hard it is to get an Adolf or Maggie up to speed.
  • Tear Jerker: Plenty, with a few notable examples.
    • In the Family Man arc, Constantine breaks down in tears after learning that his father was killed by the Family Man.
    • In a confrontation with Satan, Constantine sees what appears to be the spirit of Astra, the girl he damned in Newcastle. He immediately starts apologizing, weeping in despair.
  • To Hell and Back:
    • In various stories, most notably "Down in the Ground Where the Dead Men Go".
    • John goes there many times like some strolling place. One demon even remarks that John himself "belongs" to Hell.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Many of Constantine's associates become one. Namely his best mate and sidekick Chas Chandler, who took down a powerful demon by himself and a few others.
  • Trial by Ordeal: One arc has John be interrogated by a tribe descended from Cain. His ordeal consists of plunging his hand into boiling water, which will burn him if he's guilty of theft. He exasperatedly sticks his hand in and tells them he's innocent... waiting until he's far out of earshot to scream (having used magic to fake his innocence).
  • Tuneless Song of Madness: Harry Cooper in "Son Of Mad" is introduced inanely singing "Roll Out The Barrel." Having lost his health and his sanity, it turns out that singing the tunes of his childhood is literally the only thing he can do.

  • Unexpectedly Real Magic: John prevents his niece from casting a dangerous revenge spell on another girl. It turns out she got the spell from an amateur who's thrilled a magician of John's caliber would pay attention to him, having no idea of what kind of powers would be attracted by that curse. John... sets the record straight, and tries to make sure Gemma knows not to get involved in black magic.
  • Unfulfilled Purpose Misery: An evil version where Lord Burnham is designing himself an afterlife of hedonism, stuffed with unwilling slaves designed to suffer whenever they aren't pleasuring him. John first imprisons Mako (the mage who's building it) inside and takes over his body, then lets Burnham commit slow suicide before informing him of the switcheroo, leaving Burnham trapped with a very pissed-off cannibal warlord for eternity.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: John Constantine and The First of the Fallen. The latter condemned the demon Buer to torture for being tricked by Constantine despite Buer restoring the First back to his throne and later killed Nergal and his family despite them inflicting more pain on Constantine then he ever did. Constantine himself regularly gets people to help them only to abandon them or turn on them when their usefulness runs out. The succubus Ellie stands out since she helped him corrupt the Archangel Gabriel and bring down the First of the Fallen only to be abandoned by him when The First was restored to power and later used by him to get his mojo back. John at least sometimes feels bad about it though.
  • Unwitting Pawn: If you're a friend of John, odds are you're one of these and you don't know it. Same goes for his enemies too.
  • Unfazed Everyman: Chas. He survived what his best mate John's adventures for years...
  • Unsettling Gender-Reveal: Played with in the "Ashes and Dust" arc. While interviewing a female witness named Joey, Agent Turro calls her a "pretty girl." Joey gives a mischievous smile and pulls her panties down. We don't see what she shows him, but a suggestively-placed microphone implies she has a penis. Turro is NOT unsettled and actually grins back.
    Agent Frank Turro: So what's fake, that or the boobs?
    Joey: Trust me honey, when they can implant one of these, everybody will have one.
  • Vampire Episode: While homeless and seriously down on his luck, John fights and kills the king of the vampires (that is, the first vampire, who'd been around long enough to kill Adam).
  • The Vicar: Rick the Vic, a vicar who cheerfully takes drugs and has sex with prostitutes, not to mention helping John acquire rare books from higher-ups in the church.
  • Villain Decay:
    • The First of the Fallen was intended to serve as a powerful, terrifying enemy for Constantine, but a string of defeats and being outwitted by John made him such a joke that John once claimed that if he (John) were to be sent to hell he could easily run circles around the First and Hell, and would eventually take control from him.
    • Writer Paul Jenkins did tried to return him back to badassery during his run (the First even flipped the finger back on John), but ultimately it was Mike Carey who finally gave John his greatest loss, and the First's most powerful blow on him after getting the soul of John's sister.
  • Where Everybody Knows Your Flame: The place where Constantine "died".
  • Wretched Hive: London is repeatedly shown to be populated with junkies and homeless people wallowing in their own filth, vapid socialites, and members of the British royal family.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: A journalist was persuaded that a box containing the immortal aborted Antichrist had grafted itself to his chest, that it had pissed its evil into his veins, and caused him to murder people. When John graphically rips it from his chest, his wounds disappear, and the box is revealed to be a cereal box with a hole containing a dead rat.

Alternative Title(s): Constantine