"I was to accept a sodden piece of clay as my master. Be christened by him. Tamed by him. Come when he called me. There. A classroom now full of eight-year-olds devouring their teacher. And there. An operating theater where patients are carefully, lovingly dissected. Let them see for themselves how tame I am."
—The Beast, Issue #191 ("Staring at the Wall" part 3)
The titular Hellblazer, John Constantine, has encountered numerous depraved villains, but several leave the rest far behind.
- Other related comics (Swamp Thing, The Sandman (1989), Lucifer, etc.) can be found here.
- Examples from Literature can be found here.
- Examples from the 2014 series can be found here.
- City of Demons can be found here.
Besides The First, entries in each group are by approximate order of appearance.
All spoilers are unmarked. You Have Been Warned!
Vertigo Comics Continuity
- The First of the Fallen, one of Constantine's greatest foes, was already said to be at the bottom of hell when Lucifer himself was cast down. Far more depraved, violent and sadistic than Lucifer, the First is introduced as a trader in souls whom Constantine bests in a battle of wits. The First promptly devotes all energy to vengeance to destroy the latter in every way, shape and form, while destroying his friends and loved ones and condemning a city to an orgy of blood and violence, simply for his own enjoyment. The First shows no loyalty to allies and frequently destroys them, in one instance changing demon lord Nergal into a mortal to torture him simply for amusement. In his cruelest act, the First captured the soul of Constantine's innocent sister and played upon her love for her hell-bound husband to manipulate her into staying in hell to split the torture between them.
- Nergal, one of Constantine's oldest foes, is a powerful demon who may have once been a sadistic pedophile as a human. As a demon, Nergal causes countless atrocities on earth, afflicting humans with plague while plotting the apocalypse. Responsible for the Newcastle incident when he dragged Astra Logan to hell while driving Constantine insane, Nergal plots to stop the messiah's birth by forming the Damnation Army. Torturing and enslaving humans while having them perform sexual favors and forcing Constantine's compliance by threatening to devour children, Nergal intends to have humanity eventually devoured. Returning later to reclaim his home from his rebellious daughter Rosacarnis, Nergal is revealed to have been a horrific father, having even forced Rosa to murder a servant who was kind to her, while intending on hijacking the bloodshed she and her and Constantine's demonic children are causing on earth. Later returning just to stop Constantine's wedding and ruin his happiness, Nergal tries to have him seduced or raped by a succubus, and kills her when she refuses simply for having "too much heart".
- "The Family Man": Samuel Morris, the titular Family Man, is an elderly man with a penchant for killing happy families. Upon locating them, with a mother, father, and children, he would murder them by lacerating their bodies and ending by slashing their throats. Having murdered his own parents as a child, the Family Man had a habit of leaving no witnesses, with his victims including Constantine's estranged father. Despite being only human, the utterly sadistic Family Man, with over 70 known murders and possibly even more unknown, remains one of the most evil and disturbing villains in Hellblazer's annals.
- "Royal Blood":
- Calibraxis, the First's butcher and the Lord of the Blades, is the demon who dwelt in Jack the Ripper. Having gruesomely slaughtered five prostitutes in Whitechapel, Calibraxis returns to go on a killing spree, gruesomely vivisecting his victims and keeping them alive as long as possible. Inside his host, the crown prince, Calibraxis tortures him into compliance and makes him experience the demon's enjoyment of the murders. Upon learning Constantine is hunting him, Calibraxis goes on a vicious killing spree, intending to murder Constantine with no care of the apocalypse he will bring on his own people as a result of the multiple claims of the latter's soul.
- Sir Peter Marston is the leader of the Caligula Club, leading the upper class in debaucherous parties that involve murder, drinking blood and sexual perversion. Marston is the one indirectly responsible for Calibraxis's rampage to begin with, intending to have a demon possess Prince Charles and turn all of England into a dystopian hellhole where the rich feed off the blood of the poor at their leisure. Marston doesn't care about the death Calibraxis causes, having half a dozen members of his club killed to keep his involvement a secret and intending to try again with another demon the instant Calibraxis is taken care of.
- "Critical Mass": Buer is the demonic lord of lost children. Delighting in the unjust damnation of kids, Buer makes deals to set the children in hell under his own control so he can torture them and feed off their suffering. Introduced having a girl hurt him and burning her when she fails to please, Buer wants to restore the First of the Fallen to power. Taking a little boy hostage to get Constantine's attention, Buer informs the latter that the children he has, including the little girl Astra that Constantine had lost years ago at Newcastle, are suffering endlessly every day thanks to his refusal to yield to Buer. A sickening pervert and depraved monster, Buer stops at nothing to hurt children, enjoying it all the more for the pain done to undeserving innocents.
- "Son of Man": The "Fuckpig" is a carnal demon with an unending lust for rape and murder. The Fuckpig, after a botched ritual by Constantine, takes over the body of Ronnie, a crime lord's deceased son, and uses his body to start wreaking gang violence and murder, and maintains his form by drinking out the life of dozens if not hundreds of newborn infants. The Fuckpig's true intention is to bring The Antichrist into Earth by raping a hole in his "father's" stomach, resulting in the man's agonizing transformation and death upon giving "birth" to the Antichrist. The Fuckpig refuses to be sated until all hope is "fucked to death" in the ensuing Hell on Earth he'll create, gleefully killing one of his father's old men and raping another to death until he explodes into blood.
- "Staring at the Wall": The Beast is the creature of the Garden of Eden who refused to be named by Adam. Upon returning after the defeat of the one creature keeping it at bay, the Beast plunges into the collective of subconscious of humanity to destroy them, forcing people to descend into debauchery, rape and murder all across the globe, even making them enjoy the acts they commit. The Beast glories in making a classroom of children eat their teacher alive, or having others butcher one another and themselves, gleeful in its chance to harm humanity for the sake of its twisted ego.
- All His Engines graphic novel, by Mike Carey & Leonardo Manco: Beroul is a grotesque, corpulent demon made entire from cancerous tissue who blackmails Constantine into wiping out his demonic allies for him by threatening the soul of a child, fully intent on backstabbing Constantine when the demands are met. Spending most of his time lounging around in pools full of stewing corpses, Beroul infects countless people with a "coma bug" that in actuality spirits away their souls to a pocket Hell on Earth to subject them to every torture imaginable. Beroul intends to expand his small-scale Hell as much as he can, even musing he'll rent out the comatose physical bodies of his victims to lustful succubi.
- "Joyride" (Burnham only); "The Laughing Magician"; "The Roots of Coincidence":
- Lord Calvin Burnham is a real estate mogul who owns the Hunger Hill housing estate and the nearby village of Lychgate. Burnham is secretly a dark sorcerer who allows his corrupt patrons to mindjack innocents all across his estate, allowing them to go on crusades of incest, rape, torture and murder to their hearts' content before hopping out and leaving their hosts to take the blame. In one case, Burnham possesses a teenager to smash out the brains of his friend with a hammer. When Constantine tries to intervene, Burnham orchestrates a mass suicide then tricks everyone into Lychgate into dying in an explosion all to cover his own name, before allying with the sadistic cannibal-mage Mako. Fearing for his immortal soul and promising to let Mako tap into the suffering of the damned for helping him, Burnham has Mako slaughter swathes of people in the magical underground while designing a "Soul Cage" to hold his soul after death. Burnham intends to fill the Soul Cage with enough women—children among them—to abuse and rape for all eternity, only leaving them the capacity to pleasure him and to suffer every moment they're not.
- Mako is a war mage, a sadistic beast feeding on blood and death. Mako leads his soldiers to different villages, massacring the people there while keeping the women and children as sex slaves. His true purpose is to find other mages who he tortures and cannibalizes to take their souls and powers, including a shaman who Mako tortures for weeks to locate "The Laughing Magicians". Coming to London, Mako butchers an entire supply plane of people before going on the hunt, allying with Calvin Burnham who helps Mako slaughter his way through the magical community. Obsessed with gaining Burnham's source of power, Mako massacres countless mages and captures women and children to create a pleasant afterlife for Burnham, programming them as Burnham's pleasure slaves to suffer if they are not pleasing him, all to enhance his own power at the expense of others.
- Peter Milligan's run: Julian is a Babylonian entity called an "ekkimu". A sadist with an inclination to bring misery to the world, Julian surfs from project to project to entertain himself, convincing schoolchildren to mutilate each other and savagely maiming and murdering a teacher who tries to stop him. Julian murders Constantine's girlfriend Phoebe when he resists Julian's attempt to enslave him, moving on to bigger and better projects. Julian poses as a euthanasia assistant to lure in suicidal people in order to vivisect them, alive and conscious, to take their organs, and even moves his domain to a Hellhole Prison where he subjects the prisoners to nightmarish, nightly torture until they become broken shells of themselves.
- All-Star Western issues #24 & 25 ("Justified" & "Blood, Sex & Magic"): The unnamed demon seeks to take advantage of the Burning Man festival in order to create Hell on Earth. Utilizing the large amount of sin produced by the festival, the demon has his Ki'yathe demons possess hundreds of innocent people, destroying their souls and reducing their bodies to mindless husks. Gaining enough power to enter the mortal plane, the demon does so and immediately begins feeding on Jonah Hex and Gina Green's souls, expressing admiration for Jonah's death-filled life. Although Constantine kills him, the souls his demons possessed die with him, leaving hundreds of innocents dead in a single evening.
- Rise and Fall, written by Tom Taylor: The demon Despondeo was once a weak demon of anguish who fed off so much despair and torture that he attempted to overthrow even Lucifer himself. Bested by the Devil, Despondeo escaped into the corpse of a childhood friend of John Constantine, sowing more anguish and pain until he stole the Devil's wings. Beginning a plan to rise even further, Despondeo begins murdering countless wealthy people and even other innocents, eventually possessing John himself after going on a killing spree in downtown London.