As some of you may know, Constantine has appeared in recent media and will appear in one of DC Comics upcoming animated movies (Justice League Dark). For all intents and purposes, it's safe to say DC is making him more of a mainstream character. At the very least, they are giving him much more exposure!
As a character, John Constantine has quite the history. First appearing in a 1985 comic series called The Saga of the Swamp Thing, he acted as an advisor of all that is "supernatural." We saw him more recently in Arrow performing the same task for Team Arrow on a case (Arrow, Season 4 Episode 5).
Since we are going to be seeing more of Constantine, here are five facts you might not know about him!
1. Constantine's Visual Appearance Was Based On A Famous Musician
Sting! No, I'm not kidding. The singer is the basis for Constantine's appearance. In the November 1993 issue of Wizard magazine, Alan Moore (one of Constantine's creators) stated:
I think DC is terrified that Sting will sue them, although Sting has seen the character and commented in Rolling Stone that he thought it was great. He was very flattered to have a comic character who looked like him, but DC gets nervous about these things. They started to eradicate all traces of references in the introduction of the early 'Swamp Thing' books to John Constantine's resemblance to Sting . But I can state categorically that the character only existed because Steve and John wanted to do a character that looked like Sting.
Huh, who knew!
2. He Was Originally Called Hellraiser
After Constantine's appearance in The Swamp Thing series, one of his creators (Alan Moore) hand-picked Jamie Delano as his successor to the character. Jamie Delano went on to write Hellblazer. What some may not know is he was originally called "Hellraiser." His name was changed when Clive Barker's Hellraiser movie was released. While the movie franchise consists of nine films, our Hellblazer is the last man standing!
3. He Actually Had A Tough Upbringing
During the Hellblazer series, Constantine's origins were fleshed out. To start with, Constantine had a twin brother whom he strangled in the womb. His mother died in childbirth and his father was a drunk who blamed him for everything. He grew up in Liverpool and was later confined to a facility called Ravenscar.
4. He Took Her Soul?
I know what your thinking — this is some catchy title to make us think we didn't get what happened in Arrow. No. While on Arrow, Constantine gave Sara her soul back, but he did quite the opposite to begin with. In the Newcastle incident of 1978, Constantine and some other young magicians tried to exorcise a young girl, but John's impatience accidentally caused her to lose her soul. Constantine then had a breakdown and that is how he wound up in Ravenscar.
I guess you have to know how to take it away before you can learn to give it back!
5) They Killed Him?
When it comes to a character so iconic, you have to kill him! Why not? Well, DC went one step further and had his series end. While under the Vertigo imprint, Constantine was their longest-running series. The series ended in 2012 when DC Comics made the call to end the series and bring Constantine under the DC imprint. From there, everything was downhill.
The original series editor (Karen Berger) stated:
"They've taken the character and put him in a place that's Constantine-lite. As far as I'm concerned, he's not the real Constantine."
Jamie Delano said he has avoided reading the new stories.
More recently, Justice League Dark has given the character that darker tone which we all loved.
With Constantine showing up more and more, we all hope DC Comic's knows what they are doing!
With that being said, we can look forward to his appearance in Justice League Dark and his potential appearance in DC's Legends of Tomorrow!
If you know of any other facts that may be surprising, please feel free to share in the conversation below!