- "My name is John Constantine. I am the one who steps from the shadows, all trench coat and arrogance. I'll drive your demons away, kick 'em in the bollocks, and spit on them when they're down, leaving only a nod and a wink and a wisecrack. I walk my path alone because, let's be honest... who would be crazy enough to walk it with me?"
- —John Constantine[src]
John Constantine (born May 10, 1982), alias El Diablo among the gangsters of Mexico City, is an exorcist, demonologist and hedge warlock, self-styled as "master of the dark arts". Raised by an abusive father who blamed him for the death of his mother in childbirth, John grew up highly cynical and cunning, and developed an interest in the dark arts. In his teenage years, he was introduced into the occult world by Anne Marie, learned various spells and became an exorcist with the hopes of one day using his powers to resurrect his mother. John became a figure of respect among the dabblers of magic.
However, one night, John attempted an exorcism on a young girl named Astra by summoning the demon Nergal, only for the demon to kill Astra and drag her soul to Hell, damning her for eternity, an action which damned John's soul for Hell upon death.
Overwhelmed with guilt, John initially retired but after hearing of the Rising Darkness from the angel Manny, he returned to face this threat, with Manny giving him hope that, should he succeed, his soul may be spared eternal damnation.
John was born in Liverpool in 1982, though his mother died giving birth to him. Her death caused his father to develop a deep resentment towards John, whom he blamed for Mary Anne's demise, and led to him calling his son "Killer" throughout his whole life. Additionally, whenever his father came home from drinking at the bar, he would hit John in the face and remind him that his mother died because of him. Also, to punish him, John's father would put out cigarettes by burning them on John's arms. John also had an older sister.
During John's teenage years, he met a nun named Anne Marie, who introduced him into the occult world. The two also became lovers. John then began reading every book he could find on the occult, learning how to conjure dead beings in the hopes of one day conjuring his mother.
He also had a brutal encounter with sorcerer Felix Faust which he survived but left Faust with a grudge against him, and also heard of the voodoo priest Papa Midnite. He also heard of Damien Darhk, leader of H.I.V.E., and came to fear him so much he considered leaving whatever city he was seeking to destroy a preferable option to fighting him.
Visit to Lian Yu
Seeking an object called the Orb of Horus, an ancient spell book, John traveled to Lian Yu to retrieve it but was caught by Baron Reiter's men and interrogated, violently. Conklin interrupted the interrogation to tell Reiter of an A.R.G.U.S. communications device he found and accuses newcomer Oliver Queen of being a spy. Reiter presented Oliver with a map John possessed and after confirming his knowledge of their locations, John performed a spell to free himself from his handcuffs and held Oliver at gunpoint and used him as leverage to escape Reiter's compound. He had Oliver forcibly take him to the area he sought and performed a spell to uncover the hidden passageway, much to Oliver's shock. Once inside, they explored the cave where John explained that there are areas of the world as old as it including Lian Yu, possessing things corrupt men aren't supposed to have such as Reiter. John eventually found what he sought and retrieved it but set off a trap which Oliver saves him from being killed by, insisting he's not one of Reiter's men. After exiting the cave John thanked Oliver for saving his life and broke off the crystal off the rod to give to Reiter, as the rod itself is what contains the magic. John also warned Oliver about Reiter, insisting his narcotics aren't his only interest for being on the island. As insurance, John also used the rod to transfer a spell on his arm onto Oliver's torso, insisted he'd know what to do when the time came and on Oliver's request, John punched him out cold as part of his "escape" and left on his boat, but the two would keep in contact.
Incident at Newcastle
A demon possessed a girl named Astra, the daughter of a friend of John's and he and his friends Anne Marie Flynn, Gary Lester, Ritchie Simpson, Judith and Chas Chandler attempted to stop it. John, however, decided to summon a more powerful demon named Nergal and extort him into dragging the lesser demon back to Hell, but unfortunately Nergal was able to seize Astra and killed her violently in front of everyone then pulled her soul into Hell damning her for eternity. This action severally traumatized John and he placed himself in Ravenscar Psychiatric Facility for the Mentally Deranged out of guilt. The rest of the crew also came to resent John, some more than others, but regardless his actions and Astra's death haunted them all for the rest of their lives.
Paying an old debt
A few months after his voluntary interment, John discovered a possessed woman writing something on a wall. After exorcising the woman, John saw that she wrote the words "Liv Die". Remembering his promise to his friend, Jasper Winters, John left the hospital and went to the United States. There he met Liv Aberdine, the daughter of his friend who (like her father) could see the true nature of supernatural things when in contact with an amulet. They soon learned that the demon Furcifer pursued and wanted to kill her. John decided to ask the help of Ritchie to defeat the demon. The three then prepared a trap for the demon. As John began to recite an incantation to send the demon back to hell, Astra appeared. Furcifer then made an offer to John: if John freed him then Furcifer would release Astra's soul from Hell. As John was about to free Furcifer, Liv discovered that it was not Astra, but a demon disguised as her. Learning this, John performed an exorcism and sent the demons back to Hell. Liv then left John's company to go and live with a friend, but not before performing a scrying ritual on the map of the United States, leaving dots of blood on the sources of the strengthened dark magic. Meanwhile, John made the decision to help Manny to discover the nature of the thing that was causing the supernatural world to go wild. He and Chas Chandler decided to tackle on the country's supernatural problems, hoping to save John's soul along the way.
Traveling to the town of Heddwich without his partner (Chas had to stay out of the State of Pennsylvania due to an incident involving a Succubus and a trainwreck), John ended up meeting Zed Martin, who's been seeing Constantine in her dreams, along with visions of demons. Although ne didn't trust Zed at first, her specific skills and a talent for clairvoyance magic made her an asset to John. Ditching Zed at the hotel, Constantine traveled to the wake ceremony in remembrance of late Lannis Cadogan with a Hearty Cuisine Chicken Dinner as a gift, using the situation to snoop around the house and look for clues.
John encountered Lannis Cadogan's wife, who told him her sob story over marrying a deadbeat husband who tried to woo her as a "captain of industry", and then tried to seduce John. When he didn't respond to her advances, the widow shouted at him and made a scene in front of the guests, publicly shooing Constantine out of her house. Having to fight off the mining company's goons, John left the premises, but not before letting Thad Bowman, the boss of NorPenn Mining Company know that he uncovered the secret behind the unnatural happenings at the mine. At first, John suspected the local disenfranchised preacher to be the one who enchanted the Coblynau to do dark deeds, but later investigation along with Zed convinced him that the man was innocent. Venturing into the mines while following Thad Bowman and his son, John and Zed encountered the Coblynau trying to attack the two men, but John was able to break the dark spell and remind the spirit of its good nature, though not before it killed the father. Finally figuring it out, John came back to Lannis Cadogan's widow, revealing his suspicions about her use of Gypsy black magic. She tried to sic Coblynau on Constantine, but forgot the fact that Coblynau are spirits of dead miners, which allowed John to summon her own husband as one, to take its revenge on the one who killed him. The Coblynau-turned Lannis appeared out of the ground and dragged his wife under it together with him.
Later on John, Chas and Zed traveled to the city of Chicago to deal with the hunt of the acetate containing a recording of the voice of the Devil himself, the First of the Fallen. They were opposed by Papa Midnite, who saw the acetate as an artifact of demonic energy. John was able to use the disk's own Dark Magic to send it back to hell where it belongs, which completely foiled the Vodoo Sorcerer's plans and left Papa Midnite with a grudge against him.
Masterminds of the Rising Darkness
After defeating the demon Lamashtu, John found out that the cause of all the supernatural events that have been happening were because of "The Rising Darkness". The rising darkness was a plan by the Brujería, to merge Hell and Earth together. The Brujería found a way to break the boundary that kept Earth and Hell separate. This would allow demonic creatures to roam freely across the land. Among Brujeria's creatures that John encountered were Lamashtu, Invunche and Nahash. To combat them, John used the Icon of Pazuzu to strike a deal with the First of the Fallen, welcoming Pazuzu to possess him in exchange for regeneration and power.
Afterwards, John had to remove the demon from his body while trying to escape from a prison in Mexico City, where he ended up for Pazuzu's murder of the members of Santa Muerte gang while possessing John. In the prison John met with Stanley Gibson, an employee of the British consulate, along with the local fence Julio, whose actions led to another release of Pazuzu and the murder of more Santa Muerte gangsters, leaving the other prisoners to consider John the one in charge, giving him the alias "El Diablo". Zed Martin, Chas Chandler and Anne Marie Flynn, a former Newcastle Crew member, now a nun of the Catholic Church, eventually got John back to Jasper Winters' millhouse and exorcised him, removing Pazuzu from his body.
Learning about the Resurrection Crusade's attack on Jasper Winters' millhouse, he covered it with a duplicity spell, but Zed was still distraught over them revealing its location in the first place. John and Zed then went to New York City and assisted Chas in saving his daugher, Geraldine, who was left soulless after being targeted by the Soul separating spell. Enlisting the local medium Fennel, the team found out the location of a dark mage's hideout, with the mage turning out to be none other than Felix Faust, an ancient black mage with a grudge against John.
Faust agreed to release Geraldine's soul if John sent the demon Karabasan back to Hell. Chas refused to cooperate with the man who took his daughter's soul, and was angered by the fact that John didn't know how to fight Faust, now empowered by many stolen souls and the power of the Rising Darkness. John and Zed went alone, and succeeded in killing Karabasan. However, Faust announced that since John killed the demon, instead of banishing it, he didn't have to do his part of the deal. In turn, Chas showed his powers to Faust and offered another deal: his daughter's soul in exchange for 31 other souls that he had on him. When Faust eagerly grasped at the opportunity, Chas chained him to himself with an unbreakable sinew from Achilles' heel and blew them both with a grenade. Faust's death broke his spells, restoring the souls of the people in comas, Geraldine included.
Restoring Sara Lance's soul
In late 2015, John received a call from his old friend Oliver Queen asking him to come to Star City to help him restore the soul of his friend Sara Lance which he accepted. He met with Team Arrow and explained that Sara needed a restoration of her soul, not an exorcism, as her sister Laurel mistook it for. John also commented on the number of pretty girls Oliver had surrounded himself with, which made them feel somewhat uncomfortable. Much to Felicity's confusion he requested a peacock feather, which he used only to scratch his back. John explained that the ritual would transport them to the "other side" where Sara's soul was trapped, and transported himself, Oliver and Laurel. Upon entering the spirit world, in the shape of Nanda Parbat, John, Oliver and Laurel found the room where Sara was trapped in the Lazarus Pit. John held off the spirit of a League of Assassins member, as Oliver and Laurel freed Sara. All of them returned safely, with Sara restored to life. As John left, Oliver thanked him for his help, but John also told him he'd had a dark feeling since being in town, Oliver confirming it as their newest problem Damien Darhk. John however warned Oliver to be careful around Darhk and advised he leave town while he still could, before departing.
By May, John eventually escaped Hell and Oliver was finally able to get in contact again with Constantine, asking for a means to defeat Darhk's magic. In response, Constantine sent Oliver to meet with Esrin Fortuna, who had a better understanding of Darkh's magic, and could possibly teach him to defend against it.
Meeting the Legends
In late 2017, John had encountered a demon that was possessing a little girl who knew about Sara Lance, so he infiltrated the Waverider as Sara dropped off Jax. Stating she had a debt to repay to him after he saved her soul two years ago, he requested her help to face it.
Having witnessed the horrors of the world, John is very cynical and seemingly unconcerned with the value of human life, often deflecting his real feelings with sarcastic jokes even towards the possibility of his own death. Due to the number of people who have died around him John prefers to work alone and anyone he does work with, he avoids attachment so he won't be as hurt if they get killed. He is also known for having a very dry sense of humor.
John is also noted for being brutally honest with people, even angels, and never being shy of his opinion of the women he encounters. It's been shown a few times he openly expresses an attraction to Zed Martin and after meeting Team Arrow he openly refers to all the female members of the team, such as Laurel Lance, Felicity Smoak and Thea Queen, as "pretty girls". This also causes Thea to develop an attraction to him calling him a "specific kind of yummy", much to Oliver's discomfort. He also has a sarcastic personality, telling Oliver he would have dropped by sooner if he had known Oliver knew so many pretty girls.
Despite his apart bleak view of the world and cynicism, John is a very honorable man as he is always there for the few friends he has, helping Chas to retrieve his daughter from Felix Faust and helping Oliver Queen to restore Sara Lance's soul. He also did a protection spell on Oliver despite his refusal to have attachments to people when he saw Oliver had a pure heart.
John tends to be a pessimistic realist as when Oliver thanked him for bringing Sara back he simply told Oliver he owed him only for Oliver to rebuttal that instead of that, they should always have each other's back when need be, not as business acquaintances, but friends.
However, John is also arrogant and overconfident in his bluffing, to the point of having questionable morals, such as when he threatened the life of an innocent child (Diego) to get Lamashtu (one of Eve's sisters) to reveal why she was working for the La Brujeria, which forced his ex-lover Anne Marie Flynn to shoot him and leave John to be eaten by an Invunche.
As his journey to stop the Rising Darkness continued, John appeared to have developed possible genuine romantic feelings for Zed Martin, as observed by Manny, who pointed out that John was jealous upon seeing Jim Corrigan kiss her, since he seemed to be genuinely shocked and upset to see it. He also admitted that due to rarely encountering evil Humans, he was troubled by the La Brujeria as they were quite possibly the worst of humanity, which worried him.
Powers and abilities
- Magic: While referring to himself as merely a "dabbler" after his failed exorcism, John is a master of the occult and mystic arts. Since his teenage years, John has accumulated vast knowledge and skill of magic, mysticism, and the supernatural. He is well-versed in various words and phrases of multiple ancient languages, such as Latin, which he will usually chant while performing certain rituals or incantations. Many incantations give him the ability to affect physical forces, such as the inner workings of mechanisms, and the movements of others, allowing him to move objects and control their motion and momentum with the proper incantation.
- Exorcism: John can exorcise spirits that are demonic or ghostly in origin from their hosts by chanting incantations. Exorcism is one of John's most prominent abilities.
- Interdimensional travel: John, along with Ritchie Simpson, knew an Egyptian ritual that would allow them to travel to the reality of Jacob Shaw. John also performed a ritual that transported himself, Oliver Queen, and Laurel Lance to the spirit world, to rescue the trapped soul of Sara Lance.
- Magic circles: John uses magic circles that can be used for rituals, as boundaries, or traps for certain creatures, such as when he used a magical circle to trap the powerful demon, Furcifer, so he could banish it back to hell.
- Necromancy: John mentioned that he mastered necromancy during his teenage years. With the help of Papa Midnite, he was able to allow the spirits of the dead to move on to the afterlife. John is also capable of restoring a person's lost soul back into their body. He was able to restore Sara Lance's soul, and mentioned he had restored a person's soul once before. He also performed a ritual to temporarily reanimate and speak with the dead at the Chicago morgue using the Hand of Glory artifact.
- Pyromancy: John possesses some power over fire, as shown when he ignited his hands with a lighter, and suffered no harmful effects from his hands being engulfed in flames.
- Summoning: John can summon various entities, and even control them. He has summoned demons to fight other demons for him, and once summoned a demon into his body to protect himself from a Invunche.
- Supernatural concealment: John mentioned that he could hide Liv from demons with a special spell.
- Telekinesis: John once telekinetically closed and locked a door. He also used this power on manifestation of a League of Assassins member, freezing its motion and suspending it helplessly in mid air before killing it with a sword.
- Cloaking spell: John recognized and dispelled this magic at Felix Faust's hideout.
- Duplicity spell: John used this spell to cover the location of Jasper Winters' millhouse.
- Protection spell: John used this spell to give Chas Chandler the ability to resurrect himself from the dead, but only a certain number of times.
- Sleep spell: John used this spell to put Zed Martin to sleep.
- Occult knowledge: John has acquired extensive knowledge of the supernatural. John is master of the dark arts and well versed in demonology. He has been studying the dark arts since his teenage years.
- Skilled detective: John is a skilled detective, specializing in paranormal investigation.
- Expert escape artist: John has shown that he can effortlessly break free from hand cuffs, when being interrogated by Jim Corrigan.
- Expert con artist: John has a well known reputation of being a con man.
- Skilled swordsman: During a spiritual adventure to save Sara Lance's soul, John demonstrated a degree of swordsmanship, able to hold his own against a manifestation of a League of Assassins member. However, he was quickly pressured enough that he had to resort to magic to defeat his opponent.
- Skilled hand-to-hand combatant: John possesses some skill in fighting, as he was able to knock out two opponents (both strong miners).
- Multilingual: Aside from English, his mother tongue, John can perform spells in Italian, Assyrian, and Hebrew so it can be presumed he knows the languages fluently. It may also be presumed he knows Arabic and Sanskrit, due to being able to read text written in these languages.
- Extra sensory awareness: John had an uneasy feeling when he first arrived in Star City, which Oliver immediately claimed it was because of Damien Darhk.
- Entomology: John was able to immediately recognize Khapra beetles implying he knows insects and could tell them apart very well.
- Bag: John has a bag of items that he may need for his investigations. Some items he carries in the bag are: holy water, a police scanner, cemetery dirt, duct tape, and nails from the coffin of Saint Padua, which can be used as a tracking device.
- Business Cards: John carries business cards that read, "John Constantine; Exorcist, Demonologist, and Master of the dark arts".
- Driving License: John carries around his United Kingdom driving license.
- Stone of true seeing: John was given this artifact by Felix Faust to see the invisible demon Karabasan.
- Lighter: John uses a specific lighter to which he lights a cigarette. This particular lighter bears an Ace of Spades, possibly to show that he faces his conflicts by himself.
- Six of Diamonds magic card: John possesses a charmed card that is able to take on the appearance of whatever its holder requires. John has used this card to imitate a credit card and health and human services ID.
- Scry Map: John possesses a map in which he uses to find new supernatural events to investigate.
- Icon of Pazuzu: John used this artifact to unleash Pazuzu's rage on Lamashtu. He then turned its powers onto itself, letting Pazuzu possess him, removing the artifact and leaving a symbol of Pazuzu on John's hand.
- Ring of Solomon: John used this artifact to trap Mnemoth.
John Con Noir
- "Trash" (non-canon)
- "Lost Souls" (mentioned)
- "Unchained" (mentioned)
- "Taken" (mentioned)
- "Genesis" (mentioned)
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
- Constantine genuinely tries to avoid people he owes a debt to, as he tends to have earned at least a punch to the face for the last time he met said people.
Behind the scenes
- In DC Comics continuity, John Constantine is a famous warlock, sorcerer and investigator of magic, first appearing as a supporting character in "Swamp Thing" and later on as the star of his own book "Hellblazer".
- Before Constantine's appearance in Arrow, Tech Times reported that the producers of Arrow had stated that Constantine would not appear in Arrow or in any series of the shared multiverse, saying that there were no plans for Constantine to become a regular cast member in any of the shared multiverse series. The fans however were confident that if Ryan's portrayal impressed the producers, The CW would consider reviving Constantine. In January 2017, an animated web-series of Constantine was announced by CW Seed.
- During the early development of the Dark Universe film, Mexican film director Guillermo del Toro expressed interest in casting Matt Ryan as John Constantine in the DC Extended Universe (despite the fact that the DCEU and shared multiverse were separate multiverses), saying that he was in talks with Warner Bros. to make the Constantine TV series canonical with the DCEU (this was reported before Constantine was made canonical with the shared multiverse; it is not known if this would have made the shared multiverse canonical with the DCEU, or whether Constantine's inclusion into the shared multiverse would even have been possible if del Toro's proposal had been accepted). However, Constantine was cancelled before Warner Bros. could give its approval, and with del Toro's departure from the project and Doug Liman's arrival on it, it is likely that the idea has been scrapped.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 "The Darkness Beneath"
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "The Saint of Last Resorts: Part Two"
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 "Non Est Asylum"
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 "The Saint of Last Resorts"
- ↑ "Quid Pro Quo"
- ↑ "Genesis"
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 "Haunted"
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 "The Devil's Vinyl"
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 "Quid Pro Quo"
- ↑ "Taken"
- ↑ "Genesis"
- ↑ "Beebo the God of War"
- ↑ "A Feast of Friends"
- ↑ John Constantine Only Appearing In 'Arrow' To Revive A Certain Character But May Never Show Up Again - Tech Times
- ↑ Guillermo del Toro Says Justice League Dark and the John Constantine TV Show Can Coexist - IGN
- ↑ Guillermo Del Toro Reportedly Departs DC's Dark Universe - Empire
- ↑ Constantine Still Cancelled: Show Boss Says Rescue Efforts 'Didn't Pan Out' - TVLine