John Constantine ( ) is a fictional character, an occult detective anti-hero in comic book published by Vertigo. The character first appeared in Swamp Thing #37 (June 1985), and was created by Alan Moore, Steve Bissette and John Totleben. Constantine is the protagonist of the comic book Hellblazer, published continuously since 1988.
John Constantine first appeared in 1985 as a recurring character in the horror series The Saga of the Swamp Thing, in which he acted as a "supernatural advisor" to the main character.
In these early appearances, Constantine was depicted as a sorcerer of questionable morality, whose appearance was based on that of the musician Sting (specifically, as Sting appeared in the movies Brimstone and Treacle and Quadrophenia). Alan Moore created the character after artists Stephen R. Bissette and John Totleben, who were fans of The Police, expressed a desire to draw a character who looked like Sting. They had already drawn at least one such character in Sting's likeness, as a briefly-glimpsed background figure wearing a black-and-red-striped t-shirt, in Swamp Thing #25 (1984). In his earliest Swamp Thing appearances, the character is drawn with a marked resemblance to Sting, and in Swamp Thing #51, Constantine appears on a boat with the name "The Honorable Gordon Sumner" on the bow.
John Constantine's official debut was not until Swamp Thing #37. Moore describes the creation of Constantine as being drawn from a number of "really good ideas... about serial killers, the Winchester House, and... want[ing] to draw Sting in a story." Calling these disparate strands a "big intellectual puzzle," Constantine was the result of "fit[ting] it all together." Initially created "purely to get Sting into the story," by the time of the 1985 San Diego ComicCon, Moore stated that "[i]t's turning into something more than that now."
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Official Site: DC Comics
Links: Wikipedia Entry Straight To Hell International Hero entry