Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Today in Comics History, May 10, 1953: Happy birthday, John Constantine, ye wanker

Hey, remember when we were all younger than John Constantine?

from Hellblazer (1988 series) #9 (DC, September 1988), script by Jamie Delano, pencils by John Ridgway, inks by Alfredo Alcala, colors by Lovern Kindzierski, letters by Todd Klein

It was the days when "Mature Audience" (later Vertigo) comics followed a real-world timeline, so if John's 35 in a comic in 1988, that means that in a comic set on May 10 and published in 1993 he must be

from Hellblazer #63 (DC/Vertigo, March 1993), script by Garth Ennis, pencils and inks by Steve Dillon, colors by Tom Ziuko, letters by Gaspar Saladino

Awww, poor John: everyone's left him all alone on his b-day. (Well, really you shouldn't bother people when their on their bidet.)

Of course John Constantine takes this with his usual aplomb and grace:


...he forgot about his magic friends.

Truly magic people make all the best birthdays! That's why David Blaine is never invited.

Even Mr. Holland, the Swamp Thang, is invited.

But what's Mike Sterling's favorite mama jama gonna do for a party trick?

One of the party guests was heard to exclaim:

Also, it's not really a party until the last remaining guest gets a little maudlin.

Had he remained on Vertigo-Earth, John Constantine would be sixty-nine today. (Which is a very nice age to be.) Of course, blame it on Barry Allen for squishing the Vertigo world into Earth-1 and giving us friendly, team-uppable John Constantine (well, mostly), so I assume that he'll age verrrrry slowly like Green Lantern and Batman and the new Superman, Jon Kent. (One of these may be the punchline to that joke.) I guess while an old-age Hellblazer could be funny (imagine him putting a curse on you with his cane BWAH-HA-HA-HA!), comic-book time is the price we gotta pay for continuing entertainment. Still, Hellblazer lasted until 2013, which means John hit the big six-oh. That's a comfort to pal John, who is also that ancient and decrepit and likes songs by the Pogues, but he's still a great guy.

I don't say this often (mainly 'coz I'm not allowed to), but happy birthday, John Constantine, you bastard.

cover of Hellblazer #63; painted art by Glenn Fabry

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