Need an exorcist, call John Constantine. He is not nice, but he gets results.

Who is John Constantine?

Created by Alan Moore, Steve Bissette and John Totleben in 1984 in the Saga of Swamp Thing, John Constantine is a working class occult detective and con man from London. He is the antihero of the DC universe.

Known for his cynicism, his deadpan snarking, his ruthless cunning and his constant chain smoking, John Constantine wants to help save lives, but his technic can be deadly if it’s for the greater good.

Hellblazer: John Constantine Reading Order

I. Saga of the Swamp Thing

Before becoming the main character of his own series, John Constantine first appeared in the Saga of Swamp Thing by Alan Moore. The way he was written defined who he was and what he could do.

   

  1. Saga of the Swamp Thing: Book 3 – Collects Saga of the Swamp Thing #35-42. John Constantine appeared in issues #37-40. It’s the beginning of the main storyline developed in the next book.
  2. Saga of the Swamp Thing: Book 4 – Collects Saga of the Swamp Thing #43-50. The storyline mostly end here, but the epilogue is at the beginning of the next book.
  3. Saga of the Swamp Thing: Book 5 – Collects Swamp Thing #51-56. Here, John Constantine only appeared in issues #51 and #55.
  4. Saga of the Swamp Thing: Book 6 – Collects Swamp Thing #57-64, but John Constantine only appeared in issue #62.

After that, Alan Moore stop working on the series, but John Constantine came back, written and drown by Rick Veitch. I put them here because it is in the Swamp Thing series, but you could read them after the Original Sins storyline in Hellblazer.

 

  1. Swamp Thing Vol. 7: Regenesis – Collects Swamp Thing #65-70.
  2. Swamp Thing: Spontaneous Generation – Collects Swamp Thing #71-76.

II. John Constantine, Hellblazer

This is where the first Constantine began under the title Hellblazer published by Vertigo. There are 300 issues. Jamie Delano and Garth Ennis were the firsts to work on the series. They wrote some of the best Constantine stories.

   

  1. John Constantine, Hellblazer Vol. 1: Original Sins – Collects Hellblazer #1–9, Swamp Thing #76–77.
  2. John Constantine, Hellblazer Vol. 2: The Devil You KnowCollects Hellblazer #10–13, The Horrorist #1–2 and Annual #1.
  3. John Constantine, Hellblazer Vol. 3: The Fear Machine -Collects Hellblazer #14–22.
  4. John Constantine, Hellblazer Vol. 4: The Family Man – Collects Hellblazer #23–33, Hellblazer Vertigo Secret Files and Origins #1

   

  1. John Constantine, Hellblazer Vol. 5: Dangerous Habits – Collects Hellblazer #34–46. Delano stopped writing John Constantine after issue #40.
  2. John Constantine, Hellblazer Vol. 6: Bloodlines – Collects Hellblazer #47–61.
  3. John Constantine, Hellblazer Vol. 7: Tainted Love – Collects Hellblazer #62–71, Hellblazer Special #1 and Vertigo Jam #1.
  4. John Constantine, Hellblazer Vol. 8: Rake at the Gates of Hell – Collects Hellblazer #72–84 and Heartland #1.

After Garth Ennis, the series still delivered some good stories, but not as frequently. The next authors are Paul Jenkins, Warren Ellis, Brian Azzarello, Mike Carey and Andy Diggle, Ian Rankin and Peter Milligan. Carey’s run is pretty good FYI.

   

  1. John Constantine, Hellblazer Vol. 9: Critical Mass – Collects Hellblazer #85–96, written by Paul Jenkins.
  2. John Constantine, Hellblazer Vol. 10: In the Line of Fire – Collects Hellblazer #97–107, written by Paul Jenkins.
  3. John Constantine, Hellblazer Vol. 11: Last Man Standing – Collects Hellblazer #108–120, written by Paul Jenkins.
  4. John Constantine, Hellblazer Vol. 12: How to Play with Fire – Collects Hellblazer #121–133, written by Paul Jenkins.

   

  1. John Constantine, Hellblazer Vol. 13: Haunted – Collects Hellblazer #134–145, Vertigo Resurrected #1 and Vertigo: Winter’s Edge #1–3, written by Warren Ellis.
  2. John Constantine, Hellblazer Vol. 14: Good Intentions – Collects Hellblazer #146–161, Hellblazer Vertigo Secret Files and Origins #1, written by Brian Azzarello.
  3. John Constantine, Hellblazer Vol. 15: Highwater – Collects Hellblazer #162–174, written by Brian Azzarello.
  4. John Constantine, Hellblazer Vol. 16: The Wild Card – Collects Hellblazer #175–188, written by Mike Carey.

  

  1. John Constantine, Hellblazer Vol. 17: Out of Season – Collects Hellblazer #189–201, written by Mike Carey.
  2. John Constantine, Hellblazer Vol. 18: The Gift – Collects Hellblazer #202–215, written by Mike Carey.
  3. John Constantine, Hellblazer Vol. 19: Red Right Hand – Collects Hellblazer #216–229, written by Mike Carey.

 

  1. John Constantine, Hellblazer Vol. 20: Systems of Control – Collects Hellblazer #230-238 and Hellblazer: All His Engines, written by Mike Carey and Andy Diggle.
  2. John Constantine: Hellblazer Vol. 21: The Laughing Machine – Collects Hellblazer #239-249 and Hellblazer Special: Lady Constantine #1-4, written by Andy Diggle.

The reading order followed to that point the new edition of the series. More volume will be published in the years to come, but at the moment Peter Milligan’s run must be read in another collection.

 

  1. John Constantine, Hellblazer: Pandemonium – This is an original graphic novel written by Jamie Delano with artist Jock.
  2. John Constantine, Hellblazer: Dark Entries – Another original graphic novel, this time from writer Ian Rankin and artist Werther Dell’edera.

   

  1. Hellblazer: Scab – Collects Hellblazer #251-255 and a story from #250.
  2. Hellblazer: Hooked – Collects Hellblazer #256-260.
  3. Hellblazer: India – Collects Hellblazer #261-266.
  4. Hellblazer: Bloody Carnations – Collects Hellblazer #267-275.

  

  1. Hellblazer: Phantom Pains – Collects Hellblazer #276-282.
  2. Hellblazer: The Devil’s Trenchcoat – Collects Hellblazer #283-291.
  3. Hellblazer: Death and Cigarettes – Collects Hellblazer #292-300 and Hellblazer Annual #1.

III. New 52 Constantine

At that point, DC Comics chose to take John Constantine out of the Vertigo imprint. He is now part of the main DC Comics universe. It’s a big departure for the series, in style, in tone and more. It’s kind of a soft Constantine, even if he is the same character. Well, not exactly the same, some elements of the story were retconned. It’s New 52 after all.

Before going back to his solo adventures, John Constanting joined the Justice League Dark.

   

  1. Justice League Dark Vol. 1: In the Dark – Collects Justice League Dark #1–6, written by Peter Milligan.
  2. Justice League Dark Vol. 2: The Books of Magic – Collects Justice League Dark #0, #7–13 and Annual #1, written by Jeff Lemire. Issues 7 & 8 are part of a crossover “Rise of the Vampires.” You can find the whole story in I, Vampire Vol. 2 collecting Justice League Dark #7–8 and I, Vampire #7–12.
  3. Justice League Dark Vol. 3: The Death of Magic – Collects Justice League Dark #14–21, written by Ray Fawkes.
  4. Constantine, Vol. 1: The Spark and the Flame – Collects Constantine #1-6, written by Jeff Lemire and Ray Fawkes.

   

  1. Justice League: Trinity War – Issues #5-6 of Constantine and issues #22-23 of Justice League Dark tie in to Trinity War. It’s a bit complicated to follow the event with this two series only. This TPB is the best way to read the whole story, if you are interesting.
  2. Constantine, Vol. 2: Blight – Collects Constantine #7-12, written by Ray Fawkes. Part of DC’s Forever Evil: Blight crossover.
  3. Forever Evil: Blight – Another crossover between Constanting, Justice League Dark and more (Pandora and Phantom Strange).
  4. Justice League Dark Vol. 4: The Rebirth of Evil – Collects Justice League Dark #22–29, written by J. M. DeMatteis. Issues #24–29 are part of Forever Evil: Blight crossover.

   

  1. Justice League Dark Vol. 5: Paradise Lost – Collects Justice League Dark #30–34, Justice League Dark: Futures End #1, written by J. M. DeMatteis.
  2. Constantine, Vol. 3: The Voice in the Fire – Collects Constantine #13-17 and Constantine: Futures End #1.
  3. Constantine, Vol. 4: The Apocalypse Road – Collects Constantine #18-23
  4. Justice League Dark Vol. 6: Lost in Forever – Collects Justice League Dark Annual #2, Justice League Dark #35–40, written by J. M. DeMatteis.

IV. Constantine: The Hellblazer (DC You)

For a short time before Rebirth, there was DC You and a short Constantine solo series.

 

  1. Constantine: The Hellblazer Vol. 1: Going Down – Collects Constantine: The Hellblazer #1-6, written by Ming Doyle and James Tynion IV.
  2. Constantine: The Hellblazer Vol. 2: The Art of the Deal – Collects Constantine: The Hellblazer #7-13, written by Ming Doyle and James Tynion IV.

V. Rebirth

The Big rebirth relaunch also touched The Hellblazer. Another solo series and now a new Justice League Dark series.

   

  1. The Hellblazer, Vol. 1: The Poison Truth – Collects The Hellblazer #1-6 and The Hellblazer Rebirth Special, written Simon Oliver.
  2. The Hellblazer, Vol. 2: The Smokeless Fire – Collects The Hellblazer #7-12, written Simon Oliver.
  3. The Hellblazer, Vol. 3: The Inspiration Game – Collects The Hellblazer #13-18, written Tim Seely and Richard Kadrey.
  4. Justice League Dark Vol. 1: The Last Age of Magic – Following Justice League: No Justice, there’s a new Justice League Dark written by James Tynion IV and Alvaro Martinez.