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Capes On the Couch - Where Comics Get Counseling

Mar 20, 2019

It's the magical conman from Liverpool, John Constantine! Anthony & Doc discuss this Sting lookalike and why he has so few friends. Plus hear the worst attempt at a Scouse accent you've ever heard!


  • Intro

    • Shoutout to Freudian Sips – mother-daughter duo have drinks and talk about brains, psychology, and all manner of interesting topics (NSFW) (2:32)

  • Background (5:37)

    • John Constantine created by Alan Moore, Steve Bissette, and John Totleben in The Saga of Swamp Thing #37 (June 1985)

    • Originally designed by the artists to look like Sting, since they were fans of the Police

    • Started off as a DC character, but shifted to Vertigo in 1993, where he essentially stayed for over 20 years until the New 52 combined the DC and Vertigo universes

    • In the Vertigo universe, he ages in real time, unlike most comic book characters

    • Born as a sole surviving twin – he inadvertently strangled his twin in the womb with his own umbilical cord – the birth also killed his mother, and his father resented him for her death

    • Discovered he is the latest in a long family line of mages known as Laughing Magicians

    • Ran away from home after messing up a curse on his father that left him frail

    • Moved to London in 1969, got involved with the occult, and started a punk rock band called Mucous Membrane

    • Also in a relationship with Zatanna Zatara, although it was revealed that he was bisexual

    • His first act of heroism - in an attempt to save a young girl, he summoned a demon, but did so incorrectly, and it took the girl to hell – the demon, Negral, became one of his recurring antagonists

    • Later met Swamp Thing, and helped teach him to become more powerful – one of John’s longest friends

    • A chain smoker, he contracted lung cancer – tricked one demon into drinking holy water, then sold his soul to another demon – rather than fight over it, the demons agree to cure him of his cancer

    • Later blackmails God to keep his soul out of Hell, because if he goes to Hell he will take over, release the demons and not care about what happens

    • Tries and fails to save his sister’s soul from Hell – demons get one over on him

    • New 52 – some small changes to backstory, but personality remains essentially the same

    • Gets transported to Earth-2, where he cooperates with that world’s version of himself until it’s revealed that one of them has to die in order to save Earth-2 – he kills the native Earth-2 version, but tricks Darkseid and manages to save a large number of survivors

  • Issues (20:44)

    • Difficulty keeping close relationships of any kind with people – most people are kept at a distance

    • Adrenaline addiction to dangerous and mysterious situations – also a nicotine addict (29:33)

    • Has magic ability, but often chooses not to use it unless he has to (36:29)

  • Treatment (44:53)

    • In universe

    • Out of universe

  • Skit (54:50)

  • Ending (61:12)


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