#ComicBytes: What makes John Constantine a unique character?
A violent occult detective, con-man, and magician from Liverpool, John Constantine is one of DC's most popular characters ever. In fact, a 2014 survey ranked him the third-most-popular comic book character of all time, after Batman and Superman. While Constantine does use dark arts to save his own soul and humans, what else makes this formidable anti-hero so unique? Let us find out.
Constantine's original look was inspired by the musician Sting
One of the leading heartthrobs in the '80s and lead singer of the band The Police, Sting was the visual inspiration behind this anti-hero. His portrayal of a demonic con-man in the film Brimstone and Treacle (1982) is believed to have inspired the look. Creator Alan Moore credits artists Steve Bissette and John Totleben for adapting Sting's look for Constantine's working-class warlock look.
The occult expert comes from a long line of magicians
A descendant from a long line of magic users, Constantine learned magic to escape his troubled and unhappy childhood. His fascination with occult grew over time. As a young adult, he started following occult circles in London, while living with his best friend, Chas Chandler. After a short stint in Punk music scene with his own band, Constantine eventually became a demon tricking detective.
Constantine's edgy personality made Hellblazer, Vertigo's longest running series
After his debut as a side character in Saga of the Swamp Thing series, Constantine got a solo series Hellblazer, which ran for 15 years and 300 titles in DC Comics' mature wing, Vertigo. His edgy and manipulative personality, where he used his wits rather than magic, to outsmart his opponents, became so popular that it was rebooted in DC's New 52.
His control over synchronicity is very unique in comic books
Synchronicity in magic is the belief that the universe is guiding you via random events and coincidences. Constantine can actually control synchronicity and use it as a highway to show up at the "right place" at the "right time". This ability is not a skill, but a Gift/Curse from his stillborn twin brother the Golden Boy, who Constantine strangled in their mother's womb.
He has many tricks up his sleeves
Over the years, Constantine has grown proficient in divination, demon summoning, cursing, golemancy, occlumency, necromancy, vivimancy, illusion, and other magical spells. In many instances, he was able to resurrect himself as well. An expert in basic stage magic tricks like hypnosis, sleight of hand, and escapology, this interesting occult detective is also a great marksman and owns a .357 Magnum.