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Issue 1, Hunger by Jamie Delano
- John: Pure reaction slams the door on the scuttling horror. I ought to just walk away and not come back. I feel like I've had my share of Bad Craziness for a while. But, like they say, you shouldn't join if you can't take a joke.
- Shaman: Enter. I had expected you sooner. The entrails of the she-goat indicated yesterday as the day of arrival.
- John: Yeah? Well, you can't rely on anything these days, can you? Where'd you learn your English, then?
- Shaman: You hear English. I do not speak English.
- John: That's neat. The Pentecost Effect. You could get a job at the United Nations.
- Shaman: I know you now. The Laughing Magician. I dreamt you once.
- John: Yeah? Hope you didn't wake up screaming.
Issue 2, A Feast of Friends by Jamie Delano
- Gary Lester: Why has this happened to me?
- John: [Thinking] He wouldn't understand. How some people are doomed from the word go. How they devour themselves -- searching for annihilation.
- John: On average it takes four minutes to smoke a cigarette. A bottle of whisky lasts two hours. But how bloody long can a man keep screaming?
Issue 3, Going for It by Jamie Delano
- John: [Thinking] I've never bothered with the cats for this ritual - too hard to catch, and they shriek like fury when you impale them. Anyway, all that messing about with rotten corpses and pain stuff is just to impress the marks - all you really need are the right contacts and a bit of nerve.
- John: [Aloud] Wake up Blathoxi, you bladder of bile. It's me, John Constantine. I want a word with you. C'mon, you pus-sac. Don't keep me waiting. I'm calling in your marker, now.
- [A demon dressed as a butler appears]
- John: Who the hell are you? I called for the lord of flatulence, not one of his discharges.
- Steward: In Hell I am the steward of the club wherein the Lord Blathoxi takes his ease. He commands me to inform you that your ritual was incompetent and insulting. You should have used the cats!
- First Demon: I think we're going to have to skin him and tan his hide.
- Second Demon: Good, I need some new seat-covers for the BMW.
Issue 4, Waiting for The Man by Jamie Delano
- Zed: Yuppies'd pay millions for this view. I get it for free and that makes it priceless.
- Zed: Remind me never to get in your debt.
- John: You can't avoid it, darlin'. It's what men and women are all about.
- Zed: Constantine, you've got the heart of a banker.
- John: But the soul of a gambler. It's what makes me so irresistible.
Issue 5, When Johnny Comes Marching Home by Jamie Delano
- Frank Ross: [Into Radio] This is bird-dog one to chicken-hawk control. We have a hot LZ, reference vector zero one lima two echo alpha. Request napalm. Repeat, request napalm.
- John: [Thinking] The words are a spell to summon fire from the sky -- American magic
Issue 6, Extreme Prejudice by Jamie Delano
- John: This isn't anarchy, it's chaos.
- John: I've left it too late to plan. The first moves have all been made -- I'll just have to wing it.
Issue 7, Ghosts in the Machine by Jamie Delano
- Ritchie Simpson: [To himself] There has to be a woman involved. John'd go to Hell and back if he thought there was some interesting sex in it.
- John: [Thinking] I'm cold, chilled to the marrow. I daren't even shut my eyes for fear of sleep and dreams. I feel like an old soldier attending, one by one, the funerals of war comrades. Ritchie was the last of the Newcastle team. Benjamin got it first -- from the Invunche, and me. Then Gary Lester -- from Mnemoth, and me. Now Ritchie's incinerated by The Tongues of Fire -- and me. Christ, it's been ten years. Will I never stop paying for that debacle?
- Ghost of Frank: We all gotta pay our dues, man.
- Ghost of Gary: Like you say, John. It's all a matter of Personal Responsibility.
- John: [Thinking] Would you credit it? The bloody ghosts are back. [Aloud] 'Lo, Frank. 'Lo Gaz. Should've known you spooks'd turn up at the first whiff of disaster. Where're the other Ambulance chasers? [turns and sees the ghosts of Emma, Sister Anne-Marie & Benjamin] Oh, Christ. It's "The Whole Sick Crew!"
Issue 8, Intensive Care by Jamie Delano
- Narration: Glastonbury: a place blessed in myth and legend. In this fertile earth - now draped in chilly, virgin sheets - it is said Joseph of Aramathea once planted his staff and watched it sprout into a sacred tree.
- John: So you're the joker behind The Damnation Army. Well, you're sniffing round the wrong lamppost here, chum. One thing I learned from my old dad: never volunteer.
- Nergal: An era is passing, Constantine. For centuries the realms of darkness and of light have shared the bounty of this world; grazing in roughly equal measures the vast rolling plains of human souls. Like Bison, occasionally locking horns for push and shove. But always the contest was circular: ground gained on one front was lost on another.
- John: All right, you can skip the primary meta-physics. Just give me the details, I'm out of grade-school now.
- John: You think I can use my relationship with Zed to throw a spanner in the works. And if I don't, you'll start eating babies out of spite?
- Nergal: Yes.
Issue 9, Shot To Hell by Jamie Delano
- John: What do you think it's like for me? I'm haunted half to bloody death. Everybody wants my arse: the law, the elementals, heaven, hell. And if I stay ahead of them, what's the future got for me? koff A bed on the cancer ward - if there's a national health service left by then. I'm tired, do you understand? The cards are bloody rubbish - I'm cashing in my chips. So bollocks to you.
- John: Sure sign I'm on the mend. I'm already back playing the old traitor's game.
Issue 10, Sex and Death by Jamie Delano
- Swamp Thing: He said that you should tremble 'till he chose his hour.
- John: Oh did he?
- Swamp Thing: He said 'Remember Newcastle'
- John: Oh bloody did he?!
- John: [Thinking] Remember Newcastle. I do. It fills my mind from Louisiana to London. And all the while I wade through scuttling humanity -- flotsam and jetsam, unconscious of the cosmic tides that wash them to and fro. Am I insane to care what happens to these stupid sheep? Is it some psychotic arrogance that drives me to save my species from itself?
Issue 11, Newcastle: A Taste Of Things To Come by Jamie Delano
- John: [Thinking] In those days we were young; not innocent but free. Excited, strong, the world was ours to shape according to our will. But that was then. Before Thatcher. Before the Falklands War. Before the country, starving, ate out it's own heart. Before Hell impaled and toasted us, writhing over the roaring fires of our own inadequacies.
Issue 14, The Fear Machine, Part 1: Touching the Earth by Jamie Delano
- John: [Thinking] You could bet your sodding life if I was one of those poncy, media-darling Super-Heroes and a couple of civilians got creamed in the cross-fire, no one'd even mention it. Christ, somebody would have bought the movie rights by now. It makes me sick. I save the world and the next thing you know I'm worse than a bloody terrorist. Even if I tried to explain, they'd never believe me. Sod 'em. I should just build a boat and sit in it -- smiling, watching as they all drown in their own stupidity.
- John: [Thinking] When I wake up, we're trundling across Salisbury Plain.
- Marj: Do you want to stop at the stones, Eddy?
- Eddy: Nah, it just brings me down to see them closed in behind those fences -- like prisoners.
- John: [Thinking] For a moment the standing stones loom -- ancient, silent, spectral -- in the peripheral glow of our headlights. Something about them recalls my morning dream -- refugees herded in a park.
- Eddy: Says it all when a country locks up its oldest sacred site and beats up people gathering there to worship, dunnit? Talk about Albion in chains.
- John: Well, I've never been much of a one for worshiping anything -- but if you're going to have a deity, then the earth seems like a pretty good choice to me.
Issue 18, The Fear Machine, Part 5: Hate Mail & Love Letters by Jamie Delano
- John: Since those bloody stories in The Sun, I've become the proverbial "mad, bad and dangerous to know." The only people who'll talk to me these days are the bloody hard-line satanists. You know the sort. Those sweaty little perverts with horrible skin diseases who can only get it up if it's been dipped in goat's blood first. And they think that bollocks is magic.
- John: About the last person I expected to find spending his hard-earned, honest-copper's pay on rip-off drinks for a hollow-legged old boiler was Detective Chief Inspector Geoff Talbot.
Issue 23, Larger Than Life by Jamie Delano
- John: [Thinking] Stupid, ennit? But you can't start a story and not find out how it ends.
- Holmes: No, you cannot enter there yet, Mister Constantine. Not yet.
- John: What'll happen to him?
- Holmes: He's guilty of disregarding certain prime literary laws. He has usurped the privilege of fleshly form -- usually granted only to those of us who have time-served apprenticeships, bound in copyright. Even then, Only those who win immortality through enduring fame are permitted to roam at will in the public domain.
- John: Sort of -- if you believe in magic, clap your hands?
- Holmes: Yes, poor Peter -- such a tragic lad.
- John: You said I couldn't go in there yet.
- Holmes: You do not strike me as a stupid man. Tell me, how many writers do you count your friends?
- John: Hmmm.
Issue 24, The Family Man by Jamie Delano
- John: [To himself] The sound of my voice is strange. It occurs to me that the last person I spoke to was a headcase pretending to be Sherlock Holmes - and that was more than a week ago. If I don't watch out, I'll be going stir crazy.
- John: Watch out! It's not very safe.
- H. Familiaris: Safety is a relative concept, Mister Constantine. It needs risk to define it. The duality of nature - what is happiness without a knowledge of it's lack?
- John: Or good without evil?
- John: [Thinking] No, I think I'd better just take the money and run. Sometimes I really wish there was a space in life where I could have a quiet ciggie and just take stock, as it were. Existence is so reactive - all ducking and diving. There's no time for strategy. Still, I shouldn't grumble, I could be dead - and that would be really boring.
- John: [Thinking] It was that old fatal flaw, I suppose, that unfillable emptiness - the addicts curse. We all know that craving - drugs, gambling, sex, religion, secrecy - but with Jerry it was a bit more complicated. His obsession was with trying to feed those bottomless pits of need. He was addicted to trade - the urgent intravenous rush of supply to demand.
- Or, maybe he was just a nutter.
Issue 25, Early Warning by Grant Morrison
- Una: I thought you might enjoy this carnival thing. A bit of the old pagan stuff.
- John: It's a queer old dump this, ennit? There's an atmosphere like waiting for a funeral.
- Una: I thought you might not come. Too many bad memories. We're only about twenty miles from Ravenscar here.
- John: Those were the days. Twitching and drooling in the ECT room. You still hearing the voices, then?
- Una: Only when I stop taking the tablets.
- Dr Poole: A door in the hill, Professor Horrobin?
- Horrobin: One cannot help but recall the old stories of mythical kings and giants asleep in the earth. Kings who will will rise again in times of England's greatest need. I tend to view the myth of the buried king as a metaphor. In each of us lies buried the 'God-King' of unfulfilled potential. How then to rouse the buried king? To goad the giant into wakefulness? That has been the subject of my work here, Doctor Poole. It is almost occult. The manipulation of these invisible energies may result in men like Angels.
- Dr Poole: Or devils perhaps?
- Horrobin: Science, they say, is the new religion and yet we build cathedrals under the ground. In the past, those christian architects built towards heaven. do we not build towards hell?
- Parson Bayliss: Ah yes, Jobs. Once upon a time, souls were traded for immortality or riches. Now we are bought and sold with the promise of jobs. The human spirit is devalued currency. How the devil must be laughing.
Issue 41, Dangerous Habits, Part 1: The Beginning of the End by Garth Ennis
- John: I'm the one who steps from the shadows, all trenchcoat and cigarette and arrogance, ready to deal with the madness. Oh, I've got it all sewn up. I can save you. If it takes the last drop of your blood, I'll drive your demons away. I'll kick them in the bollocks and spit on them when they're down and then I'll be gone back into darkness, leaving only a nod and a wink and a wisecrack. I walk my path alone... who would walk with me?
- John: Few people really think about dying... paranoids worry about it without really understanding it. Victims of fatal accidents and murder don't have time to think. You only really think about it if you take the time to. And you only take the time if you know it's going to happen.
Issue 43, Dangerous Habits, Part 3: Friends in High Places by Garth Ennis
- Ellie: The boss has been a bit ratty recently, but otherwise just the usual.
- John: Yeah, I was going to ask about him. How ratty is "Ratty"?
- Ellie: John, don't be so flippant. This isn't something you just brush off, you know. What were you thinking of? You poisoned him with Holy Water and smashed him in the face with a broken bottle, you idiot!
- John: Yeah, but...
- Ellie: He knows you're dying, John. He's just sitting down there and waiting, and when he shows up he's going to rip your soul to pieces. Very slowly. I mean, usually he doesn't get his hands on the ones he really hates, does he?
- John: Ellie, Brendan was my mate, for God's sake.
- Ellie: I hope that'll be some comfort to you when the pain begins. You've gotten him so angry it's frightening. All that fury that's built up over the aeons, with all those saints and martyrs and bloody good people slipping through his grasp... He's going to take all that out on you, John.
- Ellie: You can either try repenting your sins, so you don't go to Hell and he can't get his hands on you...
- John: My sins? I doubt it. The good lord would probably just speak down from on high, saying "Pull the other one, John me boy"
- Ellie: Maybe the elemental could help... Clean out your system or something, and regrow all the messed-up tissue?
- John: I doubt it. We're not on the best of terms these days, to tell you the truth. He's busy anyway. Too busy to help me. The big green git can be one ungrateful bastard, sometimes. You'd never guess if it wasn't for me he'd be somebody's compost heap, would you? Wanker.
- John: You're okay, Ellie, you know that? I mean, considering what it is that you actually are, you're pretty decent.
- Ellie: I don't think so, John. I think I'm just polite.
- John: [After meeting with Ellie] I might say "Hell of a girl" if I ever stooped to wordplay.
- Gabriel: You should leave now, don't you agree?
- John: No. No, I don't. I think you do owe me.
- Gabriel: Oh?
- John: Yeah, I think you owe me an explanation, pal. I want to know why I'm going through all this shit.
- Gabriel: You are dying of lung cancer because you have been smoking thirty cigarettes a day since you were seventeen years old. And you are going to hell because of the evil you have done. Would you like me to remind you of some of it?
- John: Don't trouble yourself.
- John: [To Gabriel] That's your problem, mate. The whole bloody lot of you just wander about like a pack of wankers, seeing everything in black and white. You were right that you'll never understand us, okay -- And I'll tell you something else... You're the sodding problem, not us! You're the ones that make the frigging rules for us and you don't even understand us! No wonder we're screwed up!
- John: [To himself] I get the feeling I'm coming at this from the wrong angle, somehow... I'm missing something. I know I am. I'm doing something wrong. Wait a sec. Not wrong... different.
- I'm running about the place, looking for help from other people... but -- But I usually rely on myself, Don't I? Right, then. Do it yourself. Think it through. The problem is that I'm damned 'cos Hell has laid claim to my soul... No. No, that's not it. Hell hasn't done it. Hell's a place, not a person... It's him. But if I'm dealing with someone... Holy Shit! Oh, that's sneaky. That is sneaky and crazy and up the bloody wall. But it actually might work!
Issue 44, Dangerous Habits, Part 4: My Way by Garth Ennis
- John: All I ever wanted was for the world to be free of your kind, whether you were here in Parliament or in senate or junta or Hell or Heaven. Maybe that's pointless, then. Maybe the people are too small and scared to be free. Maybe they want you there, shitting all over them. But like a salesman who's only too eager to sew up his market and stitch up his customers, you're happy enough to exploit that. Aw, sod it. Sod you. For whatever it's worth, you were always the enemy. So you can listen to what I have to say. Matt was right. I'm not ashamed. I'm not ashamed.
Issue 47, The Pub Where I Was Born by Garth Ennis
- John: I half expected a visit from Kit. She left me alone after Matt's funeral, knowing I'm not the type who wants non-stop comfort and a shoulder to cry on. Not me. I'm macho, y'see. I'd rather brood for ages and stew in my own misery, then be pulled back from the brink of nervous breakdown at the eleventh hour. Us lads are like that.
- John: [Thinking] Haven't had a fag all day. That's quite good, come to think of it. It's nearly six o'clock and I've done bugger all today. Here I am sitting in the park. Usually when I go for a stroll, something happens. I run into a crazy girl who's the new blessed virgin, or some mad sod who turns into a bulldog.
Issue 48, Love Kills by Garth Ennis
- John: Right, arsehole -- First of all we're gonna clean all this shit out of your office so the cleaners don't tip off the filth -- and then me, you and your checkbook are going to have a little chat. And if you end up a few cards short of the full deck in the process, that's your tough shit.
Issue 50, Remarkable Lives by Garth Ennis
- King of Vampires: You're bitter, aren't you? Then again, I've yet to meet a sorcerer whom you could call easy-going. Why don't you like them?
- John: 'Cause they're all wankers. I mean, doesn't everything just go perfectly for them? A little bit of buggering about with spells and shit and Bingo! Problem solved! And look at me, for christ's sake! I can barely hold it together day to day! You're right, you really are. Easy-going? Never! Just look at them all! Ever met the stranger? Or the Baron? Or Doctor... shit, what's his name... well, whatever, there's loads of bloody doctors!
- King of Vampires: You seem very sure of yourself, you little mortal bastard, so I'll tell you what.... If you can tell me why your ordinary, piss-boring life is better than mine, you can walk out of here alive. If you can't, I'll cut your throat and drink my fill and leave you half alive forever.
- John: Easy. Can you go for a walk in the park and hear the birds sing in the morning? Can you kiss a girl and know she loves you? Can you go out and get pissed with your mates? I can. And just so we're sure who's better off, why don't we sit here together and watch the sun come up in an hour or so?
Issue 52, Royal Blood, Part 1: The Players by Garth Ennis
- John: Okay, Marston--- You've got what looks like a summoning, little blade marks all over the floor, and two corpses that look like they got hit in the same way as that kid this morning. Now I wonder why I'm here.
Issue 53, Royal Blood, Part 2: Revelations by Garth Ennis
- John: David Hezlet's a Scots Guards Lieutenant, splendid young chap who pisses me off just by existing.
Issue 62, End of the Line by Garth Ennis
- John: [Thinking] Anger makes things seem easy. Go out, fix the bastard, feel better, go home. If only.
- John: You stupid bastard. D'you know what would've happened if she'd put blood on that board?
- Robbie Brooks: What? Wh-why are you angry with me? I mean, she'd be doing the stuff you do! Why aren't you proud?!
- John: [Thinking] No, it wasn't going to be easy. It was more than some little turd getting his kicks by screwing up kids.
- Robbie: I m-mean, what'd I do wrong, eh?
- John: Shut up. Corvus Infernae. Districulum Carnavarius - Oculari Archa Del Maleficuum Carriondum.
- Robbie: What?!
- John: Thrice Bound.
- Robbie: No! Stop!
- John: Thrice Cursed.
- Robbie: Nooooo!
- John: Thrice Damned. Sacred arcana. Magus stuff.
- Robbie: Oh God!
- John: You ever go near Gemma Masters again, arsehole, you'll find out what a real curse is.
- Robbie: Oh God. Oh No! Pleeeeease...
- John: No point in begging, son. You can't reverse High Magic.
- Robbie: NO!
- John: [Thinking] To be honest, it was just some old load of shit I made up off the top of my head. Good enough for him, though.
- John: [Thinking] It's something in me I've always known about, but never had the balls to face... A vicious, twisted little shit of a thing that scrabbles in the dark and giggles to itself -- it can kill a child in the womb or hurt a little girl just cos she's the wrong guy's niece. I call it Fate.
- John Constantine: But something else we do, we all try to buck fate. Right down to the last drop of blood, we struggle all the way. Stubborn friggers.
- Harry Constantine: Maybe it's all we've got.
- Harry Constantine: We've let a moments warmth put off decision's chill.
- John: [Thinking] It's no failure to be the last Constantine... 'cos now no one else has to be.
Issue 63, Forty by Garth Ennis
- John: [Thinking] I hardly notice winter turning into spring. I'm drifting through the days and doing nothing., ignoring the magician's need to scrabble in the dark.. It's not that I'm content, bastards rule and wankers whine and berks bend over, cheeks spread wide... Sod it, I dunno.
- John: [Thinking] Bugger it. Since when did I ever have a happy birthday anyway? Forty years of knives in the back, that's all I've managed. Forty bloody years...
- The Lord of the Dance: You've plenty of friends, Johnny. Just have to know where to look for them. I did.
- Header: Is he the same Nigel Archer wanted tae do the Voodoo on Thatcher, aye?
- John: That's him, Header.
- Ellie: Bloody idiot... I mean, didn't he know who she had on her side?
- John: What's up, Mange?
- Rabbit: Effin' shite. Effin irony, he said. Puts me mind into the effin' rabbit off me stage act, like. irony
- John: You still do that trick where you pull a magician out of a hat?
- Rabbit: Gimme a hat an I'll effin' show you.
- The Stranger: I had hoped we could ignore the cold facade that our kind deems so necessary, if only at this time of celebration. But I see there will be no hands clasped against the dark this night... I see I must remain a stranger.
- John: You invited him? Bloody hell, mate!
- Lord of the Dance: Aw, come on. You two go back ages...
- Swamp Thing: Invited... to what? I am becoming... impatient...
- John: Well, now you know how I feel, trying to talk to a bloke who speaks at sod all miles an hour! Grow some extra vocal chords, you berk!
- Swamp Thing: I must go now. My family... needs... my protection...
- John: Right. Look, for what it's worth right... I'll try and leave you alone from now on, okay?
- Swamp Thing: You are very drunk, Constantine. Goodbye.
- Zatanna: So how did you meet John, Nigel?
- Nigel: Well... Our student union was haunted, right? This Sociology student jumped out a window on acid, an' then he came back... So Constantine showed up out of nowhere and said he could get rid of it. I thought he was going to do an exorcism... Thing was, he said it was the crappest ghost he'd ever seen... He just walked up to it and said "Piss off." And it did.
- Zatanna: m'I tuo fo ym ecaf...
- Lord of the Dance: [To Constantine] You're not perfect. You usually end up covered in blood with the shit kicked out of you, pissed off at all the bastards with the power that you just can't touch...
Issue 72, Damnation's Flame, Part One: Brave New World by Garth Ennis
- Papa Midnite: Zeerke, it has been a long uphill struggle, has it not? From orphan to Catamite to fully-fledged piece of excrement. Not so much a man as a smear... I can ensure that the descent will be much, much faster, if you like.
- Papa Midnite: No Doubt?
- Zeerke: Hey, look -- raincoat, suit an' tie, chain smokin' them shitty British cigarettes an' that friggin' unbelievable accent -- Who does that sound like to you?
- Papa Midnite: Why didn't he recognise you?
- Zeerke: That's the thing, papa, that's the friggin' thing -- He's changed. Shit, changed, he's a regular wimp -- in he comes, right? he looks at me and I crap in my pants and then I see he's looking clean through me. I ain't changed jackshit about me since '83, an' I'm the guy who stuck the gauge up Cox's ass an' covered Constantine's stupid coat in guts -- an' he didn't friggin' realize. It gets better. He's sittin' there, talkin' about friggin' Dublin with the old guy at the bar -- I wait two hours an' he's talkin' like some arsehole fresh off the boat. No sinister shit. No shady mothers showin' up... So you know what I do?
- Papa Midnite: Enthrall me.
- Zeerke: I stick a Malboro in my mouth, I walk up to him an' the prick gives me a friggin' light.
- Papa Midnite: And?
- Zeerke: And I walk out, no problem. I'm tellin' you, papa -- He's lost it.
- Receptionist: And how will you be paying, Mr Constantine?
- John Constantine: Actually, luv, I won't. But you just put that I have in your computer wotsit, eh? and bung up some sarnies and a six-pack on room service, while you're at it.
- Receptionist: That'll do nicely sir. Enjoy your stay.
Issue 73, Damnation's Flame, Part Two: Broadway The Hard Way by Garth Ennis
- Guide: Folks're around, y'know, here and there. We all hangin' out in the park, like I said.
- John: Central Park's supposed to be a bloody nightmare, according to the news. What about that girl got raped, what was it, twenty times?
- Guide: Her name Liberty?
- John: Liberty?
- Guide: In the park, ho' gettin' raped. Name of Liberty.
Issue 76, Confessions of an Irish Rebel by Garth Ennis
- John: "Good evening ladies and gentlemen. We hope you're enjoying this British Airways flight from New York to London. Unfortunately, because the Boeing 747 aircraft is a thirty-year-old pile of shit and should've been scrapped a long time ago, we are encountering technical difficulties which will require us to land at Dublin instead. Naturally, we don't give a bollocks about the inconvenience this will cause, and would just like to add - gleefully - that no refund will be possible. We hope you've enjoyed being shafted by British Airways, and look forward to seeing you again in the future." That wasn't exactly what they said, but you get the idea.
- John: [on Dublin] There's something about a town where nothing gets done 'cos they're all in the boozer talking about the best way to do it.
- John: What was dying like?
- Brendan: Could've done it in me sleep.
- John: You did.
- Brendan: There yeh are, then.
- John: Tell you who else is dead, came as a complete surprise: Terry Butcher. Header did him in.
- Brendan: Oh? I'd heard he ended up in a pie. D'yeh remember the time he lost his head wi' me? 'Cause I laughed at his idea for the book about the serial killer?
- John: Was that "The Noise of the Sheep?"
- Brendan: I tried to tell him, but what can yeh do?
Issue 78, Rake at the Gates of Hell Part 1 by Garth Ennis
- John: Christ, I hope she's strong enough. After this it starts getting nasty.
Issue 79, Rake at the Gates of Hell Part 2 by Garth Ennis
- John: It's just the way of it, son. We all sell our souls sooner or later.
Issue 81, Rake at the Gates of Hell Part 4 by Garth Ennis
- John: Now I'm just like the bastards I've hated all me life.
- John: You're not getting the bloody bible out are you?
- Father Kellaway: Yes, I am. I think you need it.
- John: Got all the bog roll I need.
- Father Kellaway: This is the word of god!
- John: The edited word of God. Your mob had that little book locked away in Rome for a thousand years, Father. D'you know how much they chopped out? Changed? Made up?
- Father Kellaway: They were Holy Men
- John: They were wankers. They screwed everything that moved, killed anyone who messed them about and fed off the suckers they preached to... What would've stopped them doing a quick re-write on that thing?
- Father Kellaway: I don't know what you think gives you the right to pass judgement on the Catholic Church.
- John: First Priest I ever met tried to cut my dick off with a razor blade. That do it?
- Father Kellaway: ... What's that got to do with rewriting the scriptures?
- John: And they couldn't even do it properly, could they? Ever wondered why he's a god of Vengeance in the Old Testament and Love in the new one? Why An eye for an eye becomes Turn the other cheek
- Father Kellaway: But...
- John: Shut up for a minute, will you? And what about the end of it? "Love me or you'll burn in hell!" That sounds like a spoilt kid!
- Father Kellaway: It isn't for us to judge...
- John: I said SHUT UP! I'll Judge! I'll judge whatever I soddin' well want! That's all the pricks've left me!
- Father Kellaway: Who?
- John: THE PRICKS WITH THE POWER! I tell you what, Father, the next time you're talking to your lord - You tell him from me, right, you tell him Constantine won't give in. You tell him no matter how bad or sad it gets, how much it falls to bits on me. How many holes there are in me worthless soddin' life... [Grips Kellaway's Bible] I'll never plug 'em with this Bollocks!
Issue 82, Rake at the Gates of Hell Part 5 by Garth Ennis
- John:You came back to find me: here I am. Whatever you want to do, wherever you want to go, just say the word and I'll do it. You want me to leave London and give up magic and even knock off the soddin' Silk Cut, no problem. Anything . Anything at all. I'm yours.
- Kit: I'm sorry...
- John: No. I don't want it. I don't want sorry, I don't want just friends, it's just bollocks that's what it is!
Issue 83, The End of Rake at the Gates of Hell by Garth Ennis
- [John, dying of lung cancer, coughs up blood while the First of the Fallen stands over him and gloats]
- The First of the Fallen: The air pressure alters and the air fills up with artichokes/A smell of piss and sodium, a noise like bitches twisting inwards, caught and left for carrion/(Razorlight, Razorlight)/And/I/Fall.
- John: What the fuh- hch-- What are you on about?
- The First of the Fallen: It's your friend's poetry. The twenty-nine-year-old teenage rebel. Execrable, isn't it? How does a bitch twist inwards? And is it only me, or do poems that don't rhyme reflect a fundamental lack of effort?
- [Hugging Helen goodbye]
- John: When I let her go, it felt like life itself was slipping through me fingers.
Issue 94, Critical Mass Part Three: The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by Paul Jenkins
- John: [Thinking] Instead of waking up, I find myself stuck in the abyss. I'm aware of another -- different -- presence here with me, and it doesn't escape me how easily this lot can find their way inside my dreams. No rest for the wicked, eh? I find myself floating through the darkness, helplessly. And I'm thinking how if God's up the other end of this tunnel, he'll be fairly surprised when my boot gets lodged up his bum. 'Course, that would be asking too much, wouldn't it?
- John: Oh... S'you.
- The Stranger: Forgive my intrusion into your dream, John Constantine. I thought you might wish to talk.
- John: Oh, what a stroke of luck -- The phantom bloody face queen. What makes you think I need to talk to you?
- The Stranger: Wait -- Your resentment is understandable, Constantine. But I was given permission by the Dream Lord to be here -- he allowed me this place. Will you allow me a chance to help you, before you wake?
- John: Don't bloody flatter yourself, mate. I need your help like I need an extra bollock.
- The Stranger: Then you must use this to your advantage. Take the bad and turn it...
- John: [Interrupting] Oh, just give the cryptic bloody palaver a rest, will you? I've heard it all before... It's too late, mate. Nothings going to work. I'm going all to hell.
- The Stranger: All to hell? Or just that part of you that deserves to go? Remember the demon blood.
- John: You clever little shite... Why? Why help me out, just like that?
- The Stranger: For balance, John Constantine.
Issue 98, Walking the Dog by Paul Jenkins
- John: [Thinking] Marvelous, innit? I can just picture those sanctimonious celestial bastards plotting the day's festivities over breakfast... "Know what?" Says the God of Thunder "I'm piss-bored, I am." "So am I." Says the God of War "Any ideas?" "I know," says the God of Mayhem "Let's fuck with Constantine again."
Issue 100, Sins of the Father by Paul Jenkins
- John: Magic's just when you trick the universe into believing some incredibly outrageous lie. Believe me, I know what I'm talking about -- I've told a few corkers in my time. Like any habitual liar, though, I spend far too much time these days trying to cover my grubby little tracks. All that bluster and bravado and bullshit -- you get a right nasty headache just thinking about it.
- Deceit piled upon deceit. Magic upon magic.
- Oh what a tangled web we weave, eh?
- 'Course, when you tell just one tall tale too many, you can run into problems. It's like stumbling in from the pub one night to find the universe standing there with its arms crossed, tapping its foot, waiting for you to explain. Suddenly, you're scrambling, contradicting some inane bit of bollocks you came out with years ago -- something you've completely forgotten about. Desperately, you try to remember who did what to whom, and when. You're reaching wildly for the first thing that comes to mind. Now, the universe -- who's twigged to the fact that you're just taking the piss -- removes it's jacket very deliberately. It steps forward , throws you an uppercut... And you're flat on your arse before you have a chance to protest.
- So you try to distract it, to change the subject somehow. "You'll never guess what I can do," you say "watch this." And you proceed to put all the useless bits of yourself into someone else, and have that person carted off to hell in your place. The universe just looks at you suspiciously for a moment, and then says "Ooh, that was a good one!"
- But just when you think you're home free -- as you wipe the blood from your lip with relief -- the bastard suddenly remembers that you've pulled this sort of thing before. And it points out, in no uncertain terms, all the flaws in your dodgy scheme. And that's when the real trouble starts.
- First of the Fallen: Ever read Dante, Constantine? Revolting little dago hack -- good stories, poor execution?
Issue 120, Desperately Seeking Something by Paul Jenkins
- John: D'you know what this is? It's our tenth bloody anniversary.
- John: Marvelous, eh? I mean, ten years coming in here every month like fucking clockwork. Me telling stories an' you listening... An' you know what's weird? Having an existential crisis in the middle of a boozer, that's what's weird.
- John: You see him over there? Old mate of mine... from before I was even a player. Introduced me to a lot of people, he did. Back when I was nobody.
- But him, he was full of clever bloody ideas. Got me involved in a lot of mad shit... next thing I know, I'm in knee-deep with the soddin' cabbage club. My life's been a bloody mess ever since.
- Ah, well... Those were the days, eh? We've dropped out of touch a bit since then. I mean, we run into each other from time to time, like, but nothing much of consequence. Still... you know... [John raises a glass to the shadowed figure] Cheers, man.
- John: Lies, bluster and bullshit -- If they could bottle it, some big chemical company'd make a killing.
- John: 'Cause you get to thinking, don't you? About the point of it all, like... where you fit into it all. Take this place, for example: in here, even the daftest fish tale seems feasible. It's almost too good to be true -- the perfect blend of beer and banter and bullshit. As if it was written that way, or something. :
- What you saw outside today... Arch an' Chloe an' all that... What are you supposed to make of that, eh? I mean, my world's about magic an' lies an' old mates with shady pasts -- Who's to say any of it's real? Or me for that matter. Am I simply this -- black lines on white paper, an iconic representation of an idea? Or am I as real as you are? Maybe the real question isn't "what is real and what's a lie?" Maybe it's "what is reality?"
- Ah well, you've spent the better part of the last ten years in here, listening to my fish tales, so you already know the answer to that one, don't you? Reality's just a story that's taken on a life of it's own. Cheers.
Issue 121, Up the Down Staircase: Part 1 by Paul Jenkins
- John: Well, that just about confirms it, the Ayatollah was right: America is well and truly fucked.
Issue 122, Up the Down Staircase: Part 2 by Paul Jenkins
- John: [Voiceover] They say if a dog bites you once, blame the dog. If it bites you twice, blame yourself. If it bites you again, get rid of the bastard. If only it were that easy.
- John: Hello, Lenny. I knew you'd still be here.
- Lenny: Oh, Jesus... Jesus Christ!
- John: Nah, you must have me confused with someone of the same initials, mate. Still nickel and diming it, I see.
- John: [Voiceover] Too bad. Lenny had the potential to be one of the all-time big boys on the magical scene -- a prognosticator par excellence. He had this way of taking a problem, sorting through all possibilities and finding a viable path, just by intuition. All you had to do was give him a couple of key words.
- There was this one time, well... It's a bit of a long story, really. Suffice to say that me, Lenny, and a few mates ended up in a spot of bother in foreign climes. We needed a way out in a hurry, so I sort of let slip the names of a couple of useful demons. It was his job to call them up and see if they could be persuaded.
- Too much information must've squeezed the poor bastard too hard, 'cause he went fifty miles over the edge. He's been hiding in the shadows ever since.
- Given the benefit of hindsight, I probably should've mentioned to him that I knew what was going to happen.
Issue 129, Son of Man, Part 1 by Garth Ennis
- John: We are not children of celestial fuckin' light, walkin' arm-in-arm into the Age of Aquarius. We are wankers who wreck the planet an' piss on each other, 'til half the world's starvin' an' the other half's busy findin' new ways to keep from noticin' it. That's the fuckin' limit've our potential, believe me.
- [On hating children]
- John: I know, I know. "You were one once." I was a sperm once, but you don't see me wantin' to cuddle up to a fuckin' wankstain, do you?
Issue 130, Son of Man, Part 2 by Garth Ennis
- Church Congregation: Satan! I'm worshipping Satan!/'Cause Satan has the things I adore.../Satan! I'm worshipping Satan!/'Cause Satan keeps me stocked with drugs and whores!
- Mrs Potter: How are we supposed to worship alongside these-- these perverts? These practitioners of the black arts? This is blasphemy!
- Rick the Vic: Mrs Potter, that's what the church of the blessed reconciliation is all about... How can we expect our dear lord god to welcome his fallen angel back into the fold, to love the unlovable-- if we ourselves turn our Satanic bretheren away from our door? Please, Mrs Potter. In the name of universal peace: share your hymnbook with Lord Gorgamoth Scumflagon.
- Brendan: What in the name've Jaysis is he doin' this for?
- John: Bet with the Pope.
Issue 132, Son of Man, Part 4 by Garth Ennis
- John: Some soddin' possessed brat's about to rip this town apart an' God knows what else an' all of a sudden big bleedin' expert Chas Chandler turns into a fuckin' necromancer? Do me a favour...!
- Chas: 'Least I know how to drive a cab.
- John: Gettin' pretty fuckin' lippy in your old age, aren't you?
Issue 133, Son of Man, Part 5 by Garth Ennis
- Fuckpig: You belong here, don't you, Constantine? This is your world. Eyelids slit off and babies on hooks. Guttings and rapings. I swear to fuck, yours is the kind of life serial killers wank off to.
Issue 134, Haunted, Part 1 by Warren Ellis
- Detective Inspector Watford: [On seeing a boy inhaling from an aerosol] I had one like 'im the other day. Little girl. She did five cans of that. Froze her lungs solid. Nine years old.
- John: Hello, Watford. Life in the police still a little ray of sunshine every day, is it?
- Detective Inspector Watford: Never been a better time to be a copper, John. Thought we'd miss a Tory government something chronic, you know? But this new lot: "tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime." Great stuff. Things get worse every bleedin' day. It's like Maggie never left office. Lovely jubbly.
- Clarice: John, I've known you a long time. I know you. I've known what you are since I went down on you in Highgate Cemetery when you were twenty-four years old. You're an adrenaline junkie. Don't turn some poor dead girl into today's fix. She can't deserve that.
Issue 138, Haunted, Part 5 by Warren Ellis
- Clarice: Talk to me, John.
- John: Dead girlfriends, Clarice.
- Clarice: Ah. Your favourite drug.
- John: And magic.
- Clarice: Your favourite fuck.
Issue 139, Haunted, Part 6 by Warren Ellis
- John: My name's John Constantine, and here I stay: haunted by London. And London, haunted by me.
Issue 143, Telling Tales by Warren Ellis
- Man: I got into a fight with this bloke last night. Didn't like the way he was looking at me girlfriend, know what I mean? Weird fucker, he was, all covered in tattoos and shit. And, you know, I was a bit lagered up, know what I mean? He hit me. Here. And his hand was all twisted up when he did it, and he was laughing. So I go to the bog this morning, and... well, I've got it in the bag here. I think I shat out me own heart.
Issue 164, Highwater, Part 1 by Brian Azzarello
- [John is joined by the ghost of Lucky, missing his bottom jaw]
- John: Was wonderin' when I might see you again. Cigarette? So how goes the afterlife, Lucky?
- [Lucky writes ACHES on a pad]
- John: 'Course it does. You were expecting anything else?
Issue 175, High on Life, Part 1 by Mike Carey
- Angie: I'm into [magic] meself. I can probably help you.
- John: Okay. So who are the big players locally? If I want my wife's toy boy to start shitting razorblades, who do I go to?
- Angie: Oh, for fuck's sake!
- John: What about zombies? Say I want to shag one, or rent a few to work someone over. Or I'm desperate to score a pint or so of baby blood. Where's the best place to buy?
- Angie: Is that the lot, or is there more after the adverts?
- John: I'm just making a point, love. Magic's a nasty game. Go and play with your dad's chainsaw instead.
Issue 176, High on Life, Part 2 by Mike Carey
- John: [Narrating] I suppose any city's got a day shift and a night shift. But Liverpool's seriously schizophrenic. Maybe it's a Freudian thing -- the Ego and the Id in their old lockstep. During the day the Catholics are repressed and the Protestants have got their work ethic. But on county road at two in the morning the pot bubbles over, big time. And you can forget all that stuff about the dawn coming up like thunder. Around here it comes up like sirens.
- Detective Inspector Watford: It's half past three in the sodding ante meridian. Whoever you are, your organs of generation are hanging in the balance. Speak.
- John: You couldn't find a balance big enough for my balls, Watford. Are you ready to play "Inspector Fuckwit Investigates"?
- Detective Inspector Watford: Constantine, Interpol has got you down as dead. If you're looking for directions, move towards the light.
- John: Can't, your fat arse is blocking the view.
- Detective Inspector Watford: I can put two and two together as well as the next man, Constantine. But simple addition isn't always a good career move.
- John: Passive Scrying. [...] Lazy man's magic. It's like bumming a lift to the book of revelation. You get yourself in the right mood and let the world give you the answers.
- Gladys: You're a very clever man, Mister Collier.
- John: Just free association, Gladys. A kid showed me his works and it all fell into place. You're an addict, aren't you? [Gladys glares] That was a question, love. Answer it, or you'll never get the stains out of the Axminster.
- Gladys: I was beautiful once. There were men who would have murdered their own Mothers for a kiss from me. You wouldn't understand.
- John: Yeah? Well I understand this shit well enough. Slivers of flesh from the dead so you can snort their memories. Get high on their lives. Why'd you go for hookers, though?
- Gladys: I like the romance. The hanky panky. Bad girls get a lot of that. The pain I just pour away.
- John: Which is why this place is as calm as a zen garden, and the rest of the block is full of mad, lost little ghosts. I could fucking well slap you, Gladys, as old as you are.
- Angie Spatchcock: Smoking's a filthy habit.
- John: Yeah, I know. Be the death of me, et cetera. If I'm lucky.
Issue 177, Red Sepulchre, Part 1 by Mike Carey
- Chas: Some sort of junk dealer, was he?
- John: Fence, more like. Broker. Procurer. Horse brasses in the window. Dead men's hands and batshit grimoires round the back.
- John: I've already blown my cover, so I may as well drop my pants and bugger it properly.
- John: Like I said, this is personal. Is there something I should know?
- Clarice: I thought you knew everything, dear. That's always been your charm.
- Clarice: Watch yourself, John. Don't go dying on us again. It never has as much impact the second time around.
Issue 178, Red Sepulchre, Part 2 by Mike Carey
- John: The hair around the hilt of the dagger...
- Fredericks: Hers, of course. Your niece Gemma's. And she has eaten my bread, and drunk my wine. And answered to her name when I spoke it against the glass of a mirror. In short, she lives or dies as I decide.
Issue 179, Red Sepulchre, Part 3 by Mike Carey
- John: Well, first off, it wasn't a Constantine. It was a Quinn --- me mother's side of the family. A gormless little pantsleg called Aloysius. He was in Jabalpur with the British Army in 1840. Stamping out the cults. By stamping on the locals. Hard. Which for reasons of satire we refer to as The White Man's Burden.
- In southern India the cultists called themselves the Phansigar -- The Deceivers. They thought Murder was a religious duty. Like very vigorous praying. "Come and see the Shumseea. He knows all the names, all the temples. Everything." If Aloysius had been a Constantine, he'd never have never fallen for a line like that. But he was a Quinn. Poor bloody infantry with a 'Kick Me' sign on his back for all the world to see. So he said "Yeah, take me to your leader"
- It was a two-for-one deal. He got to see the Shumseea - the bloke who holds your hands behind your back. And the Bhurtote -- The bloke who finishes you off.
- They'd never done a white man before. That's why they killed him with the Red Sepulchre -- the holy of holies. It was a big honour.
- Then they took him out the back to the charnel pit, and they threw him in. Only the poor bastard wasn't dead. Not quite.
- Fredericks: This is not the darkie sunday school, mister Constantine. According to this version of the story, the Red Sepulchre is -- ?
- John: A weapon. Made by Jamadar Goor, the leader of the sect. A weapon blessed by Kali, the death goddess. So the souls of everyone it's ever killed stay inside it. Hence the name, see?
- John: They got Aloysius out of there three days later. Raving, Crying and Stinking of Gangrene. Had to amputate an arm and a leg to keep him alive. He lived to ripe old age, and he told his story to any sod who'd listen. Never told it the same way twice, though. And he was always cagey about what they'd actually done to him. But he swore to God his soul was in the Red Sepulchre. Only his body had come back from India. And when he died they had his wake with the coffin lid closed, to hide his face.
- John: [Looking into a mirror] Map? Are you still hanging around? I'm buggered if I'm going to say "Mirror Mirror".
- Map: [Appears as a face in the mirror] I'm here, John Constantine.
- John: Good. Because there's enough shit going down to manure the whole of Kent. And I need some backup. I'm thinking of Gutta Inferna or the Stolen Light dodge. Follow my lead, yeah?
- John: [Dismissing Kali] Off you go, Darlin'. We'll call you.
Issue 182, Black Flowers Part 1 by Mike Carey
- Slimy Demon: I am the emissary of King Arawn Pen Annuvin, who wishes you health and plenty.
- John: Plenty of what? Mucus on my duvet?
Issue 185, Third Worlds, Part 2: Ordeal by Mike Carey
- Angie: All right. Bottom line? I'm a Spatchcock. My dad was a docker. My mam was a cleaner at the metal box factory. Our Jason's touched in the head. And there hasn't been a wedding in the family for three generations where the bride wasn't at least three months gone. But we've never voted Tory, or crossed a picket line, or seen a fight on and kept walking. I'm a Spatchcock. Family honor and all that.
Issue 186, Third Worlds, Part 3: The Pit by Mike Carey
- Angie: You're going to stoke up on magic mushrooms and talk to ghosts?
- John: I'm going to take a dream walk. Find some of the locals and have a chat. This is a quick and easy way to get started.
- Angie: And this is all historically authentic, is it? The torches? the mushrooms? The stripping down to your y-fronts?
- John: I told you, they died out. And they didn't have a written language. This just-- just felt--
- Angie: A) Pretentious. B) Stupid. C) A good excuse to get naked. Jesus wept!
Issue 194, Ward 24 by Mike Carey
- Peter Gill: Thank Christ I can put this thing away now. I hate guns. Killing someone with a gun-- that's like shagging with a rubber on.
Issue 202, Reasons to be Cheerful: Part 1: by Mike Carey
- John: If this is a joke -- I am not frigging well laughing.
- Keith: Look, I told you, mate. We're a club. Five quid for membership and then five quid to get in, innit?
- John: Six weeks ago you were a bloody guest house.
- Keith: Landlady topped herself, didn't she? In all that mass hysteria wossname. Now issa club. and you got to pay to come in.
- John: All my stuff is in one of the upstairs rooms.
- Keith: Not any more it isn't. We chucked a load of shit out. And I'm gonna chuck you out unless you fork over a tenner, Pronto. [John turns to leave] Yeah, you come back when you can get it up, tosser. [John turns back from the door]
- John: What's your name, pal?
- Keith: Eh? Iss Keith, innit. I thought I told you to piss off.
- John: [Puts his hand on Keith's head] It's a pity about Keith's TV set, Belshazzar. Baphomet, It's a pity about Keith's bowels. It's a pity, Belial, about Keith's erectile dysfunction. [John walks out]
- Keith: You come in here again and I'll fucking do you. You doss cunt. [Keith's television switches to static] Aw, bleeding hell. what now?
- John: To put it bluntly, Clarice -- I'm having a bastard of a time getting my shit together.
- Clarice: I can tell that much, dear heart. And I'd like to say I'm flattered that you thought of me. Only I'm not. Not really.
- John: Have you ever seen me shaking like this? Talking like this?
- Clarice: Yes, darling, I have. But you were in Ravenscar asylum at the time. It's probably not a fair comparison.
Issue 207, Down in the Ground where the Dead Men Go: Part 1: by Mike Carey
- John: [Thinking] The smell hits me first. The stench of ancient plague pits, gusting on the winds of nowhere. Then the white noise of distant screams.
- Nergal: You hesitate, Constantine.
- John: Just taking in the atmosphere. It's been a while.
- John: [Thinking] I wanted a memory to take with me into the gulf. I would have asked for a kiss, but there was already too much dead ground between us.
- Angie: When you get back -- Let's fuck doggy style in the Walker Art Gallery.
- John: [Thinking] And that was as good an exit line as I was going to get.
Issue 213, The Gift by Mike Carey
- John: My talent's for lying. For sticking the knife in when people least expect it. Then walking away with a smile and a wave before they even realize they're bleeding.
Issue 214, R.S.V.P. Part 1 by Mike Carey
- John: [Arriving back in London] What is this? What exactly are we dealing with here? Some sort of homing instinct, like with pigeons and spawning salmon? Or just a pattern of behaviour so deeply ingrained it's impossible to break?
- John: Four o'clock and it's already getting dark. Solstice only a few days away. Winter magic, where we kill and eat the sun to give us strength to make it through the cold. Only it feels like it's already dead.
- [John has been handed an invitation to a magician's ball.]
- John: Well I'm just lost for words, mate. Overwhelmed, that's the only word for it. I mean, two hundred generations of bearded old geezers have used magic as a tool for unlocking the mysteries of creation. Breaching the walls of life and death. Stuff like that. But fuck them if they can't take a joke, right? It's time we all put our glad rags on and had a good old knees up. A verbal answer? I'd rather have my guts drawn out with hooks than waste an evening with a shower of chinless fuckwits like you.
- Etheridge: That's-- I'm-- I find that really disappointing, John.
- John: I don't know where it comes from, this impulse to set everything by. To save it up. As if the past doesn't die unless you give in and fucking bury it. Or as if you can read your own past, like runes. But the past is another country, and there's razor wire along the border and machine-gun nests every fifty yards.
Issue 215, R.S.V.P. Part 2 by Mike Carey
- John: So. Magic. What's it all about, then? I wonder what you were after when you go into the game. It's usually something. Something specific that you think is worth taking risks for. Money. Sex. Revenge. Power. Enlightenment. Thinner thighs in thirty days. It's a long time ago for most of you, I know. Maybe you don't remember. Fuck, maybe you don't even want to. But I'll tell you something for free. At rock bottom, it's always about the same thing. It's always about entropy. The Universe is winding down. Things fall apart. The moving finger writes, and what it writes is "Tough shit." You can't get something for nothing. Like God said to Adam when he kicked him out of the garden, "Now you've got to work for a living." If there ever was a free lunch, it ended right there. So we push and we pull and we sweat. Putting in a shit-load of energy to get a little back. Third Law of Thermodynamics, right? The one we all love to hate. Cheers. But with magic, it's different. Or it could be. Case in point -- this fine old plonk. How did it get here? Grapes had to ripen. Peasants had to toil. Some plucky kid in Marks and Sparks had to zip a long the aisles with his pricing gun. Lots of effort. Lots of energy. And once it's gone, it's gone. When things fall apart -- they do not put themselves back together again. But if you ask a demon to bring you some wine -- or jiffy some up with a spell -- well, you're cheating the taxman, aren't you? It comes for free. No grapes. No peasants. No entropy. So here we all are, then. Chasing the earthly paradise. Trying to sneak back into Eden through the back door, because work is for mug punters. You stupid arrogant little shits. We're not playing with fire, -- here we're playing with napalm. There's a war on and we're whoring with the enemy for pennies. Innocent people die when we fuck up. And we fuck up all the time. Oh, don't get me wrong. Eden's a nice place. I was there a few months back. Left a piece of myself buried in the ground there, for reasons I won't go into. So I can tell you, God hates our kind most especially. The cheats. The hellblazers. The collaborators. Look -- this is what Heaven has to say to the likes of us.
- Clarice: They'll never forgive you. As long as you live, no magician in the world will ever lift a finger to help you again.
- John: London isn't the world, Clarice. It just thinks it is. You people need to fucking well get over yourselves. I like to think I've helped.
- Clarice: You showed them their death. You showed them how small they are.
- John: Yeah. Total perspective vortex, that's me. They should give me a vote of fucking thanks. After all, there's no point in kidding yourself, is there? That way madness lies.
- John: All my best mates. Just like old times, eh? Because the old times were never less than fucking terrifying. I don't know if they're an honor guard or a jury. Probably both. So I walk down the avenue they've left between them, past Frank, Ben, Judith. Looking them all in the eye, one at a time. Because you can't smack a roomful of people in the face with their own mortality and then hide under the bedclothes when Death comes calling on you.
- John: It's coming on to rain, with perfect timing. The first drops running down my face so that from a distance you could mistake them for tears. Don't you believe it, mate. Don't you fucking believe it.
Issue 221, Empathy Is the Enemy: Chapter 6 of 7 by Denise Mina
- John: If I've learned one thing about relationships it's this: Friends believe the best about us. Because they feel what we feel. And given a choice between feeling good or feeling bad... No one's picking up the shitty stick.
Issue 222, Empathy Is the Enemy: Chapter 7 of 7 by Denise Mina
- Steve Evans: You're not the first Magus we targeted. But you're the first one to get this far.
- John: Well-Fucking-Done-Me, then. Big round of applause. Give us a teddy off the bottom shelf.
- Steve Evans: John, I'm hoping you'll consent to my killing you.
- John: Evans, how likely is that, do you think?
- John: You want me to stall for you? Why would I do that?
- Evans: I feel how tired you are, John. Deep in your soul you're tired of struggling on. You betrayed Cheryl and Chas: devastated those around them. You'll never see Kit again.
- John: Oh, fuck. Kit. I forgot about Kit.
- Evans: You have no one. No higher cause. You're nothing but a pack of smokes and a bag of tricks.
- This is your chance to leave the world better than you found it. To do something wonderful. And once it's done you'll feel nothing.
Issue 223, The Season of the Zealot by Denise Mina
- [Constantine's washing his face when Map appears in the mirror]
- Map: Constantine, I am calling in your debt.
- John 'Kin hell, Map, you could just phone!
- Map: I am afraid...
- John Afraid of what? ... Afraid about what, Map? ... Map? Talk to me.
- Map: [weeping] ... Afraid.
- John [Thinking] Stoic isn't the word. Map makes an Easter Island Head look like a guest on Jerry Springer. One tear isn't sinister... One tear is the end of the world.
Issue 224, The Red Right Hand: Chapter 1 by Denise Mina
- John: [Voiceover] Glasgow... Highest murder rate in western Europe. Lowest life expectancy. Home of the knife-wielding twelve-year-old. But that was the good old days.
- It's changed.
- Now it's a frightening place.
- Evans: How can you stand by and watch this carnage?
- John: It's your party, Evans. You started it. Why don't you switch on the ugly lights and send everyone home?
- Evans: I don't know how to stop it!
- John: Well you should have thought of that before you turned the fucking tap on, shouldn't you?
- Evans: How can you just watch this happen?
- John: I've saved Humanity too often to be shocked into giving a shit anymore. If I haul them out of this one, they'd only find another way to stick a pencil in their eye.
- John: The whole apocalyptic thing feels pretty comfortable to me. Suits my personality. Kind of like coming home.
- Evans: How can you say that? People are dying!
- John: People are always fucking dying.
Issue 226, The Red Right Hand: Chapter 3 by Denise Mina
- Angie: John's not like other people. He's lost too much over the years to be sentimental.
- John: [In quarantined Glasgow] Food's running short in the infection zone. Hunger make people reckless. Eventually everyone'll run into someone else whose memories are unbearable. And suicide becomes a mercy. I killed fifty on the first day, just walking to a shop to buy smokes.
- John: Get those perky fuckers in here by the time we get back.
- Evans: Do my best. [John squints] Don't get twitchy, John... My best is very good.
Issue 227, The Red Right Hand: Chapter 4 by Denise Mina
- Gemma Constantine: Porn and Sweets and Boys in Gangs. Just like being back at school.
- John: Why did you say that?
- Chas: What? "Fucking Hell"?
- John: No, that you're going to get away from me when the spell wears off and the empathy hits you?
- Chas: Back there... Back in the art gallery when the spell wore off a bit...
- I saw then... stuff you've seen. Things you've felt. Now I can't forget them. 's like they're branded into my head.
- I'm sorry, mate. For beating you up. For being so angry.
- You think you know what someone's been through. What they probably feel like. It's easier when you're just imagining. I'm sorry, that's what I'm trying to say.
- John: I see.
- Chas: You're my mate...
- John: cough Feel better now you've got that off your chest?
- Chas: Not really, no. Promise never to talk about this again.
- John: Thank fuck for that. I could crawl face-down across an acre of glass, but frank affection floors me.
Issue 228, The Red Right Hand: Conclusion by Denise Mina
- John: [Thinking] It must have been the first emotion. The reason a fish dragged itself out of the shallow end and gave dry land a try.
- The basis for Love or Faith or Courage.
- It inspires people to survive decades of pain.
- Keep walking when there's nothing from horizon to horizon but desert.
- Fight on when death is inevitable.
- As resilient as DDT. It's the glue that holds the whole of humanity together.
- The hope that tomorrow will be a little less painful. That we'll all wake up a bit different.
Issue 229, With a Little Help from My Friends. by Mike Carey
- Kev: You can do it easy. You bloody know you can. Those cunts swideswiped me. And now they're sitting over there laughing about it. Give their balls a twist, yeah? It's just a favour for a mate.
- John: Yeah, it always is, isn't it? To start with.
- Ella: Spells and demons? This has stopped being funny. I thought you could help me, that's all.
- John: No, you thought you heard the dinner bell ring.
- John: [Pinned down by a grotesque] Any time you're bloody ready, Chalice!
- [Chalice pulls off his silver chain, opens the curtain to reveal a full moon, turns into a werewolf and savages the grotesque]
- John: Here [Offering Chalice his silver chain] You've communed with your inner dog. Now put this back on before I get humourless.
- [The wolf drapes the chain around it's neck and turns back into Chalice]
- Chalice: Requiescat in pace, paulano.
- John: And a round of applause for the band. I hope you brought some spare kit . You won't fit into anything of mine.
- Chalice: You have served Heaven today, Constantine. Do not instantly cancel out that good with cynicism.
- John: Don't knock cynicism, Chalice, you should try it sometime.
Issue 231, In at the Deep End, Part 2 by Andy Diggle
- Pearly: She's stuck here, in't she? She can't move on 'til she gets revenge... An' neither can I, for that matter. Which is where you come in. An' believe you me, I can make it worth your while.
- John: Keep talking.
- Pearly: What's this-- playing hard to get? International man of mystery? Don't try it on with me conjob. I can see right through it. Remember, I knew you back when you were a player.
- John: And what the fuck's that supposed to mean, exactly...? What am I now, chopped liver?
- Pearly: Just look at yourself. 'Least you used to take a bit of pride in your appearance. These days...? You look like a man who could use a leg up, is all I'm saying.
- John: Bloody charming. How to make friends and influence people the Pearly Grey way...
- Pearly: I've already got all the friends I need -- and you've used up all the friends you had. You do this thing for me an' I promise you, anythin' -- anythin' at all -- If it's within my power, it's yours for the askin'.
- John: Anything?
- Pearly: Name it. Come on, Constantine, we've known each other a long time. You can tell me, man to man... What do you want?
- John: [Thinking] And that's the real question, ennit...? After all these years... all that water under the bridge... What do I want?
- [John accidentally has a pack of reanimated corpses who'd like to move on. He's drawn a sigil in the sand]
- John: There we go. I burned all my funnybooks, so I've had to draw it from memory, but the sigil should be enough to, y'know... send you on.
- Zombie Karen Grey: To where?
- John: That's down to you, luv.
- Zombie: What about us...? Can we come... an' all...?
- John: Oh, so now we're all looking for a free ride, are we? Play nice and wait your turn, and we'll see if I'm still feeling generous.
- Zombie Karen Grey: [Standing on the sigil] Say... say goodbye to Dad for me. Tell him I love him.
- John: He knows, Karen.
- [The sigil activates]
- Zombie Karen Grey: Oh! It feels... it feels so strange... like a tingling in the pit of my stomach... wait a second... can you smell burning?
- John: Right. Who's next?
- Zombie: Fuck me, Constantine... that was cold.
- John: No more takers? What's the matter-- don't fancy your chances? Guilty conscience, is it...? Fine. You can hang around the tidemark for the rest of eternity for all I care.
- Have a nice afterlife.
Issue 232, Wheels of Chance, Systems of Control, Part 1 of 2 by Andy Diggle
- John: (internal) The old place still smells the same, that's the weirdest part. Beneath the new carpets and the fancy wallpaper, the gloss paint and velvet drapes-- --the lingering taint of blood and sweat, piss and shit. The tang of human fear. Takes me right back, it does. I never expected to come back. Not after last time. I thought I was done with this place. Thought it was done with me... But here I am again, back for one last ride on the merry-go-round. Except this time, I'm the one who's in control. And that's what it's all about, ennit? Control. Last time I slept here, I had none. Not even bladder control. But things change. People think magic's a way of transforming reality-- but in the end, you find that all that you've really changed is yourself. Which probably explains why every magician I've ever met's a self-absorbed arsehole. Still, first rule of magic: perception is reality. You gotta look the part. Button-down collar. Pinstripe suit. Ben Sherman. Good British label. Cuff links and cologne; it's been a while. There... nice and sharp.
- Marshal: Mister Constantine! What a pleasure. Will you be joining us again in the casino this evening...?
- John: Looking to win your money back? Yeah, I'm up for another spin, but there's a condition... You'll have to waive the limit.
- Marshal: I -- I'm afraid we're able to raise the house limit only under the most exceptional of circumstances. I'm sure you understand.
- John: Not raise, mate. Waive. As in, lose it altogether.
- Marshal: But really, Mister Constantine, I'm afraid it's quite out of the question--
- John: Sit. Let me make it easy for you. Who signs the cheques around here?
- Marshal: John Grey recently... inherited this establishment, but...
- John: That's Mister Grey to you, Pearly to his mates.
- John: Blimey, Marshal, you've got a face like a bulldog licking piss off a thistle. That means you spoke to Pearly, I take it?
- Marshal: Indeed. Mister Grey has agreed to waive the house limit for you this evening.
- John: Roulette. Straight up.
- Marshal: Feeling lucky, I see.
- John: You make your own luck, mate. Bloody have to, in this game.
- John: I don't watch the ball. I watch them. Like I said-- You make your own luck. Perception is reality. And it doesn't matter a tuppeny toss where the ball actually lands... Just as long as they see what I want them to see.
- Waiter: Sir, your Gin and Tonic...
- John: Actually, I think I've changed me mind again. What I'd like is the roulette ball. Souvenir. And while you're at it, I'd like you to eject all of the casino CCTV tapes, stick 'em in a barbecue and burn 'em.
- Waiter: Right you are, sir!
- John: [Walking to the edge of the cliff at Ravenscar] Last time I walked out to this cliff-top I was seriously considering throwing myself off it. The Newcastle fiasco was still an open wound, red raw. The fear and guilt owned me completely, stripping away any semblance of control over my own life. I'd begged and pleaded to be let back in, but they were having none of it. Care in the Community, Maggie Thatcher had called it -- her parting gift to the truly desperate... Or as we preferred to call it -- Throw the nutter in the gutter
- Still, things change. People change. I'm all better now, thanks for asking.
- Except for that one nagging little doubt at the back of my mind... Like a tiny fish-hook, the barb in my subconscious, reeling me in across the years... The thing that's brought me back here, time and again without ever really knowing why... until now.
Issue 233, Wheels of Chance, Systems of Control, Part 2 of 2 by Andy Diggle
- John: [Thinking] After a couple of years they threw me out on the street. They hadn't cured me of my insanity. Not exactly... They'd taken it from me. And I think it's still here. It's been waiting for me. All these years. Seeping into the fabric of the stonework... whispering in the walls. Synchronicity tried to lead me back here once before. -- back to my Place of Thunder -- But it's taken me this long way to figure out the reason why.
- John: [Thinking] Conjuration's like a box of chocolates. You never really know what you're gonna get...
- John: [Aloud, holding a cigarette towards a mirror] With flaming wand I command thee, be thou flesh! ... And sharpish. I haven't got all day.
- John: [Thinking] ... But you know it's gonna be bad for you.
- John: [Thinking] It's feeding off my own weaknesses and self-loathing--
- John: [Aloud] Fuck off out of it!
- John: [Thinking] Worked like a charm. Never doubted it for a second.
Issue 234, Joyride, Part 1 of 3 by Andy Diggle
- John: [Narrating] South of the river again. Out west is London Bridge, and the millionaire's row of shad Thames. Just east, leafy, middle-class Greenwich. And slap-bang in the middle, hanging sad and forgotten under the bend in the river like a wart on an old man's bollock, is Deptford. The new money took a short-cut across the river at Canary Wharf and bypassed this place completely.
- John: Since Ravenscar, everything seems Sharper, Brighter, More Real. Like my senses have been fine-tuned...Which is unfortunate, frankly, 'cause this place smells like a fucking landfill.
Issue 235, Joyride, Part 2 of 3 by Andy Diggle
- John: So, I carry the lodestone back to my flat in Brixton in a second-hand ASDA bag. The romance of the mystic arts, eh?
Issue 236, Joyride, Part 3 of 3 by Andy Diggle
- John: The British Museum. Last bastion of a lost empire. This is where we drew the line and said "Fuck you, we're not giving it all back."
Issue 238, The Smoke by Andy Diggle
- John: Effra's a Naiad, or a Nixie. Or possibly an Undine. I dunno, I'm a little fuzzy on Celtic Water Spirits. Whatever, she's the guardian of a minor river that used to flow from what's now Crystal Palace, heading north through Brixton to the Thames. But that was a long time ago -- and as the city built up around her, river Effra gradually got built over. A hundred and fifty years ago it disappeared altogether, becoming another of London's fabled Lost Rivers, channeled through underground culverts and storm drains... and Effra's been down there ever since, guarding her namesake with no one but the sewer rats to worship her. Not that you'd know to look at her that she's been down on her luck. She's every man's wet dream -- almost literally. Beautiful, fun-loving, and drinks like a fish... Unfortunately, she also fucks like a fish, but that's water spirits for you
Issue 240, The Laughing Magician Part 1 by Andy Diggle
- John: Not much of a birthday. Time was I'd be neck deep in whisky and weed by now, relaxing in the company of old friends... 'cept most of my old friends are dead. And those that still standing... these days they're keeping to Minimum Safe Distance. Well, getting too close to me can be bad for your health. I'm Radioactive.
- [Watford hands John the tree root]
- John: Nice one. Knew you wouldn't have any trouble lifting it from evidence, man of your reputation.
- Watford: I had to grease the wheels. Cross a few palms, if you know what I mean. I'm out of pocket.
- John: Are you Bollocks!. That armed response copper paid you to make this disappear, didn't he? The proof of his incompetence-- mistaking an old tree knot for a gun.
- John: [Narrating] Watford knows better than to ask what I was doing in Dover that day -- which is just as well 'cos I'm not exactly sure myself. : "Surfing the Synchronicity Wave" I call it. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow, and it takes you where you need to be.
- It's a gift, something I've never analyzed too closely... for fear of losing it.
- As Aristotle so eloquentley put it -- Or was it Plato...?
- "You don't fuck with a winning streak."
- Fengis: So what have you dragged me into this time?
- John: You're the remote viewer, Fengis. You tell me. I just need you to have a nose around inside this tree root, tell me if you smell anything iffy. 'Course it's probably safe as houses...
- Fengis: Yeah, well, that's what you said when you asked me to scope out Sargon's lodge, and the feedback from his scrying wards almost wiped my fucking frontal lobes.
- Fengis: Message in a bottle. Not much point me trying to explain when you can see for yourself. Just let go and it'll pull you right in.
- John: Letting Go's never been my strong point, mate. Hanging on by my fingernails, kicking and screaming, that's more my style.
- John: Yeah? Well, bollocks to all that, frankly. I dunno where you got all this, but you're building me up into something I'm not, all right?
- I go me own way, always have. I don't believe in destiny, I don't have some predetermined role to play in the universe, and believe you me, I am most definitely not the second coming of whoever-the-fuck.
- You wanna know the truth? There's no big mystery to it...
- I'll tell you the ultimate secret of magic. Any cunt could do it.
Issue 241, The Laughing Magician Part 2 by Andy Diggle
- John: [Narrating] It's the wee small hours of Saturday Night, and Croydon north end's just coming to the boil. The clubs all close at 3 a.m., chucking every knuckle-dragger in town out onto the street simultaneously, drunk and angry and spoiling for a fight.
- The running street battles kick off like clockwork. You could set your watch by it.
- Fortunately for the losers, it's walking distance to the Mayday Hospital... known not-so-affectionately by the locals as "May Die."
- By the time the walking wounded stagger in, the booze and adrenaline have already soured in the bloodstream. Now comes the long wait beneath the merciless fluorescents as the hangovers settle in. So much for the big night out. Monday morning it's back to their dead-end white collar McJobs in the insurance call centres. For most of these people, tonight was as good as it's ever going to get. The air grows thick with pain, misery and regret. And beneath it all, the unspoken dread that -- just by being here -- they'll pick up some hideous flesh-eating super-bug that'll rot their intestines to pus.
- It's perfect.
- John: Mako's magic is a particularly fucked-up degeneration of Muti -- fueled by blood, pain and misery... Which means, if I'm gonna mask myself from him, my own cloaking spell will need to draw from a similar source.
- And if it's blood, pain and misery you're looking for, Mayday A&E on a Saturday night is pretty much the wellspring.
All His Engines, graphic novel by Mike Carey
- Chas: You'll still need a driver. And there's me martial arts training-- that'll come in handy.
- John: Tai Kwon Wheel Wrench? Shut up now, okay?
- Melosa: He wants to know if you're-- devout. If you believe.
- John: Devout? No. But there's not a lot I don't believe in.
- Mictlantecuhtli: You forget yourself. I am no upstart demon, scrabbling in the dirt of the human soul. I am Mictlantecuhtli. I am a god.
- John: Great stuff. I'm John-- and I'm a bastard.
- John: Happy Families. What's that all about, eh? A bloody busted flush is what it is. You surround yourself with other people so the night doesn't seem quite so dark. Shout down the sound of the wind with arguments about whose turn it is to wash the dishes. Best not to kid yourself. Best not to give any hostages to fortune. You're on your own in the end. Always. Where else would you want to be?
The Knowledge, graphic novel by Simon Oliver
- John: [On the phone to Chas] Chas, no pressure or nothing, but if and when I ever get back to London, I'm expecting to find the same shit-hole that was there when I left -- and not a pile of smoldering ruins, okay?
Sandman Presents: Love Street, mini-series by Peter Hogan
- Estella: I think we should drink to love. That's what Pammie would have wanted.
- John: I generally drink because of it, darlin'.
- Oliver: To ideals, then?
- John: Yeah.... All right. I think I've got a couple left.