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Saturday, May 31, 2014

Hellblazer Key Comics List

Alright, since it's been announced for a while that John Constantine will be starring in his own television show on NBC, I'm throwing out some key issues related to the character. I know the series is titled "Hellblazer key comics list", but I'm going to feature a few comics outside of the Hellblazer title by Vertigo. 

I feel they do need to be addressed, and these characters just may end up being in the television show. So here we are, and not so surprisingly, we're starting off with some Swamp Thing issues from volume 2.

Swamp Thing #25 Volume 2
  • 1st cameo of John Constantine
Before Swamp Thing #37, John Constantine was shown in one panel in this issue. He was shown unnamed or unidentified, but the industry recognizes Swamp Thing #25 as a cameo and not a brief appearance.

However, some fans are toting this as Constantine's first appearance, and this issue in the future may be recognized as a first brief appearance. It also may not be as well.

Those in the industry need to clarify what constitutes the difference between first appearances for comic books or comic fans will continue to perpetuate misinformation about them and spread what they believe should be a first appearance.

This issue is heating up mildly in the market as many are not aware that this issue predates Swamp Thing #25. It could be that some don't care either.

eBay - Pretty limited selection. Only unslabbed, raw copies and they're already beginning to over-bloat prices on this one for Buy It Nows. Last auction dropped for only $25 bucks, so probably best to wait for an auction on eBay. No CGC just yet, but last CGC 9.8 dropped this month near the $200 mark. Heating up? Yes, it is!

Swamp Thing #37 Volume 2
  • First full appearance of John Constantine
  • First appearance of Sister Anne Marie
  • First appearance and death of Emma
  • First appearance of Ben Cox
  • First appearance of Invunche
Regardless of what's being debated out there, this issue is officially recognized as the first full appearance of John Constantine in comics. There are other important first appearances in this comic within the world of John Constantine also.

Sister Anne Marie becomes one of the spirits that ends up haunting John Constantine in later stories. Her first appearance is shown in this issue. Also, Emma, an early girlfriend of John is first seen and dies in this issue. Why is she important then? She ends up one of the spirits who also haunts John's conscious in later stories as you'll soon see in this key issues list.

The Invunche is a demon that kills Emma in this story. It is unnamed in this issue. It's also the creature that would rape Ben Cox, kill Sister Anne Marie and many more of John's earlier friends.

With the new NBC television series coming up, there's a high probability that many of Hellblazer's characters, including minor ones, will be introduced in the show. This comic has already blown up in demand. I suggested this issue quite a few times already prior. This book is hot now!

eBay - Finding CGC 9.8s will be hard. Right now, 9.6s are being bought up in the market and becoming harder to find as well. One CGC 9.6 copy with a Best Offer option as of this writing. A few lower NM CGC copies. Unslabbed copies are available and being gunned down a lot more since high grade CGCs are becoming harder to find.

Swamp Thing #38 Volume 2
  • 2nd appearance of John Constantine
  • First appearance of Frank North
This is tricky when it comes to the 2nd appearance of John Constantine because this issue came out the exact same month and year of Crisis on Infinite Earths #4! However, this does have the first appearance of Frank North, who was part of the Newcastle Crew, an occult group that John associated with in his early days. Later on, Constantine feels tremendous guilt for the fates of many within the Newcastle Crew. Either way, this is a sleeper comic for now and extremely affordable.

eBay - Only unslabbed, copies available for now on eBay. Quite a few of them actually. A CGC 9.6 dropped last March for only $20 bucks.

ComicConnect - Unslabbed NM copy here. Only one.

Crisis on Infinite Earths #4
  • 2nd appearance of John Constantine?
Wow, it seems that the Crisis on Infinite Earths limited series keeps popping up with key issue goodness that's not widely known. However, this issue is in a tie with Swamp Thing #38 to claim John Constantine's 2nd appearance. Nothing officially stating either comics as his 2nd appearance, but Swamp Thing #38 is being recognized as John Constantine's 2nd appearance by some sources. Up to you whether or not to take a gamble on this issue.

A sleeper comic as well. Affordable even in CGC 9.8s. Well, under a hundred bucks that is.

eBay - Only two 9.8s. One is a PGX, though. The CGC is cheaper. Three 9.6s. Two are under $50, but all under hundred.

mycomicshop - Three unslabbed copies available. Highest is only a VF.

Swamp Thing #46 Volume 2
  • Death of Sister Anne Marie
  • Death of Ben Cox
This issue is important because it has the deaths of two characters that would end up being a group of spirits that haunt John Constantine in later issues. One of these would be Ben Cox, an old friend of John's who was an expert in magic. The Invunche is responsible for these acts, though not identified. 

This is a sleeper comic so far. Extremely affordable! Television show may or may not up the demand for this comic.

eBay - Plenty of unslabbed copies and no CGC as of this writing just yet.

mycomicshop - Three copies here as well at the time of this writing. Highest is only a VF also.

ComicConnect - Only one raw 9.2 low NM copy for sale here.

NewKadia - Only two available copies here. Highest is a 9.2 low NM. Second copy is a VF+.

Swamp Thing #48 Volume 2
  • Death of Frank North
Part of the ill fated Newcastle Crew, Frank North bites the dust in this issue. Frank would become one of the spirits who would continually haunt Constantine in his own titled series, Hellblazer. Definitely a sleeper and pretty cheap for unslabbed copies. May be a good one to check the back issue bins at your local comic shop as well.

eBay - No problem finding unslabbed copies to choose from. No CGC as of yet for this key issue. May change by the time you read this or not.

mycomicshop - Four unslabbed copies. Highest are a NM and VF copy. No CGC yet either at the time of this writing.

NewKadia - Only two copies here as well. Highest is low NM 9.2 again. Second copy is a solid VF.

Part 2 is ready so just click the NEXT link at the bottom to see more Hellblazer key comics. There are A LOT of affordable sleepers in this series that may blow up once the television show becomes popular!


  1. Swamp Thing #25 was retconned into being Constantine later on. So it IS Constantine, it just wasn't him when the book was first published. Constantine talks about this later on the Books of Magic series. Also you left out Swamp Thing #49 and #50 where Constantine and Swamp Thing form the original Justice League Dark, although it isn't named that in the book, its mostly comprised of the JLD members that team up in the New 52. These books will likely be worth hundreds of dollars should the JLD movie actually get made.

    1. Yes, I stated that he does show up in one panel, and I also questioned why the industry only recognizes this as a cameo and not a first brief appearance yet. Yes, I did leave out #49 and #50 in this list. As I've always stated on the key issue lists I do, I'm not going to list every Dick and Jane key issue within a titled series or pertaining to a character. The list I produce is the list I produce. Whether I update it or not is up in the air, but thanks for bringing those issues up so others know about them.

    2. That is a drawing of Sting and NOT John Constantine.

  2. What issues of Books of Magic does Constantine state that Swamp Thing #25 was his 1st appearance?