10 Times Constantine Outsmarted Everyone

6. Tricked A Demon Into Drinking Holy Water - Hellblazer #42

John Constantine Doctor Fate
DC Comics

It's kinda hilarious in a mundane way that the first time Constantine's life is genuinely threatened in the original Hellblazer, it isn't some demon or monster, but his love of cigarettes that does him in. John discovers that he has lung cancer, and not only is there zero cure, either scientific or magical, but John finds himself with barely the energy to look for one.

His last hope lies with his old friend Brendan, who had made a deal with the devil to be able to make the world's greatest stout beer. When that lead dries up, the two have one last night of drinking and merriment before Brendan succumbs to his dying liver. At which point, the devil comes to collect.

But John - knowing he's about to die too and haunted by all those he couldn't save or chose to sacrifice - decides that, no, the devil does not get this one. Fortunately, John and Brendan know something the devil doesn't know: the secret ingredient to the stout Brendan perfected before his death was holy water. So before he does his business, John convinces ol' scratch to at least sample the goods to see if Brendan was true to his end of the deal.

And after he's had his drink, John decides a merry prank is in order, and pushes the bastard into the tub of stout for good measure. The stout was good while it lasted, but I doubt anyone's gonna want a drink considering what's floating around in it now.


John Tibbetts is a novelist in theory, a Whatculture contributor in practice, and a nerd all around who loves talking about movies, TV, anime, and video games more than he loves breathing. Which might be a problem in the long term, but eh, who can think that far ahead?