BRANCHING OUT: RAVENS|
In Norse mythology, the supreme god Odin is accompanied by two ravens.
The book "Lilith", by George MacDonald (a 19th century forerunner of author C.S.Lewis), describes characters in a dream realm, not unlike the Dreaming in Neil Gaiman's SANDMAN comic book series. A librarian named Mr.Raven (bearing a strong resemblance to Lucien, the Sandman's librarian and former host of the anthology TALES OF GHOST CASTLE) takes the form of a raven married to a woman named Eve. In Gaiman's stories, the comic book character Lucien was originally a raven. The SANDMAN's ravens are companions of Eve, also.
1:2 The scenes on the first 3 pages occurred in the previous issue.
5:1 This is Baron Winters (thus Constantine's pun on the word "winter"). Winters was the leader of the NIGHT FORCE, (written by Marv Wolfman) which first appeared in a 15 page insert within NEW TEEN TITANS #21 (1982). The title of the first story arc of the regular NIGHT FORCE series was the same as this issue of ST. His leopard is named Merlin.
5:6 "Newcastle" is a city where Constantine tried to perform an exorcism with some others, including Benjamin Cox. The results were disastrous, resulting in Constantine's internment at Ravenscar asylum. Although often hinted at, the details are not revealed until the publication of HELLBLAZER #11. Newcastle is also the home city of real-life singer Sting who was the visual inspiration for Constantine.
6:4 Although his house in Georgetown can serve as a gateway to other places, the Baron cannot leave his house.
7:1 Link from 6:6 - "birds"
7:2 Kent Nelson (a.k.a. Dr. Fate) lives in a tower with his wife Inza.
7:6 Cain and Abel were the hosts of DC Comics' defunct horror/anthology series, THE HOUSE OF MYSTERY and THE HOUSE OF SECRETS (respectively). They appear in a few issues of issues of SWAMP THING, are supporting characters in Neil Gaiman's SANDMAN and are regulars in THE DREAMING.
9:6 ST visited the "Realm of the Just Dead" and met Deadman (Boston Brand) in ST Annual #2.
10:4 The Phantom Stranger also appeared in Annual #2 and more recently in ST #46.
11:1 Hieronymous Bosch painted disturbing, surreal landscapes in the late 15th century. His art was referenced in ST #25.
11:3 Sargon the Sorceror (John Sargent) first appeared in ALL-AMERICAN COMICS #26 in 1941.
11:5 Typically, Constantine ignores the "no smoking" sign.
14:1 Giovanni Zatara first appeared in ACTION COMICS #1 (1938), which also featured the first appearance of Superman.
15:1 Tantric studies are exercises towards spiritual enlightenment through sex.
15:3 Zatanna, a former member of the Justice League of America, first appeared in HAWKMAN #4 (1964) and is best known for her sexy "fishnet stockings" outfit. She had a cameo appearance in ST #24.
Art at right by Brian Bolland. Va va voom!
16:1 Link from 15:6 "Hell of a world"/"Beyond this is hell"
16:2 Etrigan the Demon appeared in ST #25-27 and Annual #2.
18:1 Steve Dayton (a.k.a. Mento, not to be confused with the breath mint) - see ST #44, 7:1.
19:2 The man in the hat is Dr.Occult. He first appeared in NEW FUN COMICS #6 (1935), by Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster, the guys who created Superman. He becomes part of the so-called "Trenchcoat Brigade" with Constantine in Neil Gaiman's BOOKS OF MAGIC mini-series.
20:6 The Demons Three are Abnegazar, Rath & Ghast. They first appeared in JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #10 (1962).
COMMENT: In 2001, DC Comics collected/reprinted issues 43-50 in a trade book titled "Swamp Thing: A Murder of Crows"