MembershipElder Martin, Mary / Zed, Cheryl Masters, Tony Masters

Base of OperationsU.S.A., Glastonbury, UK, Liverpool, UK

First AppearanceHellblazer #4 (April, 1988)

History(Hellblazer #4) - The Resurrection Crusade was an American Christian fundamentalist movement whose aims included showing people their sinful ways, and destroying the unrepentant as a means of retribution. Their Pyramid of Prayer videos were extremely popular, and their presence spread to the UK. They recruited the married couple Cheryl and Tony Masters, and after convincing Tony their surroundings were sinful, got them to move to Liverpool. Their daughter Gemma was abducted by the Damnation Army, a group of lost souls that opposed the Crusade. Crusade members counseled the Masters, and when Elder Martin suggested that Gemma’s sins were to blame Cheryl slapped him, but Tony rebuked her, having become a slave to the Crusade’s mission. Cheryl’s brother John Constantine was a magician, and wanted to help even though the Crusade forbid his use of the dark arts. John saved Gemma in the nick of time from Army member the Man, and Tony and the Crusade burned the Man's house to the ground.

(Hellblazer #5) - The Resurrection Crusade made its presence felt in Liberty, Iowa, using TV preachers. A company of Liberty boys went MIA in Vietnam, and the Crusade promised their safe return through the Pyramid of Prayer. Most of Liberty became faithful yet desperate followers of the Crusade, and turned against anyone who wasn’t, including Frank Ross, the only member of the Liberty company to return home. The Crusade brought back the boys, but they had died in Vietnam, and their spirits were angry soldiers who still thought they were at war. The soldiers destroyed Liberty, and John Constantine was a helpless witness. He knew the Crusade just moved to the top of his list of threats to be dealt with.

(Hellblazer #6) - The Crusade sought to reclaim their lost lamb Mary, who now went by the name of Zed. They sent the Tongues of Fire, their enforcers, to recover her. She resisted, and her new friend John Constantine sent them packing. The Tongues monitored her from a car, but were killed by Ironfist of the Damnation Army, their hated enemies who also had a claim on Zed. Zed and John went on the lam to avoid the fundamentalists.

(Hellblazer #7) - Constantine went to his friend Ritchie, a quantum magician, to tap into the Crusade’s servers by sending his consciousness into his computer. Ritchie found them, but traps in the system destroyed his physical body. Zed’s father Elder Martin and the Crusade tracked down Zed, in the company of John’s friend Ray Monde, an antique dealer. The Tongues of Fire beat him to death for being a homosexual, and they brought Zed back into the fold. A medical examination revealed she’d had intercourse with John, but they hoped she’d still be ideal foir their purpose even though she was no longer a virgin. They planned to reprogram her at the Tongue’s base in Glastonbury.

(Hellblazer #8) - The Crusade, experts in indoctrination, broke Zed’s will and named her Mary again, sending he to surgeons to make her suitable for her role. With the metaphysical chaos caused by civil war in Hell, they were now Heaven’s agents in an attempt to create a new god child, whom Mary would immaculately conceive. A Crusade preacher testified for his flock that the end of days was upon them. The evil in the world showed them judgment day was near, and they had to be soldiers against Satan for God to notice them and embrace them with redemption.

(Hellblazer #10) - John made love to Zed / Mary, knowing Heaven would spurn her for the presence of her demon seed. The Crusade summoned angels, and had one of them enter Zed, but it soon fled, sensing John’s demonic presence inside her. Heaven was displeased with the abysmal failure of the Crusade, and utterly destroyed their stronghold, killing all within, including Zed, who welcomed death for her failure. John nearly wept realizing he was behind all this death, but rationalized that if they’d seen their plan through humanity would be slaves to Heaven, so he had no real choice.

Comments: Created by Jamie Delano & John Ridgway.

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