Hellblazer #88
Story title(s)
'Warped Notions, part 4: The Mountain of Madness'
Sean Phillips
Matt Hollingsworth
Clem Robins
Lou Stathis (editor), Axel Alonso (asst. editor)
Cover date
April 1995
Collected in
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John Constantine: Hellblazer #88 (April 1995) Australia: Having realised that Dashwood is the real cause behind the Everything Virus, Constantine heads out to the Australian rainforest in the hope of trapping the insane ghost. Dashwood has plenty of tricks up his sleeve, however...

Plot summaryEdit

At the docks, John Constantine waits to board a boat for the islands with Delvene a woman who moves medical supplies (as well as cigarettes) to the island once a week. The local who drove John tries to find his dog who was riding in the back with Sir Francis Dashwood. At the same time Dashwood is moving into the water with the dog tucked under his arms. When Delvene asks why John’s going to the islands, he simply says he wants to get away from everything. The real reason is that he wants to get Dashwood away from everything. Since their journey around the corners of the world, Sir Francis has been causing reality to unfold by simply moving from one point to the other. John’s plan is to get him to a remote place where he can’t harm anyone with his madness. Under the boat Dashwood hangs from a rope with the dog still around his arm.

As John arrives to the island, he goes through the man suggestive hints he’s gathered over the course of his journey. He also notices that the natives have adorned their traditional garments for his arrival as pointed out by Delvene. She explains to him that he could still find natives in the mountains that are still more primal, and she asks him to take cigarettes up to them. John agrees, and suddenly Delvene notices something in the air. It’s a plane but more specifically it’s the old P-40 that crashed high in those mountains during World War II. It’s been unreachable until the very much deceased pilot began flying it again. The plane dives towards John and Delvene, and before it can hit either of them, Delvene pushes John into the water just before it slams into the docks. Wet, but not harmed, John is pulled back out by Delvene who demands to know what is going on. John tells her that he needs to get up to the mountains right away, and a skeptical Delvene offers to show him the way.

As the pair continue deep into the rain forest, they reach a clearing where a tribe of natives welcome them. Inside one of the huts, Delvene explains that the most important day in the life of these people is the day they die. They don’t do much of anything before consulting the ways of their ancestors. These ways have been viewed as somewhat morbid by the known public. The night soon falls and John ventures outside to have a smoke when he sees a large swarm of insects surrounding him. Crickets fly all around him, trying to enter into his body. As he coughs and gags, Delvene rushes outside, knocking John on his knees where he begins to vomit. The insects disperse and John looks down at the puddle in front of him, seeing the insects inside his vomit. The two of them look around to find that the village has been deserted. John notices something else, a small handcrafted doll, and picks it up. The two continue on despite their abnormal encounter into a cave. When John inquires whether the villagers are in their, Delvene tells him there are none – only their ancestors. The cave is decorated with the skeletal remains of the native ancestors. Delvene explains that they used to keep them in the open, but now they hide them to keep missionaries and everyone else concerned aloof to the matter. The sight turns from sacred to horrid as John discovers the bodies of every native at the village dead. When Delvene asks why they didn’t die as well, John tells her that it needs him alive. Dashwood, having used the villagers to lure Constantine in, announces his presence. John’s not sure whether Dashwood knows he’s onto him, but he plays along with his banter. When Delvene notices the dog curled up nearby she screams, and it’s only after a swift kick by John does she realize it’s dead and mummified. Dashwood demands that they finish their circumnavigation of the globe to complete the magic circle. Constantine, however, has different plans as both he and Delvene make a run for it out of the cave and back into the jungle. John asks for Delvene’s knife quickly. She gives it to him, unsure what good a knife is against a ghost, and ironically leaves Constantine to clean up his own mess.

Dashwood stumbles after John, not realizing what he’s trying to do. John comes across a large tree as the spirit of Dashwood passes through others to catch up. Using the knife, John cuts into the tree and pulls his lighter. First using it to light a cigarette, he then empties the fluid into the grooves he’s cut. After a quick light the fluid ignites and John continues to cut into it just as Dashwood passes into the tree. John hurries, telling himself that he might not get another chance. He has to make cuts nine times around it. Dashwood passes into the tree but is unable to get through it. John explains to Dashwood he’s trapped him inside the tree, and has bought a long length of time. The only way Dashwood can resurface is if the tree is destroyed. John extinguishes the flames that caught onto his shit sleeve. He wonders how much power Dashwood’s received from traveling around the world, and if the others helping him were just figments of his imagination which John has a strong suspicion that they were. When Dashwood pleads with John, asking him why he deserves this John replied that he was simply a bad influence.

As John leaves Dashwood’s spirit confined he asks himself whether or not he’s actually helped get rid of all the bollocks of the world without adding a bit to it himself. With that he pulls a cigarette and simply muses on the fact that he’s trapped the world’s madness and dumped it where it’s not wanted. It’s just another reason why he can’t look at himself in the mirror anymore.



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