Warning: The following contains SPOILERS for the first season of “Sandman”.
The third episode of the first season of the series “Sandman” on Netflix, “Dream me a little”, is full of references to John Constantine and his comic Hellblazer. This is not surprising, given that this episode is an exact adaptation of “Sandman #3”, which was also called “Have a Little Dream about Me”, and combined the infamous working-class warlock with Lord Morpheus, a Dream of the Infinite. It is surprising, however, how many Easter eggs are contained in the Netflix series regarding the single adventures of Konstantin, which were not in the original story about the Sandman.
Created by Alan Moore, Stephen R. Bissett, Rick Veitch and John Totleben, John Constantine was originally a minor character in Swamp Thing. The rogue magician proved popular and soon appeared in other comics before earning his own solo series for adult readers. While some prefer the more realistic stories published by DC Vertigo, in the last decade Konstantin has also appeared more often, fighting alongside the best superheroes in the world as part of the Dark Justice League.
There is no John Constantine in Netflix’s “Sandman” due to the decision to play Jenna Coleman twice as two versions of Joanna Constantine. One of them is a female version of John Constantine, living in modern London, and the other is an ancestor, Lady Joanna Constantine, who lived during the French Revolution. Despite this change, which helped the series avoid possible complications related to the rights of the character to John Constantine, Netflix’s “Sandman” still refers to the life of John Constantine on the pages of Hellblazer.
Incident in Newcastle
The nightmare episode that opens “Dream about Me a Little” pretty much faithfully replicates the incident in Newcastle. First described in Hellblazer #11, this incident sent a young John Constantine to hell after he failed an exorcism while trying to exorcise a demon summoned by an even more inexperienced magician. The only major change in this sequence is that John Constantine had a team, whereas Joanna Constantine works alone.
The first frame of Joanna Konstantin’s nightmare shows her driving up to an institution called the Casanova Club. That was the name of the club where the incident in Newcastle took place in the comics. Club owner Alex Logue also appears in the episode.
The mucous membrane
Before becoming a supernatural detective, John Constantine was a member of the punk band Mucous Membrane. The band is mentioned on one of the posters in the Casanova club, but with the name written “Muchas Membrane”. This may be intended to evoke associations with other bands with intentionally misspelled names, such as Megadeth or Def Leppard.
John Constantine spent several years after the incident in Newcastle in an orphanage, tormented by recurring nightmares about a girl named Astra Log being dragged through a portal to hell and clutching a severed hand. Joanna Constantine experiences the same nightmare in Netflix’s The Sandman, and Morpheus confirms that her nightmare is not his invention, but a true memory of Joanna’s past. Fortunately, John was eventually able to rescue Astra from hell on the pages of Hellblazer.
Rick the Victorious was an Anglican vicar who was first seen in Hellblazer #60 as part of a group of friends gathered for John’s 40th birthday party. Sharing John’s penchant for blasphemy and magic, Rick once held a combined black mass/Sunday church service to win a bet with the Pope. Netflix’s “Sandman” presents its own version of Rick Pobeda, a woman who has apparently been Joanna Constantin’s lover from time to time.
It turns out that Rick the Victorious summoned Joanna Constantine in the Netflix series “The Sandman” to enlist her help in exorcising a demon that, in her opinion, possessed the British princess. This seems to be an allusion to “Royal Blood,” a four-part storyline in which John Constantine confronts a demon-possessed British prince (unnamed for legal reasons) who was captured by the same demon responsible for the Jack the Ripper murders more than a century ago. .
Morpheus helps Joanna Constantine by identifying the demon in question as Agiliet. It is also the name of a minor demon that appeared in Hellblazer #196. Aguilet claimed that he was the brother of a Negro who once gave John Constantine a transfusion of demonic blood. He was torn apart by Negral’s daughter, Rosacarnis, for violating her order to leave Constantine alone as part of her own plans for the sorcerer.
Chas and Renee Chandler
Although John Constantine is not in the Netflix series “The Sandman”, his best friend and chauffeur receives recognition in the series.