Justice League Dark and Hellblazer writer Peter Milligan has spoken to Comic Book Resources about the challenges of writing two incarnations of John Constantine – the older married John in Hellblazer and the younger unattached John in JL Dark. The question as to whether its a challenge to separate the two versions is one he has been asked repeatedly:
You wouldn’t believe how often I’ve been asked this question! Of course it’s a challenge, but it’s not an insanely difficult one. I mean, I don’t have to perform some complex mental gymnastics to separate the two. How I see it, they’re the same John. The DCU John is younger, and operates on a different time or storyline from his Hellblazer/Vertigo cousin, but they are essentially the same person with the same kind of outlook and the same difficult relationship with morality.
I think the Justice League Dark Constantine has a bit more outright Occult ability than the Vertigo one, but the truth is, my Vertigo Constantine has a bit more occult about him than some of the other writer’s versions, anyway. The bottom line is, I’m confident that our readers are sophisticated enough to understand that this is the same character, expressed and characterized in different stories.
Milligan also outlined how he saw the JL Dark team as a group of people who have all left behind a string of destructive relationships.
I’m interested in what impact having these weird powers have on our characters’ lives — and also on the lives of those who our heroes touch. I have an idea that the members of Justice League Dark have strings of damaged and broken relationships behind them. With Boston [Brand, AKA Deadman] and Dove, we had a relationship that most readers would already know about. I wanted to show just how tough it must be, just how destructive their realities are.