Issue Numbers : Remarkable Lives (#50), Down All The Days (#68), Rough Trade (#69).
Creative Team : Garth Ennis (w), William Simpson (a), Steve Dillon (a)
Funnily enough, it was one of the few non-magically inclined members of the Constantine clan who first encountered the infamous King Of The Vampires. Granted, William Constantine may have had a hard time finding any humour in the situation as he stood amongst the butchered remains of the Manchester Fusiliers on the battlefield of the Somme, with the aforementioned blood sucking monarch draining the life from his veins, but the rest of us have to take our laughs where we can find them - right ?
Whilst not as…final…as that meeting between his grandfather and the King Of The Vampires, John's first encounter with the royal bloodsucker did prove to be almost as gruesome. After a marathon session between the sheets with his girlfriend of the time, Kit Masters, Constantine rose to find the gutted remains of a bird in his bathroom sink and the words "Hampstead Heath" scrawled across the mirror that hung over it in the unfortunate yokies blood. Rather irked at this unsanitary breach of his privacy, John heads for the Heath to deliver a sound stomping to the person responsible.
After arriving on the Heath and being confronted by a parade of freakishly deformed undead creatures, Constantine finds his anger waning and the onset of panic set in. When John finds himself face to face with the King Of The Vampires, his frayed nerves threaten to get the better of him but he soon steadies that particular ship and one cigarette later he's back to his usual self and happily trading verbal quips with the bemused lord of the undead. The pair part on poor terms with Constantine turning down the King's offer to hire him as his own personal spy in the world of the occult with his usual charm and good grace.
And so life (and, indeed, unlife) went on for all concerned. John managed to exorcise the blade demon Calibraxis from a member of the British royal family before celebrating a rather odd fortieth birthday with some of his more unusual friends and orchestrating the fall from grace of the archangel Gabriel. All was going well for old Constantine until he accidentally involved Kit in his on going war with Charlie Patterson and the BNP. Furious with John for dragging her into the seedier side of his life, Kit decided to leave him and return to Northern Ireland. Heart broken, Constantine fell victim to the demon drink, becoming a homeless alcoholic on the streets of London.
Out and about on London's streets, savouring the very finest in cuisine (that is to say, dining off the homeless population), The King Of The Vampires is delighted when he stumbles across the fallen Constantine. After taunting the drunken Englishman over his current plight and dispatching a young homeless man that John had befriended in grizzly fashion, the King helps himself to a great big bite out of Constantine's neck.
Unfortunately for the vampire, the demon's blood that pumps through John's veins isn't quite as palatable as the red stuff normally found in humans. With the tainted blood burning through his body, the King collapses to the ground writhing in pain and a horribly amused Constantine decides to take a good long piss on him.
With dawn slowly breaking, the badly injured vampire tries to crawl away to safety but John will have none of it and drags him out to bask in the full glow of the morning sun.
Fully exposed to the bright rays, the terrified King Of The Vampires explodes into a fiery ball and dies.
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