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Oliver

Oliver was created to be a romantic interest for John Constantine in the Constantine: The Hellblazer series. He is the owner (and possibly the sole employee) of a small casual restaurant which serves as the accidental meeting place for he and John Constantine when Constantine has had his fill of dealing with the ghost of former band mate Gary Lester. He’s a friendly sort, giving John a drink on the house and flirts with John after giving him a drink on the house before asking out John, only to be interrupted by a woman acquainted with Constantine through the occult.

Thanks to a bit of plotting by Walter, a rather boring former arch duke of Hell living on Earth, Oliver appears with carryout food in hand at Constantine’s apartment and teases and charms his way into being invited inside by John. Oliver spends the night and awakes to find John, wearing boxers and an unbuttoned shirt, sitting nearby and watching him. The fact that Oliver slept in his clothes should probably be taken to mean they didn’t have sex. Neither Constantine’s nervous behavior nor the appearance of the elemental swamp Thing shakes Oliver’s disposition. Later he is kidnapped and used as a pawn by one of Constantine’s adversaries to persuade Constantine to retrieve an incredibly powerful magical totem which was stolen by Neron. John accepts the demand and leaves to fulfill the task while Oliver remains naked and bound to a chair. Despite his perilous situation, Oliver demonstrates his belief in John being essentially good after being told by a magical and deadly familiar some of John’s horrific past deeds.

Based on part of the conversation Oliver and John have during the first meeting we know he’s the father of two young girls, Kelse and Livvie, who live with their mother, Laura, somewhere in New Jersey. The status of his relationship with the children and their mother is currently unknown as is whether he and the woman were married. Oliver’s sexuality is never labeled. The girls are aware of their father’s sexual orientation. Considering that Constantine is bisexual, and Oliver has a family, and the fact that cowriter James Tynion IV is bisexual it seems very possible that the character is bisexual, or maybe pansexual, rather than gay. Oliver may be of West Indian descent; after hearing Papa Midnight’s message on Constantine’s answering machine he asks John if he has a friend from Trinidad. He is much taller in comparison to Constantine and this may be a trait that visually conveys protection and strength to the reader and to Constantine. The character hasn’t been given a last name according to cowriter Ming Doyle.

Oliver and John’s new relationship takes quite a turn in issue #10. Considering the outcomes of Constantine’s past relationships we suspect the resolution will be bittersweet, to put it mildly. Constantine’s bisexuality has been long established if mostly ignored. Writer Brian Azzarello revealed during his run on the original Vertigo series that Constantine had had a past relationship with a man named Stanley.

Oliver’s first appearance is in Constantine: The Hellblazer #1. Created by Ming Doyle, James Tynion IV, and Riley Rossmo. Art by Rossmo and Ivan Plascencia.

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July 31, 2021
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