Hellblazer #122
Story title(s)
'Up the Down Staircase, part 2'
James Sinclair (colours), Digital Chameleon (separations)
Clem Robins
Cover date
February 1998
Collected in
Previous issue

John Constantine: Hellblazer #122 (February 1998) Strange tensions threaten the fragile Wright family, whilst John contacts an old associate to figure out the answer to the First of The Fallen's question: What is a Quiz? Gavin is visited by Pam, even though she's ten years dead.

Plot summaryEdit

Again, this issue opens with the unfortunate friend of John's who witnessed the death of his wife (a metal pole fell from a truck and ended up going through her head), this time he is recounting the events prior to the accident which killed her. Apparently he stumbled upon a reknowned book of magic (MacAdams Treatise On Terror Magick, With Gunpowder Illustrations) in a second hand book shop, on sale for a mere fifty pence. Delighted with his find, he celebrated with a quick drink in the company of his wife and Constantine, it was whilst driving home after those drinks that the accident occurred. As he finishes his tale, we see that he is in fact talking to his dead wife .

Meanwhile, John confronts The First Of The Fallen who ceases his torment of Uncle Fred and zaps John with the TV Remote , transferring the pair to a TV wrestling match. John receives a beating from a demonised Satan before The First talks to him of his latest plan. Constantine is convinced that The First is brainwashing people through a mass media advertisement campaign (which uses the slogan 'You Need IT') but The First denies this, leaving John with both a question and a clue - 'What is a quiz?'.

Later the following day, John spends some time with Dani, learning that he's made her mums good books. However, Dani isn't happy with the tense mood in her family and she tries to convince John to go skiing with her. As the pair make their way home, John get's into a row with an ex-soldier who shouts at him for walking on the grass of a Veterans Hospital. John, on the verge of hitting him, decides to let it go when he recognises the man as 'A Knight'.

Returning to Dani's family, things go from bad to worse, as Dani and John walk in on a blazing row - Cousin Terrell announces his divorce and Dani decides she's going skiing - with or without John.

John, unable to figure out what The First is up to, tracks down an old friend for help. Lenny, who can 'take a problem, sort through all possibilities and find a viable path', is none to happy to see John again. After promising never to bother Lenny again, John learns that 'we are the quiz'.

Returning once more to Chateux Dani, John finds the clan still arguing with each other - this time over the fact that Dani's mother found a gun in the twins room. As tempers rise and fists fly, one of the twins pulls the pistol and fires.


  • First Appearances: Lenny (hypnotist, medium and bum), George (Vietnam veteran).


  • Use this section to list contradictions with established continuity.


  • Use this section to list mistakes that have appeared in this issue.


  • Use this section for general notes on the issue and story.

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