|First appearance||Hellblazer #43 (July 1991)|
|Created by||Garth Ennis (writer) |
Will Simpson (artist)
|Place of origin||Hell|
Chantinelle, or Ellie, is a fictional demoness published by DC Comics. She debuted in Hellblazer #43 (July 1991), and was created by Garth Ennis and Will Simpson.
Fictional character biography
Chantinelle is a disgraced succubus befriended by the notorious occultist John Constantine. She is subservient to the powerful demon Triskele. She is approached by the First of the Fallen while relaxing in her garden. He plans to use her to get to John Constantine, as they are old allies. She jumps across worlds to Earth, smashing through the inside of the Big Ben clock face. She falls into the Thames and hides in the London sewers, where she is found by Constantine. She describes the jumping as a task which severely hurts her; as she says 'I might never be well again'.
John ponders what had brought the two together in the first place. In an ill-conceived attempt to advance her standing in the legions of Hell, Chantinelle, dancing on the border between heaven and hell, seduces one of the Heavenly Host, an angel named Tali. Her only mistake was to fall in love with him. They conceive a child together, and were forced to go into hiding. They approach Constantine, appearing on his doorstep as the only neutral party who might be willing to help them.
Constantine takes them to an empty house that had been cleared of squatters. He makes a brief visit to the Ravenscar Institute for the Criminally Insane, chatting with a demonically-possessed patient to see if Hell knows of the pair. They do not and Constantine returns to the house, thinking he is in the clear. He is not. Constantine neglects to consider Heaven's interest in the matter. He does ponder the possibility of utilizing the two later, a spy in heaven and a spy in hell. When Ellie's baby is born, a contingent of angels appear. They incinerate Tali in a burst of energy. Helpless, John can do nothing but listen as they take the child. It is a slow process involving much blood and many unearthly, magical sounds that deeply distress John.
Hiding from Hell
Back in the present, Constantine casts a spell upon Ellie, a mark upon her soul, which makes her permanently invisible to Hellish detection. In return, he demands her help in bringing about the Fall of the archangel Gabriel.
It is revealed that the First of the Fallen is still pursuing the succubus with the aid of her former master, the demon Triskele, who appears as a skeletal snake wearing the torn-off face of an angel it killed. The pair travel to Earth to look for her. They confront Constantine, still bloody from the soul procedure and both realize that the succubus is invisible to them now. Out of spite, the First tears Triskele apart.
Chantinelle is later seen in the park, having a difficult time becoming resigned to the fact she will never see her beloved Hell again. The sigil would destroy her if she entered the infernal realms. An innocent compliment from a child greatly cheers her mood, moments before John steps in to discuss how to deal with the First. She agrees with his off-panel stated plan. First, she seduces the archangel Gabriel, pushing him out of God's grace. Later, as part of a long con, Ellie assumes the form of Astra, a child Constantine allowed to be damned, and tricks the First into being accepted into his trust before betraying him, backstabbing him with the Knife of the Fallen, a two-bladed knife created from the essences of the destroyed Second and Third of the Fallen, who had been killed by the First after he discovered that they were merely demons and not truly of the Fallen after all.
Later, John is traveling through Hell again in an attempt to free his sister. Chantinelle appears, wanting a brief dalliance. The demon Nergal, currently controlling John, threatens her into leaving and staying quiet.
Later, Ellie aids John in stealing a book, the lost Gospel of Constantine, from the Vatican's Black Library. This involves impersonating a street walker and being 'murdered' by a corrupt priest. This takes place in a secret Vatican room that is outside the blessing of God, where sin is allowed. Ellie takes control of this room for several days until seemingly 'cast out' by John in a climactic battle.
Powers and abilities
As a demon, Chantinelle possesses the innate traits of the denizens of the netherworld; preternatural strength as well as being effectively immortal. Her true form enables her to fly with large batlike wings as well as using lethal claws, fangs, a forked tongue, and deadly horns. As a succubus - a fiend of lust and deception - Ellie has the power to completely reform her appearance to perfectly mimic that of a person's fantasy or lover. Her default face is a humanized visage of her true body: a dark-haired young woman who can manifest her wings on a whim. Due to her nature as a seductress, Ellie is highly sexually promiscuous and has a penchant for seducing men of faith such as priests and even angels - the latter being a precious achievement among succubi. She boasts of consummating with three seraphs: Tali, Michael, and Gabriel.
In other media
Actress Michelle Monaghan was cast as Ellie for the 2005 movie Constantine. Her scenes were cut from theatrical release and in the finished movie Monaghan only appears on screen for a few seconds and is not identified. The Director Francis Lawrence explained that the decision to cut Ellie out of the film was to make Constantine more of a lonely character. Deleted scenes featuring Ellie were subsequently included on the DVD release, though they were not integrated into the movie proper.