Spinning out of the pages of Swamp Thing, popular supporting character John Constantine (created by Alan Moore) was given his own ongoing series first written by British writer Jamie Delano, who was handpicked by Moore and impressed editors with his long term plans for the character. The title was originally to be named "Hellraiser" but was changed to Hellblazer to avoid conflicting with Clive Barker's Hellraiser film released the previous year.
Delano set the tone for the series, which featured heavy social commentary of 80's England and grounded the magical and occult themes within the gritty streets of London. He also fleshed out John's origins first hinted at by Moore in Swamp Thing, which would be continued by later writers.
Many popular writers, most of them British, have had tenures on the title such as Garth Ennis, Warren Ellis, Peter Milligan and Paul Jenkins to name a few. Famous writers Neil Gaiman and Grant Morrison were also guest writers early on. The series' cover art was also acclaimed, many popular artists such as Dave McKean, Glenn Fabry, Tim Bradstreet, Lee Bermejo and Simon Bisley all provided memorable cover art work.
Despite its DC Universe origins, the series largely ignored the wider DC and Vertigo Universes but for a few occasions and guest-appearances. The series itself aged in real time, as did John, who would age to his sixties by the time the series had ended.
Perhaps best known as being Vertigo's longest-running comic book series because of the fact that it began before Vertigo was a publisher, five years before in fact and that it was also the Vertigo launch title which stayed in print the longest.
Unlike most Vertigo volumes, due to its extreme length, this one has had various writers (many of whom are better known for other Vertigo contributions), and oftentimes the series is judged within these writer's runs rather then as a whole since the series has changed through the decades.