|First appearance||Hellblazer #7 (1988)|
|Team affiliations||The Newcastle Crew|
Ritchie Simpson is a fictional comic book character who appears in publications by the American publisher DC Comics, usually as a supporting character in stories featuring John Constantine. Ritchie Simpson was previously depicted as a friend of Constantine, before being made a demon.
Fictional character biography
In 1979, Ritchie Simpson became friends with Constantine and, as a pioneer in quantum magic, accompanied him on a visit to the Casanova Club in Newcastle, owned by an amateur mage named Alex Logue. There they found the bodies of Logue and his followers, torn to shreds by a demon named Norfulthing, which had been summoned by Logue's daughter. The resulting events left most of the group scarred including Constantine; Ritchie arguably got away with the least damage.
Almost a decade later Constantine asked Ritchie to help him track down the "Resurrection Crusade" a Christian cult. Using the computer at the cereal factory where he worked he tracked cult's money trail to their main server. Ritchie found the location and passed it on to Constantine, but then tripped a nasty mystical trap that burned him to a blackened skeleton. Constantine was unable to help his friend, quite literally pulled the plug on him.
Ritchie's consciousness however was still active and contacted Constantine through a gas bill, leaving a phone number to call him on. Constantine ordered a special computer that would allow Ritchie's consciousness to be downloaded into a new body. Constantine agreed to help but only if he would help him with the demon Nergal. They uploaded the demon's consciousness along with Constantine's to the digital plane. It is there, Constantine tricked Nergal into destroying itself. Ritchie then possessed Constantine body, but he was able to convince him to take over Nergal's body instead. In this new form he became a kind of techno demon, but as he was admiring his new powers Hell's law enforcers; Agony and Ecstasy dragged him to Hell to learn how to become a true demon.
In other media
- In the pilot episode of the TV series Constantine, Ritchie Simpson is played by Jeremy Davies. He is portrayed as an academic at Ivy University and speaks with a Southern American accent. Like his comics counterpart, he was present at the failed exorcism in Newcastle. When John meets him again, he is using prescription drugs to cope with his guilt. He is reluctant to have anything to do with John, but John blackmailed him into assisting him by hacking into the Atlanta power grid. He later returns in "A Whole World Out There". Simpson is a University professor, and four of his students learn about Jacob Shaw, a man who could travel between worlds.
- Ritchie Simpson is featured in the animated film Justice League Dark, with Jeremy Davies reprising his role. He is still a friend of John Constantine, who was visited by the newly formed Justice League Dark, regarding helping with a mystical disturbance. Ritchie was revealed to be dying and his friends attempted to ward off death. However, this was all a ploy for him to enter the House of Mystery and retrieve the Dreamstone. Ritchie is revealed to have been manipulated by Destiny who then possessed his body. The team of mystical heroes defeat Destiny as Ritchie's cancer kills him shortly after and his soul was dragged to Hell.
- Hellblazer (Vol 1) #11. DC Comics.
- Hellblazer (Vol 1) #7. DC Comics.
- Hellblazer (Vol 1) #12. DC Comics.
- Vejvoda, Jim (November 15, 2016). "JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK: TRAILER DEBUT FOR R-RATED DC ANIMATED MOVIE". IGN.