John Constantine, Hellblazer: The Hand of Hanuman

Summary

June, 1986: Returning from India, where he has spent the last several months, John Constantine brings back a mystical souvenir called the Hand of Hanuman as he visits his friends the White family in England. The Hand brings nothing but misery to the family, and Constantine destroys it. [“John Constantine, Hellblazer: The Hand of Hanuman”]

Full summary:

  • June, 1986: John Constantine, recently returned from a months-long sojourn in India, visits his friends the White family – Barry and Anna White, and their son Herbert – at the Lakesnam Inn. He tells them tales of his adventures over the last year and then, at Barry's insistence, brings out a magic talisman called the Hand of Hanuman, which is a shriveled monkey's paw, explaining that it grants its owner three wishes, but it's brought bad fortune to each owner. After Constantine tosses it on the fire, Barry saves it despite his friend's warning. Herbert then suggests his father should wish for two hundred thousand pounds to pay off the inn's mortgage, and Barry does so. [“John Constantine, Hellblazer: The Hand of Hanuman, Chapter 1: Three Wishes”]
  • The next morning, as the Whites eat breakfast, the magic talisman is discounted as a ghost story. Barry and Anna watch as Herbert leaves for the motor vehicle assembly plant where he works. That evening, instead of Herbert returning home, an attorney from the plant arrives with news that their son was killed in an accident. He presents them with two hundred thousand pounds from the company. [“John Constantine, Hellblazer: The Hand of Hanuman, Chapter 2: Two Hundred Thousand Pounds”]
  • A week later, after the Whites have buried their son, Anna suddenly realizes that the talisman can bring Herbert back to life and convinces Barry to make the wish. After nothing happens, they go back to bed. John Constantine has a vivid dream of the monkey god Hanuman on the field of battle, revealing the origin of the talisman. Sometime later, a knocking is heard from the door, and Anna realizes that it must be Herbert, having walked from the cemetery two miles away since the wish was made. Constantine – who knows the undead thing at the door is not really her son as they knew him – helps Barry try to keep her from reaching the door. Then as Anna struggles with undoing the locks on the door, Barry manages to use the talisman to wish the thing away. As the couple sits crying on the doorstep where their son had been, Constantine destroys the Hand of Hanuman in the fire. [“John Constantine, Hellblazer: The Hand of Hanuman, Chapter 3: Burn the Bloody Thing”]

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