Sandman fans know that Joanna Constantine is the ancestor of iconic magician John Constantine in the DC Universe, but the Netflix series takes a fresh approach to both characters. Although Lady Joanna (Jenna Coleman) appears in Chapter 6: The Sound of Her Wings, her descendant is also played by Coleman in the present day. The modern version of Joanna is based entirely on John Constantine – and this is very clear in Episode 3, which explores her backstory.
Similar to John’s origin in “Infernal Blazer” #11, Joanna heads to Casanova’s club to help Astra when a portal is summoned inside the building. Although in the series, Astra’s father is engaged in satanic rituals, and not his daughter. Either way, the key point is that Astra ends up getting sucked into a portal that supposedly leads to Hell – just like in the comics. And the rest of the episode follows the story “Sandman” No. 3where Constantine and Morpheus retrieve the Sandbag from John’s ex-girlfriend, Rachel.
Joanna is a bit more collected than John – her client list includes royalty – though her love life is just as chaotic. Joanna Constantine dumps her ex-girlfriend Rachel without actually breaking up with her and mentions another woman she had an affair with, Keith Ryananother alumnus of Hellblazer comics.
Neil Gaiman showed why this version of Constantine was changed to fit the Netflix series, tweeting: “John’s rights situation is definitely limited right now. But the plan for Lady Joanna and Joanna to be in the story and played by the same person was there from the beginning. It seemed more tidy. So it worked.”