John Black turned up in Salem in the custody of Steve Johnson. His face was bandaged and Victor wanted to acquire this man, which he called the Pawn.
John eventually removed his bandages, and whenever he looked in the mirror he saw Roman's face instead of his own. At a soup kitchen John saw the name Black on a Vietnam War Plaque, and took it as his own.
John felt a strange connection to Marlena, who was determined to help him recover his past. John and Marlena spent a lot of time together, and when John seemed to know a lot about Stefano DiMera Marlena began to suspect he was Stefano DiMera, especially after she saw a Phoenix tattooed on his back.
Later Marlena found a file of a plastic surgeon which contained the before and after shots of Roman and John. Marlena was convinced he was Roman, and over time John took on the role of Roman.
In 1986 Marlena was trying to talk down a suicidal jumper when she fell from a window ledge. Marlena lay in a coma near death for a month. When she finally recover she and John Black/Roman 2 married on August 22, 1986.
In his years with the ISA Roman I worked with a man named Orpheus. While on assignment Orpheus' wife came to warn them they were in danger, and Roman I accidentally shot her, think she was an enemy. Orpheus and his sister in law Olivia plotted revenge against Roman. Orpheus kidnapped Marlena, but the ISA managed to get her back. Orpheus was using her to get John/Roman II to help him locate some stolen bonds. When she was rescued Orpheus was furious. In December of 1986 Orpheus faked Marlena's death by planting a bomb in Roman and Marlena's house. In reality Marlena was alive and well in Stockholm. Olivia came to Salem and was supposed to make John/Roman II fall in love with her, and then when John/Roman II betrayed Marlena they would reveal she was still alive. However, something unexpected happened, Olivia fell for John/Roman II. John/Roman II learned Marlena was being held in Stockholm, and with the help of Shane. Bo, Kayla, and Patch they searched for her. John/Roman II confronted Orpheus, and when Orpheus shot at John/Roman II Olivia took the bullet for him, and died. John/Roman II shot and killed Orpheus, but Orpheus had the last laugh. Marlena was already aboard a plane, which crashed as John/Roman II and the others watched. No body was found, and Marlena was thought dead.
Roman Brady II/John Black met Diana Coleville in 1987 when she rescued his daughter Carrie was drowning in the river. Carrie and Diana hit it off well, and so did Roman II/John Black and Diana. However, Diana was on a mission and pretended to date Victor Kiriakis. While in Greece with Victor for his nephews wedding Roman II/John Black and Diana made love, and began to pursue a relationship. However, when Serena shot Roman II/John Black he arrested her, only to find out she was Diana's mother.
Diana thought the only way to help her mother was to marry Victor, but Roman II/John new something wasn't right so he rescued Diana from her wedding to Victor. Roman II/John soon learned that Victor and Serena were scheming to steal Diana's fortune that her late father had left her. Victor and Serena made it a appear that Serena had been kidnapped and Diana was on her way to pay the kidnappers with her money. The plan almost succeeded but Diana was kidnapped by terrorists and was eventually rescued. Roman II/John told Diana the whole thing was orchestrated by her mother and Victor, and Roman II/John had Diana move in with him for protection.
Diana wanted revenge against Victor, who had cost her the Coleville Fortune. In an attempt to get revenge Diana stole a statue from a museum and planned to frame Victor for the theft in order to get her fortune back. The plan backfired when Roman II/John learned she stole the statuette and Victor was never brought up on the charges of theft. Diana's lies and deceit enraged Roman II/John, and he broke off their relationship.
Soon after they broke up Diana moved back in with Roman II/John after her life was put in danger by Roman II/John's investigation of the Torres family. As a result of him protecting Diana the two resumed their relationship. Roman II/John and Diana eventually lured the Torres family into a trap, but they managed to elude the police, which put Diana in even more danger.
Roman II/John and Diana went away to the Bahamas until they though the threat from the Torres family had passed. Roman II/John and Diana renewed their romance, and had become engaged, but when they returned Roman II/John was almost killed in a car bombing by the Torres Family. Afterwards Roman II/John began remembering terrible feelings and memories, but was unsure where they were coming from. After he had his sister Kimberly hypnotize his Roman II/John recalled being trained in the martial arts by a man named Orion.
Roman II/John began receiving hints that Marlena was alive, a picture of her appeared in a newspaper, he smelled her perfume at one of her favorite restaurant along with strawberries and whip cream. Roman II/John was puzzled by these clues, and a mysterious ring he had received. When his believed daughter Carrie Brady was kidnapped Roman II/John believed Stefano DiMera was behind it. Roman II/John, Diana, and the rest of the Brady's were lured to a mysterious island in the Bahamas. There Roman II/John found a women who was hired to impersonate Marlena, it was all part of a trap to lure Roman II/John away from the others. Stefano had blamed Roman II/John for an accident years ago which caused his son, Benji DiMera, to go deaf. Stefano put Roman II/John into a trance and ordered him to kill the Bradys. The trance was broken when Diana coaxed him out of it. Roman II/John rescued Carrie, and everyone escaped the island, including Stefano.
Roman II/John proposed to Diana Coleville but their wedding never happened. First there was the problem that Marlena's death couldn't be proven since the body was never recovered, then Caroline Brady suffered a heart attack. Finally Cal Winters, Diana's supposed first husband returned from the dead. Diana's problems began to mount. Jack Devereaux had bought up half of the Spectator to kill a story about him, and he threatened to tell Roman II/John about Cal if she didn't sell him her share of the paper. Diana rushed the wedding but Cal crashed it and told everyone he was Diana's husband. Diana eventually proved that her wedding to Cal never really happened and Cal was forced to admit he had lied. However Cal was determined to hold onto Diana and during a fight with Roman II/John, Roman II/John was shot and fell into a coma. Cal Winters took the blame for the shooting and even went to prison for it, but he was covering for the real shooter. With Kimberly's help Diana underwent hypnosis and she learned that she had shot Roman II/John and blocked it out. While Roman II/John and Cal fought outside the house Diana grabbed a gun from a drawer and shot at Cal, but hit Roman II/John instead. Torn up with guilt Diana dyed her blond hair brown and quickly left town in 1989.
In 1990 Roman II/John Black was forced to arrest his sister Kayla for the murder of Marina Toscano. Roman II/John Black refused to believe that Kayla was the killer and he teamed up with Isabella Toscano to find out the truth. While searching Victor's attic, Isabella learned that she had killed Marina. The incident was recorded on Marina's tape recorder and Victor had spliced the tape and let Kayla take the fall. Isabella's memory returned and she was eventually freed because she had killed Marina in a struggle that was ruled as self defense.
Still without the diary of his late wife Loretta, Ernesto planned a cruise in which he plotted to pay back all his enemies and recover the diary. Ernesto invited Roman II/John Black, Isabella, Victor Kiriakis, Julie Williams, Jack Devereaux, Jennifer Horton, and Bo and Hope Brady. Onboard the ship, Ernesto was reunited with his daughter Isabella. Their host was a mystery to all but Victor, who knew Ernesto well. Deciding that the truth had to be known, Jack returned the missing pages of Ernesto's diary to Isabella. Isabella learned that she was Victor's child. Isabella told this to her father and then confessed to killing Marina. Ernesto claimed he did not love her any less, but secretly he despised her and felt she truly was the daughter of Kiriakis. Ernesto escaped his ship with Isabella and fled to a nearby Island. There he held Isabella prisoner and slowly poisoned her as he had done to her mother. A bomb exploded aboard the cruise ship and miraculously the passengers found their way to the island. On the island, Jack and Jennifer made love. Roman II/John Black sought to find Isabella because he knew she would be in grave danger. John and Bo set out to search the island and Hope followed Bo against his wishes. John made it to Toscano's house and rescued Isabella. However, Ernesto had captured Hope and was holding her prison. Everyone was lured to a cave where Ernesto held Hope with him in a cage that suspended a vat of acid. Ernesto offered Bo the chance to save Hope if he could convince him that she should be spared. Bo made a moving speech to Hope, but it failed to move Ernesto. Suddenly and explosion occurred which sent the cage crashing down into the vat of acid. Both Ernesto and Hope vanished and were declared dead after hours of searching the island. Shane eventually arrived and everyone was escorted back to Salem.
Roman II/John proposed to Isabella and the two were to be married shortly thereafter.
In 1991, Marlena Evans Brady awoke and found herself in a little hut on a mysterious island. Confused, Marlena made her way to a cargo plane and escaped. Onboard she managed to find some decent cloths and some money to make her way back to Salem. Marlena tried to contact Roman II/John, but every time she tried to find him. Roman II/John vanished. Finally, one night Marlena and Roman II/John met on the docks. Roman II/John took Marlena back to their house and he kept her hidden from everyone until he could figure out what they needed to do. Roman II/John asked Kimberly Brady to help Marlena by hypnotizing her. Marlena recalled being held on an island and hearing Roman calling for her. Roman II/John was puzzled because he had been in Salem. A medal that Marlena was wearing also puzzled him. Eventually Marlena was reunited with her entire family, though her twins did not recognize her. Isabella, Roman II/John's fiancee, was left out in the cold.
Roman II/John traced the medal that Marlena wore to the small island of Saint Christoble. Roman II/John and Marlena flew there and were shocked when they came face to face with the real Roman Brady. Roman II/John thought it was a trick, but Roman knew the truth about his imposter and he feared for Marlena's safety. Roman was told that if his imposter ever saw him then the imposter would automatically kill Marlena because it was programmed into his head. Confused, all three of them returned to Salem. Roman told them that he was held on the same island that Marlena was and he too had a medal around his neck. Roman II and Marlena had to come to terms with the fact that he was not Roman, but John Black. Devastated, John turned to Isabella for comfort and Marlena was reunited with the real Roman Brady.
Roman, John, and Marlena all traced their medals to a Mayan temple in Mexico. Roman Brady, Marlena Evans Brady, Isabella Toscano, John Black, Bo Brady, and Carly Manning all went to Mexico in search of the truth. Once in Mexico they found Victor Kiriakis chained in one of the temples. Eventually they made their way to a room in which Stefano DiMera was waiting for them. Using the medals, Stefano gained access to a set of Codacies which promised the holder power beyond imagination. Stefano also held a satchel which held the truth about John's past. Suddenly an earthquake occurred, setting of a volcano, and the temple began to crumble and fill with lava. Stefano threw the satchel into the fire and was then crushed and lost among the falling debris. John managed to recover the satchel, but the contents were badly burned. After Bo and Carly had a symbolic Mayan wedding, everyone headed home. After returning home, Isabella informed John that she was pregnant with his child. The two of them then became engaged, but John told Isabella that he could not marry her until he discovered who he really was so their baby would have a name.
John began to search into his past, but he only had a few clues to go on. One was a picture of the back of a woman's neck, which featured a unique birthmark. The second was a gold blob, which was later reconstructed into a ring bearing the head of a wolf.
Danielle was in Europe when she recognized the eyes of a former lover in a picture of John Black in a Salem Newspaper. Though his face was different, the eyes were his. Danielle flew to Salem to see John and she told him that his name was John Stevens and he was her husband, and she had a matching wolf ring like the one John had in his satchel. John began to have dreams about an art thief named Romulus. John learned that Romulous was a European art thief and he feared he was Romulous. Danielle told John that he was actually trying to track down Romulous and she said that the information he gathered about the case was locked in a safe deposit box in Switzerland. John and Danielle flew to Switzerland and checked out the safe deposit box, which contained a piece of a woman's locket. While in Switzerland, Romulous struck again. When John knew exactly how the crime was pulled off, the Swiss police arrested him for being Romulous. Back in Salem, Isabella managed to read the "John Black File" that Victor had given to Lawrence. Isabella realized that John was not Romulous, Danielle was. John was released and allow Danielle to escape the authorities. Before leaving, Danielle told John that they weren't married but were very much in love, until he realized she was Romulous.
John returned home and continued to search for his real heritage. Vivian Alamain recognized the piece of locket that John had brought back as being the second half of a locket that Lawrence's mother gave her two children. Vivian and Lawrence had the coffin of Lawrence's younger brother, Forrest, exhumed and sent to Salem. When they opened the coffin they were shocked to see it full of sand. Vivian and Lawrence realized that if John was really Forrest Alamain, then he would have the right to claim half of the Alamain Empire as his own. Up until now, Vivian had been running the half which rightfully belonged to Forrest Alamain. Lawrence and Vivian had decided to keep this a secret, but things changed. Carrie Brady had become smitten with Lawrence and had planted herself on his bed. When John learned what Carrie was about to do, he charged into Lawrence's house and ordered Lawrence at gunpoint to leave Carrie alone. Panicked, Lawrence shouted "You wouldn't kill your own brother would you?" Lawrence confessed everything to him and a DNA test proved that he was Forrest Alamain. When Victor told John that legally he owned half of Alamain Industries, John took over and forced his Aunt Vivian out on her butt. Vivian was furious that she had lost everything.
On May 19, 1992, John and Isabella were not only married, but they had their son, Brady Victor Black. John and Isabella honeymooned in Italy, but their marriage would be a short one. Isabella learned that she had pancreatic cancer, a fatal form of Cancer. John whisked Isabella away to Italy where she died in his arms. A devastated John tried to move on.
In the fall of 1992, Marlena Evans Brady was missing and nobody could find her. John Black came around looking for her at an abandoned warehouse, but he ended up falling into the pit as well. Both of them thought that they were going to die together, but moments before the warehouse was to be demolished, they were rescued. John and Marlena appeared on Jennifer Devereaux talk show about the incident, which had rekindled their love for one another.
In 1993, John felt it would be best if he left Salem because he could not control his feelings for Marlena. When John was about to leave Salem, Marlena came to his plane to stop him. Instead, the couple made love. Later, they made love during a Titan party.
Kristen Blake came to Salem in 1993 and was mugged outside a clinic she was working at. Kristen was saved by John, but when she learned who he was she wanted nothing to do with him.
John dated Rebecca Morrison after his affair with Marlena, but John never really loved Rebecca. When a mysterious shooter fired shots at John, John made instinctively ran to protect Kristen Blake. Rebecca realized that John was in love with Kristen and broke things off.
Alice Horton decided to try and pair John and Kristen by enlisting both of them in helping run the Horton Center, an operation that Alice and Tom Horton started in 1993. Alice also sent John and Kristen to the Horton cabin, separately, and there the two made love.
When John started investigating into Kristen's past he found a bloody wedding dress in the place she was staying. Kristen admitted to John that she is engaged to be married, but at the wedding she was shot by someone who wanted her husband dead. Kristen told John that she and her fiancee were laying low. Later, John learned that Kristen was Stefano DiMera's daughter. Kristen had learned that Stefano was kidnapped and she paid some ransom money to get him back. Stefano was dying from a brain tumor. Before Stefano died he told Kristen that he wanted to see her marry his son, Tony. John was sick when he learned this, but he realized that Kristen was Stefano's adopted daughter. Still, Kristen told John that she had to marry Tony because it was Stefano's last wish.
Later, Marlena gave birth to her daughter, Belle, at the cabin and John and Kristen delivered the baby. Tony returned to Salem and when he and Kristen were to b married, Kristen left him at the altar to help John recover Marlena and Roman's daughter, Belle. John and Kristen posed as man and wife and were looking to buy a child. They were both shocked that the woman selling Belle was none other than Sami. John and Kristen returned Belle to Marlena on Christmas.
In 1994, Marlena and Roman were preparing to have Belle Christened when Stefano showed up. Marlena knew that Stefano knew about her affair with John, so she blurted it out in front of everyone instead of letting Stefano expose her. Roman was crushed that his wife and best friend had betrayed him. Stefano did some investigating and thanks to a stolen diary of Sami Brady's, Stefano learned that John was really Belle's father. Stefano took this information to Roman. Sami eventually admitted that she had switched the paternity test results. Roman filed for a divorce and took and ISA job outside of Salem. Thanks to Stefano, Kristen now despised John for committing adultery and she planned to wed Tony.
Tony and Kristen were about to marry when John showed up at the wedding, claiming that he had evidence linking Stefano to Curtis Reed's murder. When Stefano hopped in a car and drive off, John shot at the tires. Stefano had planned it so his car would go off the road and he would be "killed" in the crash. Kristen, blaming John for her father's death, married Tony.
Later that year, John received a mysterious puzzle. When he assembled the puzzle it showed a picture of an old plantation which he somehow recognized. After learning that the place was Maison Blanche, John went to New Orleans to visit it. When he arrived he was taken prisoner by Stefano and his henchwoman Celeste. Stefano chained John up in the basement and planned to re-brainwash him. Celeste, who liked John, told him that everything he needed to save himself was in his cell. After searching the cell, John found a block that had Johnny Black, 1984 inscribed on it. Behind the block John found a necklace with a crucifix and a prayer on a piece of paper. Using a recording of John's voice, Stefano lured Marlena to New Orleans as well. When she arrived, Celeste knocked her out with either and locked her up with John. Stefano was planning on erasing John's memory, so Marlena tried to prevent him from doing it with a strip show. Stefano also forced Marlena to call Roman and tell him that she was on vacation with John Black. Meanwhile, Celeste became jealous of Marlena because she knew that Stefano was in love with her. Later that year, Kristen, Tony, Peter, Jen, Bo, and Billie all came to Maison Blanche for a charity event Kristen held. While there, Jen and Peter made love. Also, Billie saw a woman who looked like Bo's dead wife Hope, but nobody would believe her. Hope was at Maison Blanche, but she was called Gina by Stefano and Celeste. Roman also showed up, but to arrest Peter Blake for trafficking drugs in one of his clubs. A jealous Celeste leaked gas into the cell where John and Marlena were being held and started a fire. Roman managed to rescue them. John came out and shocked both Kristen and Tony, who were horrified to see John in shackles. Kristen looked up and screamed when she spotted her dead father, Stefano. Tony ran back into the house to try and retrieve his father's computer, which contained a file on John's past. Maison Blanche burst into flames. Tony got the computer, but went blind in the process. Stefano slipped away with Hope, but John managed to catch up with Stefano and rescued Hope. Bo and Billie were shocked when they saw Hope, but Hope claimed to be a woman named Gina.
Kristen Blake began sleeping with John. Later Kristen learned that her husband, Tony, knew that Stefano was alive all along and he had switched Kristen's birth control pills with sugar pills. Kristen left him and began living with John Black in his loft. Kristen also managed to crack the notebook computer from Maison Blanche and was horrified to learn that John was a priest. Kristen told John the truth, but he refused to believe it. John and Kristen traveled to a parish where John served and his mentor, Father Francis, recognized him as Father Black. He was also recognized by a woman from the parish. John had put his handprints in a wall near the parish and he was shocked when they matched. John was forced to accept that he was a priest. Though he wanted to be released from his vows, a friend told John to live as a priest for awhile in order to see what he was giving up. Kristen returned to Tony, who had bought a gun and was planning on killing John. When Kristen told Tony that John was a priest, Tony backed off from killing him. Later that year Tony regained his site, but he continued to lie in hopes of catching Kristen and John together.
In 1995, John, Father Francis, Kristen DiMera, and Caroline Brady all worked to help exorcise Marlena. Marlena tricked Stefano into untieing her from her bed, where John had bound her, and she promptly threw him off her penthouse terrace. Stefano lived, but he was paralyzed and suffered from amnesia. Abe Carver and Pat Hamilton wanted to arrest Marlena for her attempted murder, but when they came face to face with her supernatural powers they realized that Marlena was not responsible for her actions. In an attempt to break John's faith, his late wife Isabella appeared. However, John realized this wasn't his Isabella and she promptly transformed into a demon. Eventually Marlena died and a funeral was to be held for her. John refused to believe that Marlena was dead and he carried her dead body to the church altar where God brought her back to life and rid her of the demon.
After John was released from his vows, Kristen left Tony DiMera. Kristen learned that if she wanted to have a baby then she would need to act fast because she had a medical problem which would eventually make it impossible for her to have children. Kristen expected to be happy with John, but Tony DiMera had other ideas in mind. When they went to Aremid for Peter Blake and Jennifer Devereaux's wedding, Tony killed himself and framed John for murder. John was arrested and held in a make-shift jail at the Red Dragon Inn in Aremid. Peter Blake was put in charge of John's trial and was determined to see John die for the crime John didn't commit. Jack Devereaux and Jennifer Blake believed that Jude StClair murdered Tony, so they sought to find him. Marlena stood by John and never doubted him, but Kristen did doubt John.
John's trial was put on hold when Hope was lost in the avalanche. John was released because he is an excellent tracker. John lead the search to find Hope, and though he's given the chance, John refused to escape and save his own life. Eventually the search was called off and Hope was presumed dead.
John Black's Trial resumed in 1996 and Peter Blake puts Kristen DiMera on the stand. Kristen admitted to the court that she believed that John killed her husband, Tony DiMera. John was sentenced to death because Stefano blackmailed the judge. The death sentence was to be carried out immediately. On the night of his execution, John wrote a letter to Marlena telling her how much he loved her. John had a guard deliver the letter to Marlena, but he couldn't find her so he put it among Marlena's things. John was eventually saved from the gas chamber at the last minute when Tony DiMera's diary surfaced, which showed that Tony staged his own death and framed John. However, Marlena had been abducted and John raced to save her. Stefano escaped with Marlena into some underground tunnels below Aremid. Lexie tried to reason with her father, but he and Marlena are lost in a cave in. Stefano managed to escape to the ocean, but John rescued Marlena. Stefano escaped via helicopter and vowed to return for Marlena.
Kristen manages to convince the Woman in White, who had remembered her past but kept it to herself, to return to Salem with her and live in the DiMera Mansion. John moved in with Kristen to try and heal their broken relationship, even though he also loved Marlena. Marlena also moved into the DiMera Mansion because John insisted that she was not safe from Stefano on her own. Marlena moved into a guest room and was unaware that the love letter John wrote her from death row was among her many papers in her briefcase. Kristen went through Marlena's room and uncovers the love letter that John wrote to her. Kristen hid the letter because she feared she'd lose John if Marlena reads it. However, Marlena found the letter and almost told John the truth, but Kristen announced that she was pregnant. Shortly after, John proposed and Marlena moved out because she can't bear to see John and Kristen together.
Marlena put John under hypnosis because he believed he knew who the Woman in White was. Under hypnosis, John told everyone that she was Rachel Blake, Kristen and Peter's mother. Rachel was being pursued by Stefano DiMera and Rachel called John, who was a young priest, over to her house to talk about Stefano. Stefano eventually planted a bomb in Rachel's husbands car, but Rachel was also in the car when the bomb went off. Rachel lived, but was badly scarred. Stefano believed that Rachel was dead and he kidnapped and brainwashed John because John knew that Stefano killed the Blakes. The Woman denies this claim at first, but later admits that it is true. John went under the drug a second time and this time Kristen asked John, while everyone else was out of the room, if he loved Kristen or Marlena more. John answered Marlena, which infuriated her. Stefano returned to town and Kristen agreed to help him kidnap Marlena. Marlena and Rachel were to fly to San Francisco so that Rachel could have her face reconstructed. Kristen gave Stefano the plane they were to take and he attempted to hi-jack the plane, but was forced to flee when the police learned that Stefano was in Salem from Hope's case. John decided that Marlena was still no longer safe and had her return to the DiMera Mansion so he could protect her.
Marlena and Rachel made plans for another trip. Stefano arranged for himself to be captured, so it appeared that Marlena and Rachel were safe to fly to San Francisco. After their plane took off, John learned that the man they captured was wearing a latex mask. Upon searching the DiMera Mansion they found Rachel Blake bound and gagged. Stefano, disguised as Rachel, had snuck onboard the plane with Marlena. Stefano faked a plane crash which convinced Salem that Marlena and Stefano had both died. Celeste gave John the location of some of Stefano's warehouses and in one he found a game entitled Queen of the Night as well as a set of strange goggles. John brought the game home, but left the goggles at the warehouse. Upon wearing the goggles, John saw Marlena being held prisoner in a cage. John was positive that Marlena was alive and he believed the game told where she was being held.
From her cage, Marlena began to write in a daily journal. Using the goggles, John was able to see Marlena writing and he told Kristen about it. Kristen used the goggles and saw that Marlena was writing about her. Desperate to hide her secrets, Kristen planned to destroy the goggles. Meanwhile, Stefano also planned to destroy the goggles so John could no longer use them to find Marlena. Stefano had a bomb planted in the warehouse that was set to go off the next time John used the goggles. Unfortunately, both John and Kristen went to the warehouse and when John used the goggles, the bomb went off. Kristen, John, and the unborn child survived, but Kristen made John promise to not use the goggles again. John hides the goggles in the basement and used them, but his main focus was on the board game entitled "Queen of the Night." Kristen recognized the game, but she claimed she didn't know where it took place. Eventually, Rachel Blake learned that the game took place in Paris and she suggested to John that he take Kristen to Paris on a vacation. John reads a newspaper about a Paris street carnival and recognized the outfits as one that Marlena was wearing when he used the goggles. Positive that Marlena was in Paris, John flew there. Kristen and Rachel followed when Stefano sent them a forged fax from John asking them to come to Paris.
John realized that Stefano is holding Marlena prisoner in the Paris underground. To lure him out, John set up a huge ball, where Marie Antoinette's crown would be displayed. John knew that Stefano would try to steal it for his "Queen" Marlena. John also knew that if Stefano follows the game, Marlena would show up wearing a gold gown. Unfortunately, Stefano anticipated this. Stefano took Marlena to the ball, but he arranged for many many women to be dressed exactly like Marlena. John, Kristen, Abe, Lexie, and John's french cop friend Renee combed the ball looking for Marlena and each had a mini TV set that was hooked up to many cameras at the ball. Marlena and Kristen came face to face and they argued. Marlena ran off and eventually found John. Unfortunately, Stefano stabbed John with a needle and drug him off while Kristen watched. Stefano also managed to steal the crown by having someone impersonate Renee.
In the Paris Underground, Stefano put John on trial for his crimes against him. John was found guilty and was sentenced to be executed by beheading. Marlena attempted to stop the execution, but failed. Luckily, Vivian and Ivan were searching for Stefano and managed to free John from the guillotine he was in. John and Marlena ran for the tunnels and Stefano perused them. Kristen decided to find the Paris Underground to try and save John and her mother, Rachel, insisted on going. An explosion in the underground buried Kristen and Rachel, but Abe and Lexie managed to save them. They all searched for John and Lexie. When the found him, John had a gun and was holding it on Stefano. Marlena was hurt during the explosion and John gave his gun to Rachel to hold on Stefano so he could carry Marlena. Stefano managed to escape and Rachel followed him. Rachel and Stefano ended up near a gas tank. Rachel, knowing the consequences, shot at Stefano. The tank exploded and Stefano and Rachel were presumed dead.
Both Marlena and Kristen were taken to a hospital to be checked out. Marlena was fine and returned home. Kristen lost her baby and also learned her mother was dead. Kristen blamed Marlena for both their deaths and vowed not to lose John. Kristen blackmailed the doctor into keeping her secret, but he got even by telling John that he could not make love to Kristen.
Upon returning to Salem, Stefano hired Susan Banks to pretend to be Kristen and give birth to his and Kristen's child. Susan Banks went into labor on February 20, 1997 and was rushed to the hospital. Kristen arrived and disguised herself as a nurse so she could watch. John surprised Kristen by having brought a priest who was going to marry them before their child was born. Marlena learned this and attempted to stop the ceremony, but she was too late. John and Kristen were married, but it was actually Susan that John married. The baby, John Jr., was born.
Marlena had conflicting feelings about whether to tell John the truth about Kristen. She went to a chapel and asked God to give her the strength to tell John the truth. Marlena was about to leave when John came in and prayed as well. Marlena overheard John tell God that he hoped Marlena no longer loved him because he promised to keep his vows to Kristen. Marlena realized John would never break his vows, so she let him go.
Roman supposedly died while on an ISA mission in April of 1997. He sent letters to Marlena, John, and Carrie. He gave Marlena and John his blessing to be together and forgave them for the affair and he asked Carrie to watch out for her sister Sami.
Susan eventually locked Kristen and Marlena up in a secret room in the basement of the DiMera Mansion and Susan took Kristen's place, pretending to be John's wife. Susan's twin sister, Sister Mary Moira, showed up in Salem looking for Susan. John told her that Susan left town awhile ago. Sister Mary was worried about her sister because she had gotten a strange letter saying that Susan had married him and had his baby. John just laughed it off.
Susan planned an Elvis themed wedding for herself and John, which Kristen and Marlena were forced to watch from the secret room. Desperate to stop the wedding, Kristen tried to dig through the wall and ended up hitting a gas line, which knocked Kristen and Marlena unconscious. Stefano showed up dressed as a waiter and was planning to escape with Marlena. Unfortunately, Laura showed up, still wearing her pajamas from the hospital, and accused Kristen, who was really Susan, of kidnapping Marlena. Laura slapped Susan and her fake teeth landed in Vivian's glass of champagne. Susan confessed everything and John managed to save Kristen and Marlena from the secret room, both had passed out. Kristen woke up from the gas affects first and begged John to marry her immediately. John agreed, but as they were about to marry, Marlena came to and told John that Kristen lost his baby in Paris and hired Susan Banks to impersonate her and give birth to a baby, which Kristen claimed was theirs. Kristen admitted it and then grabbed a police officer's gun and threatened to kill Marlena, but John stopped her. Kristen, Ivan, and Vivian were all arrested. Kristen managed to make bail, but Vivian was forced to give up all her possessions to gain her and Ivan's freedom. Vivian thought she had gotten away with hiding some secret stashes from the police, but Kate turned them into the police and Vivian lost everything.
John arranged for Marlena, Lexie, and Laura Horton to all have a relaxing day at the Salem Spa. Stefano snuck in and almost kidnapped Marlena, but Lexie saw him and ratted him out. Stefano escaped, but Marlena was saved.
John planned an engagement party for Marlena at the Penthouse Grill. Kristen, Vivian, and Ivan crashed the party and when Kristen heard John propose to Marlena, she lost it. Kristen went out to the ledge and threatened to jump, but John talked her down. Stefano was also at the party and planned to kidnap Marlena, but Kristen ruined his chance and he was furious with her.
John and Marlena planned to marry in July of 97, but Kristen and Stefano brought the wedding to a halt when Kristen showed up at the wedding with Marlena's dead ex-husband, Roman. Later, John and Marlena learned from Shane that Roman claimed to be dead because he really was dying of a deadly virus and didn't want his family to watch him suffer. Kristen convinced John and Marlena that Roman would be the most comfortable living in the DiMera mansion. Roman refused to stay in the hospital and accepted Kristen's offer. Kristen further caused problems by telling Roman that she and John were married and Marlena never became involved with anyone else after he left Salem.
Roman was admitted to the hospital to undergo a series of tests. Unfortunately, the diseases Roman had was very advanced. Marlena wanted to attend a conference in LA, but was unable to leave Roman. However, Carrie and Mike agreed to go in her place. Carrie and Mike met up with Dr. Brock in L.A., who gave Carrie the name of a drug that could help Roman. Carrie faxed the prescription to Marlena in Salem and the drug gave Roman renewed strength, though it wasn't a cure. Stefano allowed himself to be captured and then told John that only he had the cure for Roman. John didn't want to believe him, but it seemed there was no other way to save Roman. John, with Lexie and eventually Abe's help, broke Stefano out of jail. John and Stefano speed to the airfield where John's plane awaited them. Kristen managed to convince John and Stefano to let her come along. Marlena also wanted to go, but John said she should remain behind because this could be a trap. However, Hope decided to tag along to keep an eye on Kristen. Stefano was furious when John found Hope stowed away and wanted to return to Salem and leave her behind, but they couldn't because they would be captured for sure.
John, Hope, Stefano, and Kristen all traveled to a jungle compound where they were introduced to Dr. Rolfe, the man working on the cure for Roman. Dr. Rolfe recognized Hope, but Stefano managed to warn him not to say anything to Hope. Hope ended up breaking into a storage room, which infuriated him because there were things, including a table, in that room that could jog her memory from the missing four years of her life. Stefano promptly locked the room up with a high tech lock. When Dr. Rolfe finally finished the cure, the vial containing the cure was dropped and it was lost. Dr. Rolfe and Stefano tell John and Hope that the only way to make another cure is for someone to brave the jungle and the natives and retrieve a special orchid. John and Hope volunteer to find the orchid. Hope and John found the orchid and John put it in his backpack, but a native knocked John off a cliff and Hope, Kristen, and Stefano thought he was killed. John's backpack was recovered, but the orchid was missing. Hope managed to find some of the orchid's seeds and Rolfe made a cure using them. As they were about to return to Salem, John showed up alive, but was poisoned by a native's dart. John was cured and they all flew back to Salem. On the way back, their plane crashed in the Bermuda triangle, but they managed to return to Salem with the cure. John, Hope, Stefano, and Kristen showed up at the hospital with the cure just as Marlena was about to marry Roman, because it was his dying wish, The cure was administered to Roman and Stefano was granted a pardon for his crimes. Marlena explained to John why she was going to marry Roman and he understood.
Stefano's cure began to fail, which Stefano knew would happen. Stefano said that the only way to save Roman was to donate his own blood, mix it with some other drugs, and give it to Roman. Stefano had also suffered from the disease Roman had and he had been saved in a similar manor. However, Stefano only agreed to do this is Marlena would forgive him and be his friend. Stefano announced that he wanted to become a respected citizen of Salem, secretly it was all a part of his master plan. Marlena reluctantly agreed and gave the second cure to Roman, which worked.
Roman was released from the hospital, but Marlena and John were told that any stress could cause Roman to relapse. Therefore, John and Marlena were forced to hide their love. Eric decided to use this to his own advantage and tried to push his mom and dad back together. John soon became frustrated with the entire situation when Roman moved into the guest room in Marlena's penthouse, which forced John to move back in with Kristen to keep up the charade that they were married. Roman soon began to see that there is problems with John and Kristen's marriage. Kristen tells Roman that she and John are having problems because another woman is trying to steal him from her.
Kristen became somewhat crazy and thought that if she could get Elvis back, John may be able to love her again. Kristen goes to Susan and tells her that the only way the baby can be protected from Stefano is if she raised him. Kristen lured Susan over to the DiMera mansion and drugged her with spiked eggnog. She then tricked Susan into signing away all legal rights over little Elvis to her. Kristen, disguised herself as Susan, and then kidnapped little Elvis. When Susan confronted Kristen, Kristen had the legal documents that proved the child was now hers. Susan almost attempted to kill herself, but John stopped her before she could jump into the icy Salem River. Susan went to get her brother, Thomas (the third triplet), to help her steal back little Elvis. However, Sister Mary Moira stopped Thomas before he could do anything sinful to Kristen. When Stefano learned what Kristen had done he was outraged and helped John steal back little Elvis and return him to Susan. Kristen took Susan to court, but Susan, John, and Marlena double crossed her. John delayed Kristen and Susan pretended to be Kristen at the courthouse and said what she did was wrong and withdrew the legal agreement Susan had signed. When Kristen learned what they had done to her she was furious. John arranged for Susan and Little Elvis to leave the country safely and live in peace. Marlena and John said goodbye to Susan and watched her leave. Stefano arrives at the airport after Susan has left. Stefano vowed to John that he would find his son again.
Kristen was at Salem Place when she received a call from Stefano telling her that John and Marlena just sent Susan and the baby off to an unknown country. Kristen is furious and decides to get revenge. She seems Roman and Roman tells Kristen that he's planning on proposing to Marlena today. Kristen, knowing that John and Marlena are aboard his jet, tells Roman that Marlena is at the airport and that he should use John's jet to propose to her in the air. Thinking it is a romantic idea, Roman decided to do that. Roman went to the airport and found John and Marlena on John's jet talking about how they hate deceiving Roman.
A New Years eve party was thrown at the Penthouse Grill Roman showed up at the party and planned on confronting John and Marlena, but he passed out. Roman was rushed to the hospital and Mike told them that Roman's blood pressure was dangerously high. Kristen went to visit Roman in the hospital and Roman told her the woman John was cheating on her with was John. Kristen pretended that it was all over, but Roman convinced her not to let John and Marlena know they were on to them and that they should fight for them. Roman, knowing Marlena had a date with John, asked Marlena out for the same night. Marlena accepted and decided to tell Roman the truth. Meanwhile, John overheard Roman and Kristen talking and realized that Roman already knew the truth. Roman and Marlena meet at Chez Vous, but before Marlena could confess, Roman told her that he knew about her and John. John suddenly showed up to tell Marlena about Roman's deception, but Marlena says she knows. John and Marlena both told Roman that Kristen was an evil and vindictive woman. Kristen lost her last friend in Salem that day.
In February on 1998, John and Marlena found Kristen DiMera's body floating in the Blake house swimming pool. The coroner pronounced her death a suicide, John had a message on his answering machine from Kristen and he took it as a suicide note and blamed himself for Kristen's death. In reality, the person who was killed was Penelope Kent, Susan's long lost sister. However, nobody in Salem ever learned that and everyone believed Kristen was dead.
Before leaving Salem, Kristen had pulled off one last scheme. Kristen had left a note for Marlena from Susan thanking her for everything she had done for her. Kristen also included a piece of chocolate candy that she knew Marlena liked. However, Kristen had filled it full of penicillin, something Marlena was deathly allergic to. However, it was Belle who actually ate the chocolate. Luckily, Roman came to the penthouse and found her next to an open bottle of Brady's penicillin pills and thought Belle had eaten them. Roman gave Belle an injection of insulin and rushed her to the hospital. Roman's quick thinking saved Belle's life. As he watched Marlena and John with Belle, Roman made one of the most important decisions of his life. For months, Marlena was struggling to choose whether she wanted to spend her life with John or Roman. Seeing that she truly loved John and that Belle needed both her parents, Roman unselfishly backed away from Marlena. Soon after they reunited, John and Marlena became engaged once again. In England, Susan had a funny feeling and called back to Salem. She learned what had happened to Belle and was happy to hear that Belle was safe and that John and Marlena were back together. Susan sent a message to Kristen, who had been locked up in the supreme leader's dungeon, that her plan failed and that John and Marlena were engaged.
John took Marlena to New Orleans for a romantic weekend and ended up running into Hope and Bo. When Hope came back to the hotel, Bo, John, and Marlena were waiting for her. Hope wanted to return to the swamp and was talked into letting Bo go with her. Later, John and Marlena went to what was left of Maison Blanche. John found a shocking photo there, which he pocketed.
Upon returning to Salem, John showed Hope a picture he found at the ruins of Maison Blanche. The photo was of Hope standing infront of a building wearing an odd suit. Hope told John about her trip to the Bayou and John told Hope that he had heard stories about the Swamp Girl while at Maison Blanch. Apparently, the Swamp Girl wrestled alligators and killed men. John and Hope decided to go see Celeste and ask her about the picture, but she had no idea when it was taken. However, Vivian recognized the outfit as one made in the 30s by a famous European designer, very little were ever made. Vivian told John and Hope that they should use some of her architecture books in her townhouse to try and find out the building in the picture. While going through the books, Hope found a picture of the painting "Garden at Twilight," which haunted her and caused her to remember a strange waltz.
The Horton's and Brady's hosted a family barbecue for the Fourth of July. At the barbecue, John told Hope that he had spoken to a friend of his at a university. He told Hope three locations the picture could have been taken. Lugano, Switzerland was the one that stood out to Hope and she knew that was where she had to go. However, John managed to convince her to wait until they could learn more. Hope had sketched a portrait and shocked everyone with her artistic talent, something she never had before. John ID'd the portrait as the one they saw at Vivian's. The next day, Maggie gave Hope a book on the Impressionists when Alice had recognized the sketch was by Paul Renet. In the book it was revealed that Renet was from Lugano Switzerland. When Maggie accidentally broke Hope's silver comb, Hope found an engraving inside that read "Made in Lugano." Hope decided then and there that she was going to Lugano. John, with Marlena's blessing, went with Hope to keep her out of danger.
John and Hope arrived in Lugano and went into an antique shop and showed the comb to a man there. He identified it as being from a collection, which was stolen. The shopkeeper told them to leave immediately and he wouldn't report them to the police. After leaving, John and Hope witnessed the shopkeeper give the comb to a woman named Lucille. John and Hope followed Lucille to a grand house, which John recognized as the one from the picture of Hope. John and Hope entered the house, claiming to be in Lugano studying architecture. The house was owned by Ms. Faversham, Lucille was her caretaker as she wasn't a well person. Upon seeing Hope, Ms. Faversham called her Princess Gina, which shocked Hope and John. Ms. Faversham told Hope that they were good friends and she came to all the balls she used to host before she got sick. However, she mysteriously disappeared from the dance floor and hasn't been seen since. Hope wanted to continue talking to Ms. Faversham, but her caretaker Lucille said that Ms. Faversham needed to rest and they should go.
John and Hope left, but planned to return. John went into town to check out newspapers for info on Princess Gina and Ms. Faversham. Hope decided to act the part of a princess and went shopping for an elegant gown. While shopping, Hope was stunned to run into Billie. Billie claimed to be in town on Countess Williamina business. The two had a fight and Hope decided to just avoid Billie all together. Later, Hope questioned a salesperson about a silver compact similar to the one she had lost. Billie eavesdropped and learned the compact she had was actually Hope's.
John and Hope attended a dinner that Ms. Faversham was hosting and were shocked to see Roman and Billie there. Roman explained to him that he was posing as Jesse Bob Thorton, a texas Oil Tycoon, and Billie was his mistress Ruth Anne James. Roman knew Ms. Faversham years ago when he first began working on this art smuggling case for the ISA. Ms Faversham had lost a great deal of art treasures due to a theft. However, Roman was convinced it was an inside job. Over the course of the evening, Ms. Faversham told Hope that she was the toast of all the balls in Lugano and had many gentlemen callers, but remained true to only one man. Ms. Faversham also told Hope that she was like a daughter to her and was going to leave everything, including "Garden at Twiglight" to her. Alas, "Garden at Twilight" was stolen many years ago. Meanwhile, Lucille became irritated with Princess Gina and drugged her champaign to bring the party to a close quickly.
Hope and John decided to drive out to the country to see the grandson of Paul Renet, Maurice Renet. Earlier that day, John was shocked when two nuns recognized him as Father Black. At the Renet Estate, Maurice told John and Hope about the last party Ms. Faversham gave which he attended and showed them some pictures. Hope is nowhere to be found in them, but John is! John appears in one of the pictures with a beard and long hair. John asked Ms. Faversham if she remembered a priest being at past art auctions and she said there was a priest who was close with Princess Gina, but she hadn't seen him in over 15 years. Suddenly, Lucille showed up with Hope's passport and told Ms. Faversham and "Princess Gina" was a fraud. Hope explained her dilemma to Ms. Faversham, who later proved that Hope was Princess Gina because of a birthmark on her head. Ms. Faversham told Hope that perhaps she was really Princess Gina and made to believe she was Hope Brady.