In our never ending quest to get caught up on toy reviews, I’ll be taking a look at a figure that originally came out way back in November. Like Swamp Thing, Constantine is a character that I was really looking forward to. Unfortunately he didn’t live up to my expectations.
John Constantine is one of those characters that I love, even though I’ve only read a few issues of his Hellblazer series. I wasn’t into comic books until 1997, and it took me a while to expand my reading horizons from Morrison’s JLA to the Vertigo line. Most of my exposure to Constantine came from his appearances in fringes of the DC Universe. Old issues of Swamp Thing, Crisis on Infinite Earths, Zatanna one-shots, and Sandman, and the Books of Magic are how I came to know and love the character.
Being a person who also loves buying toys, I didn’t even think twice about ordering Constantine’s first figure from DC Direct way back in 2000. The line was still fairly new back then, and they were still trying to figure out just what adult collectors wanted out of their figures. That figure had issues with articulation, an odd face sculpt, and couldn’t even stand up because his feet are a bit crooked.
This is one of the main reasons I was really looking forward to a DC Classics incarnation. But my first DC Classics Constantine disappointment came before he was even announced. My plan was to always have John hanging out on the shelf with his buddy Swamp Thing. Yes, I know. Swamp Thing can technically change his size, but most of the time the character is portrayed as only being a bit larger than the average human. Putting him on the shelf with John just looks wrong, so the big guy is usually forced to hang with the Collect & Connects.
Fortunately John’s scale isn’t an issue. He’s got the standard suit buck body with the rubbery trench coat piece. We’ve already seen this with figures like Question and Joker, so you know mostly what to expect. He does have a couple new pieces though. His chest is a new wrinkled shirt. His tie is new also and is sculpted to hang loose with a windblown look.
John’s most obvious new piece is his head. I have really mixed feelings about this piece. In my mind John Constantine has always looked like Sting (or maybe Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer). Although this figure’s head sculpt is still recognizable as Constantine, I don’t think it captures the characters essence and personality. I do like that they added the scar though. It definitely gives him a bit more character. Continue to page 2…