John Constantine. You might know him for being DC Comics’ go-to warlock and detective for a lot of the supernatural nonsense that often happens in that particular comic book universe. If you’re into the adaptations, you might remember when Keanu Reeves played him in the 2005 film. But me? I know him best for being the bisexual king played by Matt Ryan in the Arrowverse. I’m talking about the man who travels through time and uses his magic to save the day, but also literally saved the timeline by kissing his boyfriend in Legends of Tomorrow.
So why are we here talking about him today? Because John made an appearance in a new DC Animated film Justice League Dark: Apokolips War, which came to digital platforms yesterday. Ryan reprises his role as the magic man himself, and while I haven’t seen the movie yet, I’m always glad to hear Ryan playing the character in any form he can because he’s so good.
The movie itself might have eluded me thus far, but I did see one scene in particular that I just had to shout about from the rooftops. Here’s the 17-second scene courtesy of Twitter user @Jo_Zatarra, who was kind enough to post it on their feed:
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So there’s some stuff to unpack here. This scene is dope because it shows John getting to be the previously stated bisexual king he is, even outside of Legends of Tomorrow, but we also learn that he’s apparently a monster fucker too, as he at some point dated King Shark. But also, Polygon’s comic editor Susana Polo made a joke about John being the bottom of the relationship on Twitter, which was confirmed by writer Mairghread Scott. So just let that sink in, like John let in King Shark.
Ryan’s version of Constantine is a regular cast member of Legends of Tomorrow, which is 11 episodes into its 14-episode fifth season, and airs on The CW on Mondays. While he is a major visible queer representative in its DC’s live-action shows, other series like Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Batwoman, and Black Lightning all have their fair share of queer heroes throughout. Sounds like Marvel and its “let’s put our director in a scene as a nameless gay man” ways could learn a thing or two from its direct competitor.
Outside of animation and TV, DC is in the midst of turning things around for its extended universe in film, with Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn coming out in February, and Wonder Woman 1984 coming to theaters (coronavirus permitting) on August 14. For more on that, check out our Birds of Prey episode of You Love to See It, Fanbyte’s TV and movie podcast where we talk about things we saw and how we all felt about them.