It’s the last day of November, which means today’s my last chance to get the feature for the second November Club Infinite Earths figure in just under the wire. Ah, John Constantine. I adore this character so much. He’s one of those comic book personas that I can honestly say transcends his books, and that I read them for my love of who and what the character is and not so much the actual stories. And even beyond the panels of the funnybooks, there was so much potential to bring this character to live action and it was all squandered on that terrible movie. Anyway, it was the reveal of figures like Constantine that made me all the happier that I subbed Club Infinite Earths, and that’s saying a lot since this series has yet to really disappoint in character selection or execution.
We just saw the DCUSC packaging earlier in the week with Uncle Sam, so I won’t spend a lot of time on it here. I will say that this box is so far the sole instance where I’m not thrilled with the character art. It’s fine enough on its own, but it doesn’t match the figure’s portrait at all, and quite frankly I like the figure’s head sculpt a lot better, which is ironic because at first I wasn’t sure about it. As always, the figure looks great in the package and the collector friendly nature of the box means mint-in-box collectors can have their cake and eat it too.
Let’s start with Constantine’s portrait. It’s very stylized, especially compared to the character art on the box. I wasn’t sold on it when I first saw it in the promo pics and I still wasn’t when I first got the figure in hand. It has started to grow on me a lot, however. For a character that was originally designed to look like pop singer Sting, this figure does not, and in the end that’s probably for the better because nobody’s ever accused me of being a fan of Sting, at least not since he left The Police. I like the hair sculpt a lot and the prominent brow gives him a stern look, which is nicely counterbalanced by the slight smirk in his mouth. The scar is well implemented too. He does seem to have an extra helping of ears, but all in all, this is a really remarkable head sculpt that oozes personality. At this rate, if it keeps growing on me, it may turn into one of my favorites.
Obviously, Constantine is a dude in a trench coat, so I don’t think there was any doubt where Mattel was going to look to get parts for this figure… yup it was The Question! The Question was a great figure to begin with, so Constantine was in good hands. The trench coat, arms and legs are all straight grabs and they work very well. Constantine’s coat feels like it’s cast in a slightly more pliable plastic, which is a good thing, and it looks really good in the new tan color. Constantine stands a bit taller than The Question, making up the extra height in the torso.
The rest of the figure features some nice unique work, including a rumpled shirt and a necktie, separately sculpted so that it’s hanging down from the collar. It was sticking out quite a bit in the package, but fear not. If you don’t want your Constantine looking like Lou Costello dressed him, it will lay flat if you tuck it into the coat for a little while, or you can just use a tiny dab of blue tack. I’m not a big fan of Constantine’s hands. They look like they might be the same ones used for Uncle Sam, which means he looks like he’s meant to hold accessories that he doesn’t come with. A pack of smokes would have been cool, but I suppose I can understand why Mattel didn’t include something like that, even if this is an “Adult Collector” line. Ok, no I don’t. Mattel, you should have included a pack of smokes.
Constantine’s articulation is identical to what we saw on The Question and is pretty typical for all DCUC style figures. The neck and shoulders are ball jointed. The arms feature hinged elbows and swivels in the biceps and wrists. His legs feature the usual DCUC style hip joints, hinges in the knees and ankles, and swivels in the thighs. John can also swivel at the waist and still retains the ab crunch hinge under the trench coat.
John Constantine is a fantastic addition to the Club Infinite Earth roster and I’m kind of surprised he didn’t sell out. Even ten days after the sale, he’s still available. I can understand Uncle Sam not flying off the shelf, as he’s far more of a niche character, but even he is listed as “Almost Gone” now while there appears to be plenty Constantines left. Granted to the uninitiated, he’s just a cool looking guy in a trench coat, but I thought John here had more street cred than that, and it saddens me to see him lingering on Matty’s virtual pegs.