Justice League Dark: Constantine by DC Collectibles

Since Force Awakens took up a lot of the week, I thought I’d toss out a bonus feature today. Last week I checked out Zatanna from the Justice League Dark comic and as promised I’m back now to check out Constantine. I’m really pushing through the “To Read” comic stacks on my nightstand, and I’m going to be getting back to this one soon enough, but based on the dozen or so issues that I’ve read so far, it’s a book that I really dig. I’m a big fan of Mattel’s Signature Collection Constantine figure, so I’m interested to see how this one will stack up.


I still think that DCC’s packaging for these figures is pretty “meh.” It’s a simple window box with an extended back equipped with a J-hook. It’s bland and not very exciting, but at the very least it does show the figure off quite well and it is totally collector friendly. I guess that’s something. Also, I don’t feel obligated to keep it.


While I’ve had some differences with Zatanna’s wardrobe in this book, Constantine’s classic look survived the transition to the New 52. He’s still wearing his trusty long brown duster, collared shirt and disheveled necktie, all of which is wonderfully reproduced here for the figure. The coat is the usual vest with sculpted sleeves trick and I think this is one of the better executed examples of that.


The coat is sculpted to splay out at the bottom and it’s cast in very pliable plastic, so it doesn’t impede leg articulation at all. The sleeve on his watch arm is rolled up and the other extends to his wrist. I really dig how the ends of the belt hang off the coat. It adds a lot of credibility to the sculpt. The same goes for the collar, lapels, and the necktie. I can’t come up with a single quibble about Constantine’s outfit. It’s just perfect.


The portrait, on the other hand, gives me mixed feelings. It reminds me of a young, anime-style David Bowie and considering the design history of the character, that’s right on target. This is, of course, the New 52 version, and the characters are supposed to be younger and that’s definitely reflected here, although even in the comic he tends to have some stubble, which is the main place where this portrait is at odds with the character art. The crazy eyes also make him look like a crank junkie. All in all, I prefer the Mattel portrait, but this one is certainly interesting.


Articulation here is serviceable, but there are a couple things missing that I would have liked to see. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and elbows, but sadly there are no wrists swivels. That was a gripe I had with the Zatanna figure too. The legs are ball jointed at the hips and knees, but there’s no ankle articulation. There’s no articulation at all in the torso, not even a waist swivel, but the neck is ball jointed. In hand, the figure is still fun to play with, but it could have been better with just a few added points. At least the joints all feel good, with nothing stuck or fragile.


No acccessories, but that’s understandable. What were they going to give him, a cigarette? Actually, now that I mention it, two of the fingers on his right hand are individually sculpted and rather flexible. I imagine I could make a ciggy out of some rolled up paper and tuck it in there. He does at least have a nicely sculpted wrist watch.




I like this figure a lot. It nails the outfit perfectly and while the portrait is a bit weird, it’s certainly got a lot of personality that lends itself to the character. Somewhere between the Signature Collection version and this one, there’s probably a perfect figure to be had. Either way, it’s nice to have a current version of Hellblazer to stand beside my Zatanna. Sadly, DCC didn’t venture much further into Justice League Dark when it comes to figures. There’s no Deadman or Madam Xanadu. They did, however, produce figures of Pandora and Swamp Thing, both of which I’ll be getting to eventually.

DC Universe Signature Collection: John Constantine by Mattel

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.