This week saw the launch of Constantine: Hellblazer, a new DC ongoing series for everyone’s favorite British Occult Detective. And while its first issue is enjoyable in and of itself, it has one notable little element to it: The comic is portraying John Constantine’s bisexuality more openly than ever before.
Minor spoilers ahead for Constantine: Hellblazer #1.
John Constantine’s sexuality has never been a major aspect of his comic book adventures. It was first revealed in the 2002 story Ashes & Dust in the City of Angels, where Constantine’s romantic past with another man was a major point in the arc. But since then, in the character’s runs with both Vertigo and DC Comics proper, his Bisexuality has rarely been touched on (although it did get a few mentions during the New 52 series Constantine and Justice League Dark).
So its brazen appearance in action in Constantine: Hellblazer this week is a surprising and welcome inclusion.
After ducking into a café to avoid someone following him, John flirts with the male server (who reciprocates with an offer to go out with him, before occult shenanigans catch up with the hapless anti-hero and interrupt the pair). To balance it out, he sleeps with a woman at a theatre shortly after. But either way, it’s nice to see Constantine play the field evenly, so to speak.
In an age where gay comic characters are revealed to the world in big, shock moments — and especially in a world where so very recently Constantine’s bisexuality was chosen not to be included in his (sadly short-lived) TV show — it’s cool to see a rarely-hinted at aspect of the character not just appear, but also be treated with a sense of normalcy. It’s not a major reveal or something a big fuss is made of, it’s just... there, and just another facet to a multifaceted character like Constantine.
Gay characters in comics are still relatively few and far between, and bisexual characters (especially bisexual men) even less so. Some more representation, especially when it’s as low-key as this, is definitely welcome.
Comic images via Bleeding Cool.
[H/T Kenneth Mayer]