Why The Reveal Of Constantine’s Sexuality Is A Massive Win For The Arrowverse
With the return of Legends of Tomorrow, we were treated to the return of John Constantine (Matt Ryan) This comes with the storyline involving Mallus and Nora Darhk (John Noble and Courtney Ford, respectively) that sees Nora possessed by the demon. Upon meeting the Legends, Constantine immediately flirts with Leo (Wentworth Miller) who says he’s flattered, but he’s already spoken for. Later in the episode, he seduces Sara (Caity Lotz)… or she seduces him; you be the judge. Since the Constantine series was cancelled after just 13 episodes, it was never established whether Constantine was bisexual. That is, until now. Constantine is no stranger to the Arrowverse. His first appearance came in the Arrow Season 4 episode, ‘Haunted’. Now, he’s back and fans are finally getting the story behind his sexuality: he’s bi like his comic book counterpart.
A Step Back To The Constantine Television Series And The Character’s Appearance On Arrow
In 2014, a modern retelling of the Hellblazer comics starring the character John Constantine aired on NBC. As stated before, the series was cancelled after just 13 episodes with a fourteenth never produced. Also, it was said that once Arrow was created, Constantine wouldn’t be apart of the Arrowverse.
Now, for anyone who has seen Matt Ryan at work as Constantine, you will know he is perfect in the role. Like Ron Perlman is perfect as Hellboy, but that’s another story for another day. Ryan brings about everything the character is.
Going over to Arrow, Constantine’s appearance comes when Sara was resurrected after she was unintentionally killed by Thea (Willa Holland) on the orders of her father, Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman) while she was under the influence of a drug.
During the episode, ‘Haunted’, we learn that Constantine had previously visited Lian Yu and met Oliver (Stephen Amell) and helped him, hence owing him a favor. In the present day, when Sara began to go down a dark path, Oliver calls Constantine for help to restore Sara’s soul, which her sister Laurel (Katie Cassidy) mistook as an exorcism.
Why Constantine’s Sexuality Wasn’t Explored In ‘Constantine’
When Constantine originally aired on NBC, fans were left asking the question whether the character’s sexuality would be a subject of discussion. When it wasn’t, fans were left asking why as the topic was a massive part of the character in the comics, but not in the show.
According to the show’s executive producer, Daniel Cerone, the character’s sexuality wasn’t an important requirement for the series: Here’s what he had to say:
“Within three decades [of comics] there might have been one or two issues where he’s seen getting out of bed with a man. So [maybe we will do it] 20 years from now? But there are no immediate plans.”
With that being said, the show only had one season that wasn’t even completed. However, one might come to think there was more to it than just ‘lack of importance’. Also, the character had his own movie, released in 2005 starring Keanu Reeves, which also failed in explore the character’s sexual preferences. The film focused on Constantine’s love interest being female.
Exploring Constantine’s Presence In The Arrowverse
When Constantine finally showed up in the Arrowverse, it left fans wondering if it was the same character from the axed television series portrayed the same way. Also, the character’s existence within the television universe, was up for debate.
While Arrow provided no clues as to how the Constantine from the television series of the same name linked up with the latter, it was through the most recent Legends of Tomorrow episode that gave fans the answer they needed to put the dots together.
The episode, ‘Daddy Darhkest’ explored exorcism — which was the reason Constantine asked Sara and her team for help. When a young Nora Dahrk is being possessed by Mallus, Constantine finds himself hesitant to perform the exorcism. Now, here’s where the link comes in. He mentions the botched exorcism he performed on a young girl named Astra. Astra appeared in the Constantine episode ‘Non Set Asylum’. The botched exorcism resulted in Astra’s death and her being damned to hell. When Constantine reflects on this, in LoT, he refers to Astra’s death as his greatest failure.
What’s more is that Constantine is set to reappear in a second attempt of series in the form of animated shorts (like Vixen and Freedom Fighters). Since these are connected to the Arrowverse, there’s no doubt that the mention of Astra’s death would be the one link that links both Constantine series together.
Links To The LGBT Characters of the Arrowverse
From the word go, the Arrowverse has been supportive of the LGBT community by including LGBT characters. Let’s take a look at these characters before we dive into why Constantine’s sexuality reveal is critical to the evolution of the franchise.
- Maggie Sawyers (lesbian)
- Alex Danvers (lesbian)
- Emily (lesbian)
- Darla (lesbian)
- Sara Lance (bisexual)
- Nyssa Al Ghul (lesbian; assumed)
- Curtis Holt (gay)
- Paul Holt (gay)
- David Singh (gay)
- Rob (gay)
- Hartley Rathaway (gay)
Legends of Tomorrow
- Leo Snart (gay)
- Guinevere (bisexual; assumed)
- Louis XIII (bisexual; assumed)
- Anne (bisexual; assumed)
- Ava Sharpe (lesbian; assumed)
- John Constantine (bisexual)
- Todd Rice (unclear)
The Freedom Fighters: The Ray
- Ray Terrill (gay)
- Jacob (gay)
Why The Reveal Is Important
The reveal of Constantine’s sexuality is important because it paves the way for hope within the comic book television community. The comic book universe has an assortment of LGBT characters, that have not yet joined the Arrowverse for one reason or another.
Constantine is a fan favourite and the fans just want him to be portrayed correctly. It’s understandable. It really was. As a fangirl, I want the best for my favourite characters as well. Though, unlike most ‘big time’ fans, I know the reasons behind the changes to certain characters and why they’re different to what people remember.
In terms of Constantine, I haven’t seen the original show, but I know enough to understand why the changes were made. However, I do not approve of how the character was denied the right to have his true sexuality revealed within his own series. It wasn’t right of them. Whatever the reason, whether it be prejudice or not, they should have thought about it before they took on the character
The introduction of Constantine started out as a godsend to the fans of the character. Personally, I love the character and what he adds to the Arrowverse. He might be your classic guy with British charm, but he’s also magical. Not a meta human. More like a man with a lot of magical voodoo that can do. His sexuality is part of who he is. People can’t just brush that off. They either have to accept the character for who he is, or not just get lost. To have Constantine in the Arrowverse is to show those stuff necks that there is nothing wrong with not gay or straight or a combination of the two. The writers of Legends of Tomorrow deserve a massive round of applause.