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10 Badass Gay Characters
by Susana Polo and Zoe Chevat (Mostly Zoe Chevat) | 12:30 pm, June 28th, 2011
Some may have raised an eyebrow when they saw the British occult detective on a list of badass gay, lesbian, and bisexual heroes. Being in continuous publication under the Hellblazer title since 1988, and appearing in Alan Moore’s epic classic Swamp Thing before that, means that John’s got a helluva lot of continuity to comb through. He’s got plenty of skeletons and demons in his closet, and that includes both ex-girlfriends and ex-boyfriends.
A magnet for the weird and horrible, like others of his genre, Constantine is a streetwise, cynical magician and con who sticks on the side of humanity, no matter who else is playing. Initially created as an advisor on the supernatural for Moore’s lovelorn Swamp Thing, Constantine got his own series under DC’s adult line, Vertigo, which has also housed Wildstorm. Traveling the world and always finding himself in trouble, Constantine can use his wits, a bit of nasty magic, and sheer will to get out of any scrape (save being misrepresented by Keanu Reeves in an awkward film adaptation that bore almost no resemblance to the comic series). A man of gray morality, Constantine will make deals with demons, angels, obscure gods, or the Devil himself (he’s not such a bad guy, really) to make sure the world, and his own sanity, stay intact.
It’s a long-running theme of Constantine’s tale that anyone he loves meets a foul end, and that means anyone, female or male. However, equal opportunity guilt hasn’t meant equal representation on the comic page; though John’s canon bisexuality has come up numerous times, the majority of the writers who have taken the reins shy away from involving him with men. It’s understandable that the guy has more serious concerns, what with regularly being the unwitting third choice in a game between Heaven and Hell. Perhaps, after things get mashed up and spewed out again over at DC, Vertigo’s editors could take a hint from their protagonist and have some guts.
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