MBTI: John Constantine- ISTP
As one of comics’ few characters that ages naturally (kind of), Constantine has had a fickle existence. On at once he can be selfless and make sacrifices to save those he doesn’t know- yet he’s also the biggest dick in comics.
While ISTPs are generally known for their “What you see is what you get” lifestyle, there’s not much about John’s appearance to make you think he isn’t a jerk. Though expectations are meant to be played with, aren’t they?
As much as I’d hate to copy and paste another site’s description of a character or a type- it’s not like I haven’t done it before!
Although a compassionate humanist who struggles to overcome the influence of both Heaven and Hell over humanity and despite his occasional forays into heroism, Constantine is a foul-mouthed, disillusioned, British cynic who pursues a life of sorcery and danger. His motivation has been attributed to an adrenaline addiction that only the strange and mysterious can sate.
So sayeth Wikipedia!
Drop the mic. In all seriousness, the above description really does match Constantine (Meant to be pronounced as Constan-TYNE as opposed to the film’s Constan-TEEN) perfectly up with the ISTP variant. ISTP will often go through the motions of something, good or bad, all with a “whatever” attitude. This is especially confusing to those who observe them doing something positive because their attitude can be downright hateful. Or they may say something hateful with the best intentions in mind. Summarizing it, you won’t know if they actually believe the things they say, but by God, they mean it in that moment.
Users of “fuzzy logic,” it’s the immediate argument that ISTPs are drawn to, rather than the outcome. How this fits in with Constantine is easy. Nobody trusts that guy. Though he has many friends and connections, there’s little to allow anyone around the chain-smoking sorcerer that you could trust him with your lighter, much less your life.
Are ISTPs considered untrustworthy? Not as a whole, but taking the smooth talking, likable personalities they are just add a few instances over time when they’ve shown their intentions to be less than true, and suddenly, you’ve got the image of a con man on your hands, and that’s exactly what John is. Every type has their way of seeming untrustworthy and that just happens to be the ISTP’s. Keep in mind of course, we’re talking about a character who exhibits such negative sides, rather than the type preferences he displays.
John also fits the “ISTP Hero” mold as described in an article written a few months back. While his past is muddled by friends-turned enemies and the like, death is a constant in John’s life. Like a true ISTP (anti)hero, he’s got a way of accidentally getting his friends and lovers (male and female) killed. While others may make more of an effort to conceal their identity or even reject loved ones at all to keep them safe, John takes the easy road and takes few precautions. Then again, he battles the supernatural so there’s only so much that can be done anyway.
Having conned even “The First of the Fallen,” John’s approach to life is definitely a trickster’s one. Having had the crap beaten out of him by anyone that’s been able to touch him, honing his mind was a smart move. Though he is powerful when it comes to magic, it’s his mind that’s his most powerful weapon. But his tricks don’t ever seem to be long, drawn out plans to level enemies to their knees as an INTJ character is likely to do, but an in-the-moment ace in the sleeve that gives him the upper hand at the last second.
This has happened so much in fact that it’s been referred to as a power known as “synchronicity wave traveling.” Think Black Cat or Domino but with a spiritual twist. While real ISTPs probably don’t have that, their Ti/Se functions make for quick problem solvers that don’t require a lot of preparation for them to deal with an issue. In fact, the planning would take all the fun out of it.
Ti dissects, Se acts. So it’s no wonder Constantine’s run-in with Batman left the Dark Knight a little out of his depth. Long-term planning versus on-the-spot magic. Who wins, the INTJ Batman or ISTP Constantine? It depends on whose book it is. Zing!