DC Showcase Animated Shorts – Constantine: The House of Mystery
Constantine has had one hell of a run in this current iteration of the DC Animated Cinematic Universe. This time, though, he has truly outdone himself. Part of the next set of animated shorts from DC Showcase, Constantine: The House of Mystery brings Matt Ryan back to the titular character and handling the aftermath of his last outing in Justice League Dark: Apokolips War. Attendees of Wondercon 2022 got an exclusive look at the short, as well as looks at the other previously released shorts included in this collection; Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth, The Losers, and Blue Beetle.
Moderated by Gary Miereanu, the panel included Rick Morales (producer), writers Ernie Altbacker (Constantine: The House of Mystery), Paul Giacoppo (Kamandi, The Last Boy on Earth!), Tim Sheridan (The Losers),Jennifer Keene (Blue Beetle), and Jeremy Adams (Blue Beetle, “story by”), as well as actor Dave B. Mitchell who voices Sarge and Gunner in The Losers.
The panel started off by talking about why they do these shorts showcases. It allows them to spotlight many of the other characters and stories that DC has to offer that aren’t just about the trinity of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. The panel then moves onto the process of condensing some of these iconic stories into a smaller, more digestible, formats and how they will often start big and go over length before slimming it down. The shorts will usually only focus on 1 plot and a small number of characters and really focus on getting viewers to see these iconic moments.
We then move into clips of the shorts on the collection. With it being April Fool’s Day, one of the clips played out of order so the audience got to watch the Blue Beetle clip when we were supposed to go right into the clip for Kamandi. The Blue Beetle clip has Ted Kord finding himself attempting to foil a bank heist in the midst of a game of keep away. The Octopus leave the scene and then The Question arrives. The clip ends shortly after. The animation of this short gives off a retro 60’s vibe with the art style as well as the slightly over the top characters. Blue Beetle also appeared on Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two.
We are then treated to a short clip from Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth in which Kamandi is attempting to save his friend Prince Tuftan who is being held captive by a cult of gorillas, before having to fight their way out. We then get to hear a bit about Paul Giocoppo’s process on how he wrote this short including inspirations as well as the history behind Kamandi. Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth also appeared on Justice Society: World War II
Next up is The Losers. They show off the clip first which shows the team landing on a mysterious island before encountering a dinosaur. So they begin shooting it making the rest of the area aware of their presence. We then talk with Tim Sheridan about why this particular team was chosen for an animated short and a bit about the history of The Losers. The panel happened to have voice actor Dave B Mitchell on the panel so we got to hear about his process of voicing two characters who interact in the short. He got to show off switching between Gunner and Sarge for a few moments which was cool. The Losers also appeared on Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One.
And to tie it all together we end the panel with Constantine: The House of Mystery. It is the only new short on this collection so the footage here was never before seen. Matt Ryan returns to the role as this serves as a coda to Justice League Dark: Apokolips War and has Constantine wake up in The House of Mystery with no memory of how he got there. Oh and demons. Can’t forget those. Ernie Altbacker describes this short as “Groundhog Day from Hell” and like something out of The Twilight Zone. We were treated to an unseen clip from the short featuring Constantine wandering around the house and some of the horrors that lie within.
Constantine: The House of Mystery will release May 3 on physical and digital and is not suitable for 8 year olds.