"Stealing Thunder, A Trinity War Interlude": After an altogether unpleasant day, Lloyd, sole proprietor of The Joint bar, attempts to get the last of his drunken customers - a member of Papa Midnite's gang - out of his bar so h
- Don't touch it, kid. You'll think you're doing the right thing, but you'll only light the fuse.
Synopsis for "Stealing Thunder, A Trinity War Interlude"
After an altogether unpleasant day, Lloyd, sole proprietor of The Joint bar, attempts to get the last of his drunken customers - a member of Papa Midnite's gang - out of his bar so he can close up shop. Unfortunately, before he can manage even that, he receives a visit from further bad news: John Constantine.
After learning that the vast majority of the super-human community has gone crazy, as far as he's concerned, John decided that it would be best to take a particular one of them off of the game-board. He has brought Shazam with him, and by way of an elaborate bluff about some kind of evil spell homing in on him, John tries to convince him to turn off the Shazam powers for the time being. Sweetening the pot, he claims that he will tell the Justice League that by doing so, Shazam saved all of their lives, and they are all in his debt. Liking the sound of this, Shazam cries out the magic word, and returns to his real form: the boy Billy Batson.
Billy is eager to learn how to neutralize the evil spell that targeted him, and John explains that he needs to use a special artifact for the task - a voodoo doll. Realizing that something isn't quite right, Billy tries to call on the magic lightning to change back into Shazam, but watches with horror as it is channeled into the the doll instead. Further to his upset, Billy realizes that his voice sounds like John's. Lloyd is confused, and John explains that he has borrowed Billy's voice for a while - and along with it, the ability to use his magic word.
Meanwhile, Mister E and the Cult of the Cold Flame learn from MopMop of John's return to The Joint, and he orders the thug to kill John and everyone in the place. To aid this, he has MopMop say a magic word that releases a menacing demon from his body.
John promises that he doesn't intend to use the power of Shazam for himself. He is merely trying to take that magical power out of the hands of an impetuous boy at such a vulnerable time for the world. This explanation is no comfort to Billy, of course. He has little time to complain, though, as MopMop crashes through the door and pins John to the floor. With a demonic fist pummelling his face, John barely manages to utter the word "Shazam."
With that, a crack of lightning transforms him into the agent of the wizard Shazam's power. Unfortunately, the power hurts to contain in his body, but he struggles through it to fight the demon. In the meantime, Billy manages to escape his manacles, but Lloyd catches him before he can lay his hands on the voodoo doll. Deciding instead to be helpful, Billy realizes that if he has John's voice, he can use it to trick MopMop. His awkward impression catches the demon's attention enough that Lloyd can blast it in the face wit his rifle, and John can latch onto its back and rip its head from its body.
With the battle over, John still struggles to contain the power, and he fails to notice as Billy gets his hands on the doll, finally, and speaks the magic word himself. Instantly, the power is returned to its rightful owner, who demands to know why John presumed to think he had a right to take that power away. Lighting a Silk Cut, John explains that Pandora's Box is not what it appears to be. It is actually a global bomb, and the wizards whose power Billy carries had no idea. Billy doesn't care about John's explanation, and leaves, hoping never to see the con-man again.
With Billy gone, it takes a moment for both John and Lloyd to realize that John is actually wounded - quite gravely, in fact. As Lloyd scrambles for his first aid kit, John begins to have an out-of-body experience. To his horror, he is joined by Chris, the young man whom he let die in pursuit of part of Croyden's Compass, and he wants revenge.
Appearing in "Stealing Thunder, A Trinity War Interlude"
- Lloyd Ortiz
- Chris (As a spirit)
- Black Adam (Mentioned only)
- Justice League (Mentioned only)
- Papa Midnite (Mentioned only)
- Superman (Mentioned only)
- Pandora's Box (Mentioned only)
- This issue is reprinted in Justice League: Trinity War.