- We'll play it nice and slow and careful. And then you and me, we're going to kill Tannarak and Sargon both and put an end to this bloody farce. You'll have your revenge.
Synopsis for "Spot the Hustle"
At the Temple of the Cold Flame, John Constantine has just begrudgingly enjoyed a night of passion with Sargon the Sorceress when Mister E attacks with intent to kill. He begins tearing John's soul from his body, but fortunately, John knows how to fight in his astral form. The whole situation makes him feel as though he has been set up by someone, and it reminds him of the instruction he received from his old friend George in chess: spot the hustle, roll with it, and then do something unexpected.
John manages to wrestle Mister E's cane from his hand, and toss it out the window, ending the spell that was affecting him, and though it increases his enemy's respect for him, it also increases his desire to see him dead. Casually, Sargon comments that she can't help John by attacking another member of the inner circle, but she advises him to strike before Mister E finds his weaknesses. Behind Mister E, John spies his moonblade - one of the artifacts that the Cult of the Cold Flame stole from him. Seeing it, he realizes that Sargon wasn't just setting him up, but Mister E as well. Fortunately, he has other weapons at his disposal. Using a puff of enchanted cigarette smoke as a distraction, he thrusts Mister E over the edge of the balcony, and down into the snow below - along with himself. Naturally, before falling, Mister E spirits himself back to the room, but John plummets to the ground - and survives, fortunately.
From behind him, Mister E is surprised to discover that John's fall was an illusion, as John stands behind him wielding his moonblade. Mister E prepares his attack, but he is too late to stop John from thrusting the sword through his back. Elsewhere, Tannarak watches these events as Mister E collapses in death, and Sargon embraces John with lust. With Mister E's death, all of the magic inside him transfers into his so-called allies, which means - as far as John can deduce - that Sargon and Tannarak planned for their comrade to die. He had done exactly as they wanted.
Gleefully, Sargon thanks John for gifting her with this great new power. John is annoyed at being used, and comments that he will be taking his sword. She responds that she left it there for him - and it rightfully belongs to him. And many more things could be his, too, if he would only join the Cult. Rolling with the hustle, John agrees, and kisses her.
When left alone John calls on the spirit of Mister E - trapped within the moonblade - to speak his mind. Grumpily, the spirit responds that he is disappointed that John didn't bother to actually kill him. John points out that his victim will remain trapped within the sword, for as long as he sees fit - but it was not he that brought the sword. He reveals the treachery of Sargon and Tannarak and challenges Mister E to do what he might about it - without leaving the sword. The only acceptable way of doing so would be to tell John everything about the Cold Flame. If the answers satisfy him, he will give Mister E the honour of telling him which of his former allies to kill first.
Later, John attempts to see what his friends are up to elsewhere, and discovers that their battle for Pandora's Box is not going very well. He must intervene.
Appearing in "Spot the Hustle"
- The vision John has following his interrogation of Mister E references the events of Trinity War, as this issue takes place before the events of Forever Evil.