- He's run away with it. And Mist seems to have joined him. He can be very persuasive, our Mr. Constantine. But, no matter... They'll soon find out Felix Faust isn't so easily disposed of.
Synopsis for "The Black Room: Part 2"
John Constantine has decided for himself that the map to the Books of Magic is too dangerous to be put into the hands of Steve Trevor and A.R.G.U.S., despite the fact that two members of that organization are now on his team.
While Doctor Mist seems to agree that the government cannot be trusted with the most powerful magical artifacts in history. Black Orchid on the other hand, has been possessed by Deadman in order to keep her in line. At Mist's request, John has Deadman return control to her body, and she is understandably angry. Reluctantly, John offers his word that he will never try anything like that again, and she calms down. In the meantime, he would like a place to hide the map - and them - while they gather their thoughts. As it happens, John knows just the place to do it.
Taking a key out of his pocket, he turns the lock of an ordinary door, and suddenly they are all transported to an otherworldly plain occupied by a vast mansion: the House of Mystery. In response to his companions' understandable surprise, John explains that he won the key in a poker game against Father Time and Dr. Occult. For those less versed in magic, Zatanna explains that the House of Mystery is one of two twin houses that exist at the cross section of all space and time - the other being the House of Secrets. She warns that the place is dangerous.
For the time being, the House is under the care of N'aall, a demon who is rather embarrassed to have ended up bound to John Constantine. He leads them all to a table, and prepares tea (and an ashtray) while the others talk shop.
From her shop in Greenwich Village, Madame Xanadu watches the team she brought together, and begins to regret her decision to involve John Constantine. Since creating the Justice League Dark, her visions of a violent future full of death have not ceased, as she thought they would. In fact, they have grown more intense. Entrenched in her visions, Xanadu looks on the corpse of John Constantine, and realizes with some horror that the corpse is actually that of the shape-shifter Black Orchid. Suddenly John Constantine appears, menacingly brandishing the Books of Magic. Now that he's found them, no one can stop him from reshaping the world as he sees fit. Shifting his tone, he warns that he cannot be allowed to get the Books. This destruction in the vision is not his fault. Anyone who tries to possess the books will be corrupted. He whispers that there is only one pure enough to possess the books, and he whispers the name in Xanadu's ear.
Back at the House of Mystery, Zatanna is reluctant to open the map, knowing the danger that the Books of Magic present. John, though, can't imagine not opening it. Annoyed at being kept out of the loop, Deadman demands to know just what the Books of Magic are. John explains that they have been lost for centuries. Each book represents one of the opposing forces of reality: life, death, chaos, and order. Alone, each is extremely powerful, but together, they would provide an understanding of all things in the universe to their possessor. Legends tell that God was angered by man's having gained such forbidden knowledge, and cast the books across the globe to secret locations. In the dark ages, the wizards Mordru and Merlin cooperated to divine a possible map. When Mordru inevitably let his greed take over, it was thought that the map was lost - and yet here it is.
Hearing this, none of Constantine's companions believe that seeking out the Books of Magic would be a good idea. Deadman even recommend destroying the map. Andrew Bennett meanwhile, has decided that he has heard enough, and announces that his debt to Constantine has been paid. Slyly, John admits to the others that given that Andrew - and the others - accepted his invitation to the House of Mystery, they are now bound to him. They must come to him any time he calls them there. Indignantly, exclaims that she would have helped him regardless - especially considering what he promised her. Sheepishly, John admits that he didn't actually see her father's hat in the Black Room, and Zatanna angrily storms out. Deadman goes after her, and then Black Orchid asks to speak to Doctor Mist in private, leaving John alone with the map.
Outside, Zatanna plans to leave, but Deadman warns that if the Books of Magic are as powerful as she says, they can't leave John Constantine alone with the map. They should stick together - at least until they've decided what to do with it. Sighing, Zatanna marvels at how she falls for John's cons every time - a side-effect of her attraction to him. Deadman sympathizes, and they go back inside.
Elsewhere, Black Orchid complains that she is not used to magic. She thinks that they ought to take the map back to Colonel Trevor, as instructed. Doctor Mist explains that the situation has changed. While they are agents of A.R.G.U.S., placing the map to the Books of Magic into the hands of the Government would be a mistake - no matter how much they trust Steve Trevor. Mist shares Deadman's opinion that the map must be destroyed before its secrets can be unlocked. Just then, Zatanna and Deadman appear, and they all realize too late that they left John Constantine alone with the map. Suddenly, a crack of demonic lightning fills the room, and they are confronted by the Demons Three - agents of Felix Faust.
At A.R.G.U.S. Headquarters, Steve Trevor interrogates the captured Felix Faust in the hope of finding out why Constantine's team took the object they were contracted to retrieve, and where they've gone. Faust claims not to know the answer to either question, but regardless of where the object has been taken, Constantine and his companions will soon discover that he is not so easily disposed of. He left a little surprise for anyone who tried to steal the map from him.
The demons steal the map, and despite the team's attempts to get it back, they manage to escape through the portal back to Earth with it. John is annoyed with himself that he allowed Faust to play him like this. Their tussle at the temple went too smoothly. Faust had wanted to be caught, because he knew that the demons would be able to steal the map back for him. Faust needed something more to open the map, otherwise he might have opened it himself. That thing is apparently much closer to his grasp while he remains in the hands of A.R.G.U.S.
Within moments, the Demons Three burst into Faust's cell with the map; come for the Black Room.
Appearing in "The Black Room: Part 2"
- Justice League Dark
- Swamp Thing (In a vision) (Appears only as a corpse)
- Animal Man (In a vision) (Appears only as a corpse)
- Etrigan (In a vision) (Appears only as a corpse)
- Frankenstein (In a vision) (Appears only as a corpse)
- Mr. Von Eeden (Dies)
- House of Mystery
- New York City
- A.R.G.U.S. Headquarters
- Books of Magic (In a vision)
- The cover is a homage to House of Mystery Vol 1 174
- Mr. Von Eeden may be named for artist Trevor von Eeden.