"The Death of Magic, Part 1: Up is Down": Zatanna and Timothy Hunter find themselves in a small clearing within a dense wood. Confused, Timothy bemoans the fact that he gave up his magic in order to avoid sudden appearances in
- I-I have no idea. And I'm afraid. Wait. I didn't want to admit that! I'm... I'm really terrified, and I can't hide it... I - I don't think I can lie!
Appearing in "The Death of Magic, Part 1: Up is Down"
- Justice League Dark
Synopsis for "The Death of Magic, Part 1: Up is Down"
Zatanna and Timothy Hunter find themselves in a small clearing within a dense wood. Confused, Timothy bemoans the fact that he gave up his magic in order to avoid sudden appearances in other worlds. Guiltily, Zatanna apologizes for being party to his involvement but they are startled by the crash of a massive footfall nearby. A giant utters Timothy's last name, and rather than let him get his hands on them, Zatanna uses her backwards magic to send it away. She soon realizes that her power has been amplified to an unfathomable degree, and the experience exhilarates her. Timothy, though, is made even less comfortable.
They are intercepted, then, by a man called Vikar, dressed in an elaborate suit of high-tech armour, who claims that their use of magic is unauthorized, the punishment for which is death. Zatanna tries to reason with him, but when he orders their surrender, she unleashes her magic on him as well. Her increased power, though, begins to corrupt, and Timothy worries that she will kill the man.
Back in Nanda Parbat, John Constantine and Dr. John Peril are struggling to figure out how to unlock the Books of Magic, and rescue Tim and Zatanna. Peril believes that the lines between science and magic are not so clearly defined, and explains that the Books are some kind of alien technology enmeshed with magic. He believes that the only way to open them is to get a sample of Tim's blood. The locking mechanism on the Books, he explains, is locked with a distinctly shaped twenty-three thousand variable encryption key. There are twenty-three thousand protein coding genes in the human genome. As such, Timothy's DNA must be the key. With Tim absent, Constantine hopes that Timothy's father's DNA will do.
Zatanna's magical onslaught causes Vikar's protective suit to reboot itself, giving she and Timothy a moment's respite, which is cut short when vines and arms reach up from the ground and drag them down beneath it. Frustrated, Vikar reports back to his superiors that his quarry was likely taken by wood nymphs. In a cavern beneath the surface of the earth, a host of magical beings explains that they have been waiting for a long time to meet Timothy Hunter.
Retrieving Jack Hunter from London in the House of Mystery, Constantine returns with him and Peril uses his blood to activate the key. Meanwhile, Deadman possesses Doctor Mist's body to amplify the magical effect of the key. Together, these elements open the portal to wherever Tim and Zatanna went, but Peril warns that there is a mere 48-hour window for them to get their friends back. Soon, Constantine and his companions are gone.
Interdimensional travel does not treat them kindly, beyond the usual nausea. Not long after arriving, Madame Xanadu begins to age rapidly, contrary to status as an immortal. Black Orchid cries out as her body suddenly morphs into one resembling a Swamp Thing. Though it causes her pain, it does not perturb her overmuch. John can't help but admit that these changes are terrifying him. In fact, he realizes that he cannot lie, or mask his emotions at all. To his own great joy, Deadman realizes that he's not dead anymore. Something about this place has restored him to life, and his physical body. He hasn't long to celebrate though, as one of Vikar's energy blasts hits him in the head, killing him.
With a significant armour upgrade, Vikar warns that they are all under arrest. If they resist, they will die as Boston Brand did.
- This book was first published on January 2, 2013.
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