"Tiny Evils": John Constantine wakes to the unexpected site of several small, demonic versions of himself preparing to torment him in the House of Mystery. He wards them off, struggling to find his footing and remember just what happened to him. His usual c
- It's so convenient to blame it all on some sneering, arrogant Satan -- sitting on a fiery throne, plotting to corrupt our souls. But if there is a devil -- he's just another projection of our sins. It's no wonder the Crime Syndicate won. Hell, their victory was assured before they ever set foot in our universe. This world was made for them.
Synopsis for "Tiny Evils"
John Constantine wakes to the unexpected site of several small, demonic versions of himself preparing to torment him in the House of Mystery. He wards them off, struggling to find his footing and remember just what happened to him. His usual companions are nowhere to be found, and he turns his attention instead to the creatures he saw. Perhaps they were a physical manifestation of his shadowy desires - triggered by a battle. Suddenly, he remembers just what happened. He had become involved with the Trinity War, tempted by the power of Pandora's Box. It had turned out that the box was a gateway to another Earth, where evil was born. The Crime Syndicate had come through the gate, and the three Justice Leagues had fallen against them.
Still, John has no idea how he got back to the House of Mystery. He can sense whatever power it was that did it in the halls and the walls of the House, though. Some kind of sentient force. Perhaps, it is the House itself that saved him. Worried for his friends' fates, John tries to cast runes to find out what happened. Unfortunately he can find no trace of them, and he desperately tries to assure himself that Zatanna, who means a great deal to him, is not dead - though the odds are against him.
Suddenly, he finds himself in a house in Paris, where a married couple has tension between them. Out of the corner of his eye, though, he spots a dark force looming over their heads, before he is whisked away to another place. He is in New York City, and a young woman nearby also has the same darkness looming; feeding on its host. He is taken to more places, and soon realizes that the message he is meant to be learning is that evil doesn't appear suddenly as a powerful force. It grows in the small things. Shadows feed on the darkness within, and when that darkness hits a critical mass, evil reigns. But it reigns within people. Millions and billions of small sins and tiny evils grow into a great serpent; a blight on humanity rising from the collective consciousness, and blocking out the light. Evil has nothing to do with Satan or any devil - it comes from people. Because of this, the victory of the Crime Syndicate was assured before they even arrived.
John finds himself back in the House, where he is taunted by visions of his friends, who blame him for leaving them to die. He manages to dispel the others, but Zatanna will not fade so easily. Part of him can never let go of her. She explains that he is still under the effect of Pandora's Box. He thought he was immune, thanks to his exposure to evil, but he was actually infected like a virus. The box's power is twisting his perceptions because it wants him to see the world as a hopeless pit and give up. He is a threat to the power of the box and to the Crime Syndicate, otherwise. Grumpily, John warns that he has no intention of playing hero anymore, but Zatanna responds that that is not what she came for. She came to cure him. Suddenly, she thrusts her arm into his chest, and tears out a black, tarry mass.
John wakes in his room, and finds Zatanna sleeping next to him. He realizes that the virus his dream was speaking of must have been real. His perceptions were warped. Still, though, he finds it hard to believe that the lesson he learned in his dream about evil wasn't the truth. He consoles himself with the knowledge that he still has Zatanna. She responds that he does - but she's not real. Sighing, John admits that she has always been the light in his life - the proof that there is a deeper, truer reality under the skin of the world. Zatanna reminds that even the other members of his band of magicians have come to matter to him in ways he never expected. Even so, John has put all of his stock in Zatanna, and he swears he will find her, if she's alive. But he needs help. He needs a team to help him find his old team. Smirking, Zatanna comments that there will be time for that later, planting a kiss on his lips.
Angrily, John realizes that the woman kissing him isn't even a projection of his unconscious desires, let alone the real thing. It's the Nightmare Nurse. Mischievously, she explains that she has come to help him. It was she who cured him of the virus - which puts him in her debt. But she really has come to help. And to prove it, she has brought reinforcements in the form of a Swamp Thing of her own design.
Appearing in "Tiny Evils"
- Crime Syndicate (In a vision)
- Justice League (Flashback only)
- Justice League of America (Flashback only)
- Justice League Dark (In dream sequence only)
- House of Mystery
- Paris (In dream sequence only)
- United States of America
- This issue is reprinted in Forever Evil: Blight.