"And in the End...": Having just returned from the very pits of Hell to club Felix Faust over the head, John Constantine declares that he is the one to take on the responsibility of containing the abilities of every mag
- Well, then we'll have to take that risk won't we?
- — Zatanna
Synopsis for "And in the End..."
Having just returned from the very pits of Hell to club Felix Faust over the head, John Constantine declares that he is the one to take on the responsibility of containing the abilities of every magician in the world within himself.
However, the real John Constantine has only just escaped from the Thaumaton Wheels with Zatanna. So, the question becomes: who is on the platform with Faust and Pandora? Unfortunately, a magic barrier surrounds the platform, and not even the Phantom Stranger or Nightmare Nurse could get through it. Determinedly, Zatanna declares that she is better than they are, and blasts her way through the barrier, knocking back the Constantine imposter.
Shielding himself, he explains that his plan isn't for his own benefit, but for the world's. While in The Between, he had told her that he would be willing to sacrifice the world to save her, John will now do the opposite, and sacrifice himself to save the world. He explains that all the power Faust had taken in is too much for one man to contain. Now that power is inside him, and he can channel it back into the people on the Thaumaton Wheels; saving their lives and setting them free. However, doing that will certainly kill him.
As the other John steps forward to warn his imposter away from Zatanna, she realizes that she'd forgotten there were two Johns, for the moment. Unfortunately, she has no time to determine which is which, as the all-powerful one knocks the other aside, and leaps down to the wheels to unleash his power, finally announcing that he loves her as he releases it. She watches as the blast of energy burns him out, and he collapses on the floor, dead. She rushes to his side, horrified, but the other John reminds that he's right behind her.
Pandora appears, explaining that both men are the real John Constantine. This one who died was merely one of the many inner demons - materialized pyschisms - that had escaped John's unconscious after he was exposed to Pandora's Box. The majority of them had hidden within the House of Mystery, but this one had escaped, and followed John into the world, driven by a curiosity about the one thing that was a quality of Constantine but was also the antithesis of its existence: love - love for Zatanna.
Despite having defeated Faust and freed the mystics imprisoned by Thaumaton Project, the Justice League Dark faced further trouble from the Sons of Trigon, who had initially come to Nanda Parbat as allies. They hoped to win favour with their father by destroying the Earth's mystic protectors, and it was Zatanna, and not John, who led the Justice League Dark against them. She hoped, though, that John would take charge, but as she watched across the room, she could see the anger solidifying in him, and knew that he now resented her for wanting him to be the altruist that his double had been. The altruist that he could never be. So, he betrays her, now, by abandoning his friends and taking care of himself.
Still, the Justice League Dark's remaining members are more than capable, but they are all stopped in their tracks by the sudden realization that the spirits of Nanda Parbat have awakened. Zauriel senses that the spirits wish to ensure that the sacred ground is never abused in this way again, and to do that, they are moving the entire compound into another dimension - and the humans below may not survive the transition.
Determinedly, Zatanna attempts to magically teleport everyone there away from the compound, but as she does, she senses another familiar consciousness reaching out from the crossroads of time and space. As they land in the snow next to the smouldering crater that was once Nanda Parbat, the Stranger warns grimly that there will be repercussions for such a powerful spell as that escape. She responds that there has been enough sacrifice for one day. Their deaths were not required.
Later, in the House of Mystery, John Constantine takes a bath, only to be given a rude awakening by Zatanna, who appears and angrily reams him out for daring to come back. Incredulously, he responds that it is his house, his water, and his tub. Angrily, she tosses him out of the bath as he reminds that she was a fool to believe he'd ever give up looking out for himself alone. Besides, she can't throw him out of the House. It's bonded to him. He begins to realize, though, that he is wrong. That bond has broken, and the House has rejected him and chosen Zatanna as his successor. Angrily, John steps out of the door and seethes that he doesn't need the House anymore, or the Justice League Dark, or her.
As she watches him leave, Zatanna feels the world that she'd once lived in changing, and it worries her.
Appearing in "And in the End..."
- Justice League Dark
- This issue is reprinted in Forever Evil: Blight.
- The story is continued from Trinity of Sin: Pandora #9.