- Whatever I may look like, John... I'm still a nurse -- so I'm going to heal The Between -- feeding it form... being. Life!
Synopsis for "Between"
After John Constantine worked to reunite Nightmare Nurse with her long-time host of Alice Winter, the demon found its way into Zatanna's body instead, and now she isn't eager to give up Zatanna's body to go back to Alice's. The rest of the Justice League Dark - including Zatanna, up until moments ago - are more interested in protecting Alice from any further torment by the Nightmare Nurse.
Soon, using Zatanna's backward magic, Nightmare Nurse subdues both Swamp Thing and Deadman. However, John manages to sneak up behind her and press the Blade of Baphomet to her neck. He insists that he will kill Zatanna and Asa, if it means saving the former from slavery to the latter. She dares him to do it, then, but he can't. Instead, he opens a portal to The Between, and hopes that the cosmic winds within will drag Asa from Zatanna's body and send her back into that limbo where she belongs. Unfortunately, Swamp Thing's grip on all of them is weakening, and the spell risks dragging them all back into the Between. John, however, has not got any way to shut the spell down, and soon the whole House of Mystery is sucked right in.
Now, all of them are trapped in the Between, and as such, Asa leaves Zatanna's body, explaining that the power within it intoxicated her, and corrupted her judgment. She suggests that if they work together, they can get out again. Zatanna, of course, is not eager to ally herself with Asa ever again, much as John tries to defend his old friend. Asa explains that she saved Alice Winter by posessing her. She had needed a new host, of course, but Alice would surely have died of her illness if she hadn't chosen her - and she will die now if she doesn't get back into that body. Deadman pleads with Zatanna to at least consider that Asa's story is true.
Before they can deliberate much longer on it, John warns that their lives are in danger from the consciousness of the Between, which seeks to consume them. Zatanna orders everyone outside to distract the Between while she forms a plan. As they face the entity, it invades their minds, and learns about them, feeding on their memories and thoughts. John and Asa are forced to help expel it from their companions' bodies. The Between seems more voracious than they expected, and time is running out.
Zatanna's plan is to unite her consciousness with that of the House of Mystery, to pull them out by that combined power. Unfortunately, she isn't ready when the others return demanding that she hurry. Asa suggests that John's previous connection to the House might help if combined with Zatanna's. She offers herself as the sole source of distraction while they do so, explaining that as a nurse, she will heal the Between's hunger by feeding it life. Before she leaves, Zatanna steals a kiss from her, to the surprise of everyone else.
Asa's sacrifice gives the others just enough time to escape The Between, but she hasn't got enough power to get herself out. Whatever remains of her, she offers to the Between - her own father - and it consumes her, erasing her from existence.
The House of Mystery is expelled into a farm field in Upstate New York, where John warns that they can't go back for Asa. She is beyond their help now - as is Alice Winter, who is near death. He points out that Asa had told the truth earlier. If the others hadn't got in the way of their plan, both Alice and Asa would still be healthy. Zatanna responds that he shouldn't be so sure that all is lost, and begins expelling magical energy from her lips. The kiss she shared with Asa saved an infinitesimal fragment of the demon's soul and added it to hers. She now uses that fragment to resurrect her.
Before re-entering Alice's body, Asa asks permission this time, promising not to bury the woman's consciousness this time. Soon, the pair are tied together again, and Alice springs to life again as the Nightmare Nurse.
With all resolved, Zatanna decides it's time for them all to go home.
Appearing in "Between"
- On the "Bombshell Variant" Cover, the rabbit in the hat is John Constantine.
- Asclepius is a Greek God of healing and a son of Apollo. He is often depicted carrying a rod with a serpent wrapped around it.