"Paradise Lost, Conclusion": Boston Brand was tricked by an interdimensional being called Pantheon, who used him to cross over to the hiding place of the sacred city of Nanda Parbat. Boston's friends in the [[Justice League Dark (
- Home? No! We've got to stop Pantheon! We've got to restore Nanda Parbat!
- — Deadman
Synopsis for "Paradise Lost, Conclusion"
Boston Brand was tricked by an interdimensional being called Pantheon, who used him to cross over to the hiding place of the sacred city of Nanda Parbat. Boston's friends in the Justice League Dark had the misfortune of being dragged to this place as well, and they're in rough shape. They were caught soon after arriving, and now they are trapped. A spell by Nightmare Nurse prevented their being killed, but that spell is only temporary, and John Constantine fears the worst is ahead.
Boston, meanwhile, has been imprisoned as well, and somehow brought back to his former, fleshy self. He is visited unexpectedly by Brahma Dass, whose image Pantheon had used to deceive Boston - so naturally, he distrusts him. Brahma Dass warns that Boston can either rot in his cell or follow him to freedom, and grumpily, Boston gets up. Despite his initial distrust, Boston comes to realize that this is the real Brahma Dass, as they hurry through the city's dungeons. The old man leads him into an underground channel of water, where a horrifying sea monster compels them to swim for their lives. Brahma Dass explains that the creature is one of Pantheon's thought-forms, and they may be able to counter it with one of their own. Distracting it with a construct made of water, the pair escape in the water, and end up dumped into the moat outside the prison complex.
Crawling to solid ground, Brahma Dass explains that it was the magic of Nanda Parbat that restored Boston to life, as it welcomed him home. The city is alive and it knows Boston intimately, as he should know it from his boyhood. Boston's memory is suddenly flooded with thoughts of his five year old self, living with his father and mother, who were alcoholics. Eventually, a vision of Brahma Sass offered him a kindness he'd never known, and an esca[e. Among many other children, he was taken to the city of Nanda Parbat. He had thought all this time that he'd imagined his benefactor, and then the memories began to fade from his mind. Unfortunately, there is little time to discuss these memories now, as the pair are soon surrounded by mounted bowmen.
Finally, Swamp Thing tires of John's complaining and explains that he has entered the system of plant-life belong to this realm, and learned what he could from it. Using strong vines, he tears the enchanted stakes to which they are chained from the ground, and transforms into a monstrous beast for them to ride away on. He also uses the enchanted Green of Nanda Parbat to learn just what happened in this place. Eons ago, a race of dark gods ruled the city, and it was some time before enlightenment came to the people, and the old gods were rejected in favour of new gods. The old gods survived, though, merging into the one called Pantheon. It remained comatose, though, until the horror of Project Thaumaton woke it. It then learned that the spirits of Nan Madol had shifted the city into another dimension, and it used Deadman to get through the defenses and gain access. Still, they don't know why Deadman was chosen.
In his attempt to escape the archers, Boston is made a practical pin-cushion, and ends up dying and becoming a ghost all over again. Fortunately, Zatanna and the others take care of the attackers for him. Reunited with his friends - who want nothing more than to leave - Boston warns that they must stay, to stop Pantheon. Whether they want to leave or stay, though, Pantheon has blocked their path. Brahma Dass appears and explains that the gods within Pantheon are fundamentally concepts - thoughts in the mind of the one true creator, given substance by the faith and belief of her creations. Pantheon cannot be stopped by force, so they must unravel the idea of its existence. Boston will have to possess Pantheon to do this.
Brahma Dass provides aid, joining in Boston's essence, and the pair enter Pantheon. Together, they spread their spirits wide, and cause Pantheon to explode into ten thousand gods, transformed by thoughts of beauty, grace, joy, and hope. And just like that, everything returns to the way it was. Brahma explains that the city is not truly a physical place. It is, though, reflecting the light that Boston and his friends brought there with them. Despite his desire to stay there, Boston admits that he must return to Earth - but first he must know one thing. Why was he chosen to go to Nanda Parbat? Brahma Dass explains that Boston was merely a soul in need, who cried out for help. He was just one of many, but he was a lucky one, who was blessed with the memory of the city. As Zatanna comes to warn that it's time to leave, Boston turns to see Brahma Dass has gone, but he knows that the old man will remain in his heart - as will the city.
Appearing in "Paradise Lost, Conclusion"
- Justice League Dark
- Brahma Dass (Flashback and main story)
- Pantheon (Destroyed)