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"Red Roots": Guy Gardner had had a tumultuous childhood. His brother had beaten him and discouraged him, and in the meantime would achieve and excel where Guy himself did not. Guy was the second son; an afterthought to his parents. W



Appearing in "Red Roots"

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Synopsis for "Red Roots"

Guy Gardner had had a tumultuous childhood. His brother had beaten him and discouraged him, and in the meantime would achieve and excel where Guy himself did not. Guy was the second son; an afterthought to his parents. When his mother died, he didn't feel it the same way his siblings did, because he had never been close with her. When he'd tried to show sympathy to his brother, Gerard beat him more, and it became a daily routine, so that Gerard could feel in control of something, to express his rage at his loss. For that reason, Guy never fought back. At least, he never fought back until the day his little sister Gloria tried to defend him, and Gerard had hit her. Unwilling to let that stand, Guy took a baseball bat and retaliated, but his own rage was too great, and he let it consume him. Injuring his brother's arm ruined his chances in athletics, which made their father angry, and he beat Guy. Afterwards, though, Gerard had come to him, and apologized for what he'd done over the last year. Guy forgave him, and Gerard never hit either him or Gloria again.

Guy tried to become a cop after that, hoping to impress his father, and follow in the family tradition. It hadn't worked. After being forced to make a tough decision on the job, Guy saved lives, but it cost him everything to do it. All the rage came back for him. He let it take over his life for a while, until he found an opportunity to help his brother, who had been shot by thugs. As he drove Gerard to the hospital, the Green Lantern Ring came to him.

Despite joining the Green Lantern Corps, Guy never felt like his membership would last. He was disenchanted by the fact that for all intents and purposes, he was a soldier, not a super-hero. And like a soldier, he was used by the Guardians of the Universe as a sacrificial pawn, abandoned behind enemy lines, where he was tortured and transformed. After so many years of trying to contain his anger by force of will, Guy let it consume him, and he beat the savage Atrocitus with his fists, and stole his Red Power Ring, becoming a Red Lantern instead.

Now, having let the rage take over, all that remains of his childhood home is ashes and ruin. All that remains of that past life is his lingering anger.

Appearing in "John Contantine"

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  • Legendbreaker
  • Nergal
  • "Wise Ones"

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Synopsis for "John Contantine"

At the Old King's Pub in Liverpool a group of mages summons a truth-telling demon, but are frustrated to find that when asked to tell the origins of John Constantine, she tells three conflicting stories at once, due to some kind of interference spell. Rather than give up, they decide to hear what she has to say, and determine which story is true for themselves.

John Constantine was born in tragedy, and became a troubled boy - destructive and cruel. His father's pain led to his neglect. In frustration at his father's ill treatment, he called for help to get revenge, and was answered by a demon. With that demon's power, he burned his father to death. Without his father, John was alone to hone the power he had gained. He found his way, though, to a place that would show him the abyss over which he teetered in dabbling with magic. In Newcastle, he discovered Astra Logue, tormented by the demon Nergal. He failed to save the girl, and his allies in his attempt to rescue her were killed or driven in sane. He was later caught by the police and charged for the deaths that occurred.

John Constantine was born in celebration, with proud and doting parents, and became a boy compelled by forces unnamed to examine the darkness. One day, his natural instinct to search for the dark and mysterious was recognized, and he was offered the chance to take the power he sought - whether it be blessing or curse. That power came with untold sacrifice, and his parents were claimed in a fire. Horrified by his gift, he vowed never to use it again, but would give in during moments of weakness. With his friends, he went to Newcastle, and discovered the girl Astra Logue, tormented by the demon Nergal. After failing to save the girl, he fled Newcastle undiscovered, but was driven to madness by the experience, committing himself to Ravenscar hospital until his sanity was rebuilt.

John Constantine was born under unremarkable circumstances, sibling to an older sister. HE was innocent and open-hearted, but related by blood to madness. His sister, one day, gave him over to a demon's possession, in exchange for rewards untold. John, though, received the demon's power, and the sacrifice to pay for it was his family's lives. He became a willing student, using his knowledge to learn greater lessons that would forever brand his soul. Among them was the lesson that he should fear the forces of his own power, learned by rescuing the girl Astra Logue from the demon Nergal. He vangquished the demon, and claimed his place as a mage of unparalleled power, igniting the legend of Constantine.

The mages find that the demon's stories are killing them, just to hear them, and begin to collapse on the floor. Surprisingly, John Constantine himself arrives, shooing the demon away. He explains that the demon is a legendbreaker, and these poor kids had failed to listen to it when she'd told them as much. Afraid of his wrath, the demon disappears. Turning to its would-be victims, he warns that they shouldn't have tried to summon her, reminding that magic carries a price they never want to pay. They'd be best off to live their lives than get sucked into a life ruled by magic. As he leaves, the amateur magicians promise not to reveal his secrets. Smirking, John reminds that it's possible none of the stories they heard were true. The fact is, the secret origins of John Constantine don't matter.

Appearing in "Code Black"

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Synopsis for "Code Black"

At the age of four, Dinah Drake was abandoned by her mother, who had been a single, teen-aged mom. She had grown up thinking she wasn't wanted, and acted out to play into the role she thought she had earned. She was bounced from foster home to foster home until she ran away in Gotham City at the age of ten. Fortunately, she was found and taken in by an ex-Special Forces agent named Desmond Lamar, who'd owned a dojo in a bad part of town to help troubled street kids. For nine years, she trained with him, and he became like a father to her - until he was taken from her by Cancer, and she inherited the dojo from him. During the Zero Year, though, she found herself under attack by the League of Assassins, and the dojo was destroyed. That night, she met John Lynch, who invited her to join Team 7.

When she joined Team 7, Dinah found a sense of purpose with her teammates, and she found love with Kurt Lance. Having submitted DNA samples upon joining, they both learned that they had something special about their genes, and had agreed to undergo experiments. Those experiments, though, revealed an ability that she discovered could be lethal; her super-sonic scream. Fortunately, it was Kurt's own ability that allowed his touch to dampen her's - or amplify it beyond her control.

In defiance of regulations, she married Kurt in secret, but after using her scream to destroy the island of Gamorra, she lost Kurt under the waves as the island sank. Afterwards, she was forced to undergo numerous debriefings, where she was informed that Team 7 had been disbanded. Kurt was given a military funeral, despite the lack of a body, and the hero's burial he received only served to remind Dinah that she was responsible.

Fortunately, her former teammate Amanda Waller had been found since the disaster at Gamorra, and she revealed that she had discovered that new raiment had been delivered to them in the mean time, and gave Dinah hers. She warned that a Code Black had been ordered against Dinah. She was to disappear - and she had five minutes to get out. With that, she said goodbye to her old friend, hoping she would choose freedom, rather than let her grief make her a caged bird forever. When the men came for her, Dinah unleashed a sonic scream that knocked them back, escaping on a motorcycle. She knew that she would have to work outside the law from now on, and took on the codename Black Canary.

Notes

  • This book was first published on March 25, 2015.
  • The John Constantine stories are told by an unreliable narrator, calling into question the truth of any of them - however, they all tell of the deaths of his family members at his own hands, and the incident at Newcastle. Regardless, the story that most resembles that depicted in Hellblazer is the second story, though the first story's account of his early childhood is more accurate to that version of the character.

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