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"Smallville: Harbinger": In Metropolis, Tess Mercer is taking a call from Agent Diana Prince of the DEO. They commiserate about the shoddy state of the world, and the need for reputable assets. Diana then gets to the point: Steve Trevor is a better leader and more honest man than his predecessor



Appearing in "Smallville: Harbinger"

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Synopsis for "Smallville: Harbinger"

In Metropolis, Tess Mercer is taking a call from Agent Diana Prince of the DEO. They commiserate about the shoddy state of the world, and the need for reputable assets. Diana then gets to the point: Steve Trevor is a better leader and more honest man than his predecessor, but to convince the US President of their efficacy in an ever-more-exciting world, the D.E.O. needs a magician, and Diana is looking for a shortlist. Smiling, Tess says she has someone in mind, but that they will need to talk about a booking fee...

In London, a stage show is in progress. Zatanna Zatara, Mistress of Magics, calls a volunteer onto the stage, then invites the audience to chant with her. As the volunteer levitates from the table, a heckler accuses her of trickery. Feeling flashy, Zatanna admits to using filaments to levitate the man, then uses actual magic to make the heckler float. The audience approves, except for a man in an ominous hood.

At the end of the night, Zatanna signs an autograph for an impressed little girl, and is then ambushed by the hooded man, who accuses her of coming to London in search of "the book". Revealing a unique face paint design and claiming to speak for Brother Blood, he counters her magic words with a magic based on hand gestures. Zatanna is rescued by the sudden arrival of a trench coat-wearing chain smoker named Johnny.

The hooded man comes to in a police van with his hands transmogrified to hooves. The officers are dismissive of his claims to magic power, but they are suddenly attacked by a group of people with the same face paint, who use magical gestures to kill the two constables.

At the home of Johnny, Zatanna forces the man to tell where why he was in the alley. He admits that he is a collector: John Zatara was renowned in his circles for enchanting and cursing items in his spare time. Since magicians of Zatara's caliber are rare today, professionals will pay top dollar for something to study and learn from. Especially prized are a set of journals called the "Books of Magick", one of which was stolen from Johnny's reliquary by cultists a few nights ago. Zatanna uses a spell to track the cultists from the reliquary to a house.

At the location, they wonder at the motivations of Brother Blood's followers, and worry at a child-sized bed in one of the rooms. However, they have an argument about who will ultimately get the book. Zatanna conjures a dragon, but when Johnny demonstrates that he can teleport using existing doorways, she admits to a stalemate. They move on to the next location

Elsewhere, the cloaked man from the alleyway is being tormented by Brother Blood for his failure. The hooded expresses his regret. Blood remarks that if the witch and the warlock find their plans, his regret will be a useless weapon, but that his sacrifice will let Trigon express his ire.

A few hours later in that same location, Zatanna and Johnny assess the charred corpse and the demonic statuary. They know Trigon as the ruler of the Eighth Circle of Hell, whose children are the Seven Deadly Sins. Between the evidence of the trapped child at the first safe house and the stolen journal, Johnny guesses that they plan a magic sacrifice, using the child as an offering and a spell from the magic book. Zatanna wants to move on to the next location, but her locator spell is being countered by Brother Blood's magic. Constantine starts muttering orders under his breath, causing Zatanna to demand he reveal his secret: Johnny can call on the service of everyone he has caused the death of, and he has apparently caused a lot of deaths.

At Stonehenge, Brother Blood prepares the ritual. From a distance, Zatanna and Johnny have found the crippled custodians of this place. The cultists have a mix of firearms and magic, so Zatanna proposes a unique mode of attack. As the ritual approaches its height, Zatanna catapults herself and Johnny into the middle of the group, then uses another spell to discharge the kinetic energy of their impact onto the group, causing something like an explosion. Using the damage, they take the fight to the cultists, using their own guns in Johnny's case. They rescue the book and the child, a black-haired girl.

At this point, Brother Blood reveals that she is wrong: the girl is the focus of the ritual, and he is the sacrifice. Stabbing himself in the chest, he swiftly erupts as six demons emerge from his body and try to kidnap the girl.

Johnny, with the book, plans to steal the cultists' van to escape in, but his network of ghosts keep urging him to save Zatanna.

As the demons mow through the remaining cultists and Zatanna and the girl become trapped, Johnny uses the blood from Brother Blood's corpse to banish the demons in the name of the angel Zauriel. This spell is successful, but he admits, the words just came to him in the moment.

In San Francisco, Zatanna meets Jay Garrick. The girl is apparently an orphan, in need of a home, and Zatanna's lifestyle is not stable. Jay is confident there is nothing the girl can need that he and his school of young metahumans cannot provide. Across the hall, the girl is being introduced to the other kids, and she gives her name: Rachel Roth.

Elsewhere in the airport, Zatanna finds Johnny having a beer. She pays his bar expenses using a magic piece of paper, and thanks him for not leaving her to die. With her quest for all of her father's spellbooks complete, she is perfectly placed to join the D.E.O. Zatanna invites Johnny to join her there, but he declines, hands her the book, and walks into a closet - much to confusion of the barman, who will now never forget the day he met John Constantine.

Transporting himself to his London home, he is greeted by two men in D.E.O. jackets who say they want a word. Grinning, Johnny gives them a word - "Abracadabra". The two agents are transformed into frogs, left in a garden with a lot of other frogs, and their badges are deposited in a bucket with a pile of others.



Notes

  • This book was first published on July 30, 2014.
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