"The Response": Having just returned from Heaven itself to the House of Mystery, Pandora and the others recruited by John Constantine to help overcome the Blight prepare their next move. Each has their
- We journeyed to the edge of heaven at the Stranger's lead, seeking understanding and aid. The others heard a divine voice offer inspiration or insight. I heard only an enigmatic challenge.
- — Pandora
Appearing in "The Response"
- Sea King (Appears only as a corpse)
Synopsis for "The Response"
Having just returned from Heaven itself to the House of Mystery, Pandora and the others recruited by John Constantine to help overcome the Blight prepare their next move. Each has their role, and hers is to fight - front and center. But Pandora is troubled. While in Heaven, each of them had received inspiration and insight from The Voice - everyone but her. She received only a challenge: "What are you?" Pandora had been so many things up to this point - but now, she couldn't be sure.
Soon, the House of Mystery approaches Blight's location, and it becomes clear that this will have to be their last stand. Before the doors open, Nightmare Nurse wonders if Pandora has something on her mind that might colour her performance, so to speak. Pandora is elsewhere, mind wandering to her experience in Heaven. She had seen the vastness of the universe, filled with its tiny lights. On Earth, she could see those same tiny lights shining within humanity, waiting to rise in times of darkness. She sees that while Blight embodies the evil hiding within humanity, the weapon to fight him can be found within faith in what humanity has to offer. And Pandora believes she could serve as host to the light of hope that the Crime Syndicate has not won, completely.
Pandora and company face the Blight on the George Washington Bridge in New York City. John warns that she may have to kill Chris Esperanza, the Blight's host, if it will win them the day. In the meantime, they each play out their supporting roles, in the faint hope that they will be enough to truly defeat evil here. Pandora, meanwhile, hopes that she can channel the power of hope itself. As she and Blight make contact, they are enveloped in a massive explosion.
From their positions, the Justice League Dark peer into the brightness, and are surprised to see that Pandora has transformed, emitting a bright light that dissolves the Seven Sins away. As she grapples with evil, she wonders if this was what her entire, long, existence has been preparing her for. She draws on the goodness within her companions, feeling the kindness of the Swamp Thing, the compassion of the Nightmare Nurse, the love hiding within the guilt in John Constantine, the humble geniality of Deadman, the purity of the angel Zauriel, and the duty of the Phantom Stranger. Beyond them, she can feel a world of sympathy, honour, and goodwill.
The force of that power rips blight from Chris Esperanza's body, and as she points her gun at the boy, Pandora considers the Voice's question. She decides that what she isn't is a killer, and she allows the boy to fall into the Stranger's waiting arms. Worriedly, John warns her to kill Chris before Blight returns to take him as host again, but he is too late. Pandora is forced to reconnect with Blight, and when she sees his smile, her resolve begins to fade, and doubt creeps in. He drags her down into the river, and John looks on, warning the others that whatever happens, they must fight on.
- This book was first published on January 22, 2014.
- Story Continued from Constantine #10 and Continues in Justice League Dark #27
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