- But as long as the boy lives, I'll never possess the Books. So now I have one final deal to offer you, John. Kill the boy, and I let Zatanna go. She lives.
- -- Nick Necro
Appearing in "War for the Books of Magic, Part Three"
- Mordru (flashback only) (Appears only as a corpse)
- Merlin (flashback only) (In a vision)
- Etrigan (In a vision)
- Swamp Thing (In a vision)
Synopsis for "War for the Books of Magic, Part Three"
After being knocked out of Limbo by Nick Necro and the House of Secrets, the House of Mystery crashes down hard in the Sahara Desert. Fortunately, its occupants are relatively unscathed, (though John Constantine's cigarettes did not fare as well). Unfortunately, the crash is quite the setback. By now, Nick and his cronies will be just minutes away from getting their hands on the Books of Magic, and with the House of Mystery smashed, their only hope is to hitch a ride with Frankenstein.
Meanwhile, Necro has captured Zatanna, having given herself up in exchange for her friends' lives. With her forced to sit and listen, Nick explains how close he had been to finding the Books of Magic before she and John betrayed him. After spending a week torturing a member of the Cold Flame cult, he discovered the existence of a temple in the Amazon, where he hoped the books might reside. Instead of the books themselves he found the skeletal remains of the great sorcerer Mordru, and in its bony fingers it clutched the map to the Books of Magic.
He tried to open the map, but to no avail. Angrily, he threw it at the skeleton, and the disturbed remains provided him with a vision. Mordru and Merlin had further secured the Books by giving the map to one wizard and the key to the map to the other. Then, he had received a vision of Tim Hunter. The wizards had known that only one man was destined to possess the Books of Magic, and so long as he lived, no other could possess them. So, now, Nick understood that one man stood in his way. Naturally, he had already sent Felix Faust to retrieve the boy from London, at this point.
Before he could get his hands on the key to the map, John and Zatanna fell in love and betrayed Nick, and he was trapped in Hell. However, his quest for the Books of Magic was not unknown to others. In order to get his own hands on them, Felix Faust had offered his soul to the demons in exchange for the return of Nick Necro, and they agreed to share them once they were found. Faust had also discovered that the key to the map had been found, and was hidden in A.R.G.U.S.' Black Room, and so they infiltrated A.R.G.U.S. by promising Doctor Mist that they would use the Books' power to resurrect his wife from death.
Nick is especially proud of one more machination. He was responsible for the creation of the so-called "Justice League Dark." Through Doctor Mist, they influenced Steve Trevor into forming a magic-based field team, which through no small effort, included John Constantine among its ranks. All of this effort was expended merely to hurt Zatanna and John; to con the ultimate con-man.
Unexpectedly, the House of Mystery begins to repair itself - a function of its apparent sentience. The newly arrived Frankenstein explains that he came in response to a disturbance in the ethereal plane, and though his ties with S.H.A.D.E. are tenuous at the moment, he agrees to help them face down against Necro and Faust. Suddenly, Madame Xanadu appears in the doorway of the House, dragging Tim Hunter behind her.
She explains how she had witnessed a vision in which John got his hands on the Books, and caused destruction, warning that only Tim could handle the burden of possessing their power. Unfortunately, Tim has given up his magic, and doesn't know how he could possibly get it back. John, however, has a plan to resolve that.
The House of Secrets arrives in Nanda Parbat, where Faust has gathered an army of cultists led by Black Boris of the Fire Trolls and Blackbriar Thorn. Necro orders the generals to kill everyone except John and Timothy. They will be required for what is to come.
The House of Mystery speeds toward Nanda Parbat, while John retrieves the crystal he found recently. Despite his companions' skepticism, he activates it, and from its rose light, it produces a beautiful girl clad in purple armour: Princess Amaya of the House Amethyst. The princess is disturbed to find herself outside of Nilaa, but Xanadu calms her before she can run John through.
Diplomatically, Tim explains his own confusion, and offers his hand to shake. When their hands make contact, though, a shock of energy blasts through him. With some surprise, he realizes that he has been imbued with magic, once again. John explains that Amaya is a catalyst for magic power. Timothy Hunter is ready to possess the Books of Magic again. Arriving at Nanda Parbat, John summons Andrew Bennett as one last ally against the army they see below them, and they prepare to save the world.
The team splits up, leaving Andrew, Frankenstein, and Amaya to face both Black Boris and Blackbriar Thorn, while the others fight the human cultists. In a short matter of time, the sword-wielders manage to disable the generals, and the cultists are all but annihilated. Regrouping, they all make their way toward the summit at Nanda Parbat, where the Books reside.
Already there, Faust tires of Necro's hesitation in opening the map-box to call forth the Books, opening it himself. In a flash of magical light, the books are revealed, but when Faust reaches out to touch one, he is blasted back. So long as Tim Hunter lives, they cannot possess the books themselves. Coincidentally, John and Tim arrive at the summit at just that moment.
Nick grabs Zatanna by the neck and explains that while he had initially planned to get the books, make John watch as he killed Zatanna, and then send him to hell where he belongs - unfortunately, Tim is a hindrance. So, he offers a deal: John must kill Tim in order that Zatanna remain alive. Desperately, Zatanna begs him not to take the deal, as Tim looks up at him with an expression of betrayal. With little reluctance, John takes Tim by the neck, and twist until it audibly snaps.
Gleefully, Nick tosses Zatanna aside and reaches for one of the Books, only to be blasted back. From the ground, he looks up to see Tim transform into Black Orchid - who is surprised that the bait-and-switch ploy keeps working, as she beats him senseless.
Looking over, the magicians realize that the real Timothy is being drawn toward the books. They call out to warn that he doesn't need to accept that destiny just yet, but he responds that he wants to, taking one of them, and opening it up. Looking over his shoulder, they are surprised to see that the books seem to be more related to alien technology than magic. The book emits a bright light that fills Tim and carries him up into the air. A voice comes from within it, stating that it is opening a gateway, and before their eyes, Timothy - and Zatanna with him - disappears.
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