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Justice League Dark Vol 1 14

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"Enter the House of Mystery": While A.R.G.U.S. takes Felix Faust, Doctor Mist, and Nick Necro away, John Constantine is far more concerned

Quote1 This is all my fault. I did what I always do. I gambled with the lives of my friends, and now Zee is gone. And the poor kid. I promised him he'd be okay. Quote2
-- John Constantine

Appearing in "Enter the House of Mystery"

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Synopsis for "Enter the House of Mystery"

While A.R.G.U.S. takes Felix Faust, Doctor Mist, and Nick Necro away, John Constantine is far more concerned with where Zatanna and Timothy Hunter were taken by the Books of Magic. Not to mention the fact that the Books were nothing at all like he and his comrades expected. To aid in that respect, Steve Trevor has recruited Dr. John Peril to help decipher the advanced technology that the Books seem to use. Unfortunately, it may take him years to do so. In the meantime, Princess Amaya, Black Orchid, and Frankenstein are bored, and decide to have a look at the interior of the House of Mystery. While Orchid was tasked to stay with Constantine's team by A.R.G.U.S., Amy remains behind because Constantine has promised to give her back the portal stone he stole, so she can return to Nilaa. Frankenstein, though, has chosen to stay with the team out of a sense of responsibility toward Zatanna and Tim - a sentiment which Orchid finds refreshing.

While exploring the House, the trio are set upon by several strange occurrences. A seemingly innocuous room turns out to be the home of several vengeful skeletons; a masquerade party ends up being a ploy for bug-people to eat them; a room of sculptures and statues comes to life and attacks them.

Meanwhile, Constantine is not at all satisfied with an ETA of years for the rescue of Zatanna and Tim. After Steve Trevor offers all of A.R.G.U.S. resources to aid in the Books' decryption, though, Dr. Peril has one suggestion. If he could use Dr. Mist's ability to absorb magic, he could create an energy signature identical to the one that Timothy used to activate the Books, thereby tricking them into thinking that he is activating them again. Reluctantly, Steve agrees to allow Dr. Mist to help them, despite his traitorous behaviour, so long as Deadman can keep him under control.

Back in the House of Mystery, the explorers discover a vast library full of books, where the stories within them mirror the rooms themselves. Unfortunately, the door out of the room has disappeared. Rather than bother with looking for a secret passage out, Black Orchid merely smashes a hole in the wall. The hole opens out into a hall with several doors, and they split up to check each one for an exit. Frank and Amy have no luck, but Orchid discovers a room of great interest. Apparently, John Constantine has been keeping tabs on the entire Superhuman community, with a bulletin board full of notes on each one. He has a file on her too, with her classified identity listed inside it. Though the room makes her very uncomfortable, she does not tell the others about it.

Both Constantine and Madame Xanadu feel responsible for what happened to Tim and Zatanna, but a voice from nearby assures them that fate is not something that one can control. The voice belongs to the Phantom Stranger, who is sad to admit that he cannot help Zatanna or Timothy either. He has come instead to warn of a coming danger to this world, and to further warn John Constantine that he must choose a side in the war that is soon to come.


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