"Demons": Months ago, Jason Todd returned to the Acres of All, knowing that he was summoned by the spirit of Ducra. Though she and the All-Caste are dead, Ducra explained that she and they lived on through him. They need him now to
- You pompous ass.
- -- Jason Todd
Appearing in "Demons"
- Ducra (Ghost)
- Talia al Ghul (In a vision)
- Apollo (Cameo)
- John Constantine (Cameo)
- Madame Xanadu (Cameo)
- Oracle (Cameo)
- Trigon (Cameo)
- Acres of All (Flashback and main story)
- 'Eth Alth'eban
- Deep Space (Cameo)
- Mount Olympus (Cameo)
- New York City (Cameo)
- Underrealm of the Six Kingdoms of Trigon (Cameo)
Synopsis for "Demons"
Months ago, Jason Todd returned to the Acres of All, knowing that he was summoned by the spirit of Ducra. Though she and the All-Caste are dead, Ducra explained that she and they lived on through him. They need him now to fight their ancient enemy, the Untitled, who had taken Ra's al Ghul as their leader. The power to stop them lay inside him, but given all that had happened recently, with the Joker's return and Batman's manipulations, Jason was in a dangerous place, mentally. He could be easily tipped toward the darkness. In order to save the world, Jason would have to strip himself of that vulnerability by erasing his memories. Unfortunately, Ducra could not allow Jason to tell his friends about the plan, warning that if his memories returned before his destiny brought him to the Well of Sins, he would die, whether Ra's al Ghul was defeated or not.
Now, Jason's memory has returned too early, and he faces Ra's al Ghul in the Well of Sins. There, the Demon's Head allows the power of the pit to turn the darkness that Jason now remembers against him. Struggling to resist, Ra's offers to put him out of his misery as Starfire and Arsenal fight off the League of Assassins, who have realized that their best bet is to ally with Ra's, given that Jason will inevitably fall. Remembering the teachings of the All-Caste, Jason repeats the mantra, "Accept the Darkness, Embrace the Light." With his resolve bolstered by it, Jason draws the All-Swords, and shreds the visions and horrors that the Well of Sins had conjured for him. In response to Ra's' confusion, Jason explains that he is stronger than everyone thinks - and he knows that Ra's himself is not free of weaknesses hiding in his dark past. Ra's turns around to see a vision of his lost daughter Talia.
Roy and Kori receive unexpected help from Cheshire, and while she backstabs her former team mates, she warns that she isn't eager to actually help them stop Ra's. Instead, she will go solo, leaving Roy and Kori to help Jason alone. Jason, meanwhile, has the better of Ra's, explaining that most of the man's humanity has been lost in all of the evil he committed remorselessly. Without that humanity, he no longer has the power to fully control the evil of the Untitled. To demonstrate the Demon's Head's weakness, Jason disarms him. As he stands over him, Jason explains that what makes him, so much stronger is the love of his friends.
At last, Jason draws on the training he received as a boy from Talia. She had taught him a move that she herself could not perform perfectly, because to do so, one would have to have a force of true good within them. He had used that move as a boy, and today, he uses it against Ra's. The power of the strike expels the Untitled's evil from within Ra's al Ghul.
Elsewhere, that evil channels itself from Ra's into Essence. Her mother, Ducra, warns that she must now learn to convert the darkness that now fills her into light. All around the world, agents of divine and arcane power sense the shift, and marvel.
Enraged at being robbed of his power, Ra's attacks Jason on his own steam, only to be blasted back by the power of Essence. She warns that she knows the location of every Lazarus Pit in the world, and has the power to destroy each of them. She insists that he will allow Jason and his friends to leave his realm, or he will be forced to die a mortal death, just as he always feared he would. Despite having destroyed the All-Caste, Ra's' actions have led to their eventual rebirth. Defeated, he swears that he will visit great agony upon Jason if he sees him ever again.
Essence transports the friends back to the Acres of All, where Essence explains that Ducra is gone, though she lives on through her. For now, she will work to rebuild the All-Caste, and tip the balance of the world towards good again. As much as he owes to the All-Caste, Jason chooses not to join her, choosing instead to spend a few months avoiding magic, and doing some old-fashioned punching. As they make their way home, Jason promises that it's time for the Red Hood and the Outlaws to do some good, for a change.
- This book was first published on January 22, 2014.
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