Black Flowers, Part 2 of 2
Writer : Mike Carey
Art : Lee Bermejo
Cover Artist : Tim Bradstreet
Colors : Lee Loughridge
Letters : Clem Robins
Editor : Will Dennis
Solicitation Text : Black Flowers" Part 2 of 2. Now that the door to the land of the dead has been kicked open,
a horde of old souls is clawing its way back into flesh - pursued by something much more dangerous. Unfortunately,
the cure that John comes up with may be worse than the disease.
Issue Synopsis : Standing atop a hillside on the outskirts of Bedfordshire, John Constantine and Kev watch as the crazed
patrons of a burning petrol station enact their basest of desires upon each other amidst the flames that rage
around them. The possessed revelers are interrupted by a host of robed and masked men who sweep down
into the burning forecourt, striking down those they pass with the shepherd's crooks they wield. Necklaces
made from human hands adorn the necks of the robed killers.
The robed figures continue their advance towards Bedfordshire, striking down some but leaving others
alive in their wake.
Constantine follows his nose, so to speak, and arrives with his hapless chauffeur at the gates of St. Peter's
Psychiatric Hospital. Convinced that the cause of the madness sweeping across Bedfordshire lies within, John
sends the terrified Kev off home and continues on alone through the gates of the hospital. Finding the
hospital grounds overgrown with more of the toothed black flowers, Constantine scoops a fistful of dirt
from the midst of a hissing patch of aggrieved foliage before passing through the double doors of the main
...where he's summarily set upon by a gang of possessed locals, including the unfortunate postman we saw
not too long ago. Using some fancy footwork, a little of the old Irish brogue and the recently procured dirt,
John manages to disable his attackers - leaving them flat on their backs behind him. Scaling the stair case
that dominates the building's entrance hall, Constantine stumbles across a pair of the recently possessed
patients trying to knock down a door with a statue-turned-battering ram. The pair turns heel and run when
John threatens them with the remains of the dirt he still has from the garden.
A familiar voice issues a string of curses from behind the door, which eventually swings open to reveal
Angie Spatchcock, holding a bloody great big knife in her hand. Angie explains to John that she managed
to stop herself from becoming possessed like everyone else in the hospital by hurting herself - the pain
apparently enough to dissuade the errant spirits from setting up shop in her skin and bones. Lying at her feet
is the bound form of her unconscious brother, Jason, who she cops to having laid out with a cut glass paperweight. In turn,
Constantine does a little explaining of his own - telling her that the Celtic king of the dead, Arawn, still
keeps court in their current neck of the woods and that someone has managed to open a door to his realm.
Able to roam free, the hosts of long dead Celts have been taking full advantage of the situation to eat, drink
and be very fucking merry indeed. John names the robed figures as the Gironnved before untying Angie's brother and slinging him across his shoulders.
Outside, the Gironnved arrive in the grounds of the hospital, continuing their slaughter of the possessed that cross their path.
Finding their route back down the stairway blocked by some unseen disturbance in the hallway, John and
Angie are forced to head further up the staircase. Constantine fills Angie in on the Gironnved - calling
them the shepherds of the dead. Sent to round up the escaped ghosts, the Gironnved are only interested in
killing those who have become possessed, thus sending the possessor back to Arawn's court. John muses
that there'll be a massacre once the Gironnved get to the town of Stonewall. Pulling a makeshift
divination device come empty box of Silk Cut from the folds of his trench coat, Constantine learns that the
open portal is located at the bottom of the lift shaft that runs through the building.
With the Gironnved making their way slowly up the stairs towards them, John proffers the opinion that they need
to make a sacrifice ("something in Arawn's own currency") to close the portal. Angie adds one and one, coming up
with three and thumping Constantine, thinking that he plans to kill her. John quickly corrects her but his
alternative doesn't exactly have Angie all smiles. Working together, Constantine and Spatchcock suspend Jason over
the lift shaft. John holds Angie's knife in against the now conscious man's throat as the Gironnved arrive before
them, their lead member rising his crook to strike at Jason....
....only to get a throat full of knife as Constantine stabs him and flings him down into the
depths of the shaft, uttering the words of the spell required to close the portal as the shepherd plunges into
the darkness. John's gambit pays off as the portal closes, causing the remaining Gironnved's robes to fall
empty to the ground and the people of Bedfordshire to shake off their possession.
Angie and John light up as Jason, none too enamoured with being left strung up over the lift shaft, hurls a
barrage of insults at his sister. Pondering the words of Albert and Clarice at the end of Red Sepulchre,
Constantine realises that things are far from over.
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Tending to the flock.
Birds of a feather.
Silk Cut magic.
A slight misunderstanding.
Jason expresses his appreciation.
Bad times ahead.