HellBlazer #190 HELLBLAZER #190
Staring At The Wall, Part 2 Of 5

Writer : Mike Carey
Art : Marcelo Frusin
Cover Artist : Tim Bradstreet
Colors : Lee Loughridge
Letters : Clem Robins
Editor : Will Dennis
Assistant Editor : Zachary Rau

Solicitation Text : With one of his reluctant allies dead before the battle is joined, the omens are bad for John's face-off with the Shadow Dog. In the end, victory may be the one luxury he can't afford.

Issue Synopsis : With Jason's warning still ringing in their ears, and one of their number already dead, the surviving magicians decide to work together against the looming threat of the Shadow Dog. Map, fearing for the safety of his city, devises a plan that sees him taking to the streets of London at the break of dawn. John Constantine makes use of what little time he has to question the newly arrived Jason about their plight.

Deep in the bowels of the hotel, Arcane and Clarice are looking for a room suitable for the plan Map has put into action. Nat finds a room that saw a brutal rape committed in it some fifty years ago and is convinced that it will serve their needs quite nicely.

Elsewhere in the hotel, John Constantine turns repairman, using a stick of chalk to draw a power cord from the ruined remains of an old television set to the nearest electrical socket. John tells a bemused Angie that they'll be able to keep track of the shitstorm that follows in the wake of Map's plan through this 'Voodoo Television'. Spatchcock, worried about the part her brother has to play in the upcoming ritual, notes that Jason is nowhere to be found.

Angie gets her detective grove on and finds Jason sitting in the basement, next to the covered remains of Chalice. Jason's starting to get second thoughts about Constantine's ability to defeat the Shadow Dog and the fact that John's also sleeping with his sister (no, not Cheryl, Angie!) hasn't exactly endeared him to her brother. Leaving the basement with Jason, Angie fails to notice that something appears to have been gnawing on Chalice's decomposing body.

On a secluded section of the London Underground, Map talks to the city above him, calling its power to his fingertips.

Back at the hotel, Angie, Arcane, Clarice and Jason sit around the now functioning television. Powered by Constantine's magic, it broadcasts stories of the madness that continues to spread around the globe. Jason is somewhat heartened by the nature of the stories as they all concentrate on cases of individuals being possessed. He goes on to reveal what he learned whilst possessed by the Celtic spirits - passing through the first door let the Shadow Dog into the world, the second let it possess individual hosts whilst breaking through the third would let it enter the collective unconscious of humanity. Given that only individuals have been possessed so far, he assumes that the third door still stands shut.

On his way back to the hotel, Map is attacked by a knife-wielding prostitute. Obviously possessed, the young woman is laid low by Map's magic.

Angie finds a brooding Constantine alone on one of the few remaining balconies left in the hotel. Angry at his part in Chalice's death, and his failure to spot the growing threat of the Shadow Dog till it was nearly far too late, John finds his efforts at self-pity rebuffed by Spatchcock. The pair are about to share a kiss when Clarice interrupts, informing them that the others are ready to put the plan into action.

Aracane's been a busy boy, having painted the floor and bed of the room he discovered earlier with mystic symbols. The psychic feedback from the terror felt by the unfortunate rape victim is strong enough to hide the magicians from the searching Shadow Dog. Alba, woken by Map, has calmed down considerably and is ready to participate in the ritual. Constantine tells the others that she's the equivalent of a magical battery and that they'll be able to draw on her strength over the coming ordeal. John himself is going to act as a totem, something through which they can use their magic to strike at the Shadow Dog - he's able to assume this role courtesy of the lock of his hair Angie buried in Eden for him.

With John lying on the floor between the circle of magicians, Arcane starts the ritual. After establishing a connection with the Dog through Constantine, they lash out at it with the combined force of their magic but something goes wrong and the creature follows the attack back to its source, appearing in the room before them as a huge dog like creature that walks on its hind legs. Jason distracts the Shadow Dog, screaming at it till it snatches him up in its maw, razor sharp teeth tearing into his body. Alba starts screaming, shouting that she's lost her power but Jason, still trapped in the creature's mouth, tells her that he's taken it before unleashing an arc of bright blue light at the Dog.

When the light subsides, the Dog is gone and Jason lies bloodied and dying on the floor. Angie rushes to her brother's side, but when he speaks it's in a voice that isn't his own. He taunts John, making it clear that he's made a terrible mistake, goading him with the fact that he was fooled with "a hint from a dead man and one from a demon". Ranting and raving, the possessed Jason gloats about he impending doom of mankind as he dies before the surviving magicians.

[ Previous Month's Issue ]             [ Next Month's Issue ]
Arcane sets the scene.

Someone had the munchies.

Map calls on London

The Shadow Dog gets playful with Jason.


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