Writer : Jamie Delano
Art : John Ridgway
Cover Artist : Dave McKean
: Lovern Kindzierski
Letters : Todd Klein
: Karen Berger
Synopsis : It's a gloomy London evening and the British Boys are on the beat. With a Molotov cocktail in
one hand and a studded glove on the other, they walk the street looking out for their enemies:
the queers, the pakis, the niggers, the yids. They need the hatred. Without this common purpose,
they'd be at each other's throats, each pair fighting for the supremacy of his football team.
Wayne and Kenny are Arsenal boys; Col and Keef fight for Chelsea, but until Saturday's game
they're the British Boys, united against the scum.
Across the street, John Constantine watches the little pack of Nazis pass. They're on the trail
of some poor gay bloke now, and it looks like he's got a beating ahead of him. He watches the
British Boys follow the man inside a public toilet, and closes in.
With their prey cornered, the Boys move in for the kill - not realising that the person they've
been following isn't human. It's on them in seconds, razor talons and sharp teeth tearing
them to shreds.
Constantine builds up the courage to intervene, but upon entering the toilet he finds it empty,
save for some shattered sinks, gore splashed over the walls, and the words DAMNATION ARMY
written in blood on the ceiling. He follows a trail of blood to an access trapdoor in the corner
of the room but declines to follow.
Which turns out to be a good choice because Nergal, the demon that slaughtered the Boys, is
still down there. It chides itself for killing them outright when its aim was actually to
convert them to its cause. Nevertheless, it concedes that giving in to its bloodlust could work
to its advantage. Gathering up the remains of the boys, it dives into the rank sewer water,
surfacing in the underground lair where the Damnation Army awaits.
In the Queens Arms pub, Constantine orders a Bloody Mary and telephones an associate of his, a
journalist named Tony who explains that The Damnation Army have been appearing all over the
place, linked to hundreds of murders, sex attacks, suicides and other grisly phenomina. However,
the police have placed a "D-list" (a kind of journalistic embargo) on each of the stories,
suspecting that an underground cell of anarchist terrorists is at work. Constantine knows that
it's something even more sinister, but is still puzzled by its true nature.
John returns to Zed's, but the sound of voices from inside startles him. Indoors, God's
Warriors, the strong arm of the Resurrection Army, have confronted Zed. It seems that she was
once a member of the Crusade under the name "Mary", but she ran away. Now something is
approaching, and "The Tongues of Fire" need her back so that they can prepare her...
Zed grabs a nearby knife and threatens to skewer anyone who comes near her, but it's not until
John arrives - pretending to have a gun hidden in his coat pocket - that they get the message
and leave. A still frightened Zed tells John that he doesn't own her, and he reassures her that
he's on her side.
Down in his lair, Nergal sifts through the remains of the British Boys, fusing their shattered
bones and ripped muscle together to create a new, terrible creature. Then, taking their anger,
frustration, hate and bile, he brings the monster to life. He burns the words DAMNATION ARMY
into its chest and sends it out onto the streets.
Once it's clawed its way out of a drainage pipe, the creature - now calling itself Ironfist The
Avenger - takes stock of its situation. Kenny, Wayne, Keef and Col are all fully aware of what's
happened, but they're not frigtened. Finally, they're a real team, with none of the fear and
confusion they used to have. At last, they have a job. Following Nergal's commands, Ironfist
kills the God's Warriors that were staking out Zed and begins scaling the wall of her apartment
Meanwhile, John is searching through Zed's personal effects, looking for connections to the
Crusaders. He finds her diary, but before he can read it, the sound of shattering glass signals
the arrival of Ironfist upstairs. Knife in hand, John sprints upstairs only to find himself
face-to-faces with the lumbering giant.
Realising that his knife is useless, John relies on his sharp wits instead as he points out the
tattoos on each arm; one supporting Chelsea, the other supporting Arsenal. The British Boys,
suddenly reminded of their true colours, begin to attack one another. As Ironfist tears itself
apart, John and Zed take to their feet. A cab ride from Chas takes them to safe territory - Ray Monde's place.
John notices that Ray's shop is boarded up, and hope fervently that Ray himself hasn't left
town. Thankfully, the old chap's still around. Sadly, however, it seems that his clientele have
been deserting him due to rumours that he has AIDS. After Zed's gone to sleep (aided with a
couple of Ray's sleeping pills), John asks Ray whether the rumours are true. Ray says that they
Dawn arrives but Constantine's still awake, trying to get to grips with the crisis he's found
himself in. The telephone rings, and John answers. Nergal is on the other end, but refuses to reveal his identity, only telling John that they have encountered each other once before - John cannot place the voice, though. Before cutting John off, Nergal gives John an ultimatum: join the Damnation Army, or face the demon's wrath.
Issue synopsis written by James Wilkinson