Fresh from the onslaught of the sentient Green Lantern planet named Mogo and the rest of the Green Lantern Corps (Year 2, Vol 2), casualties are abounding and humanity is left to deal with the damage. Be they humans, metas or magical folk, someone has lost someone in the aftermath of the war against Superman, as waged by Batman who recognizes that the Man of Steel has become the opposite of what he stood for; a dictator who is willing to pay the price just to impose and enforce his "kind" of peace. Since the previous issue, a lot of things have happened. Superman broke Batman's back. Oliver Queen, aka. The Green Arrow has died as well as Black Canary; but not before filming her own demise and Superman's magical confession and broadcasting it out into the world for all to see. Along with that, Superman has received a Yellow Ring from the master of Fear, Sinestro, who has taken sides with Superman. I take it that he is living vicariously thru Kal-El as the events remind him of his own reign as sole ruler of his home planet of Korugar. Add to this list of changes, Wonder Woman is also out of commission due to some magical maneuvering on the part of one man who orchestrated the battle at this stage of the game.
One such person is John Constantine. Yes the radical Mage whose unorthodox methods border on the Machiavellian. He comes to aid Batman in his crusade to stop Superman while uncovering answers on his own. And since Superman has a weakness to magic, this was the perfect element to bring to the battle to ensure victory. And to do that certain things must come into play. First, Raven, needs to be taken out. Second, other magical users like Dr. Fate, Zatanna, Klarion, Jason Blood, Phantom Stranger needed also to be brought into the fold so that magic can have their day in the battle and tip the scales in Batmans favor. Third, Superman needs to be disabled with the use of magic.
Like in previous issues Tom Taylor has once again given us a fun and action filled read that collects the first 7 issues of Year 3. Constantine is his ever manipulative self and would go head to head with Batman as to who is calling the shots. (Yes, can’t have two manipulative folk in the same room) And a con man, pretty much like a leopard, never changes its spots so our charming but selfish mage, wields and deceives until he has quenched his thirst for revenge against Superman for brining the war to Earth, which claimed the life of Constantine’s wife.
Okay, I give you permission to scratch your head. And he has a kid named Rose, who may or may not have some magical gifts herself. I sincerely hope that they explore this further. For now, I’m just gonna leave it here and because Constantine orchestrated this whole magical element into the fray, expect some twists and turns and no easy way to the the end goal. And any goal that is worth fighting for, is worth gunning for. Like this collected volume, its worth reading. Better yet, its worth keeping. I did.