DC's current Justice League Dark series has provided its fair share of terrifying conflicts, pitting its unconventional roster of mystical characters against some scary foes. The current arc of the series has been no exception, bringing the might of the Upside-Down Man raining down on the team (and potentially, all of Earth). Recent solicitations for the series have hinted that at least one sacrifice will be in store for the team -- and the series' latest issue might have just taken that to heartbreaking lengths. Spoilers for Justice League Dark #26 below! Only look if you want to know!
Early on in the issue, John Constantine and Detective Chip made their way to Madame Xanadu, asking for her to help foretell how to win in the fight against the Upside-Down Man. Xanadu preferred to foretell those things through a tarot reading -- and the card he pulled, "The Moon", foretold an interesting detail. Xanadu argued that The Moon represents the dichotomy between magic and illusion, and that the key to unlocking magic is getting people to believe in a reality different from their own. Before leaving, Constantine was tasked with drawing a third card, and he left before he realized that he'd drawn "Death".
As the issue went along, the team began to fight the Upside-Down Man. Constantine went on a profound monologue about how magic ties into belief, and how that's what stops the Upside-Down Man from being truly powerful. After protecting themselves in a bubble full of their own magic and belief, Constantine ventured outside of it -- and the Upside-Down Man proceeded to shoot him with a blast of energy, which pierced his chest. The issue's final pages saw Zatanna rushing to Constantine's side, holding him as he appeared to lose consciousness.
If you take those pages at face value, they certainly seem to hint at Constantine kicking the bucket, which would bring an end (for now) to one of the most eclectic and beloved characters in DC's canon. So, did Constantine actually die? While it could be possible, the way the scene plays out could easily suggest something else entirely. The issue's whole rumination on magic and belief - and the idea of convincing someone to believe a reality alternate from the truth - could easily apply to John faking his own death. Not only would the moment make the Upside-Down Man think he got the upper hand, but it would further galvanize the team - and possibly the world at large - in the fight ahead.
Do you think John Constantine really died in Justice League Dark? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!