Live together…die together.
Nightmare Nurse’s arc comes to a close as sacrifices are made and new alliances are made.
Asa has been one of the less explored figures in the Dark line-up, and this served as a good platform to delve into her backstory and motivations.
And as it turned out, things were complicated.
The artwork by Guinaldo is very good, and he captures the expressions very well.
Asa has taken control of Zatanna’s body in an aborted attempt at returning to her original host April Winter.
John manages to get an upper hand but back off when he can’t bring himself to kill Zatanna to get rid of Asa.
Despite the efforts of the Dark team, she can’t be separated from her host – leaving John with no other option that to force Asa’s consciousness back to the Between.
Sadly the spell backfires as it sweeps the entire House into the Between, leaving the team fending for their lives from the dimensional manifestation.
Asa manages to exit Zatanna and confesses that the potential power in her body intoxicated her beyond sanity.
While Zatanna attempts to get them out of there, the rest try distracting the manifestation. But sadly, only Constantine is able to fend it off, with Deadman and Swamp Thing almost dying in the process (though it seems Deadman and Asa had a nice moment).
Returning, they find Zatanna is attempting to use her psychic link with the House to send them back, but needs more time. Constantine uses his broken link in support, while Asa decides to sacrifice herself to give them more time.
Asa and Zatanna share one last kiss (oh, John and co, the look on your faces!).
Using her staff of healing, Asa attempts a futile fight that ends with her being consumed but she manages to fend it off long enough for a malfunctioning spell that leaves the House in upstate New York.
In a twist ending, it is revealed that Zatanna used a very dangerous and near fatal spell to preserve a portion of Asa’s consiousness with the kiss.
Reviving her, Asa enters a dying Alice’s body with her permission as the Dark team is reunited.
One of the highlights of this series is that you never know which side anyone would take.
You get the more heroic Swamp Things and Deadmans, but Constantine and the Nightmare Nurse are of ambiguous orientation – changing sides as it suits them.
Asa’s arc provided a lot of backstory to New 52 starting readers and helped humanize and relate her to us.
So, I give it 8.5 out of 10.
+Some great emotional beats
+Asa proves to be a compelling character
+Some amazing spellwork!
-Most of the Dark team were sidelined to be made negligible