Wonder Woman – Justice League Dark: The Witching Hour was a five part weekly event tying into recent events affecting Wonder Woman in New Justice and Justice League Dark.
The story continued in Wonder Woman #56, then in Justice League Dark #4, then in Wonder Woman #57 and concluded in Justice League Dark – Wonder Woman: The Witching Hour #1.
Wonder Woman remembers back to when she was a child on Themyscira and had come across a ritual being performed by the Witch Women of Themyscira, summoning Hecate. When the young Amazon Princess had been spotted she had attempted to flee but she had been caught and Hecate had branded her forehead with a magical symbol.
Hippolyta had summoned the witches to explain what her daughter had told her had happened to her. They had concocted a story whereby they had simply found Diana asleep in a tree and had returned her safely to her bed and it must have all been a bad dream. The young Amazon believed that must be what happened and left the queen alone with the witches.
But Hippolyta had not been convinced and demanded to know what had really happened. But suddenly Hecate had appeared and momentarily put the queen into a trance so she could address her supplicants. Their initial joy at having at last succeeded in summoning the witch Goddess turned to terror however, as she had destroyed them on the spot. Hecate then revealed that she branded others, like she had done Diana, and whispered that when the time came she would be calling upon her witch-marked “children” before vanishing again.
In the present day Wonder Woman and Zantanna debrief the rest of the Justice League on recent events and explain that while they had been able to beat back the Upside Down Man and the rest of the Otherkind this time, they may not be able to stop the next attack unless they put a plan in place. When Batman asks why they cannot call upon some of the other magical “heavy hitters” like Doctor Fate, Zatanna explains how he had been turned against them by Nabu.
Superman is intrigued to know how Diana had managed to stop the initial attack on her own, but she is reticent to explain further, as she herself is unsure what had happened and what the strange branding on her forehead represents. She simply says that she had been lucky.
As the league agree to discuss the matter further, Wonder Woman says that she will continue to work with the Justice League Dark for a solution. Batman senses the Amazon Princess is hiding something however and hopes they can rely on her. But just as they begin to discuss the situation further Hectate whispers into their ears and they suddenly forget about the conversation they’ve just had with Wonder Woman and carry on as if nothing had happened.
Meanwhile elsewhere, the Sisterhood of the Sleight Hand meet in secret at the Oblivion Bar. As the various “witches” convene, John Constantine watches from a seating booth. One of the witches is Rebecca Carstairs, also known as Witchfire, and she watches as Traci 13 organises the others to perform an invocation spell to find protection against the looming threat to magic.
But suddenly Hecate activates the branding she had placed on Witchfire’s forehead many years – when she was a child – and causes her to spontaneously combust, taking out half the bar and incinerating many of the other witches in a burning hellfire.
Back beneath the Hall of Justice Wonder Woman and Zatanna debrief Bobo, Man-Bat and Swamp Thing regarding their conversation with the Justice League and their request for help. But suddenly, as they discuss next steps, the symbol on Diana’s forehead is re-activated and she once again struggles to contain the dark magic power engulfing her.
Zatanna grabs her hand and tries to talk her down, telling her to keep calm and to regain herself. But Hectate appears and tells them that Wonder Woman is now hers to control. Bobo tries to contact the Justice League for help but they ignore his pleas, oblivious to him while under Hecate’s spell.
In a last ditch attempt to save them all, he orders Swamp Thing to distract Hecate before leading them through an innocuous looking door in the basement. But as they burst through it they find Bobo has built a secret doorway to the Oblivion Bar. He tells Swamp Thing to destroy the entrance way now behind them in order to prevent Hecate following them through.
But as they survey the bar around them they can see the damage and the charred remains of half a dozen witches. A shocked John Constantine is sitting at the bar with a stiff drink in his hands. As Zatanna asks him what has happened he grabs a kiss on the lips from her.
Taken aback, she demands to know why he just did that and he replies that it was his last chance to do so – as the Witching Hour is upon them!