In a cosmic graveyard in the space around a planet, Metron is leading Big Barda and Wonder Woman to see the effects of Mageddon. This is Wonderworld, a planet similar to the Fourth World, where the greatest champions of the universe gathered to hold back any threat from the technology of the Old Gods. They believed themselves equal to the task, but the power of the Mageddon warhead was too much, and they tore their world apart in war. With Wonderworld fallen, Metron believes that nothing can stand against Mageddon – but Wonder Woman is sure the JLA will try.
At the Watchtower, Mister Miracle is explaining the history of Mageddon to the League: the Old Gods of the Third World made a war that tore the previous universe apart, paving the way for the New Gods of the Fourth World. Mageddon is one of these weapons, capable of destroying stars and using remote units like the one they found in Belle Reve to drive sentient races to madness and war. Orion believes that all hope is lost, but Superman is firm – the JLA will stand against the threat, however large, with every member, past and present. Sturmer, Orion’s hound, begins to howl portentiously.
In Vanity, OR, the hero known as Aztek is dreaming of the end of the world – apocalyptic imagery such as Fenris and the Seven Seals of Revelations play out while the sky is filled with a skull-like visage. He wakes in a sweat with the news of the JLA alert just reaching him.
In the Ghost Zone, Lex Luthor and Prometheus are waiting for their two allies. After trying to impress each other with their intelligence, they admit that, while they may end up killing each other, they at least share a desire to see the JLA destroyed. Their two allies arrive: Queen Bee and The Shaggy Man (The General). Their plan will depend on the spaceship the White Martians left behind in the Ghost Zone, which has a portal back into real space. With the ship, the Queen Bee’s alien troopers, the super villains of the Earth, and the intelligence of four villains, they are confident of their success; after all, they are operating undetected in the bowels of the Watchtower itself.
In the Watchtower, there is dire news – the helmet Prometheus used last time he fought the JLA has been stolen. As Superman notes that, ever since they reformed the League, they have had Know Man’s prophecy of a “Warbringer” hanging over them. Batman believes they should concentrate on the threat of Prometheus, saying “Doomsday machines are more your forté, Superman”.
Meanwhile, Oracle and Steel are working on the Watchtower’s circuitry. A series of weird power fluctuations and computer glitches have given Oracle suspicions. Steel looks over the system, and finds a mysterious drain in the dining room – just as every view on every monitor in Oracle’s array is replaced with a drawing of the word “Boo!”. Prometheus steps up behind her…
As Steel raises the alarm, systems and alarms shut down all over the Watchtower. Queen Bee and the Shaggy Man walk through the White Martian portal into the dining room, shooting Green Lantern with a dart-gun on the way through. While they do, Lex Luthor sets off a number of bombs. On the JLA radio, he talks to Superman. Before Superman can tell him about Mageddon, however, the second set of bombs go off, gutting the Watchtower…