As Oracle reacts to the disappearance of Green Lantern’s mind, she has to keep a running account of the war for the heroes. Enemies of the United States now include China, Russia, Japan and the EU. Worldwide, paranoid civilians are lashing out at one another. And to cap it off, India just launched an ICBM at Pakistan, and a responding missile is being prepared. Things are looking dark… until Batman and Martian Manhunter arrive.
In Earth orbit, Green Lantern is cursing himself for dying in such a ridiculous fashion. However, he soon realizes he is not dead – he was plucked to safety at the last minute by Metron, who feels he is necessary for the survival of the Earth. Green Lantern believes he cannot break through the lock Mageddon put on the ring, but Metron asks him, “Is that your will? Or Mageddon’s?” Returned to Earth at the JLA Embassy, he is struck momentarily by the selflessness an heroism of his peers. When Warrior asks him to take a few minutes breather, he finds a quiet room and starts working on breaking Mageddon’s lock.
On Venice Beach in Los Angeles, the Pacific Rim Forces (a Canadian-Japanese alliance) are facing Young Justice, the Atom, and Stars & STRIPE. In Metropolis, paratroopers are facing Arsenal, Green Arrow and Elongated Man. And over the India-Pakistan border, Firestorm is dealing with the nuclear rockets of both sides; however, the conflict is escalating – the USA just began targeting China and Russia.
In New York, the heroes are on the ropes. With the forces at her command, the Queen Bee is preparing to sterilize New York and an 18-mile radius around it. Suddenly, Steel realises what Plastic Man’s plan was: none of the aliens can see the colour red, so he wraps himself in the comatose Plastic Man and attacks Queen Bee, distracting her long enough for Big Barda to activate the Boom Tube. The destination is Queen Bee’s homeworld, and her troops imediately try to follow her, either via the Boom Tube or by turning and flying away. This fight, at least, is over.
Barda requires immediate medical attention, so Mister Miracle leaves to take her back to New Genesis. Batman has called an emergency JLA meeting which Wonder Woman goes to attend. Plastic Man is sent to the infirmary at the JLA Embassy, and Steel goes to his workshop in the basement of Steelworks in Metropolis to repair his armour. He is met there by Animal Man, who has a theory on how Mageddon’s mental fields works, and maybe an idea to stop it.
At the Embassy, the JLA meeting is attended by Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter and Batman. Wonder Woman wants to find a way to resolve the crisis without war, Martian Manhunter hopes to summon help from some other quarter, and Batman just wants to hold out until Superman and Orion have defeated Mageddon. All are exhausted; none have a coherent plan. Then Steel arrives. He thinks everyone should listen to Animal Man…
Within minutes, Wonder Woman leaves to begin co-ordinating the new plan. Batman goes to help Oracle co-ordinate forces, while Martian Manhunter prepares to make contact with Superman. After initially finding Mageddon’s mind to primitive to reason with, Martian Manhunter finds a portion that thinks, over and over, “Am Mah-Ged-Dun”. Martian Manhunter tries to extract Superman’s location from this part of Mageddon, before he is struck with a cold truth – this part of Mageddon’s mind is Superman, chained and made to serve the whole.
Suddenly, a whirling vortex appears in the sky outside the Embassy. The heroes rush out to see – it is the Flash, back after going missing just before the riot in Belle Reve. Furthermore, he has brought help, in the form of a blue giant suffused with lightning …