This six-issue series by the late Darwyn Cooke was influenced by previous works such as Kingdom Come, Watchmen, and Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. It takes place primarily in the 1950s, and depicts the Golden Age superheroes Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman meeting Silver Age characters the Flash, Green Lantern, and Martian Manhunter. The story bridges the gap from the end of the Golden Age to the beginning of the Silver Age in the DC Universe.
In 1958, the Flash is lured into a government trap, but escapes. Later, in Gotham City, John Jones is asked to interview a man who believes Martians are on Earth, but the interview is interrupted. In California, Hal Jordan is scrubbed from the Task Force X mission.
After John Henry is hunted down in Tennessee, Edward R. Murrow addresses the race problem on TV. When The Flash also denounces the tactics used to try and capture him on TV, J’onn J’onzz decides to try to return home, turning over all his unsolved cases to Batman, including the story by Theodore Smiesel about a “Monster Island.”
Task Force X prepares for their space mission without Hal Jordan. J’onn J’onzz tries to hitch a ride with them, but is stopped and captured by King Faraday. Task Force X’s mission is a failure, and the Challengers set off to rescue its survivors, while the governement tries to contact Superman to save the crew. Afterwards, Jordan is examining the simulator when he is snatched by a green light.