Superman rushes to the Galaxy Broadcasting building, to type up an article before deadline, in his guise as Clark Kent. Suddenly, the Elongated Man, desperate and raving, spools out of the typewriter. Superman carries the feverish Elongated Man to his Fortress of Solitude, for treatment. Once they arrive, the Elongated Man hysterically begins stretching about everything. Superman does his best to keep the damage to a minimum, while he attempts to wrangle the crazed Elongated Man. When the Elongated Man knocks over a retort of molecular acid, Superman must act fast to contain the acid cloud, to keep the Elongated Man from being killed. Finally, the Elongated Man collapses in exhaustion. Superman treats him with a raft of Kandorian antibiotics. Hours later, the Elongated Man makes a full recovery. Over breakfast, the Elongated Man tells his tale. He had been vacationing with his wife, Sue Dibney, in Stevenson, Connecticut. Alerted to a runaway cement mixer barreling towards some children, the Elongated Man first pulled the children to safety, then stretched across the truck until it finally came to a stop. Taking time out to sign autographs, the narcissistic Elongated Man was drawn to several people in the crowd who seemed to pay him no mind. Upon closer observation, the Elongated Man noticed that all those people seemed to be suffering from some kind of disease. Resolved to investigate, to his wife's chagrin, the Elongated Man went to consult with the town's doctor, never noticing that his wife was beginning to show signs of the disease. Outside the doctor's office, the Elongated Man spied, through the window, a group of aliens. Eavesdropping, the Elongated Man learned that Stevenson, Connecticut was ground zero for an alien epidemic, a precursor to invasion. The alien virus reconfigures the host's DNA, transforming and assimilating them into the alien's race.
Having heard enough, the Elongated Man burst in and attacked. In close quarters, though, the aliens had the advantage. The Elongated Man was overcome, and injected with the alien virus. Upon regaining consciousness, the Elongated Man raced through the deserted streets of Stevenson to check on his wife. To his horror, she had begun to transform into one of the aliens. Burning with the fever himself, it was all the Elongated Man could do to reach Metropolis, to seek out Superman's aid. Superman checks the news and learns that the virus is already sweeping across the planet. Unable to raise contact with the Justice League of America, and with Supergirl off world on assignment, Superman and the Elongated Man realize they're on their own. Returning to Stevenson, Connecticut, Superman finds the alien's ship on a hillside, overlooking the town. Superman breaches their force field and closes on the aliens. The aliens fire a different viral weapon at the Man of Steel. Suddenly he is overwhelmed by growing viral spores, that multiply with his every attack. With Superman defeated, the aliens drop their force field, allowing the Elongated Man to make his presence known. Defeating the two aliens, the Elongated Man tends to Superman, who has feigned his defeat by the spores. The two heroes search the ship for an antidote, but can find none. Superman realizes, though, that the reason the Elongated Man was only sickened and not transformed was due to the Gingold in his system, that gives him his powers. To confirm his hypothesis, Superman checks on Jimmy Olsen, who uses Gingold to become the hero Elasti-Lad. Olsen has also recovered from the alien virus. Synthesizing an antidote from Gingold, Superman seeds the planet, and within a matter of weeks, the populace has returned to normal. The crisis ended, Superman and the Elongated Man now turn to the architects of the viral attack, resolving to hunt them down and bring them to justice.
- This issue contains the Hostess Superhero Ad, Green Arrow in "An Arrow in Time".
- "Daily Planet" Volume 80 Issue 5 week of February 11, 1980 edited by Bob Rozakis, production by Lynne Gelfer and lettered by Typeset. Featuring the disappearances of the parents of the Legion of Super-Heroes in Legion of Super-Heroes #263, and Sgt. Rock has to deal with a C.O. who wants everything done by the book in Sgt. Rock #340 plus "Ask the Answer Man!"and "Direct Currents".
- "Hembeck" by Fred Hembeck.