Plane that was running guns to Nicaraguan rebels is shot down. Hank Hall, in his guise of Hawk, bails out before it crashes but is discovered by the Nicaraguan communist military. He tries to fight them off, but is overpowered.
The next day, President Ronald Reagan is looking at a newspaper with a picture of the captured Hawk on the front page. With him is Amanda Waller, the supervisor of the Suicide Squad, and two members of Checkmate. Reagan is unhappy with the situation, especially in light of the recent Contra scandal. He tells Waller to use the Squad to either rescue Hawk or kill him before the Nicaraguan can put him on trial. After the meeting, the two Checkmate agents plan to manipulate the Doom Patrol into rescuing Hawk to make their agency look good. Later at Belle Reve Federal Prison, Waller informs Rick Flag about the mission. Although neither likes the situation, they both follow orders. Meanwhile, in Moscow, the major in charge of the Rocket Red Brigade and a high ranking member of the KGB are also discussing the situation. The Nicaraguan government had agreed to turn Hawk over the Russian government, and the Rocket Reds has been dispatched to escort him. However, the KGB member plans to send his own agent.
The next day, Celsius, Negative Woman, Cliff Steele, and Tempest of the Doom Patrol have entered Nicaragua in disguise. While not liking being manipulated into the situation, they have agreed to do it because they were told that the US government has sent a team of assassins to kill Hawk. They are observed by Psi, who, along with Flag, Mister 104, the Thinker, and the Weasel, has been sent as the Suicide Squad to free Hawk. Mr. 104 wants to attack them, but Flag tells him that they are going to avoid them and reminds him that the explosive bracelet his wrist will kill him if he disobeys orders. In response, Mr. 104 dissolves his and the Weasel's bracelets while Psi and the Thinker use their powers to deactivate theirs. Mr. 104 then tries to attack Flag, but is stopped by the the Thinker, who wants the mission to be successful so he can get paroled and live out the rest of his life in freedom. The Thinker and Psi use their powers to local Hawk in an old Spanish fort, and the Squad prepares to enter it stealthily. In Hawk's cell two guards mock him. He angrily threats them, which they think is hilarious.
Later that night, the Doom Patrol enters the fort and begins subduing the guards. Elsewhere, the Suicide Squad is doing the same thing, only more violently. The two groups encounter each other and Mr. 104 immediately attacks Cliff Steele. The Thinker attempts to stop him, but the Weasel rips out his throat before turning on Tempest. Flag tries to stop the fight, but is punched by Celsius. Meanwhile, Psi tries to use her powers to subdue Negative Woman, who projects her energy form in response. The fight continues, and the Weasel tricks Tempest into toppling a tower, which briefly scatters the combatants. Flag uses the chaos to pull the Thinker's helmet off his body. Celsius tries to stop him, but is distracted by Steele, who had been sent flying by Mr. 104. Flag dons the helmet and tries to use it powers to stop the fight, but Celsius manages to stop him. The fight rages on, until the arrival of the Rocket Red Brigade, who demand that the teams surrender or be destroyed.
In Russia, Chairman Gorbachev is chewing out the major in charge of the Rocket Red Brigade. Gorbachev believes that having custody of Hawk would be useful, but the presence of the two American super groups, as well as the fact that the KGB had dispatched their super human operative Stalnoivolk into Nicaragua, complicates matters. He orders the major to recall the Rocket Reds and to tell Zastrow, Stalnoivolk's “handler”, to report to his office. After the meeting, the major learns that Zastrow has gone to Nicaragua against orders, leave the major to shoulder the blame.
Back in Nicaragua, the Rocket Reds prepare to open fire on the two groups. Flag uses the Thinker's helmet to suppress their armor's systems, and they fight their way free. However, Psi is unable to cope with so many minds around her and is struck by a blow. Flag blasts a Rocket Red that is about to kill Celsius and then orders a retreat into the village surrounding the fort. The Rocket Red Brigade follows them. Stalnoivolk had been watching the incident from the shadows. He waits until they leave, then enters the fort unopposed.
In the village, Celsius realizes that the mission has become impossible to complete and that the Doom Patrol was tricked by the US government to become involved. Flag finds her and uses the helmet to place her body under his control. She tells him that the helmet is changing him, but he ignores her and plans to carry out the mission. Elsewhere, the Weasel attacks Steele and becomes frustrated that he is metal. Steele throws him to the ground and then realizes that two Rocket Reds are behind them. Meanwhile, Psi is blasted by a Rocket Red, but is saved by Negative Woman, who tries to move her to a safe place. In another part of the village, Tempest is being attacked by several Rocket Reds is rescued by Mr. 104. The villain only holds a grunge towards Steele, and suggests that the two of them team up in other to survive. He acts very friendly, much to Tempest's displeasure. In the fort, a guard tries to prevent Stalnoivolk from reaching Hawk's cell, but Stalnoivolk easily breaks his neck.
Back in the village, Psi succumbs to her wounds. In her final moments, her lost memories return, allowing her some happiness. Negative Woman mourns over her body, not seeing a Rocket Red approaching from behind. Steele comes to her rescue and rips the Rocket Red's armor open. The Weasel then attacks, eviscerating the man before anyone can stop him. Before the heroes can do something about the Weasel, more Rocket Reds show up and the three of them flee. Meanwhile, Tempest and Mr. 104 are hiding in a building when a sudden fire forces them out into a courtyard filled with Rocket Reds. With no other opinion, they decide to fight. Mr. 104 transforms into uranium, but is blasted into pieces. Tempest believes that even though Mr. 104 was a killer, he didn't deserve to die like that, and attacks the Rocket Reds with a fury. Watching the scene from an alley are Flag and Celsius. Flag had forced her to set the building on fire to serve as a diversion. He says in a cold bloodied manner that Mr. 104 was expandable from the beginning. Celsius asks if he realizes that the helmet is changing him, but Flag responses that the helmet is allowing her to think clearly, and that he plans to keep it after the mission.
In the fort, Hawk is brooding in his cell when Stalnoivolk kicks the door in. He ignores Hawk's questions and punches a hole in the wall. Then he grabs Hawk, leaps into the courtyard below, and throws Hawk over the wall to the jungle beyond. The guards open fire on Stalnoivolk, but he throws a handful of gravel at them, then casually leaps over the wall and walks away.
Elsewhere, Negative Woman, Steele, and the Weasel encounter Flag and Celsius. As soon as Flag sees the Weasel, the Thinker's last thought causes the helmet to fire a lethal blast of energy, killing the Weasel. Shocked by what has happened, Flag rips the helmet off and passes out from the strain. The three Doom Patrol members leave the Weasel's body and the unconscious Flag and go to find Tempest.
Tempest is being battered by a number a number of Rocket Reds when the Patrol rescues him. With their opposition disabled, they flee and Celsius tries to come up with a plan to escape the country. They are confronted by Hawk and Flag, who is carrying the Thinker's helmet. He offers them a ride in the Suicide Squad's extraction chopper. Celsius is angry that Flag had invaded he mind and forced her to be part of murder, but Steele tells her to accept the offer. Hawk wants to get revenge on Stalnoivolk, but Flag tells him to shut up and then apologizes to Celsius. Steele makes a comparison to what happened to former Doom Patrol member Steve Dayton, a.k.a. Mento. As the group move towards the extraction point, Flag vows never to don the helmet again. At the helicopter, Flag expresses disappointment that he is forced to leave the bodies of the dead Squad members behind.
In the jungles of Nicaragua, Stalnoivolk meets up with Zastrow. Stalnoivolk tells him that his mission was a success, but that he would have liked to kill Hawk. Zastrow tells him next time, and says that the goal was to tarnish the reputation of the Rocket Red Brigade. Zastrow believes that the Russian people are becoming complacent by relying on a small number of specialists and that the politicians don't see the danger of allowing the security of their country to be dependent on one person or thing. Stalnoivlk observes that he is one of the specialists and Zastrow agrees, to which Stalnoivlk responses that it promises to be an interesting future.
At the Belle Reve, Amanda Waller is finishing debriefing Flag. She says that they shouldn't have been sent after Hawk to begin with, but Flag replies that he did his job. Waller tells him she's sorry how it turned out. Flag responds that he is too, but it doesn't make any difference.
In the Kremlin, Zastrow confronts the major in charge of the Rocket Red Brigade. Zastrow points out that the Rocket Red Brigade failed to bring Hawk to Russia, which would have been a minor achievement. The major replies that Zastrow had planned events to disgrace him and seize more power. He tries to shoot Zastrow, but Zastrow draws first and kills him. Zastrow tells his dead body that he is the better politician of the two of them.