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The issue begins with 5 members of the Justice League (Superman, Woner Woman, Red Tornado, Green Lantern, and Flash) on trial at the United Nations for imprisoning the super-powered Ultraa against his will (JLA 158) His attorney released him from the prison (JLA 167-168) and convinced Ultraa to press charges. A riot breaks out amongst the crowd, who are mainly against the JLA, but the five heroes subdue the crowd as they openly wonder if they are doing the right thing.
Ultra laments to his lawyer, wondering if what he is doing is correct and he realizes that the JLA could have been his friends. He is now understanding the the JLA wasn't a menace to safety but only sought peace. Sloane assures Ultraa that he is his friend and Ultraa takes a walk to relax. We begin to see an ulterior motive to sloan.
The scene switches to the JLA Satellite where Batman is observing a disturbance in the atmosphere. Batman wishes that some of the scientific minds of the team weren't on assignment off-planet. Sloan turns on the news and sees mob outbreaks all over Europe. He then shows his true form as a group of plasma membrane creatures (not unlike the arthropods from JLA 118-119). They contact their leader, OVER-COMPLEX, wishing to merge with the rest instead of staying in human form. They are told they must remain in this artropoidal form until it is certain that there will be no interference from the super-beings (JLA).
The rest of these beings obey and return to the form of Earnest Sloan.
Wonder Woman, from her view in the U.N notices a drop in the level of the East River. Superman confirms it saying that the level dropped at least 6 inches. While Flash and GL ponder the why Superman leaves flying through a window to find out what the problem is. GL creates a Superman hologram and Flash uses super-speed to fix the broken window. When the guards check on the noise that they heard, all they find is 5 heroes waiting for the trial to begin. Superman sees the ocean droppining (Ml/minute) Superman is attacked by the COMPLEX and they say that they need to eliminate his interference and they easily defeat the Man of Steel and drop him into the ocean.
Batman is discovering, thanks to the JLA Computer, that the percentage of oxygen in the air is growing. Fires are raging out of control. Finally, Ultraa is walking and sees the COMPLEX creatures (coming back from disposing Superman) turning back into Sloane. Ultraa now knows who the true enemy is and is preparing himself for action, while he doesn't realizes he too is being watched by another creature. The issue ends with the trial getting ready to be reconvened.