Aquaman attacks a Russian trawler, illegally harvesting dolphins. The Russians manage to aim their harpoon gun at Aquaman. Upon firing it, however, the harpoon catches the dolphin nets, dragging the crew overboard. Aquaman telepathically summons a sperm whale, and orders it to capsize the trawler. Aquaman telepathically orders the dolphins to round up the crew, only to have the crew mysteriously transform into chess pawns. The Atom has secreted himself inside a brief case, to locate a missing girl. When the kidnappers open the briefcase, the Atom comes out swinging. The Atom defeats the kidnappers, and reunites the missing girl with her father.
The Atom moves to collect the kidnappers, only to find them transformed into two more chess pawns, and a chess bishop. The Black Canary, and the Green Arrow, infiltrate a neo-nazi rally. After an altercation at the front gate, the Black Canary, and the Green Arrow, don their costumes, and attack the crowd. The Green Arrow goes after the rally organizer, only to find him transformed into a chess knight. The Green Arrow fires an adhesive arrow at the chess knight, only to discover that it, seemingly, has no moving parts to gum up. Struck down, the Green Arrow cries out to the Black Canary for help. The Black Canary shatters the chess knight with her canary cry.
The Batman, and Superman, turn over a group of hijackers to Police Commissioner James Gordon. A pair of chess rooks rain fireballs down on them. Superman retaliates, only to be struck down by a kryptonite cannonball. The Batman scales the rook, only to discover that it is an empty shell. The Batman destroy the rooks with plastic explosives. Zatanna co-ordinates with the Justice League of America, regarding this new crisis. Unbeknownst to the Justice League of America, they are but pawns in a deadly chess match between Despero, and their former comrade, J'onn J'onzz, the Manhunter From Mars.