The greatest criminals of Krypton have just been released from the Phantom Zone. Simultaneously, Superman and Quex-Ul have been incarcerated in the Phantom Zone. The majority of the Phantom Zone villains depart Metropolis. Only Jer-Em, Az-Rel, Nadira, and Nam-Ek remain in the apartment Quex-Ul lived in, as Charlie Kweskill. A dispute breaks out between Nam-Ek and Az-Rel and Nadira. Nam-Ek is set on fire, and flees in agony. Az-Rel and Nadira take their leave of Jer-Em. The Metropolis Police Department engage Az-Rel and Nadira, but fail to stop them.
Superman and Quex-Ul look on, helplessly, from the Phantom Zone. Under the command of General Zod, the Phantom Zone villains lay siege to, then occupy, Superman's Fortress of Solitude. Va-Kox, Jax-Ur, and Cru-El are dispatched into orbit, to deal with the Justice League of America. The three Kryptonian super-villains hurl the Justice League of America's satellite headquarters into deep space. With that task complete, the trio of Phantom Zone villains set about destroying all of Earth's orbiting communications, and espionage, satellites.
The destruction of the satellite array immediately sends the United States of America and the Soviet Union into war. Each nation launches it's arsenal of nuclear weapons at the other. Supergirl and Wonder Woman respond to the crisis. Supergirl, singlehandedly, destroys the United States of America's nuclear arsenal. Supergirl then joins Wonder Woman in destroying the Soviet Union's nuclear arsenal. Mon-El confronts Superman, and Quex-Ul. Mon-El believes there may be an escape route out of the Phantom Zone. The Green Lantern discovers the destruction of Earth's satellite array.
Returning home, to recharge his ring, the Green Lantern discovers that his power battery has been stolen. With only minutes of power remaining in his ring, the Green Lantern pursues the three Kryptonian thieves. A power ring constructed force bubble proves too weak to stop the Phantom Zone villains. With the Green Lantern distracted, trying to save lives on the freeway, Jax-Ur attacks. The remaining vestiges of power in the ring, keep the Green Lantern from being killed instantly. The Green Lantern is, momentarily, able to repel Jax-Ur.
Va-Cox belts the Green Lantern with his own power battery, rendering him unconscious. The three Kryptonian super-villains escape with the power battery, as the Green Lantern is taken to a hospital. Wonder Woman is drawn to the burning body of Nam-Ek, as it streaks across the sky. Wonder Woman confronts Nam-Ek, whose ruined body quickly regenerates. The insane Nam-ek takes Wonder Woman's act of kindness for duplicity, and attacks the Amazon Princess. Wonder Woman subdues Nam-Ek with the Lasso of Truth, and then interrogates him. Batman takes down a gang of looters.
Supergirl confronts Batman. Supergirl is troubled by Superman's absence during the near-nuclear holocaust she averted. Batman offers to search for the Man of Steel in Metropolis. Supergirl heads for the Fortress of Solitude. Jimmy Olsen reports to Perry White, regarding the, seeming, bombing of Kweskill's apartment. White assigns Olsen, and Lois Lane, to investigate. Supergirl confronts General Zod. Supergirl is attacked by Kru-El. Supergirl momentarily defeats Kru-El, only to be attacked by Jax-Ur. The battle is swift, and brutal. Supergirl is defeated. Mon-El leads Superman and Quex-Ul to the barrier separating the Phantom Zone from other realms. Superman and Quex-Ul penetrate the barrier, into the unknown.
Note: This issue contains the Hostess Superhero Ad, The Flash in "Marathon Madman".