During the silver age of the DC Universe, before the formation of the Justice League of America
, the Earth was invaded by the alien Plasma Men. The rookie heroes of that age converged on Washington D.C. to fight the aliens: Superman
, Green Lantern
, Black Canary
, Martian Manhunter
, and Triumph
. The heroes, though inexperienced, bonded together thanks to the coordination of Triumph. They eventually found themselves working well together, but when it came to dispatching the Plasma Men, the heroes realized that they must sacrifice one of their own. Superman volunteered, but Triumph beat him to it, sacrificing himself and trapping both he and the Plasma Men within time.
With the disintegration of time caused by Zero Hour
, Triumph found himself freed from his prison in time. Worried that this means the Plasma Men are also freed, Triumph tries to find the silver age heroes. He tracks down the Justice League, but instead of finding the heroes he knew, he discovered the remnants of the disabled Justice League International
: Crimson Fox
, Elongated Man
’s body, and the Tasmanian Devil
. The remaining Leaguers do not believe Triumph at first, however the appearance of Arion
sways them into thinking there may be truth to Triumph’s story. Fire goes to retrieve Martian Manhunter, as the heroes go to Washington D.C., the site of the original invasion.
Sure enough, the Plasma Men have returned. At first, Triumph and the heroes try to defeat the Plasma Men using brute force. But that does not seem to work. Triumph starts to use the intelligence that helped him to defeat the Plasma Men the first time. Triumph realizes that the Plasma Men do not realize that humanity is sentient. He figures out a way to communicate with the aliens, and convinces them to leave Earth. Impressed, Martian Manhunter invites Triumph to join the Justice League, hoping that the two can rebuild the team.
Return of the Hero was a three-part story arc that took place in the pages of the Justice League
books during the bigger Zero Hour crossover event. The story arc, written by Justice League writer Christopher Priest
, introduced Triumph. Triumph was conceived by Priest as a way to link the Silver Age
Justice League to the present story arc. With all the Justice League titles relaunching (and Justice League International
becoming Extreme Justice
), the inclusion of Triumph served for the League to become full circle before the end. Triumph would continue to star in the Mark Waid
written Justice League Task Force