The story begins as dozens of missiles simultaneously strike the Earth. The members of the Justice League of America independently fail to rescue humanity. Throughout the sequence, an unseen narrator laments the human race's idolization of and reliance on superheroes which has led to the destruction of Earth and all of its inhabitants except Superman, who flies into space at the last moment. The sequence is revealed to be a nightmare shared by several supervillains.
The story shifts to Aquaman who, after his own sleepless night, reveals to his wife Mera that he senses the presence of something in the oceans that does not belong there. A school of sharks arrive and lead him to the object, a massive city-sized black sphere. Aquaman is attacked by Black Manta and his henchmen and rendered unconscious. Aquaman is conveyed into the sphere and delivered to Lex Luthor, who is revealed as the issue's narrator.