Maximillian Deville was once a knight of the Order of the Fist until the order was destroyed by their rivals, the League of Insect Assassins. Max was the only knight who survived the onslaught because he ran away from the fight even though he has a genetically altered skeletal replacement assembly system (quite simply he heals fast). On Hardcore Station, Max becomes Chief Justice of the Municipal Central Command. It didn't take long for the criminal element to realize that Max is not to be messed with. Max is the kinda guy who would hold someone over a vat of molten lead and drop them in if they even asked for a lawyer. Max has a zero tolerance for drugs, kidnappings, or any criminal activity on Hardcore Station.
One day, Max receives a call from Dolly, the precinct's police band, who has just informed Max of the arrival of an infamous pirate ship on Hardcore Station. The Enigma has supposedly been involved in the destruction of several ships and Max can't understand how this ship managed to get docking clearance. Max heads to docking bay 9W and is shocked that the Enigma is no bigger than an escape pod. From Max's perspective, it doesn't seem possible that the Enigma could be allegedly responsible for so much devastation.
Max is approached by the ship's first mate who goes by the alias of Seek. Seek has robotic crew members and Max notices one of them is patching into the station's central computer. Max hassles Seek on whether or not he has a permit to jack in to the station's grid because Seek's robot could access secured zones within Hardcore which could financially jeopardize the station. Suddenly, Synnar (Tarsus) apears right behind Max and explains his purpose on Hardcore Station. Synnar says he is gathering research from the station's grid in order to perform the holy labors that his deity has assigned him.
Max didn't believe Synnar's story for a second so he started spying on Synnar. Synnar went to Wel Cen, the medical facility on Hardcore Station because one of Synnar's associates found a possible canidate for the dark soul that Synnar needed to bring about change in the universe. Unfortunately, Max's stakeout is compromised by the League of Insect Assassins. Someone hired the assassins to attack Max and Synnar at Wel Cen. Max kills most of the assassins and Synnar transforms the remaining two into salt.
Max decides Synnar is too unpredicatable to be kept on Hardcore so he goes to the Traplaneteur Corporate Security to request Synnar's immediate deportation. However, the supervisor of corporate security denies Max's request because Synnar is actually an invited guest on Hardcore. It was Synnar's corporate holdings on Rann and his financial backgorund that gained the station's attention. Synnar has been asked to negociate the sale and trading of new technologies. With Synnar's help, the station's new energy collection system will finally be operational. Synnar also established a new church/ shelter on the station' lower level which is dubbed the Grease District.
Since the representatives of Hardcore won't help with Synnar's removal from the station, Max takes the initiative by entering the Enigma to dig up some dirt on Synnar. Max soon discovers that Synnar possesses the ability to create multiple dimensional layering. In other words, the Enigma looks like a small craft on the outside but on the inside, there is a vast network of corridors, levels and chambers.
Max travels through the Enigma's ventilation system and plants a wire tap in the ship's network junction box so he can listen in on all of Synnar's conversations. The wire tap also acts as a wireless terminal so Dolly can download any technical specs from the Enigma. Dolly learns that the Enigma has two teleporation systems: one for Synnar's personal use and the other is used to transport the ship anywhere without the need of hyperdrive. Unfortunately, Synnar sensed Max's presence on the Enigma so he sends Eye to teach him a lesson about trespassing.
Even though he was badly bruised from his encounter with Eye, Max still made his way back to the precinct. Dolly treats Max's wounds and informs him that there has been a murder at Engen, one of Hardcore's leading energy producers. Max conducts a full investigation in the executive office of Harlan Eltor, the CEO of Engen. From what the crime examiners could deduce, Eltor was fried by some radiation burst and his skeleton was the only evidence left after the crime was committed. Max knew Synnar was behind this but he couldn't prove it so he asks Dolly to find a possible motives that Synnar would have against Engen.
The obvious motive would be Synnar's involvement in Hardcore's new technologies which included renewable energy sources but Dolly does come up with an alternative motive. It seems Eltor made sizable transfers of funds to three outer rim banks which is the usual method for paying off members of the League of Insect Assassins. It was Eltor who hired the insectoids to attack Synnar at WelCen. Dolly decides to go to the outer rims and investigate any holdings Synnar may have while Max observes Seek's activities.
Seek and Find have been constructing the energy collection system for Entreplaneteur's Inc but Max knows the system will only work for Synnar when it is completed. Unfortunately for Dolly, she finds a cascade bomb which is programmed to detonate thereby destroying any incriminating evidence that Synnar may have left before he came to Hardcore. Once the outer rim planets were destroyed, the energy collection system activated and gathered all of the energy that was dispersed from the destruction.
Max learned about Dolly's death after hearing a news report about the successful test run of the collection system when the outer rims was blown to pieces because of a supposed "industrial accident". Max decides to drown his sorrow over Dolly with alcohol but his drinking binge is interrupted by Eye. Eye offers Max a truce and a chance to join Synnar. She also informs Max that Synnar has purchased fifty percent of Entreplaneteur's Inc's holdings and planet Earth is set to suffer an industrial accident just like the outer rims. Max assumes the odds are stacked against him but if Earth is threatened then maybe he can get some outside help from the Justice League.
After his discussion with Eye, Max heads back to his apartment and finds a package left by Dolly. The package turns out to be a recording left behind by Dolly. The recording suggests to Max that he tap into the Enigma's twin teleportation system because if Synnar teleports anywhere ever again, Max can bypass Synnar's teleportation with the ship's teleporter thereby causing Synnar's atoms to split into non-existence.
The next day, Max accompanies Eye and Synnar to planet Earth. When Synnar was busy talking to Eye about universal matters, Max hacks into the Enigma's teleportation system in order to set Dolly's trap. Synnar sends Max along with Eye and a band of droids to establish a cascade bomb in the North Pole. Max distracts Eye by flirting with her then he places a neuro-dampener in the back of head to knock her out. As soon as Eye was down for the count, the Justice League shows up to investigate because Superman's alarms at Fortress of Solitude went off when Max arrived.
Synnar sensed Max's betrayel and decided to use the teleporter. As soon as Synnar transported, Max activates Dolly's teleportation bypass in order to scramble Synnar's atoms into nothing. The plan was almost a success but Synnar's powers were far beyond the energy of the teleporter. Just as Synnar was about to reconstitute himself, Max launches a microwave pulse grenade which is designed to disrupt communication wave lengths but in this case it will disrupt Synnar's concentration. The grenade explodes but Synnar still remained or so it seemed. A flash of light appears in the center of Synnar's chest and Synnar is sucked into the glimmering void. Earth was saved thanks to Max but the chief justice felt this tingling feeling in the back of his mind as if he hasn't heard the last of Synnar.
Mystery in Space
When Comet comes under attack by the League of Insect Assassins, Max arrives to help Blake crush the insectoids. Unfortunately, Blake sustains injuries during the fight and Max is forced to carry him. Max destroys the remaining insectoids by having them follow him through a traffic tunnel. Ironically, the insectoids become dazed by the giant blinding lights of a passing hover truck and they are immediately splattered across the truck's windshield.
Rann-Thanagar Holy War: Countdown to Adventure
Only a select few believed Lady Styx was destroyed but it seems Lady Styx has regenerated. Lady Styx wants to exact her revenge on Earth as well as Rann so she infects a Hollywood movie star named Steven “The Champ” Hazard. Styx’s reason for infecting Hazard is because she learned that Sardath had chosen the celebrity to be Adam Strange’s replacement as the protector of Rann since Strange was beginning to fail in his duties. Sardath transported Hazard during the shooting of his latest action flick. Adam of course, wasn’t happy with Sardath’s decision but at the same time, Strange could see that Sardath was not acting like his usual self. Sardath asks Strange to counsel Hazard on what to expect from Rann. However, Hazard’s egocentric nature causes him to underestimate a Sandswarmer in the Desert of Tears and Hazard’s face ends up getting scarred.
Strange confronts Hazard for his reckless behavior and Hazard reacts like a rabid dog. Hazard threatens Strange that if he ever chastises him in front of the Rannians again then Strange will end up dead. Sardath calms Hazard and tells Strange to go home to his family since he is no longer needed. Strange decides to spy on Sardath and Hazard to figure out why they are acting out of character. Strange soon realizes that Sardath has abandoned his faith in science and has accepted Lady Styx’s philosophy as his religion.
From what he has gathered, Strange believes that Lady Styx is infecting key individuals on Rann with some sort of virus in order to bring Rann crumbling down from the inside. Strange also theorizes on how the effects of the virus differ between Sardath and Hazard. Sardath is now a devout yet still lucid follower of Lady Styx while Hazard is becoming a blood thirsty crusader for Lady Styx. Hazard instills marshal law on Rann with Sardath’s unquestioned approval. Hazard also deputizes the majority of Rann’s population who believe in Lady Styx as a savior. Strange calls out for outside assistance on Earth while Hazard’s vigilantes hunted down the supposed enemies of Lady Styx on Rann.
Strange’s out going cry for help gains the attention of a group of intergalactic healers. These healers are dedicated to cleansing of plagues that might infect the balance of the universe. The healers were on Earth at the time because they could sense a bacterial disturbance in Animal Man’s son Cliff Baker. Cliff was infected by the Lady Styx virus because Cliff had shook Hazard’s hand during the shooting of his picture. The healers could tell from their readings that Cliff’s viral infection has already begun to spread throughout his neighborhood. The healers quarantine the area with a force field and unleash a swarm of robotic nanites called sterilizers in order to wipe out the virus as well as the infected.
Starfire tries to protect Cliff from the sterilizers while trying to restrain him since the virus has made him insane. Cliff uses a kitchen knife to cut Starfire and Starfire becomes so agitated with Cliff that she uses her solar energy bolts to disarm him. Starfire’s quick thinking not only subdued Cliff but it also eradicated the virus within his body. This is the reason why Lady Styx hates Starfire above anyone else. Starfire gains her abilities by absorbing the solar rays from the sun and her powers can eradicate Styx’s viral influence rather than incubating it. Starfire uses her abilities to cure Cliff’s neighborhood before the sterilizers could complete their purpose.
Meanwhile, Adam did all he could to find out if anyone on Earth had received his message. Adam used a remote terminal to silently access one of Rann’s satellites to send his message but now he can use it to view anything taking place on Earth. Adam could see what was happening on Earth but he was interrupted by Hazard who has been monitoring Adam’s movements. Adam puts an end to Hazard by using Sardath’s zeta beam. The zeta beam teleports Hazard to the healers’ quarantine zone on Earth and the sterilizers zone in on Hazard’s location. The sterilizers practically devour Hazard from the inside thus putting an end to the pregeniator of Lady Styx’s virus.
Unfortunately, the healers will not allow anyone to leave the quarantine zone until they are convinced of the virus’ destruction on Earth which means Starfire can’t help Strange in eradicating the virus on Rann. Strange decides to contact Captain Comet because Blake's telepathic abilities might be able to disrupt Styx's direct influence over Rann. As Strange tries to make contact with Hardcore Station, Hawkman arrives on Rann with some disturbing news. It seems Deacon Dark has risen once again and he has established a new Eternal Light Corporation on Thanagar.
The deacon preaches to the Thanagarians to ignore their frail peace agreement with Rann and to unleash their fury in the name of Synnar. The Thanagarians are moved by the deacon’s words because Dark presents Synnar as a deity who is worth their worship as compared to Onimar Synn. Hawkman informs Adam that the deacon has convinced a squadron of Thanagarians to pillage the mineral fields in the Valley of Cries on Rann. Both men know this act must be prevented before it sparks another war between Rann and Thanagar. Adam & Hawkman manage to defeat the Thanagarians before any major damage could be recorded.
Unfortunately, they come under attack by a t-rex. This prehistoric creature appeared out of nowhere and began to consume the Thanagarian prisoners until the Weird blew the dinosaur's head off from the inside. The t-rex appeared on Rann because the deacon has been conducting temporal alterations on Hardcore Station when he is not on Thanagar. This unexpected occurrence would explain the random appearances of extinct creatures on planet Rann. The deacon's reason behind this temporal interference is because the deacon intends to pinpoint the exact moment Synnar supposedly died on Hardcore Station. The t-rex and the sudden appearance of a Shaggy Man on Rann are nothing more than byproducts that were created during the trial runs of the deacon's temporal manipulator.
Even though Sardath is concerned about Hazard’s recent disappearance, he allows Strange to return to active duty and Strange asks Sardath figure out the location of the deacon’s temporal manipulator. Sardath agrees to help but he can only triangulate the machine’s temporal energy signature when the deacon uses it again. The deacon eventually perfects the manipulator and he is successful in plucking Synnar from the past but his success also gives away his position. The temporal manipulator caused a volcano to suddenly erupt on Rann which to Rannians, is considered unprecedented. Adam along with his other comrades head to Hardcore Station only to find Chief Justice Max crucified upside down on an Eternal Light Corporation monument. Adam brings Max down from the monument and Captain Comet arrives on the scene. Blake was unable to get in contact with Strange because the deacon had sent a devoted follower/ suicide bomber to kill Blake.
Deacon Dark appears and greets the heroes with his taunts but he is easily dispatched by Captain Comet's telepathic pulse. Deacon Dark sheds his synthetic disguise in order to meet up with Synnar in a different location. Deacon Dark informs Synnar that he was brought to this exact moment because Synnar's presence is necessary for the second coming of the Nameless which will take place on the planet Rann. Deacon Dark heads to Thanagar to rally the Grand Mor’s forces in order to launch another assault on Rann. Afterwards, Deacon Dark leads Synnar to a ziggurat within Rann’s Desert of Tears. Deacon Dark begins to invoke an incantation which will transfer the essence of the Nameless into Synnar thus giving the Nameless a physical body.
Meanwhile, Sardath learns of the Grand Mor’s impending invasion and decides to meet the Grand Mor head on then destroy Thanagar in Lady Styx’s name. Adam Strange asks Captain Comet to use his telepathic abilities to echo his voice during the battle between Rann and Thanagar. Comet’s telepathic voice makes both sides believe that their almighty creator is speaking to them. Comet tells both sides to disembark their battle and both sides heed Comet’s demand by retreating.
After learning of Synnar’s merger with the Nameless, Adam Strange decides he must divide his resources to conquer Lady Styx and Synnar. Strange knows Starfire’s powers are the only thing that can put an end to Lady Styx’s occupation on Throneworld. Starfire is accompanied by the Weird while Strange and Comet head to Hardcore Station because they have just been informed by Chief Justice Max that there have been some undisclosed developments on the station’s satellite. Strange and Comet discover the deacon’s latest plot to spread the word of the Nameless. The deacon has been kidnapping telepaths who pass through Hardcore Station and placing them in individual cells within the satellite in order to siphon their powers. With a collective of telepaths hooked to a satellite, Synnar’s word will spread throughout the universe like a brushfire and his will be just as equally difficult to dislodge since the universe can’t afford to lose the revenues that Hardcore Station brings in. Strange decides to make a tough decision which is begin the immediate destruction of Rann in order to put an end to Synnar. Strange is afraid to ask the Weird to use his siphoning abilities in order to trigger a planetary self destruct sequence but the Weird accepts the responsibility because it is not only an heroic act but it is the right thing to do.
Strange leads the Weird to the newly built section of Hardcore Station’s satellite thereby draining the telepathic energy from the satellite and redirecting it toward Synnar. The Weird uses a technique similar to revification called teleportational bonding which will disincorporate Synnar.