“MISSING--ONE MAN OF STEEL!” While the Justice League fought Queen Bee and Sonar, Superman mysteriously disappeared! Supergirl and the League search frantically to find him. Where is Superman? And who could have taken him?
Supergirl takes the Justice League of America to task, for not immediately investigating Superman's disappearance. Superman is drawn to the alien world, Sirkus. Before the Man of Steel can be revived, the architects of his arrival, Governor Kwim and Director Ergon, are attacked by flamebirds, Suddenly, the Justice League of America leap to the attack, through a trap door in the floor. The Justice League of America defeat the Flamebirds, but not before the Flash is slain in the combat. The "Justice League of America" are revealed to be actors.
The actor who played the "Flash" is replaced by his understudy. Believing that Superman would be too concerned with the lives of the Justice League of America, who were in the middle of a crisis when the Man of Steel was abducted, Ergon arranged to have actors playing the roles of the Justice League of America, to put Superman's mind at ease. Upon Superman's recovery, Ergon informs him that he, and the Justice League of America, came to Sirkus, in response to their distress call. Despero is on Sirkus, threatening to annihilate the populace, if a cosmic cannon isn't turned over to him.
Superman, and the "Justice League of America", confront Despero. After repelling Superman, Despero fells the "Green Lantern". With Despero closing on the city, Kwim loses faith in Ergon's ruse to enlist Superman's aid. Kwim fires the cosmic cannon, but misses Despero's ship, instead accidentally striking down Superman. "The Flash", and "Wonder Woman", manage to board Despero's ship. The two actors confront Despero, but "The Flash" loses control of the technology that simulates his super-human speed. "The Flash" careens out of Despero's ship, leaving "Wonder Woman" to face Despero, alone.
Despero is on the verge of discovering the truth about "Wonder Woman", when his ship crashes. Despero crawls from the wreckage, only to see "the Flash", and Superman, closing on his position. Despero strikes "the Flash" down, then flees. In the aftermath of the battle, Ergon dresses Superman down for failing to defeat Despero. Superman angrily responds to Ergon's verbal assault. Despero storms the city, again coming for the cosmic cannon. "Aquaman", the "Green Lantern" and Superman confront Despero.
"Aquaman" finds himself in combat with a strange eel-like humanoid. "The Green Lantern" is felled again. The moment "Aquaman" surfaces, still locked in combat with the eel-man, Despero strikes him down. Believing that Despero has murdered his teammates both demoralizes, and enrages, the Man Of Steel. In a blind rage, Superman charges Despero, only to be struck down mid-stride. With the failure of Ergon's plan, Kwim sees one slim hope of saving their world, and thwarting Despero... contact the real Justice League of America.
- Chapter 1 "All the World a Stage..."
- Chapter 2 "When Heroes Fall!"
- "Daily Planet" Volume 76 Issue 3 for the week of May 17, 1976 edited by Bob Rozakis and lettered by Typeset. Featuring is the Top dead? find out in The Flash #243, Tarzan is out for blood as he searches for his wife's killers in Tarzan #252. Plus, double action first with Batman and Captain Stingaree and an Elongated Man feature in Detective Comics #462. Finally, "Direct Currents" and "Trivia Quiz #3".