The Justice League conducts an interview with the refugee animal woman, Reena. Reena tells them how she was once the assistant and lover of Rex Rogan, CEO of Repli-Tech Industries. When the company went bankrupt, Rogan and the board members (as well as Reena) volunteered to gain newfound power by way of a scientific process that manipulated their DNA, transforming them into animals. Calling himself Maximus Rex, Rogan established a gladiatorial combat arena, in which he and the other Ani-Men participated in vicious combat sports for the benefit of wealthy patrons. Reena can no longer bear the guilt of having associated with such a monstrous process and now turns to the JLA for help.
Aboard their satellite headquarters, the Justice League of America hear Reena's tale. Apprehended, by Firestorm, the Nuclear Man, breaking into Repli-Tech Industries' Manhattan offices, Reena is connected to several attacks on the Justice League of America's membership. Once upon a time, Repli-Tech Industries was teetering on the verge of ruin, driven into the ground by the greed of it's corporate board.
The chairman of the board, Rex Rogan, insanely suggested that the members of the board undergo a transmutative process, to gain true power, and escape prosecution. Though some members voiced reluctance, all acquiesced to Rogan's proposal. The members of the board underwent Doctor Lovecraft's process, emerging as half-human/half-beast hybrids. Rogan rechristened himself "Rex Maximus".
Rogan turned Repli-Tech's security forces into high tech theives, and used stolen moneys to refinance the company. Rogan also built an arena, for wealthy decadents, to witness blood sports. It was the horrific nature of these "games" that turned Reena against Rogan. With the aid of another of Rogan's Beast-Men, Rowl, Reena escaped. Rowl, however, did not.
Reena intended to steal incriminating files from Repli-Tech to bring Rogan down, which is when she encountered Firestorm, the Nuclear Man. Disbelieving Reena's story, the Hawkgirl treats her with suspicion. Rowl is brought to the arena. Rex Maximus personally battles Rowl. Though Rowl puts up a valiant effort, he is murdered, and decapitated, by Rex Maximus.
An Egyptian doctor uses the Hawkman's Justice League of America emergency signal to contact the team. The Hawkman has been hospitalized, following an attack, by Rex Maximus' beast-man, on an archaeological excavation site. A scorpion creature has poisoned the Hawkman, who now lies near death. The Hawkgirl, and Wonder Woman, are immediately dispatched to Cairo.
The Hawkgirl holds Reena accountable for the attack on the Hawkman. Wonder Woman realizes that strife in the relationship between the Hawkgirl, and the Hawkman, is weighing heavily on the Hawkgirl. Barely conscious, the Hawkman apologizes to the Hawkgirl, who has already forgiven him. Rex Maximus' agents abduct the Hawkgirl, and the Hawkman.
Wonder Woman is beaten into unconsciousness by a monstrous half-human/half-rhinocerous hybrid. Rex Maximus contacts the Justice League of America. Rex Maximus threatens death, and far worse, for his hostages, if the Justice League of America do not turn Reena over to him. Furious, the Justice League of America vow to bring Rex Maximus down.