Clark Kent, Hal Jordan and Oliver Queen are enjoying an afternoon lunch at a Star City bistro. Oliver’s partner Black Canary, however, is on the job, ready to take down an apparent mugging in progress. The potential victim, though, is far from helpless. He is a costumed adventurer called the Paragon, and he easily dispatches the would-be muggers. Canary is almost ready to help Paragon, until she realizes that he intends on killing his attackers. At this point, the two face off against each other, but Paragon appears to be able to execute Black Canary’s judo maneuvers even better than she can. The League members return to the Justice League Satellite and bring their teammates up to date on this new potential threat. Green Lantern researches Paragon on the computer and learns that he is actually Joel Cochin, a scientist living in Star City. Black Canary is eager to track him down and execute a little payback.
Daily Planet reporter, Clark Kent, Ferris Aircraft test pilot, Hal Jordan, and Oliver Queen meet for lunch, in Star City. Absent from their gathering is florist, Dinah Lance, who is running late. En route, Lance, as the Black Canary, spies a mugging in progress. Four street toughs have cornered a man in an alley. Before the Black Canary can intercede, the "victim" attacks the gang, viciously beating them all to within an inch of their lives. Fearing the man is about to murder one of the youths, the Black Canary steps in.
The Black Canary fights with the man. To her great surprise, he proves to be the superior martial artist. Back against the wall, the Black Canary unleashes the full force of her Canary Cry, only to see her opponent shrug it off. Kent picks up the Black Canary's sonic scream, with his super-hearing. Kent, Jordan, and Queen race off to render assistance. The Black Canary suffers a brutal beating at the hands of her opponent. Kent, as Superman, intervenes, before the Black Canary is murdered.
Incredibly, Superman is punched into the upper atmosphere, by the Black Canary's foe. By the time Jordan, and Queen, arrive, as the Green Lantern, and the Green Arrow, the mysterious man has fled the scene. Superman calls for an emergency meeting of the Justice League of America. Aboard their satellite headquarters, the Justice League of America discuss the case. The only clue to the man's identity is a scrap of paper, torn from his coat, by Superman. The note is covered in mathematical equations.
To the Justice League of America's surprise, Firestorm, the Nuclear Man, is the only member who actually recognizes the equations. Unbeknownst to the Justice League of America, Firestorm, the Nuclear Man, shares his consciousness with a noted physicist, Professor Martin Stein. Through Firestorm, the Nuclear Man, Stein points the Justice League of America at a brilliant scientist, Doctor Joel Cochin. The Black Canary, Firestorm, the Nuclear Man, and the Green Arrow, call on Cochin.
They find his home strangely bereft of doors. Using the atomic restructuring power of Firestorm, the Nuclear Man, Cochin makes his presence known, as Paragon. Firestorm, the Nuclear Man, imprisons Paragon, only to see Paragon release himself using the same power. Paragon takes out Firestorm, the Nuclear Man. Paragon uses the Black Canary's martial arts acumen to put her down, before turning on the Green Arrow. Still using the power of Firestorm, the Nuclear Man, Paragon dissolves the Green Arrow's volley of shafts.
Paragon uses the Black Canary's sonic scream to finish off the Green Arrow, and Firestorm, the Nuclear Man. Realizing the fight is lost, the Black Canary activates her Justice League of America distress signal. Using the power of Firestorm, the Nuclear Man, Paragon shackles the three heroes. Paragon reveals that he was born mentally superior to his peers. His power to duplicate physical skills and super-powers, but at a greater level, developed in his teenage years.
Using the power of Firestorm, the Nuclear Man, Paragon assembles a massive device, designed to wipe out the 90% of the world's population that Paragon deems to be inferior. Paragon will then rule over the surviving 10% of the world's population. The Justice League of America storm Paragon's home. Paragon immediately uses Superman's powers to beat up Superman, and the Red Tornado. With Paragon occupied, Firestorm, the Nuclear Man, finally manages to free himself, as well as the Black Canary, and the Green Arrow.
The Green Lantern momentarily immobilizes Paragon, but Paragon's will power proves greater than the Green Lantern's. Superman protects the Justice League of America from Paragon's next attack. Superman, however, was the intended target all along. Superman is bound in chains of kyrptonite. Paragon discovers that as the kryptonite robs Superman of his super-human strength, Paragon also loses his. Unfortunately for the Justice League of America, Paragon still has Wonder Woman's super-human strength.
After punching Firestorm, the Nuclear Man, with his greater-than-Wonder-Woman's strength, Paragon loses the Nuclear Man's powers. Firestorm, the Nuclear Man, has been knocked back out of range of Paragon's sphere of influence. Paragon flies after Firestorm, the Nuclear Man, to reacquire his powers. The Red Tornado prevents Paragon from reaching Firestorm, the Nuclear Man. The Green Lantern also runs interference.
Attacking from outside Paragon's range, the Justice League of America begin mercilessly beating Paragon. Staggered from multiple assaults, Paragon is easily kicked into unconsciousness, by the Black Canary. With Paragon's defeat, the Justice League of America worry that no prison will ever truly be able to hold him.