The Key administers a psycho-chemical to the JLA which forces them to disband and become unable to see his henchmen commit robberies. However, they are returned to normal when Hawkgirl discovers the situation, and go on to defeat The Key.
The Justice League of America unanimously decide to disband. At Superman's bequest, the Green Lantern destroys the Secret Sanctuary.The architect of this inexplicable event is the Key. Using a mixture of psycho chemicals, the Key placed Snapper Carr under his sway. Acting under orders from the Key, Carr drugged the Justice League of America, with the same psycho chemicals, placing them under the Key's control. The Key intends to place all the world's leaders under his control, then use the enslaved Justice League of America to expand his empire into space. The Wrecker attacks Gotham City.
Batman and Robin confront the Wrecker. While the Dynamic Duo is occupied taking down the Wrecker, the Key's Key-Men carry out their own crimes. Due to the Key's influence over the Caped Crusaders' minds, neither Batman, nor Robin, can actually perceive the Key-Men, at all. In Ivy Town, the Atom confronts the Sandy Salters Gang. While the Atom is occupied taking down the Sandy Salters Gang, the Key-Men carry out their own crimes. The Atom, too, is unable to perceive the Key-Men. In Midway City, The Hawkman and Hawkgirl confront the Monarch Butterfly gang.
While the Hawkman is occupied taking down the Monarch Butterfly gang, the Key-Men carry out their own crimes. The Hawkman, too, is unable to perceive the Key-Men. Hawkgirl, however, can. Even after Hawkgirl apprehends the Key-Men, the Hawkman still cannot perceive them. Hawkgirl realizes that a glass of milk, that the Hawkman gave her, she gave to their cat. Analyzing the milk residue, Hawkgirl discovers the presence of psycho chemicals. The Hawkman is able to use Thanagarian science to temporarily neutralize the psycho chemicals from his system.
Using the Absorbascon, the Hawkman discovers the secret identities of his fellow Justice League of America members. In Central City, the Hawkman films the Flash's latest confrontation with the Weather Wizard. In Coast City, the Hawkman films the Green Lantern's latest confrontation with the Invisible Destroyer. The Hawkman then makes contact with the Justice League of America, in their civilian identities. The Hawkman shows the Justice League of America the films he made. None of the team can perceive the Key-Men, committing crimes in the background of each film.
The Hawkman uses Thanagarian science, to temporarily neutralize the psycho chemicals in the Justice League of America's systems. Upon seeing the Key-Men in the films, the Justice League of America unanimously decide to reassemble. The Justice League of America discover the Key's secret lair, but it's been abandoned. Interrogating the Key-Men, apprehended by Hawkgirl, also proves fruitless. The Justice League of America determine that the Key is hiding out in their own Secret Sanctuary, recreated by the Green Lantern's power ring.
The Justice League of America discover that their Secret Sanctuary is protected by a power ring generated barrier. A barrier that the Green Lantern, himself, can't seem to break through. The Atom manages to get inside the Secret Sanctuary, by traveling through the phone lines. The Green Lantern finally dissolves the barrier. The Justice League of America storm the Secret Sanctuary. The Key moves to his key-board, to place the Justice league of America back under his control. The Atom, however, has sabotaged the key-board, disabling it. The Key activates his Key-themed defenses.
Working together, the Justice League of America manage to overcome the automated Key-weapons. Superman and Wonder Woman take down the Key-Men. J'onn J'onzz, the Manhunter From Mars. barrels through the Key's last line of defense. The Hawkman, the Batman, the Flash, and the Atom mop up the remaining Key-Men. Superman, Wonder Woman, J'onn J'onzz, the Manhunter From Mars, and the Green Lantern destroy the Key's control key-board. The Justice League of America take custody of the Key. The Green Lantern erases the Key's knowledge of their weaknesses, and the location of the Secret Sanctuary. Unbeknownst to the Justice League of America, their seeming triumph, has actually played right into the Key's hands.