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Back on Earth after his epic journey in "Rings of Saturn," J'onn faces the insidious intervention of the DEO and its director, Mister Bones. Bones gives J'onn a hateful choice: He either can betray his fellow heroes or have his own secrets revealed. Whatever the Manhunter from Mars chooses, his life is about to change for a long time to come.

While checking up on friends of his different identities, J'onn is called in by Cameron Chase to meet with the Director of the DEO. After tricking Agent Chase into admitting her overall disapproval of her assignment, J'onn meets with Director Bones. The Director lays down the demands: he has a list of all the alter-egos J'onn has assumed (obtained through the peace offering J'onn had given to the now-deceased Karen Smith), and will go public with them unless J'onn agrees to hand over the secret identities of every metahuman out there - starting with the Justice League. J'onn turns him down without hesitation, and asks Chase to consider what her father, the Acrobat, would have thought of it all.

In her apartment, Cameron Chase reads her father's journal, learning that J'onn had been active as the "Bronze Wraith" and saved his life many times. He did not care who the Bronze Wraith really was, only that he was a hero, and that was good enough for him.

At midnight, Agent Chase is ordered to make a public broadcast and outs J'onn to the public. Interviews from the friends of J'onn's various identities seem to be in agreement that regardless of who he claimed to be, the alter-egos kept trouble away from them. Who will protect them now?

In order to save face with the public, the DEO issues another public broadcast, apologizing for the "unauthorized" public outing, and promises disciplinary action following an investigation.

While Cameron Chase is furious with the DEO's deniability and betrayal, J'onn pays her a visit. He asks her why she left out a few of his identities in her report, to which she answers that maybe it was the right thing to do. She asks J'onn why he didn't save her father. He exclaims that the one who knew her father's secrets also knew J'onn's, and he was incapacitated when the Acrobat was killed.

Afterwards, J'onn visits the friends of his false identities, assuring them that he will still be around to protect them. He concludes however that it is time to stop living other people's lives, and start living his own.

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