The Penguin smiles an obnoxious grin through the pain of his leg as Nightwing berates him with questions. When Nightwing reveals that the heroes converged on Penguin because they found an Iceberg Lounge cocktail napkins on Dr. Polaris, Penguin scoffs.
Fool! What is that imbecile doing carrying a napkin around in that costume? …he was here several nights ago. He and the yellow lantern, Sinestro, met to discuss the final fate of Hal Jordan. I had nothing to do with the meeting, they only paid me a handsome sum to meet at my establishment. I do not know of the fate of the Justice League.
The team leaves shortly afterward, getting nothing else from Cobblepot. They deduce that Sinestro has a very specific energy signature, one that should be easy to track given the correct given the right equipment. The Atom makes a call to S.T.A.R. Labs in Fawcett City. Under the circumstances, they are glad to allow the JLA to use whatever technology is needed.
It takes very little time for Dr. Palmer to find the yellow energy signature, three in fact. The radar reveals the readings to be in Coast City, hometown of Hal Jordan. Supergirl immediately flies to Coast City and calls S.T.A.R. Labs, enabling the Atom to shrink the team and travel via phone line to her location.
The team arrived in time to find Sinestro and two members of his Sinestro Corps destroying Coast City. Building crumble under the power of the yellow rings as Sinestro calls out through a massive energy-megaphone.
Jordan! Show yourself or I will raze your city to the ground! I am no fool. This disappearance of yours is a hoax! Fight me or watch these rats scurry in fear from their pathetic homes!
The interim JLA leap into action as Sinestro and the yellow lanterns terrorize Coast City. It is evident the team is overmatched until the Flash makes an impromptu arrival, downing one of the lanterns in a trail of lightning. A well-placed explosive batarang drops an already unstable building on Sinestro’s other ally, burying him under dozens of tons of steel and concrete. Sinestro himself drives Booster into the ground several times, ready to move in for the killing blow.
Where is Jordan, it is not often he sends his cronies to fight in his place?
When Booster reveals that the team tracked Sinestro here on a tip for the Pengiun he becomes irate. Sinestro tells the team that he did not meet Dr. Polaris and that he would never need that fool’s help, especially with an entire lantern corps behind him. Losing all interest in the fight, Sinestro flies off towards Gotham City to find out what the Penguin really knows.
Knowing Sinestro will likely kill Cobblepot once he finds out what he wants, the Flash contacts Ollie to ask about a place they can temporarily hide Penguin. Ollie tells them that his wounds sustained from Deadshot are healing, and that he owns a luxury boat at the Coast City docks. In an instant the Flash tears Cobblepot from his bubble bath in Gotham City and dumps him on in the cabin of Green Arrow’s boat. The rest of the team stare down Cobblepot as they tell him tat Sinestro is coming for him. Penguin is hesitant and seemingly won’t budge when Supergirl tells the rest of the team that Sinestro has returned.
A yellow energy crane tears the roof off the boat’s cabin and tosses it into the ocean. Sinestro descends into the cabin and encases the Penguin in a spiked iron maiden. It begins to close on Cobblepot as Sinestro asks only one question.
Where. Is. Jordan?
The nude Cobblepot quickly comes clean, telling them all that he send the remaining JLA on a wild goose chase to confront Sinestro, hoping that he would kill them. He goes on to say that there was no meeting between Sinestro and Polaris, but rather there was a meeting of seven villains, including himself and Dr. Polaris. The meeting was organized at the Iceberg Lounge by a new figure that refers to himself only as, “Player.” This “Player,” invited several second tier villains.
The guest list included:
The Player promised the villains that not only would he help them defeat the Justice League, but that he would provide them with a means to enslave them to provide the villains with a lifetime of service. There was also appeal in the fact that this group could do it themselves without having to deal with the pompous, arrogant masterminds they normally had to follow. There would be no Luthor or Grodd to tell them what to do and no Sinestro or Ares to play second fiddle to concerning power.
In fact, Player promised that some of the villains they had lived in the shadow of for so long would become their servants. Not only that, but after the JLA was defeated each of their villainous counterparts could take their humiliated foe as either a slave or a trophy. The exception was Superman, whom Player would take for his own.
Penguin tells them that although Batman was his to take by the terms of the agreement, Player bought him off to bid out to other buyers. Penguin tells Sinestro in desperation that he does not know what happened to Jordan, only that Polaris had rights to him per their agreement. He goes on to tell the heroes and Sinestro that their is a processing facility under the Great Salt Lake for both heroes and villains outside of Player’s plans.
As Penguin’s testimony begins to wind down Booster Gold decides to sucker punch Sinestro for the thrashing he took earlier. The solid blow sends Sinestro hurtling into the ocean to the surprise of the rest of the heroes. An instant later a giant arm of yellow energy hurls the boat toward orbit as the team leaps into the safety of the water…only Nightwing and Penguin still aboard.
Dick can barely process what is happening before the boat is thousands of feet in the air and ascending. Nightwing grabs Cobblepot and jumps from the boat into a free-fall. Seconds later Supergirl snatches the pair from the air safely. They watch Sinestro fly off, somehow satisfied with what he has learned.
Nightwing tells the team to forget about Sinestro now that they have a lead on the processing facility. Supergirl flies to Utah for a quick recon, returning to tell her team that the only entrance is a buoy floating on the water that projects a tunnel down to the bottom of the lake. Underneath the surface her X-ray vision revealed chambers holding dozens of people, many of which were political importance including Mayor Fleming of Metropolis. There is one room lined in lead, preventing her from seeing inside.
Flash arrives first, vibrating to the point of intangibility and surveying the compound in an instant. The Atom sneaks into the control room and enters the mainframe, deactivating the electronic locks on the buoy and signalling the rest of the team to enter.
The team finds several tanks of the blood used in the mind control discs along with a processing line. It appears that there is an injection system as well, forcing the victim into a more short-term controlled state. Flash vibrates into the lead-lined room to find his former teammates, Steel and Black Lightning, both fitted with a control disc.
The Flash tears the disc from Black Lightning and suffers serious electric feedback from the device. Jeff stands and continues his aggression, indicating that the blood that has channeled from the disc into his body is producing a residual mind control effect. The rest of the team arrives and makes short work of Steel as they restrain Black Lightning. The effects of the discs wear off shortly after removal from the host.
Meanwhile, the Atom plays back a recorded message left at the facility. It was left by Ocean Master not long before their arrival.
I was promised several members of the Justice League under my control! I have only two! And I sacrificed Black Manta during that botched operation to kill the remaining members of the League! I love having my fool brother as a trophy here, but the terms of our agreement have not been met on your end, Player! I demand more slaves to protect my new throne!
As the recording ends Atom knows the connotation of Ocean Master’s words. The team now knows the location of the first of the missing core League members. Ocean Master has usurped the throne of Atlantis and holds Aquaman prisoner.