Our issue begins with Black Hoodie the Delinquent getting a hijacked text message from her former mentor, the imprisoned super genius Vincent Vincenzo. He baits her into visiting him at AEGIS Supermax where he’s locked up in a floating cell suspended in the middle of spherical chamber outfitted with lethal security measures. Through the intercom, he taunts Hoodie over the disappearance of the Elite and her team’s inability to find out what happened to them. Hoodie doesn’t go for it and tells him she’s leaving. Vincent replies that when she decides she needs his help just to let him know, he’s only choosing to stay in the cell for now.
Lily and Rose aka Phoenix and The Sphinx (The Joined) are called in for a meeting with their school guidance counselor Mr. Dritz. Dritz is a retired superhero formerly known as The Phantom Spider and one of the few people who knows Lily and Rose’s secret identities. He tells the girls he saw their powers go on the fritz during the battle with Nuada and warns he’ll go to the authorities if they continue putting their lives in danger, even threatening to contact DCS.Lily and Rose falsely promise but decide to call his bluff in the end.
Magnificent Lad (The Legacy) is still hoping he can find his parents and gets news from Xion that he’s picked up a transmission that matches Gravinian energy signatures coming from an old warehouse in Damnation, the old town district. Symba, the Magnificent Family’s robot butler, tells Mag Lad he’s still very uncomfortable with the family’s former foe Xion being allowed access to the laboratory. Mag Lad says that Symba should just keep a close eye on the man.
Xion stops by the Mag Family’s Interstellar Menagerie, a portion of their island dedicated to housing near extinct animals from across the cosmos. Silver Arm has voluntarily allowed himself to be housed there after his absorbed Nuada’s silver arm. Xion taunts the young hero telling him he could use his power to cripple his enemies and is weak by choosing to be imprisoned. Silver Arm spits his taunts right back and refuses to give into the power lust.
Kid Atomic visits his mentor, Doc Atomic, still in a state of dementia and PTSD from whatever happened at the Eon Institute. Doc has cracked open the ink pens he asked the medi-drones to bring him and has scrawled black hearts across the walls of the recovery room. Kid inquires what this means, and Doc can only reply “The black heart beats within” and finally just chants “Eon” repeatedly. Kid hops in the Warthog and rockets to Magnificent Island. He and Mag Lad share their individual and immediate concerns and decide to split the team. Kid will take Silver Arm, Phoenix, and The Sphinx to Eon under the guise of allowing the scientists there to run tests on Silver Arm. Mag Lad and Black Hoodie will check out the strange warehouse in Damnation.
At the Eon Institute, the split team is met with a flustered and irritated Director Marissa Wolfman, the manager of the scientific research facility. She’s accompanied by armed security and eventually concedes to letting the young heroes in only if they remain monitored at all times. Dr. Conway Claremont runs a battery of tests on Silver Arm, but The Sphinx sees tests had been run previously on a sample of the metal composing the mystic arm and is took on demonic properties almost killing those present. She shouts out a warning just as thorny tendrils shoot off Silver Arm’s body and bore into the scanning equipment. Summoning a supreme level of will Silver Arm attempts to regain control of his powers and suddenly finds his consciousness floating in a black void.
A beacon of light floats towards him the void and feminine entity makes herself known. Silver feels a motherly love he had always wanted but never had as a foster kid and reaches out to her. She tells him she can soothe the pain of his arm if he accepts her. Silver hesitates but gives in and finds himself back in the laboratory with full and complete control of his now increased powers. Kid Atomic feigns the team departing now that the tests are over but instead hacks the security system and finds one curiously locked down sector. The half team fights past Eon guards and finally discovers a large testing facility containing a curious doorway connected to monitoring equipment. The Sphinx reaches out with her powers and sees the battle between the Elite and unseen, dark forces that occurred days ago. Strange cosmic interference shows her multiple realities where heroes are killed by chthonic forces emerging from the doorway or fighting them off and many other possible realities.
Kid Atomic remotely calls in the Warthog to blow a hole in the ceiling, but Phoenix detects another presence in the room. Shimmering into view is Mr. Drizt wearing his old Phantom Spider stealth belt. He tells the kids that they are going to the authorities to resolve the many crimes they committed breaking into this facility. Phoenix decides to solve things by overloading Drizt’s mind with images of his future and they leave him convulsing on the ground, regaining his senses after they have safely left.
Director Marissa Wolfman watches on the security feed, looking incredibly annoyed and frustrated. Dr. Conway Claremont shows her that Kid Atomic had hacked the lab’s readouts on Silver Arm and that he had reversed the hack tunneling into Doc Atomic’s secret files. She relays this news to Institute’s mysterious and shadowy benefactor Mr. Truman.
Across town, Mag Lad and Black Hoodie arrive at the warehouse and after Hoodies does some recon, they discover it’s housing an illegal metahuman pit fighting ring. Also, there’s some human trafficking going on as unwilling men and women are forced into the ring to fight the monstrous champion Khinzir, the Blood Pig. Mag Lad creates a distraction, busting in through the roof and drawing Khinzir’s rage while Hoodie sneaks into the management’s office to see where the Gravinian transmission is coming from.
Black Hoodie discovers Prospero, a decrepit, rotting old man that seems to the brains behind this operation. He summons a pair of infernal stone creatures using a device on his arm, but Black Hoodie uses her psi powers, channeled through a baseball to make short work of them. Prospero attempts an escape but is foiled. Hoodie questions him about what he knows in regards to the Elite’s disappearance. Prospero reveals that they were “given as a blood sacrifice” to aid in the coming of the “dark gods.” He mentions “Golgotha and Gehenna” and that more will die to hearken their visitation.
Mag Lad tricks Khinzir into letting down his guard, and the behemothic villain is tossed into deep space, belaying his threat for now. Mag Lad finds Hoodie and she shows him that Prospero was wearing a scrap of his father’s costume. Prospero will only say it was given to him as a boon from the dark gods. Hoodie attempts to burn the man alive in his business, but Mag Lad holds her back and turns the villain over to authorities. The Halcyon Police say Prospero was just a crazy old man, ranting on the street about some crazy religious nonsense, and that he’d dropped off their radar a few months ago.
The two half team reunite and head to Magnificent Island to debrief. When they arrive, however, they find Symba having gone mad and Xion lying bloodied and unconscious on the laboratory floor. To be continued…