"Power Struggle": At the moment of Captain Atom's arrival, the President, inside the White House's Oval Office, shockingly receives a phone call from the Joint Chiefs that they have launched a tactical nuclear missile on Captain Atom as the "only chance to save
Synopsis for "Power Struggle"
At the moment of Captain Atom's arrival, the President, inside the White House's Oval Office, shockingly receives a phone call from the Joint Chiefs that they have launched a tactical nuclear missile on Captain Atom as the "only chance to save America" despite everyone's close proximity including the President. Once the missile hits Captain Atom, he absorbs the explosion, leaving everyone and everything alive and intact. Atom then teleports himself inside the Oval Office and tells the President that they "need to talk". After a secret service agent shoots Atom and only to accidentally cause to induce himself unconscious from a ricochet bullet, Atom formally introduces himself and his situation to the President and requires his and his government's help. The President, rather amused by this, replies that he doesn't have the potential in helping Atom returning back to his world and also explains that in this world, every normal human being doesn't have the power in their rights to do anything and that superpowered beings are the ones with the real "authority" to even "decide who lives and who dies."
In New York City, Nikola Hanssen suspects that Cole Cash is lying to her about being from "meta-human compensation affairs". Cole tries to explain to her that she is becoming a superhero, in which Nikola suddenly levitate for a moment. Cole then takes Nikola to an alley and explains to her of possessing the Void entity and confirms by examining her pierced right hand to be carrying the Void signature.
Back at the White House, Captain Atom steps outside and is disturbed from his meeting with the President as to knowing why this Earth's people are absolutely afraid of their "heroes". Atom is then met again by Majestic. Upon seeing him, Atom angrily attacks Majestic and blames him and others like him for allowing people to fear their own heroes. Majestic grabs Atom by the throat and tells him that he and others had done what is the "best thing" for humanity, in which Atom rebukes by spitting on Majestic's face. Angered, Majestic then throws Atom into the Washington Monument causing its pinnacle to collapse. After Atom recovers and is shocked by what Majestic did to the monument, Majestic assures Atom that his nanobots will repair the monument and calmly explains to him of his apparent threat to the Wildstorm Universe.
Meanwhile, Cole has taken Nikola to a diner and contacts the WildC.A.T.s of their situation. Maul inform that they have tracked down Captain Atom and have witnessed the brief fighting between him and Majestic from afar.
At dawn, Majestic has fully explained to Atom his grave discovery. Furthermore, according to Majestic's Kheran difference engine, the only way to save the universe is that Captain Atom must take his own life to do so. Overwhelmed, Atom is unsure if Majestic's machine is accurate of his eventual threat and decide utilizing the Pentagon's supercomputers, and which he departs again from Majestic. After arriving at the Pentagon, Atom uses his powers to calculate from the Pentagon's computers and discovers that Majestic was right. But it is far worse: if Atom were to die the universe will still be destroyed.
Atom then returns to the Washington Monument where he sees Majestic's nanobots repairing the monument, and trying to think of a way to preventing his destruction to the universe. But the moment is interrupted as he is then 'greeted' by the WildC.A.T.s who are prepared to battle him.
Appearing in "Power Struggle"
- The cover art for this issue is incorrectly attributed to Dale Keown, but was in fact done by Giuseppe Camuncoli with Gabriele Dell'Otto.
- The President's implications of Wildstorm heroes with higher authorities is a reference to The Authority's brief reign over the United States as depicted in "Coup d'État" and The Authority: Revolution.
- The diner that Cole and Hanssen are in resembles Edward Hopper's Nighthawks painting.