"The Return": Five years have passed since the viral, tainted, techno-organic Anti-Life Equation had swarmed Earth, a guilt-stricken John Constantine spent his time drinking at the Oblivion Bar, holding an urn that contains the ashes of his best friend
- We lost. We lost so much, we didn't think there was anything else to lose. We were wrong.
- — Zatanna
Synopsis for "The Return"
Five years have passed since the viral, tainted, techno-organic Anti-Life Equation had swarmed Earth, a guilt-stricken John Constantine spent his time drinking at the Oblivion Bar, holding an urn that contains the ashes of his best friend Chas Chandler and reminiscing his fallen heroic comrades (Big Barda, Blue Beetle, Booster Gold, Mister Miracle and Mister Terrific), before being finally visited by Zatanna.
On Earth, Cyborg was revealed to have survived his decapitation at the hands of an infected Wonder Woman, and albeit immobilized, he still managed to send a cryptic signal to the survivors of Earth-2 after discovering the hidden tracker Batman had put inside him, as an ultimate opportunity to make up for his tragic failure in the past.
Meanwhile on Earth-2, the Justice League of Earth-2 successfully averted an alien empire from attacking their second home, by infiltrating its main ship although not to attack the leader, but instead to request on taking him to their president. Thanks to the proposition of Lois Lane, president of Earth-2, Earth-2 and the alien empire successfully negotiated an intergalactic peace deal with the empire's leader due to giving the reason that they've only come into Earth-2 for sanctuary, nothing more, thus posing no threat to the rest of the alien's solar system.
As the negotiation commenced, however, Batman received a called from Alfred Pennyworth at the new Hall of Justice, informing him and the League about Cyborg's beeping signal on Earth. While Green Arrow was one of those were doubtful, thinking it was a trick by the Anti-Living to lure them into being infected, the discussion still ended with the unanimous agreement in favor of rescuing their old friend on their old home. In preparation to their mission, Jon Kent (now Superman) informs his mother of their decision, while Green Arrow decides to join with his wife Green Lantern Dinah Lance along with the rest of the Justice League on their way to Earth.
Arriving on the edge of the quarantine zone around Earth on a spaceship, the Justice League were met with Kilowog, who was on duty to guard both the planet and the Sun, whose fuel was still being absorbed by Jon's infected father even until that point. At that same moment, Kilowog and the League sensed an incredibly fast projectile hurling towards them, only to reveal the return of Krypto as the superdog welcomes Jon with a warm embrace.
Returning back to Earth, the Justice League discovered Cyborg's head and body. Using the Lasso of Truth, they were able to wake their old friend back, only for their return to be interrupted by Wonder Woman, who proceeded to crash the spaceship onto the ground before proceeding to infect Green Arrow, much to Dinah's dismay. The Justice League then overwhelms the infected Amazon, though Cyborg struggled to warn them not to kill her after discovering the possibility of creating a cure. Unfortunate for them, only Superman was able to understand what he was saying. Superman tried to prevent the enraged Green Lantern from killing Wonder Woman with the Kryptonite-powered Sword of Athena by letting himself be impaled with the sword instead of their infected ally but it was too late. The blade that impaled Superman's shoulder still managed to penetrate through Wonder Woman, apparently killing her and critically wounding Jon, who tells Dinah that there's a cure to the Anti-Life Virus.
Appearing in "The Return"
- Cyborg (Flashback and main story)
- Justice League
- The Anti-Living (Flashback and main story)
- Unnamed alien empire (Single appearance)
- Unnamed alien emperor (Single appearance)
- Big Barda (Hallucination)
- Blue Beetle (Ted Kord) (Hallucination)
- Booster Gold (Hallucination)
- Green Lantern Corps
- Kilowog (First full appearance)
- Guy Gardner (Mentioned only)
- Jessica Cruz (Mentioned only)
- John Stewart (Mentioned only)
- Kyle Rayner (Mentioned only)
- Simon Baz (Mentioned only)
- Krypto (First full appearance)
- Mister Miracle (Hallucination)
- Mister Terrific (Hallucination)
- Barbara Gordon (Mentioned only)
- Chas Chandler (Mentioned only)
- J'onn J'onzz (Mentioned only)
- Kraken (Mentioned only)
- Poison Ivy (Mentioned only)
- Oblivion Bar
- Solar System
- Apokolips (Mentioned only)
- Bracelets of Submission
- Green Kryptonite-powered Sword of Athena
- Green Lantern Ring
- Lasso of Truth (Flashback and main story)
- Thanagarian Mace
- Anti-Life Equation (Mentioned only)
- Justice League's spaceship