"Hide and Seek": After ages of walking through cold, stale air, Batman finally removes the blindfold from Catwoman's eyes, explaining that it is safer for her that he keeps some of his secrets from her. With her vision unobscured, Catwoman
- People who get close to me get hurt. That's what happened with Nightwing. The Crime Syndicate exposed his true identity to the world.
- — Batman
Synopsis for "Hide and Seek"
After ages of walking through cold, stale air, Batman finally removes the blindfold from Catwoman's eyes, explaining that it is safer for her that he keeps some of his secrets from her. With her vision unobscured, Catwoman is wowed by the Batcave's impressive setting. Unfortunately, the computers were compromised by the Crime Syndicate, like every other computer, which means travelling by Batmobile is out.
Selina complains that Bruce's dedication to the mission, rather than connecting with her, is irritating given the circumstances, but Batman remarks that his protégé, Nightwing, the young man he brought into his home and trained to become a vigilante, had only just had his life ripped apart by invaders from another dimenison, who revealed his identity as Richard Grayson. Sooner or later, everyone he knows suffers in the same way. Naturally, he blames himself.
Moving on, Batman reveals something else he is not proud of: a series of boxes, each containing an item that can be used to counter the abilities of his compatriots in the Justice League, should they lose control. Among them are Kryptonite, a Sinestro Corps Ring, a lightning rod from the future, a Mother Box. While there are boxes for Aquaman and Wonder Woman, the former is useless given Sea King's death, and the latter is empty. Like Atomica and Owlman, they will have to improvise when it comes to fighting Superwoman. Unbeknownst to the pair of them, Grid eavesdrops via the compromised Batcomputer.
Though he hadn't expected to find himself in this situation, Lex Luthor now stands in an abandoned refrigerator repair shop in the Metropolis suburbs, along with a small group of ostensible super-villains who dare to rebel against the Syndicate. Lex is struggling to resuscitate Black Adam, the Khandaqi folk hero, while Black Manta and the underdeveloped - if loyal - clone of Superman he called B-Zero look on. Meanwhile, Captain Cold tinkers with the shop's remaining parts and tools to rebuild the cold engine that powered his Cold Gun from memory.
With a cold gun, they could counter a speedster. This is Lex's strategy; to counter the Syndicate with its weaknesses. He has determined that the Syndicate's weaknesses appear to be opposite from those of their counterparts in this reality. For example, Ultraman consumes Kryptonite, and hides from the sun. Presumably, cutting off his supply to Kryptonite, and unblocking the sun will allow him to be hurt.
At an army depot in the Utah Salt Flats, Metallo seeks revenge on General Sam Lane, whose Metal-Zero project saw him lose his heart. A sudden flash of red and blue behind him makes him fear the Superman is back, but he relaxes when he sees that it is Ultraman. That relaxation fades when Ultraman thrusts his fist through Corben's metal chest, and retrieves the Kryptonite heart that powers the Metal-Zero suit.
From behind him, Ultraman hears Superwoman comment that she has never seen him so weak, hunting scraps of Kryptonite until the supply will surely run dry. Dismissively, Ultraman comments that he has consumed enough Kryptonite dust to give him the strength he will need to face the alien being that laid waste to their world. Superwoman responds that the threat he foresees isn't coming. They have more pressing arrivals to prepare for - like the child growing inside her. She warns that he should pay close attention to Owlman, whom she overheard talking to this world's Nightwing. She heard him conspiring against them, and Ultraman will have to stay strong for her. Ultraman replies that his strength is for his benefit, and no-one else's.
Meanwhile, in Central City, the Ring of Volthoom demands of Power Ring to be charged. And knowing the pain it will cause him, he resists, turning his attention to Deathstorm, who is focused on tracking the rebellious Rogues. He is annoyed with Power Ring, because he overreacted to their resistance, and wiped away any trace of them that could be tracked when they leapt into the Mirror World. After reporting back, Deathstorm receives orders to return to the lab and focus instead on making Firestorm transmute elements into Kryptonite for him - an ability Deathstorm ought to be ashamed to be lacking. This leaves Power Ring to seek the Rogues by himself. As a coward, this does not sit well with him, and he begs Grid for reinforcements.
In the sewers, en route to a Wayne Enterprises storage facility, Lex and company are forced to pause when it becomes apparent that B-Zero is afraid of the dark. The others press Lex to leave the clone behind, but he suggests they go on without him. Turning to the clone, Lex explains that as a boy, he wasn't afraid of the dark, but he was afraid of failure. His sister grew ill when he was seventeen, and he hoped that he could save her. Rather than try he let her die, afraid to try and fair. Realizing that his efforts to explain are probably wasted, Luthor winces, only to feel the creature place its hand on his shoulder. Slowly, it says, "Bizarro... try."
Arriving beneath their destination, Bizarro and Black Adam crash through the floor of the storage facility, opening a way in. Unfortunately, someone has beat them to it: Batman and Catwoman. Desperate and outmatched, Batman throws smokebombs, and struggles to find a way to turn on the Mother Box they were experimenting with. Lex and company, likewise, are confused as to how Batman survived the Syndicate's attack, and whether it means Superman might be alive too. All speculation is brought to a sudden end when Power Ring catches up to them, bringing with him backup from the Secret Society. Batman's survival comes as a surprise to Power Ring too, and rather than let himself be killed, Batman does the only thing he can think to do. He puts on the Sinestro Corps Ring.
Unfortunately, the ring is low on power, and Power Ring manages to remove the yellow ring and destroy it. Grinning, he scoffs that he can't be hurt with the likes of that. This prompts an indignant rebuke from another wearer of the yellow ring: Sinestro.
Appearing in "Hide and Seek"
- Injustice League
- Crime Syndicate
- Secret Society
- Captain Cold's Cold Gun
- Green Kryptonite
- Kryptonite Ring
- Lex Luthor's Warsuit
- Lasso of Submission
- Lightning Rod
- Mother Box
- Ring of Volthoom
- Trident of Neptune
- Yellow Power Ring
- This issue is reprinted in Forever Evil.