Immediately following what took place in the Justice League Europe Annual, Waverider now investigates Captain Atom's future to determine if he will become Monarch. In that future, he sees that Nathaniel Adam has retired from active duty as Captain Atom due to an accident that led to some instability with his powers. However, as Nathaniel hobbles around New York City, he sees that his children and grandchildren have been gunned down by a street gang, and not only are the police not prosecuting the ones responsible for their deaths, but also the bodies of the deceased are simply treated like garbage. Angry at the lack of justice, Nathaniel becomes Captain Atom to avenge their deaths by killing the gang members responsible for it, and then turns his entire anger on the whole city, devastating it with his quantum powers before he reverts back to Nathaniel Adam, weakened and spent.
However, it is during Waverider's investigation of Captain Atom's future that Monarch shows up, following his time-traveling test subject to the present time where he discovers Waverider's plan to stop his existence. The heroes present with Waverider protect him from Monarch and briefly confront him before he disappears. Waverider fears that his voyeurism into the heroes' futures may be the cause for Monarch's existence.
Meanwhile, Monarch seeks out Hank Hall and Dawn Granger, having them transform into Hawk and Dove before knocking them out and transporting them to a secret hideout where he will assemble his weapon for destroying all superheroes, including Superman. Eventually, Monarch kills Dawn Granger before Hank Hall's eyes, provoking him to attack and kill Monarch. As he does, he finds out that the Monarch is a future version of himself, and that he has come from the future to make sure that his past self fulfills the very role he's fated to be.
Soon the heroes are called to evacuate the citizens of Metropolis as Monarch plans to show up with a devastating weapon that he plans to activate in the heart of the city. As the heroes succeed largely in doing so, they wait for Monarch's arrival to engage him in battle. Superman shatters Monarch's helmet, revealing him to be Hank Hall, alias Hawk. As Monarch activates the weapon to destroy all superheroes, Captain Atom notices that the weapon's energy doesn't affect him and can be absorbed by him. Drawing the destructive power of the weapon's energy towards him, Captain Atom saves his fellow heroes as he and Monarch are transported out of the present time, into the prehistoric past.
It is after this that someone notices a hand reaching out of a pile of rubble. Waverider reaches out to that hand and pulls out of the pile a young boy named Matthew Ryder. It is then that Waverider realizes who his mysterious rescuer is from his childhood.
This comic issue is a part of the "Armageddon 2001" crossover event that took place throughout all of DC's Annuals in 1991.
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