Issue 1: The Arrival
Earth-8 has come under the rule of the Meta Militia, superpowered people who work under the aegis of their own superpowered President, the Tin Man and his Vice President, the Americommando. Those who do not join the Militia are imprisoned in concentration camps. Fighting against this regime are the Extremists, led by Lord Havok who personally assassinates the Tin Man during a live television broadcast.
Months later, with the Americommando in charge of the country, Lord Havok and his troops invade and capture the country of Slovekia, killing the royal family. One by one, he draws the Extremists – Dreamslayer, Dr. Diehard, Gorgon and Tracer to his side to deal with a new threat:
Arriving on Earth-8 (as shown in COUNTDOWN #29) are the Challengers from Beyond – Jason Todd, Green Lantern Kyle Rayner and Donna Troy.
Issue 2: The Last Days Of The Extremists
In Slovekia, Dr. Diehard attempts to convince the other Extremists that Lord Havok has become unstable; Havok himself simply dismisses Diehard’s concerns, instead drawing their attention to the Challengers from Beyond who have recently arrived on Earth-8.
Gorgon, meanwhile, thinks back to earlier, happier times when he was in love with his lab assistant before the arrival of another doctor who was the alter ego of the Meta Militia member, Wandjina.
The Extremists dispatch the Challengers, thinking they too are members of the Meta Militia before Monarch’s arrival which allows the Challengers to regroup.
Gorgon thinks back to how he blamed Wandjina, whom he suspected of having an affair with his girlfriend, for the death of his girlfriend before Havok had shown him that it was Gorgon himself, suffering from a multiple personality disorder who had killed her.
Monarch asks Lord Havok to join him and his troops in amassing an army against the Monitors but Havok refuses.
Issue 3: The Beast Within
Lord Havok faces off against Monarch and his troops from around the Multiverse but both sides are surprised when Monarch stops them from fighting, deciding to leave Havok and the others alone. While Havok himself is content with this, Dr. Diehard believes it to be a mistake.
Meanwhile, the origin of Tracer unfolds as the story of a army deserter with a regenerative ability is altered by the government and brainwashed into becoming their soldier who, thanks to a chip implanted in his head, is controlled by them. While on a mission with the Americommando, Tracer goes berserk and attempts to kill everyone, both friend and foe, before he is rescued by Havok who removes the chip.
Later, following a tip, Tracer is ambushed by several meta-humans that claim to be from Monarch’s forces and, despite his skills and ferocity, he is overwhelmed and left hanging from the golden lariat of another world’s Wonder Woman.
Issue 4: Losing My Religion
The President of Angor, Americommando, has declared war on Slovekia, the country taken over by Lord Havok and the Extremists and has sent in the Meta Militia. Doubting his decision he wonders aloud about it and is told by his Vice President, Blue Jay, that maybe things should change.
In Slovekia, Dr. Diehard still argues about Lord Havok’s plans while Dreamslayer attends to the wounded Tracer who has been saved by his regenerative abilities. It transpires that Dreamslayer is an entity hosting the body of a nun who is in love with Tracer.
Americommando, following up on Blue Jay’s words, makes a change by striking a deal with Monarch who destroys the bases of power Dr. Diehard, Tracer, Dreamslayer and Gorgon had, angering them all and pushing Diehard to strengthen his resolve about challenging Lord Havok for leadership of the Extremists.
Issue 5: Man Of Peace. Man Of War.
In contrast to Dr. Diehard’s determination to confront Lord Havok over his command of the Extremists, we learn that Diehard originally favoured peaceful, non-violent protests against the Meta-militia and Americommando. He led a school that specialised in teaching those with powers how to use them but, as they would no co-operate with the Militia, he and his pupils – that included his children – were incarcerated. With his children slain before him, Diehard attacked his captors but the rebellion failed; he and the others were freed only after Lord Havok arrived to help them.
As Monarch and his forces lay siege to Slovekia, Diehard pushes the Extremists to confront and take down Lord Havok whom he feels has led them to this state of self-imprisonment. Havok, however, simply reminds the others of what he has done for them and asks them to kill Diehard. As they carry out his orders and turn on their one-time comrade, the forces of Monarch and the Meta-militia break through the Extremists’ defences.
Issue 6: The Conclusion
Unconcerned by the arrival of Monarch and the Meta-militia, Lord Havok sits alone in his laboratory while the battle rages outside, thinking about his past.
The son of the Russian Czar, he was born physically deformed with most of his limbs and much of his body being replaced or enhanced by robotics. His father the Czar considered him an abomination and wished to kill him but his mother protected him. When he was old enough, he was sent to America where he perfected his skills before learning that his father had killed his mother when he found out she was financing his stay in America. He returned to Russia and killed the Czar before laying waste to the entire country of Russia.
In the present day, Monarch and the Meta-militia succeed in breaking into Havok’s lab where, to their surprise, they find him in an empty room, a room which, he explains, was designed to negate the powers of any meta-human except himself and the Extremists. Together, they defeat the Meta-militia before Havok joins with Monarch.
Later, during the battle between Monarch and Superman-Prime on Earth-51, Havok and the Extremists escape before the destruction of that world, returning to Earth-8 and plotting to rule more than one of the multiple Earths.