COUNTDOWN TO INFINITE CRISIS was the first real lead in to INFINITE CRISIS; originally promoted as merely COUNTDOWN, the full title was revealed just before publication.
The story is told as a series of flashbacks detailing Blue Beetle and his attempt to solve the mystery of who has stolen funds and property from his company, Kord Enterprises.
Breaking into the headquarters of Checkmate, Beetle discovers the organisation knows the secret identities of all the major heroes.
Beetle, and his friend Booster Gold, use their contacts to find out who has rendered him almost bankrupt and speak to Maxwell Lord, Batman, Oracle, the Justice Society, the Teen Titans and Superman. At first, only Booster will take Beetle and his concerns seriously, the others dismissing him, but Booster is struck by a bolt of magical lightning, similar to the ones that power Captain Marvel and his allies, and almost killed.
Ending up at the Justice League’s Watchtower, Beetle finds a sympathetic ear in Wonder Woman who, while busy, asks Beetle to keep her informed. He ends up back at the hospital with Booster having discovered his friend’s robot sidekick Skeets has been deconstructed by someone and used to bug Beetle. While Booster wants to go with Beetle he is still too weak from the explosion and Beetle continues the investigation alone.
Eventually, Beetle tracks the culprit to a castle in the Swiss Alps and the story comes full circle as he breaks into Checkmate’s headquarters to discover the head of the organisation, and the man behind everything, is Maxwell Lord.