The Anti-Life equation has been released, leaving humanity without the luxury of free will and forced to blindly follow the will of the god of evil Darkseid. The infected followers of Darkseid roam the streets
alongside Justifier shock troopers seeking out and destroying all of those left un-affected by the equation and turning them to their side.
Forging a shelter inside of a Washington DC high school building, Mark Richards (Tattoo Man) and his family have thus far avoided detection by the Justifiers. But while Mark and his son Leon are out scouting for food, Mark's wife sends a desperate last-ditch
plea for assistance out through the internet. While on a mission to rescue one of his friends stationed at the Hall of Justice Watchtower, Jefferson Pierce (Black Lightning) overhears the distress signal and decides to temporarily hold off on his
mission so that he can attempt to rescue Tattoo Man's family. Racing through the deserted streets of Washington DC, Black Lighting fends off attacks from rabid pony dogs and
shock troopers before eventually being pinned down by the militia.
Thankfully he's saved by Tattoo Man himself who despite his distrust of super-heroes, returns with the hero in tow to his shelter inside the high school building. There his wife confesses to sending out the beacon and Black Lightning warns that the Justifier troops will have heard the
call as well and can't be far behind. Not liking to take orders from someone he has spent the better part of his life fighting against (and even more displeased with Black Lightning's influence over his children), Mark nonetheless begrudgingly agrees
with Black Lightning's decision and packs everyone into one of the nearby school busses.
Pierce directs the Richards family towards a local SHADE dispatch station where they'll be able to find protection. When the bus crashes inside a tunnel
along the way, Richards and Pierce decide to make the rest of the journey on foot. While sending the rest of his family towards the
encampment, Richards stays behind with Black Lightning to form a barricade to slow down the troops coming after them. Unfortunately Mark's son Leon, overhearing the explosions coming behind him and thinking that Pierce has double-crossed his father, returns to the barricade and shoots Pierce in the arm.
Mark snatches the gun out of his son's hands - but it's too late. The effects of a lifetime of teaching distrust of super-heroes has resulted in a wounded Black Lightning and may have cost the Justice League member his free-will. Jefferson orders Tattoo Man to continue on without him but first he shows him a mysterious design imprinted on the palm of his hand. Calling it
"a circuit" Black Lightning tells Tattoo Man that he must memorize the design and choose.
The Richards family reaches the SHADE outpost alongside Pierce's own daughter Anissa and watch in horror as Black Lightning is overcome by Justifiers and forced to don an Anti-Life helmet.
Realizing that the lines between super-hero and super-villain are no longer
relevant, Tattoo Man decides to RESIST. Resisting the anti-life as well as a bitter hatred for the super-hero community, Tattoo Man leaves the SHADE compound and heads towards the Hall of Justice to finish Black Lightning's original mission....