Ralph and Sue Dibny are relaxing on a cross-Atlantic cruise
to Paris. The planned festivities include a play-acted murder
mystery which the dinner guests are challenged to solve.
At dinner that night with several other reknowned detectives,
Ralph and Sue discuss his retirement from crimefighting and their
tiring of the bon vivant lifestyle. They talk of actually finding
a home and having kids. Ralph also notices that Sue has given
up casual drinking.
The mystery begins when a purser is killed by an unclassifiable
stab wound. Ralph is amazed at the realism, until the captain
brings Ralph aside to tell him that the purser's death was not
part of the mystery. Attempting to notify the mainland, a jamming
signal prevents all outside contact; even Ralph's JLA signal
device is blocked. A scientist onboard suggests that they use
his powerful new deep space transmitter (which he's transporting
in the hold) to contact the JLA, but even it can't penetrate
the jamming. The scientist reveals to Ralph that the transmitter
uses alien technology captured during the Invasion, and the two
have an argument over the ethics of such thievery. Later, the
scientist is strangled in his locked room
and the pliable
Ralph Dibny is suddenly at the top of the list of suspects!
Ralph has his own suspicions, and he and Sue plan a trap for
the murderer. When he spies a woman at his dinner table whose
eyes are a different color, he captures her as an imposter
they're just colored contacts! Ralph realizes he's played his
hand too early and tipped off the murderer. Ralph stretches around
the ship looking for the killer. As his upper torso circles back
to the deck, he finds Sue taken hostage by the ship's head chef
actuality, a Durlan shape-changer intent on recovering their
The Durlan orders Ralph to pull his body back where the Durlan
can see him, then announces that they're all going to wait until
a Durlan ship arrives. Ralph wraps his arms around some nearby
badminton poles and pulls his legs in so fast that by the time
they catch up to him they're traveling over 100 miles an hour.
He kicks the Durlan with such force that it's knocked a mile
into the ocean; enraged, the Durlan returns to the ship and has
a vicious fight with Ralph. Ralph thrusts the Durlan over the
edge and into the screws of the ship, where it's ground into
bits. Ralph feels sick about killing someone, but he knows the
fight isn't over.
Ralph tells the crew that the Durlans will most likely kill
everyone aboard in order to cover up their breaking of the Earth-Durla
peace treaty. The crew and some passengers, including Sue, grab
high-powered weapons from the hold (which cruise ships regularly
carry to fend off Black Manta, Oceanmaster, the Fisherman, etc
At dawn, a 747 appears and looks like it's going to crash into
the ship; at the last minute, the disguised spaceship splits
into a mass of Durlans so thick that they blot out the sky. A
fierce battle ensues between Ralph, Sue and the crew against
the Durlans. There are several casualties, but the Durlans change
tactics and seemingly disappear.
Ralph realizes that they have shape-changed into objects, possibly
even some of the crew and begins a stealthy game of uncovering
them through deduction, tests and trivia questions that aliens
wouldnt be able to answer. Stymied, the Durlans once again
form ranks, calling their reserves from the ship and attacking
again. At Ralphs suggestion, Sue fights her way to the
chefs quarters, finds the jammer and shoots it. Ralph's
JLA transmitter calls in the JLA just in time.
Later, on the Eiffel Tower observation deck, Ralph and Sue are
examining their bandages and bruises. Depressed, both about killing
so many Durlans and his inability to fend off the attack without
help, Elongated Man affirms his retirement from superheroics.
Sue asks him if he was serious about having kids; Ralph says, Sure,
someday. Sue suggests 8 1/2 months!