They have been called superheroes, metahumans or powers. In Earth 2 they are called wonders. Earth 2 has eight wonders: Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, Catwoman, Robin, Supergirl, and Mr. 8. Mr. who? Mr. 8. He's the only on on the cover that you can't recognize. Here he is.
Mr. 8 comes across as DC's Tony Stark - he is super-intelligent and he fights in armor. His name is Terry Sloan; add an 'e' to the end of that last name and he would be named after the first Mr. Terrific.
Waitaminute, I only named seven. There is an eighth wonder but he or she is mysteriously unnamed at this point.
Okay, now for the situation. Take a look at this:
Apokolips has started an invasion of Earth as can be seen by the signature troops of Apokolips, the attacking parademons shown in the panel above, and for a long time now the Wonders have been fighting back. In spite of their best efforts some nations have already fallen: Brazil, South Africa, Pakistan and Italy, The populations for these countries have somehow been converted into zombie-like creatures.
The wonders and the combined armed forces of the Earth, known as the World Army, have fought for a very long time and for a very long time it has been a stalemate.
Terry Sloan a.k.a. Mr. 8 has been looking for a way to break the stalemate. He claims to have hit on the solution during a journey to another dimension.
Here we come to the kind of person Sloan is and the kind of person he embodies. If there are two words to describe Terry Sloan it is this: ruthless practicality. Let me give you an example. During the Golden Age of Exploration the race to the South Pole was being contested by Scott and Amundsen. Scott very famously did not make it out alive, he and his crew adopted manhauling as a means of going about the journey. Amundsen was first to the Pole and safely out and he used dogs to pull him and his crew along. At one point during the journey, when the dogs had done their part, Amundsen and his team killed the dogs and ate them. Yes it was cruel, but it also allowed Amundsen and his men to win the race and make it out of the Antarctic alive. Ruthless practicality.
And how is Terry Sloan's ruthless practicality demonstrated? It is demonstrated by Sloan's realization that in order to win the war against Apokolips, the populations of the conquered nations must be eliminated. Otherwise, they would consume too much time and resources and the forces of Earth would never win the war because they would be distracted by caring for these 'zombie' nations. Is Mr. 8 right about this? I don't know, but he thinks he's right and he is ruthlessly practical. So he's going to do what he knows has to be done.
He also knows that the other Wonders would never agree to what he's contemplating. So he won't inform them. He'll do it in spite of them. He'll do it against them. And so our story unfolds
Here are the four wonders on yet another battle, the latest in a long list of battles. Their objective is to destroy a generator being used by the Apokolips forces to zombify the conquered nations. Wonder Woman and Superman to do defense while Mr. 8 and Batman go for the objective. After a lot of fighting, the generator is within sight.
At the point when they should be destroying the generator Mr. 8 exposes a piece of Opal Kryptonite. Anything 'Kryptonite' is bad news for Superman. In this case the OK drives him into an insane rage.
With Wonder Woman preoccupied, Mr. 8 turns his attention to Batman. The Caped Crusader gets some licks in but in the end he gets shot with some kind of acid gun.
The awesome Batman fights on and manages to throw a bomb that wounds Mr. 8.
Mr. 8 is wounded but isn't stopped, he uses the Apokolips generator to destroy the conquered countries. In the process Terry Sloan turns Earth into something that resembles Apokolips.
Mr. 8 then escapes to another dimension but not before setting the generator to self-destruct. Genius that he is, he sets the timer on the detonation so that the three heroes can escape with their lives. He needs them to live, because according to his plan, now that the enslaved populations have been destroyed, the Wonders can win the war.
As he leaves the scene, Sloan fully believes that his necessary genocidal act has ensured Earth's victory.