Hard Crash (CoH)
It was not a "named" storyline as the first three issues of the series - for whatever reason - were not given title names.
The storyline introduces us to the key members of the Freedom Phalanx and the connection that exists between Statesman and Lord Recluse, the conflict between Statesman and Manticore, as well as the budding attraction between Manticore and Sister Psyche that would continue long after the comic series.
While dealing with the combined assault of the Clockwork and Outcasts, Arachnos Mu Mystics cast a powerful spell on the War Walls of Paragon City, taking away all superhuman abilities and shutting down the medical teleporters.
The Freedom Phalanx is forced to disband and scatter as Arachnos slowly takes over control of the city.
Weeks later, Manticore, in his civilian guise as Justin Sinclair, meets with Shalice Tilman, who is partially blinded and suffering from a split personality. She recounts that as Sister Psyche, her body was badly damaged in the Rikti invasion, so she briefly shared her mind with the body of Aurora Borealis. But even though she was able to return to her own body later, an echo of Aurora still exists in her mind now it is driving her crazy.
Justin attempts to call Raymond Keyes, aka Positron, only to learn that he had locked himself inside the Freedom Corps headquarters in Galaxy City (then serving as the headquarters for the Freedom Phalanx). As a being of pure energy now, he has been desperately trying to keep his containment suit together to prevent an explosion.
Justin and Shalice continue to make their way to their former headquarters and are about to break in when they are stopped by Steven, who still retained some of his speed.
The three of them power-up the rest of the headquarters, only to find a hologram message of Statesman telling them that he is now dead.
Justin Sinclair, Shalice Tilman, Steven Berry, and Raymond Keyes, now in their outfits as Manticore, Sister Psyche, Synapse, and Positron, begin interrogating street gangs looking for Statesman. Even though everyone except Manticore are de-powered, they manage to intimidate the leader of the Warriors to reveal where Statesman is.
The four release Statesman from his confinement with the triad of mystical gang members from the Skulls, Circle of Thorns, and Crey, only to discover that, far from being their prisoner, Statesman was working with the mystical trio to give him power needed to stop Lord Recluse.
Statesman explains that he was once Marcus Cole, and that in 1929 he drank from the Well of the Furies, which gave him the power and spirit of Zeus, King of the Greek Pantheon of Gods. He was hoping the mystical trio would allow him to re-connect himself to Zeus and to restore the abilities of the other heroes, but now that the triad was broken up, the only way to restore the powers would have to come from Prometheus.
Assembling in Atlas Park underneath the huge statue of Atlas, Statesman explains that it is a connecting bridge to Mount Olympus, home of the Greek Pantheon. But once the two worlds are synchronized, they are attacked by giant ravens. Statesman is captured and lashed to the side of a mountain to be tortured by Prometheus.
Sister Psyche argues with Prometheus. Synapse tries to reason with Prometheus. Positron tries to flatter the Titan. But Manticore says nothing, even when taunted by Prometheus and urged by Psyche to say something in Statesman's defense. Prometheus says that he is not willing to give the powers back to "friends of Zeus".
Manticore then draws an arrow and shoots Statesman in the chest, killing him.
Continuing from the previous issue, Prometheus marvels at the skill Manticore possessed in killing Statesman. Manticore then demands that the Titan provide the "fire" that would restart the super-powers. Prometheus offers it in his hand, but Positron, angered at Manticore's actions, steps in and takes the power for himself.
Manticore then asks Prometheus for body of Statesman, arguing that the Titan's feud was with the "spirit of Zeus" not with the "body of Statesman". Prometheus agrees and the heroes return to their world.
Upon their return, all of the superpowers are restored along with the Rikti medical teleporters.
Manticore takes Statesman's body to Numina and asks her to resurrect him. Meanwhile Lord Recluse arrives with all of his lieutenants in a final effort to destroy Paragon City.
Numina says that there was too much time for her to resurrect Statesman. Manticore then kills himself.
Lord Recluse boasts that there were two people that drank from the Well of the Furies, and that he was that second person. He is about to send Captain Mako to finish off the Phalanx when a resurrected Manticore and Statesman appear. When Statesman accidentally gets in the way of Manticore's arrow, the arrow mysteriously teleports around him, showing that Manticore now has a superpower all his own.
Recluse retreats along with the rest of Arachnos, but not before giving Statesman a parting reference to his "sister". Safely away, Recluse orders "Phase Two" to be started.
Afterward, Manticore talks with Statesman, who says that if the situations were reversed he wouldn't bring Manticore back, although he would show up at the funeral. Manticore wonders if Statesman was serious about that or if he developed a sense of humor.
The conflict between Statesman and Manticore would continue through future issues and even be part of the basis for Manticore's dismissal from the Phalanx.
Manticore's new "power" would rarely be touched upon in future issues, although he would be seen using it in the "City of Villains" video.