Under the influence of the Heart, a soldier named Burns, who had first picked it up, returned to the U.S. and broke into McCormick's base, to get a closer look at its nuclear weapons. At that time, McCormick was supervising the demonstration of a new device, the AFD. Burns was taken into custody by base security, but somehow managed to induce McCormick to take the Heart.
Under the influence of the Ophidians, McCormick began his own search for a way to destroy the human race. He became interested in the AFD, though his possessors didn't know exactly what it did, then caught a glimpse of Glorious Godfrey's talk show program, where he ranted that the Justice League was potentially powerful enough to destroy the world. Intrigued, McCormick asked a nearby officer how to find the League, and the officer joked, "put on a gaudy costume and threaten to hurt a lot of people."
Taking the advice literally, McCormick stole an array of weapons from the base, dressed in a bizarre outfit, and set off explosives in a public utilities building, starting a fire in the sewers while he ranted on top of the roof. A League team composed of Flash, John Stewart, and Wonder Woman arrived, and stopped the fire. Wonder Woman confronted McCormick, who tricked her into seizing the Heart from his grasp. She was then possessed.
McCormick was taken into custody, claiming to have no memory of what he'd done. When asked why he'd taken the AFD along with the other weapons, he described its capabilities, inadvertently giving the now-possessed Wonder Woman the idea to use it to stop the sun's fusion.