"Race Against Crime" is the forty-fifth episode of Justice League Action.
Luthor makes use of a charity race between Superman and Flash to gather speed force for his special suit, and the Justice League then struggle to resist his new ability to control time while he goes about starting a nuclear war.
Outside the S.T.A.R. Labs building in Metropolis, Lex Luthor, wearing a new purple battle suit, has somehow frozen the security guards in position and even their gunshots are halted in mid-air. However, the Justice League are present, and Green Lantern intervenes only to be frozen in mid-flight by Luthor who grips his arm causing a purple glow to engulf the superhero. Wonder Woman follows up, but Luthor moves with super-speed to avoid her and takes her lasso, tying her up and throwing her into the air to collide with Hawkman. Cyborg tries a shot but Luthor gets in first and bombards him with rays that cause him to age rapidly so that he floats down to the ground too weak to continue. As Wonder Woman and Hawkman return, they are frozen alongside Green Lantern. The villain is now free to enter the building, jokingly threatening world domination.
An hour earlier, crowds line the streets of Metropolis to witness a charity race, sponsored by Bruce Wayne, between Flash and Superman to see who is the fastest. Reporter Lois Lane interviews both but it is obvious she has her colours pinned to Superman. She tells the audience that the two competitors are fitted with devices to track their progress. When the race starts, both superheroes dash through the streets and out to sea but neither is able to gain a lead.
Elsewhere, in a secret mountain hideout, Lex Luthor is told by villain Chronos that a suit that controls speed and time is building up the speed force and will be fully charged in a few seconds. Luthor compliments him and then stuns him with a ray blaster. Pressing a button on the suit, it automatically transfers to fit him and he tests it by zapping a passing eagle, freezing it in mid-air. Chronos recovers but Luthor beams rays from his suit that cause Chronos to descend into extreme old age. Luthor leaves him and races out across the landscape at super-speed.
He dashes into Metropolis just after Flash and Superman have passed through again, catches up with them at sea and then overtakes. Flash tells Superman that Luthor must have connected to the speed force that exists between dimensions and from which Flash gets his own powers. Luthor comes back and tells them he has total time control and he can both accelerate and stop time. Racing ahead to land he creates a halted time barrier at which Flash stops but Superman smashes into it and is badly knocked back. Luthor warns them that he can stop time for anyone who gets in his way, and then leaves at speed, arriving at S.T.A.R. Labs just before the earlier action with the Justice League.
Flash and Superman follow up through Metropolis and arrive at the labs to find it surrounded by a stopped time barrier and with the three League members hanging in the air. Superman cannot break through but can see inside. Everything is frozen except the computers which Luthor is using to hack into defense systems worldwide. Flash also cannot vibrate through it as he would do normally. Suddenly, the Batplane descends and lands, and Batman tells the superheroes that their race was rigged so that their speed energy would transmit through the tracking devices to the villains' hideout, and from where he has brought the confused Chronos. Batman re-programs Superman's device to transmit to Flash's and tells him to run, which he does. Flash becomes charged up with extra speed force, vibrates through the barrier into the building and rushes to where Luthor is about to start a nuclear war. The two super-charged speedsters tussle until Luthor's suit burns out and Flash stops the countdown. The barrier around the building disappears and the frozen and aged superheroes all recover as well as Chronos.
Flash and Superman then have a final race - to see who can get Luthor to prison the quickest.
- This episode is one of many of the famed "Superman vs. Flash" races that have been done throughout the history of DC Comics, which began in 1967 in Superman #199.