In December 1979, Black Lightning halts an attempted robbery on a commuter train, saving the life of a mother and her young daughter. Unfortunately, two stray bullets have already been fired: One renders the train controls non-functional, and one kills "Trina," a student with whom Jefferson Pierce is familiar. Superman prevents a disastrous train accident, but Hugh Bryant, one of Pierce's "best students," blames Black Lightning for the accident and promises revenge.
Jefferson Pierce decides to visit the home of his grieved student to offer comfort...but when he knocks on Hugh Bryant's door, he is attacked by a caveman! Soon thereafter, when he hears reports of a giant Pterodon flying in Suicide Slum, Black Lightning determines that the prehistoric creature is "too much...to handle alone!" and pays a visit to the Daily Planet to enlist the aid of Superman.
When Superman and Black Lightning return to investigate Hugh Bryant's apartment, Superman comes to a remarkable conclusion: Hugh Bryant is not human at all...he is an extraterrestrial! Furthermore, he has been (and continues to be) devolving, from an advanced alien creature to a human being, to a Neanderthal, a Pterodon, and finally a pure magnetic energy being. Black Lightning stops Bryant's devolution by creating his own magnetic field to counteract Bryant's. Afterwards, Bryant explains that he has been lonely for eons, until he met "Trina," because he has been unable to escape Earth's gravitational field. Hugh Bryant is thereafter redelivered into outer space, with help from Superman! (DCCP No. 16, Dec 1979: "The De-Volver!").