The Story: The wonderfully titled "Snapper Carr -- Super Traitor!" by Denny O'Neil, Dick Dillin, and Joe Giella. Snapper Carr, about to get beat up by a bunch of three-piece-suited "toughs" for being "[that] guy who pals around with freaks", is saved at the last moment by John Dough, known as "Mr. Average"--the most normal man in America!
Batman and the Atom respond to an emergency alarm set off by Snapper, and when they do, they're sprayed with laughing gas and then knocked out by Snapper and John Dough!
Batman is trapped in a death-trap, and yet he shows up at the JLA meeting a few moments later! That's because "Batman" is really John Dough in disguise! Everyone is fooled, although Black Canary wonders why Batman is looking at her like a complete stranger. That's because the JLA had yet to announce her membership to the world, so he doesn't know who she is!
The JLA attends a rally of Dough's with Snapper, where he announces "the norms" must attack the super-powered "freaks"! What the JLA doesn't know is they are being bathed in a special hypnotic beam that makes them unable to concentrate and use their powers, leaving them easy pickings for the angry mob.
Batman---the real one--escapes and then figures out who this Mr.Dough is. He interrupts a congressional hearing that the fake Batman is speaking at, revealing the JLA's plan to overthrow the government!
Batman arrives, unmasks Batman as John Dough, and Superman and Green Lantern save everyone after Dough throws fire grenades into the crowd and escapes. Green Arrow remembers it was that rat bastard Snapper who got them into this trouble, and he and the League demand answers:
...it's almost as if Denny O'Neil wrote this issue for me. Snapper is a whiny little jerk, and he risks his friends lives to basically feel better about himself. O'Neil could've taken the easy way out, made Snapper turn rogue because of mind control or whatnot, but no--Snapper is just a rotten human being.
The JLA goes after Dough, and find him in their Secret Sanctuary. After getting the drop on them, Canary knocks him out with her Sonic Cry. Dough is unmasked as...the Joker! Now, the Joker is normally creepy, but he seems moreso here, because he only appears in two panels, mouth agape, but at no point does he say anything. Weird!
Green Arrow ends the JLA's relief from solving the case by pointing out that their secret HQ has been compromised, the JLA needs to rebuild its image with the public, and their close friend betrayed them. All in twenty-three pages!
Roll Call: Superman, Batman, Flash, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Atom, Black Canary
Notable Moments: Denny O'Neil was putting the JLA through an amazing amount of changes, and the hits kept on coming--Snapper Carr, a traitor? It seems almost like a rejection of that earlier era of JLA, which wasn't even all that long ago.
It makes me think about how I read comics now--how would I feel if a new writer came in and made these kinds of wholesale changes in a book I loved? I'd probably have a feeling of "Who the hell does this guy think he is?", but of course here it doesn't bother me, because of all this took place before I was born. A few issues from now, we'll get to see the fans' reactions to all these new developments in the JLA letters pages...
And as a side note--this issue is the first to feature the "World's Greatest Super-Heroes" tagline as part of the book's regular logo. I guess DC figured if Stan Lee could call The Fantastic Four "The World's Greatest Comic Magazine" right off the bat, the JLA could benefit from some hyperbole, too.