The Story: "The Bigger They Are..." by Gerry Conway, Don Heck, and Romeo Tanghal. The Atom, totally mad, runs amok through the city, sending its citizens scurrying to hide.
Hawkman and Red Tornado try and reason with their friend, but nothin' doin'...the Atom makes quick work of them. He is only stopped when Golitha hits a switch on a computer bank which renders the Atom unconscious again.
Two members of Mother Moon's sisterhood find the beaten JLAers and bring them back to their sanctuary. As they mend, Princess Kaa--aka the Wanderer--explains to them how their world got this way.
Her grandfather, Lord Kaa, was a benevolent, gentle man, but his second in command, Golitha, was anything but.
One day, a mysterious bolt of energy came from space and hit their world. Golitha went to investigate, where they were attacked:
...I love that panel: the angle, the motion, and the creature. I wish Don Heck had given this the whole page!
Anyway, no points in figuring out this creature is really the Atom, encasing in the clay where he landed. Golitha then realized this was his chance.
He kept the Atom under wraps, and came up with a device that could allow him to control the giant's mind. He then used the Atom as his one-man revolutionary force, taking control and killing Lord Kaa and the Queen.
Luckily, Kaa' son, Ikara, was sneaked out by his nurse, where he grew and started the beginnings of a resistance. The royal staff that she once had though is now in Golitha's possession, and with it, he can rule officially as Kaa's successor. The Sisterhood and the JLA prepare to get it back.
Meanwhile, Batman, ever suspicious, has gone investigating in a nearby cave, where he thinks he heard something. Turns out he was right:
After a quick fight, it turns out this monster is just a gentle giant, born a mutant and is under the control of the sisters.
The sisters and the JLA make their way in to the citadel, with Hawkman on point. They hear a blast, and turn to see their friend, floating in a pool of water, having been blasted by the Black Princess, who is in possession of Kaa's magical staff. To be continued!
Roll Call: Batman, Green Arrow, Atom, Hawkman, Black Canary, Red Tornado
Notable Moments: By continuing into the next issue, this becomes the longest story ever to run through just the JLA book--four parts.
There's a lot of discussion in the JLA Mail Room about who should leave, who should join--on the former, readers suggest The Atom, Red Tornado, and Firestorm go, to be replaced by the likes of Black Lightning, Madame Xanadu(!), and Captain Comet.
Shade the Changing Man is not mentioned.