The Story: "Let There Be Light!" by Joey Cavalieri, Chuck Patton, and Pablo Marcos. This issue opens with Ray Palmer, having just come back from his adventure in the microscopic world of Morlaidh (as related in the Sword of the Atom mini-series).
When he returns to his office in the Physics Department of Ivy University, he discovers a group of strangers surrounding some sort of glowing box! They gang up on him, throwing him out the window!
As they begin to depart, he changes into the Tiny Titan, the Atom, and attacks!
Meanwhile, we see Katar and Shayera Hall having Oliver and Dinah over for dinner, where an errant comment from Katar about the Flash's recent troubles with Professor Zoom causes Ollie to go off, leaving the two women to their own devices.
Back with the Atom, we see him get knocked out by one of the gang. As he wakes up, he is shocked to see the one intruder left behind has started to melt away, as if he was made of clay! What the? Time to call the JLA!
A meeting is held at the satellite, and the Atom explains he's been working with a substance called Luciferase (sinister name, that), which Ray believes could eventually become an energy source, a replacement for oil! Oh, no, the JLA is up against Dick Cheney!
Anyway, the Atom mentions all of the bad guys bore a tattoo, which he shows the JLA but, um, not us:
Zatanna says the JLA should investigate this cult, Fiatlux, who supposedly want to rule the world (have they met Paragon?).
We then find our way to a strange meeting of this cult, and when the stolen box o'light is opened, the head loony, Lord Gravesend, seems to be able to take control of it, using it to create a wide array of shapes using bolts of energy. The crowd goes wild.
Later, Gravesend retires to his room, where we see him talking to two people, represented as translucent, floating heads(!). He tells them that with this Luciferase, he will gain control of Fiatlux. He uses it to conjure a demon, which we only see a part of, who is now freed by Gravesend's carelessness and hubris.
Some of the JLAers find their way to this meeting, and a gang of robed goons try and kill them. Hawkgirl knocks out a few dozen rows of teeth with her nunchaku, and Arrow ties up the rest. Unfortunately, they also all do the "melting away to nothing" bit.
Zatanna traces all this magic downstairs, where she sees this demon loosed! He murders Gravesend without a second thought, and then blasts Zatanna, leaving three startled superheroes:
Notable Moments: A very unusual line-up for a JLA story; no founding members participate at all in this eventual 3-part story. Maybe this was to get the readers get for the Big Changes that were right around the corner?
If that's what it was, it's not a bad idea; but I also feel like its kinda too bad we couldn't get one last "The Gang's All Here" classic JLA adventure in. Oh well.
With this issue, the book had a new editor, Alan Gold, taking over for Len Wein. Under Gold's tenure, the JLA would undergo more than change the previous 200+ issues combined.
The mistake up top, where the tattoo is missing, is obviously from some printer's mistake. I'm guessing it was done in some sort of color hold, and got left out somewhere along the way. For those of you who have this issue, is your copy missing it, as well?
As you can see from my scan above, clearly the blue plate got left off at some point, since my book's pages are very yellow, while John's are more balanced. Wow, glad I finally got to see this, thanks John!