The Story: "Dragon Keep" by Joey Cavalieri, Chuck Patton, and Mark Alexander. On an uncharted island, robed members of the mysterious Fiatlux cult are on the run!
We see that these men were followers of Lord Arsenic, who tried (last issue) to break away from the Fiatlux cult and to eventually take it over. Now that Arsenic is gone...justice must be meted out.
Various creatures attack, crush, and/or devour these poor saps, except for two of them, who are grabbed by monstrous winged dragons and brought to the mountaintop, where they are mocked by Fiatlux's new leader, Lord Claw.
Meanwhile, on the JLA Satellite, our heroes are still trying to track down the Luciferase...and Hawkman thinks its now in Japan!
Also meanwhile, in the Perdition dimension:
Hawkman, Atom, Red Tornado, and Elongated Man make their way to Japan, and to the island where the Luciferase is, where they are immediately attacked by Lord Claw's dragons!
It's here we see Lord Claw's "origin", that he was a geneticist that was driven by nightmarish dreams to turn "feeble present-day creatures to the glory of their prehistoric ancestors!"
Our heroes defeat the dragons, and head towards Lord Claw's mountaintop retreat. At the same time, the rest of the JLA re-enters their home dimension, where they are told Lord Claw has set off the volcano on the island, in a last ditch attempt to keep the base secure from the JLA!
This triggers Zatanna, who starts talking funny and immolating Lord Claw's monsters left and right. When Black Canary nervously asks Zee how she's doing this, we see that she is possessed by Hellrazer, who has come to this dimension to take over Fiatlux!
He burns Lord Claw to a crisp, and then grabs the remaining Luciferase, which makes him grow to mountain-size proportions. The JLA tries to fight him, but it doesn't do much good.
Zatanna comes to, and recalls a spell Hellrazer himself cast while possessing her, which she uses back at him:
...I like Zee's trash-talking in the last panel.
As Hellrazer gets sucked back into his dimension, he swears he will spend the next ten thousand years "plotting my revenge on your house!"
Hawkgirl thinks Hellrazer is bluffing, but Zatanna is not so sure.
Roll Call: Green Arrow, Atom, Hawkman, Black Canary, Elongated Man, Red Tornado, Hawkgirl, Zatanna
Notable Moments: This is the last issue of JLA before things start to get really crazy.
This is also the Atom's last appearance with the team. Like Green Lantern, events in the Atom's own story line(s) remove him from the day goings-on in the DCU, so when Aquaman reforms the JLA, the Atom is not around to officially quit.
The inking for this issue is by someone I'm not familiar with, Mark Alexander. He gives the book a scratchy feel, that I didn't think worked too well for this sort of superhero story.
I read this storyline--all three issues--in one sitting sometime in April 1984. That's because, at the time, I was being punished by my parents for something I've long since forgotten, and the punishment was no comics for three months.
I can't imagine what I did that deserved that kind of bring-the-hammer-down punishment, but it must have been pretty bad. At the time, I had been to a comic shop here and there, but I was still buying my comics regularly at my local 7-11s and whatnot. So if I missed an issue, it was for all intents and purposes gone forever.
I simply couldn't live with missing any issue of JLA, so I asked my friend at the time Steven to buy JLA for me each month and store them, since my Mom probably would've noticed new books in the house.
So he sat on 'em all that time, and when the punishment was lifted, he gave them all to me at once. That was a rough three months.