The Story: "Battlegrounds" by Kurt Busiek and Alan Kupperberg. Picking up from last issue, the two sets of heroes split up to try and take on the assaults of a mysterious being named The Commander.
While Superman, The Flash, Starman, and Dr. Mid-Nite return from an alternate dimension with their young charges' father in tow, Dr. Fate, Wonder Woman, Supergirl, and Green Lantern have just defeated a horde of demons that appeared outside the Pentagon.
Dr. Fate has all the demons trapped in a giant mystical black blobby thing, and says he needs a mystic pentagram to contain their evil. Since there's a pentagram already on hand, he decides to bury the evil under it, an idea that tickles Supergirl:
Finally, the other heroes arrive, except not as they planned...this time, Superman, et al are on the attack!
Acting as if possessed, the heroes try and fight off their friends without doing permanent harm. At the same time, the kids' father wakes up, still under the control of the mysterious Commander.
One of the kids, a young girl named Vicky, tries to pull her father out of his "trance", but it doesn't work. She tries to get her siblings to help out, but their brother, Ian, is disgusted with this whole thing, and refuses.
Wonder Woman finally ensnares the rogue heroes in her Magic Lasso, telling them to cease hostilities. It works...for the moment.
Ian finally realizes that whoever is controlling his Dad has to be eliminated if he ever wants to settle up with him, so he joins forces with his sisters. They then combine their abilities with the heroes, which is enough to rend The Commander out of their Father's body!
The heroes think this means the Big C has had to go back to his own dimension, but Dr. Fate isn't so sure. As usual, Dr. Fate is right about these kind of things:
The Commander gives the hero a classic Super-Villain Back Story, featuring tales of conquest and how he managed to defeat everyone he could find, until there was no one left to battle!
When he met up with the mind of the old man, he used him as a portal to this new dimension, where the promise of new battles await him!
As you can imagine, the heroes don't take too well to this. As Dr. Fate and the kids try and open up a portal back to his own dimension, the other heroes team-up and try and knock him into it.
He's almost defeated, but refuses to give up. Just then, the Monitor, who has been watching all this from his satellite, peeks in on The Commander. That distracts him just a for a moment, but that is enough for him to be knocked back to his home dimension!
But The Commander refuses to go, so instead he ruptured his own form, and the portal itself, sending the heroes hurtling through different dimensions! While protected by Green Lantern's power ring, they see glimpses of things that don't quite make sense...to them:
The heroes orient themselves when they see the Crime Syndicate, still in their inter-dimensional prison bubble, and head home to Earth-1.
The JSA says goodbye, and then Mr. Champion and his kids, still with some of the powers they received from The Commander, take off as well, on an inter-dimensional vacation.
Superman doesn't think that's a great idea, but Flash insists all is well, and challenges him to a race back to the satellite!
Roll Call: Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash
Notable Moments: That little cameo by the Crime Syndicate was a nice, if sorta nasty, touch--these poor saps are stuck in this little bubble, for all eternity, basically.
There's a lot of crazy mystical mumbo-jumbo going on in this issue, so I bet my summary is a bit confusing. It reads better, trust me.
As I said with Part 1, this was the last JLA/JSA team-up, at least in the form we all recognize.
Around this time, DC released its second DC Sampler book, featuring our first glimpse of all the all-new Justice League:
...its interesting to see that there were changes made to the new JLA very late in process--in this image, Vixen is wearing a mask, Gypsy's green eye make-up is much more pronounced, making it look more like a mask, and Vibe is colored much darker than he ever was in the regular JLA book. Hmm...