The Story: "Rebirth: Two--Claws" by Gerry Conway, Chuck Patton, and Bill Anderson. This issue opens up with The Vixen, as she apprehends two men on the run from the police.
She soon learns from a TV reporter that the men were members of a terrorist group called Red Dawn, an extremist group financed by the Central African nation of M'Changa and its head strong man, General Mustapha Maksai. With cameras still on her, Vixen becomes openly enraged when she hears that name, and takes off.
The other JLAers, watching all of this on TV, later ask Vixen who this Maksai guy is, but Vixen tells them its none of their business. Steel is insulted, but Elongated Man takes it in stride, saying the old JLA had to learn how much to get involved in each other's lives, as well.
This leads Steel down a road of introspection, and he takes a quick dip in the new HQ's pool. He remarks how special he is, with his new powers:
...that dark fist belongs to Aquaman, who pastes Steel so hard he flies out of the pool!
When Steel asks what the hell that was about, Aquaman tells him its to help train him to always keep his guard up. Being a Justice Leaguer means being ready for anything.
Steel isn't mollified by that, but Zatanna steps in and tries to calm Steel down. It doesn't work, and he storms off. Zee then turns her attention towards Arthur:
Meanwhile, Manhunter discovers Vixen doing research on General Maksai--aka The Ox--but she tells him to go pound Martian sand, too. At the same time, we see The Ox, now in New York, noticing that this Vixen women is carrying the "Tantu Totem." He orders his men to find her and bring her to him.
Back in Detroit, Vibe is having troubles of his own, trying to prevent the budding romance between Steel and Vibe's sister, Rosita.
While out on a date, Steel catches a glimpse of Gypsy, who he tries to catch. She gets away, and Vibe mocks Steel for his poor detective skills, speaking the immortal words--"Chu not bad, chu sad."
They then spot Vixen quickly headed somewhere, and follow her. At the same time, Manhunter is cluing the rest of the League in about the crimes of The Ox, about how he staged a military coup, killing the country's elected leader and his half-brother, Rev. Richard Jiwe--Vixen's father.
As the JLA decide what to do, Vixen breaks into the local jail, beating the two men she captured earlier into a pulp, demanding information on The Ox.
Meanwhile, via The Monitor (Crisis on Infinite Earths being less than a year away at this point) we see that the Overmaster has created and is training a team of supervillains he calls The Cadre. This issue ends with him corralling one more member--a monk named Shatterfist.
To be continued!
Roll Call: Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, Elongated Man, Zatanna, Vixen, Steel, Vibe
Notable Moments: There's a nice moment where Elongated Man is frustrated with the JLA's inability to go after Maksai, and, casting about for an idea, suggests "taking him out." When Manhunter suggests that means assassination, Ralph quickly regrets what he said.
But I bet in that moment, he wished he was part of the Outsiders.
I hate to admit it, but Aquaman is really kind of an a-hole in this issue, especially towards Steel. If I was Hank, I'd be pretty fed up, too.