The Story: "Rebirth: Part Four--Gypsy Genius" by Gerry Conway, Chuck Patton, and Rick Magyar. Picking up from last issue, the JLA finds itself in the clutches of a new team of super-baddies called The Cadre!
The Cadre is run by a giant, masked man named The Overmaster, who speaks of himself as "I/We." He considers himself a god.
Overmaster does seem to have almost god-like powers, as he shoots blasts of energy out of his hands, scattering the JLA. After they get to safety, he then unleashes his Cadre after them.
First up is Black Mass, a guy who can change his internal mass and control gravity. Next is Shrike, an evil pixie-like harpy with a sonic scream. Both of them attack the JLA simultaneously.
Meanwhile, back in Detroit, Dale Gunn is met by Gypsy, who is waiting for him back the JLA's HQ. She tells Gunn she thinks the JLA are in trouble.
She's right, of course, and we see the JLA barely holding its own against The Cadre. Crowbar tells them that all he has to do to retain the powers Overmaster gave him is to kill the JLA, which he tries to do. But luckily Aquaman is now getting his bearings:
...I love this sequence. After so many issues of being a hard ass, Aquaman gets to be cool.
Anyway, Shatterfist destroys the oncoming crowbar, and smashes the ground, creating a giant crevice, which the JLA escapes into. Aquaman wonders, as he and his team has to run, if he has made a giant mistake.
While Dale Gunn and Gypsy try to find where the JLA went, we see they make an amazing discovery in the bowels of the mountaintop hideaway of the Overmaster: that the entire HQ is made of up high-tech machinery!
They follow a tunnel, and make an even more amazing discovery:
While Manhunter tries to read the creature's mind, they are found by Overmaster and the Cadre, who attack them again.
Aquaman and Manhunter hatch a plan, and J'onn takes off towards the creature. To buy him some time, Aquaman leads his team on a forward charge--after all, they are the Justice League!:
Manhunter discovers a glowing jewel above the creature, which seems to be the source of the telepathic presence both he and Aquaman sensed. Overmaster doesn't like this, and tries to stop Manhunter. But he is distracted by an attack from...Gypsy!
Manhunter then takes on Overmaster directly, and tells Gypsy to touch the jewel. Finally deciding to risk her life for something other than herself, she does, which shoots off a blinding light, taking all The Cadre with it.
Dale Gunn then arrives, and tells the JLA he has brought a new shuttlecraft.
On the flight home, Aquaman and Manhunter tell the rest of the team what they figured out that--that this Overmaster was really just a parasite, feeding off the energy of this sleeping creature, who has been on Earth for millions of years and been involved with various species' birth or extinction.
They then watch as the mountaintop rumbles and shatters, and a giant spaceship, carrying the sleeping creature, blasts off into space.
Roll Call: Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, Elongated Man, Zatanna, Vixen, Steel, Vibe, Gypsy
Notable Moments: Probably the best issue of the new JLA's run, since after this the team gets involved in either wrapping up loose ends (like what happened to Superman, Wonder Woman, and Flash) or getting carried away by story lines that were occurring outside of the regular JLA book (the Crisis, the upcoming Aquaman mini-series). In a lot of ways, this new JLA got hobbled before it ever really began.
The covers to issues 233-236 were released as a poster around this time. If you combined all of them, they made one large image:
...they don't quite line up right (there's overlap which interferes with the disembodied heads), but at least DC was trying to give the new JLA a little promotion.
That said, it occurs to me as write this, I don't think I ever saw one ad for the regular JLA comic at this time...