- made Batman's world a serious one again,
- brought Wonder Woman away from her mythical fantastical connections and grounded her as a non-super woman on her own,
- raised Green Arrow's consciousness,
- tried to wake up Green Lantern from his brain-dead stupor,
- shipped the toxically ludicrous Martian Manhunter off-planet,
- gave Snapper Carr a very dishonorable discharge,
- classed up the JLA by getting them out a cave in New England and giving them a high-tech palace in orbit.
I haven't presented the whole process in a tidy order (hey, this ain't the Comic Treadmill!), so here's a recap:
JLA #66: Denny O'Neil comes on board. Writes the "General Demmy Gog" story, one of the worst JLA stories ever written. Really, one of the worst stories ever written period.
JLA #67: An all-reprint issue.
JLA #68: JLA fights another Giant Amorphous Godlike Space Entity/Simpleton (in this case, "Neverwas").
JLA #69: The revelation that Wonder Woman is now powerless; Diana Prince goes on "permanent leave".
JLA #70: Denny and DC try to foist the "Mind-Grabber Kid" on the readers. Crickets are heard.
JLA #71. The Martian Manhunter, who's actually been absent from the title since #61, finally makes it official and leaves Earth. Oh, and everything and almost everyone on Mars is destroyed. More crickets are heard.
JLA #72: Red Tornado arrives and becomes the guest who never leaves. The Atom seems to be the only one with the guts to talk about the problem out loud.
JLA #73-74: The Aquarius story, in which Larry Lance is squished flat by a giant lint ball and his widow, Black Canary takes two panels to abandon her entire life and moves to Earth-1.
JLA #75: The 'canary cry' is discovered and Black Canary joins the JLA. She is the first member never to have had her own book, making her the Patron Saint of every crappy also-ran ever to join the League (I'm looking at YOU, Ralph Dibny).
JLA #76: Another all-reprint issue.
JLA #77: Snapper Carr (who, like the Martian Manhunter, hasn't been seen in some time any way) betrays the Justice League to the Joker. Crickets clap loudly.
JLA #78: The Satellite is introduced. Remarkably casually, I might add.
In fact, the Satellite in introduced almost absurbdly casually, even for the breezy Silver Age. The JLA is needed, so Superman and Green Lantern pick up Green Arrow and his new ridiculous facial hair and take him to.... the rooftop of DC Comics. Oh, it's not mentioned by name, but it's "That publishing company that's always bugging us for stories."
Oh, I'm sure their just begging for stories about YOU, Ollie.
The folks at DC (in exchange for a few licensing rights, I'm sure) have allowed the JLA to install a teleporter on their rooftop. Because NO ONE will notice a teleporter on a rooftop. Fortunately, there's no flying machines in the DCU and no one other than the Justice Leagues can fly!
"Heh. You're a funny guy, Arrow. You do realize that if I were to, say, accidentally sneeze right now or have a hand spasm, I might easily crush your left shoulder into paste? Kind of hard to use a bow and arrow when you only have the use of one arm."
As to why it has to be in an incredibly insecure place like a rooftop in downtown Manhattan, well, I guess the signal from the teleporter needs to be unimpeded by a roof. Or a passing plane. Or a flock of a geese. Or the horizon, given the fact that the Satellite, being in geosynchronous orbit must be above the equator and the rooftop of DC Comics is WAY north of the Topic of Cancer, and... oh, never mind, I'm getting a headache.
"Heh, by Rao, you sure are 'comical', Arrow. Yes, the tube is small, but that would help contain the debris if were to, say, accidentally sneeze or have an eye spasm and nuke your insides with my super-vision till you explode in a bloody mess."
Anyway, the teleporter is handwaved as Thanagarian tech (presumably based on the Twin Dogs of Sebek, but that's another story), and the Satellite is explained as...
Um. Well, it's just... there. Who built it and when? How was it paid for? Who chose the color scheme for the decor? And how (literally) on Earth do the governments of the world feel about a Satellite of godlike beings hanging over their heads?
"Surprise! It's actually not a teleporter, just a big Kryptonian crystal cannon that shoots you out to land as a green blotch somewhere on the lower east side of a very large city on the Eastern seaboard! See, Ollie, I can be comical, too!"
And (most amusingly), how did all this happen without Green Arrow knowing a single thing about it? That, I think, says everything you need to know about Green Arrow's place in the Justice League (as even written by Denny O'Neil, who loves him most).
You know damn well the Martian Manhunter would have known about the Satellite. In fact, since he's a crazy homeless person, he'd probably already be living in it and named it something weird, like "M'artha".
And so, with the introduction of the Satellite (Feb 1970, by the way), the Bronze Age begins for the Justice League of America.
Tomorrow: JLA Satellite.... THE MAP!