The murder of a department store Santa Claus puts the JLA on the tail of the Key and his scheme to kill the JLA.
In the opening story of the first in a series of bi-monthly 100 page issues, the Justice League encounter "The Man who murdered Santa Claus!" Stumbling upon the murder of a mall Santa, Superman and Batman send out the emergency signal. When Hal Jordan slips in the shower, his power ring, after ensuring his safety, flies off to John Stewart, who joins the League for this adventure.
A series of traps, set by the Key, seems to lead the League members to their doom. However, as the Key celebrates his moment of seeming triumph, he turns to find the JLA members alive and well and about to bring him to justice. The Phantom Stranger has taken the place of the Key's chief assistant and has assisted each of the JLAers in escaping their seeming death traps.
The Key makes a last desperate effort to evade capture by activating a bomb. The Phantom Stranger orchestrates the necessary high speed evacuation, as John Stewart not only saves the houses with his power ring, but refurbishes them as well. During the confusion, the Phantom Stranger slips quietly away. Red Tornado is shown the Spirit of Christmas as the JLA presents him with a gift. Black Canary made him a new costume, and the android was perplexed yet touched by the act of love.
The issue contains "The Plight of a Nation!" (reprinting All-Star Comics #40) and "Z--As In Zatanna--And Zero Hour!" (reprinting Justice League of America #51).