It's spring 1980, I'm 7 and a half years old and absolutely nuts for the JLA. This cover was a real shocker for me, as I'd never seen Firestorm before and couldn't understand why Superman seemed to be taking sides with this unknown. At the time, I wasn't away of the long running tradition of having relatively confrontational 'new member' covers. It's a pretty strong cover by Jim Starlin as he's able to squeeze everyone onto the cover without it looking overcrowded. I think the white background was the key to making it work. Firestorm's cocky pose really sets the tone. I didn't know the character, but I already didn't like him. It's weird how a certain pose can make such an impression.
Of course, the cover drama never really popped up in the story. There was a tepid debate and then Ronnie was accepted. He gets giddy and various quips are made about the 'kid' by Green Arrow, but that's about it. Not much of a due diligence procedure. This real story is actually an effective little Firestorm solo tale. He starts to spend some intimate time with the world's top model: Sabrina Sultress (aka the Satan Siren). Honestly, her power over him really creeped me out as a kid and probably screwed up the way I related to women for the next 20 years. It all ends with a nice suspenseful moment, as Firestorm is reach for his JLA signal for help. Does he make it in time? Back then we had to wait - but that was half the fun.