Title: Seven Soldiers of Probability
Release Date: June 1998
Writer: Mark Waid
Penciller: Howard Porter
Inkers: John Dell and Walden Wong
JLA Members: Superman, Wonder Woman (Hippolyta), the Martian Manhunter, the Flash, Green Lantern, Plastic Man, and Oracle.
Guest Stars: The Atom.
Bad Guys: The Probability Cancer.

So what happens?
With the disappearance of Batman, the JLA has been pared down to exactly seven members, including the computer genius (and former Batgirl) Oracle, who has discovered that Batman no longer exists because historical probability has been altered to save his parents from being killed so many years ago. And history and probability continue to change radically, changing America back to a British colony and speeding up the Earth's rotation.

The JLA goes out hunting for Julian September, hoping he can help fix the situation, but they discover that, by an unfortunate coincidence, he has just died of a heart attack. When Oracle balks at decoding September's encrypted computer files, J'onn accuses her of gambling that history could change to keep her from being paralyzed, but she says she's trying to figure out a way to keep Bruce Wayne's parents alive for good. Reluctantly, Oracle unlocks the files, but without any scientific background, the current Leaguers don't understand September's notes. And then J'onn unexpectedly starts to disappear also--but before he goes, he tells the rest of the team that the Atom is about to arrive. In a bizarre coincidence, the Atom, a trained scientist, does indeed arrive on the scene soon afterwards, and he figures out what's going on...

Here's what happened--and this is the cool bit, 'cause it's based on a real-world experiment AND real-world results: September, working on a subatomic level, divided seven photons and found that any alterations he made in one half of a photon was instantly mirrored in the other half, no matter how far apart they were, with no physical link between the two halves. The experiment suggested that there was an interdependence between all things and all events, that everything is tied together somehow. September believed he could control synchronicity and coincidence by controlling the halved-but-linked photons, but he accidentally severed the links between the photons, creating a Probability Cancer that was poisoning the stability of reality.

So the Atom shrinks the JLA down to a microscopic size so they can all put the halved photons back together and repair the universe, but the Probability Cancer doesn't want to be cured, so it starts fighting back, changing Green Lantern into another person entirely and severely burning the Flash. But at the last possible second (is there any other kind of rescue in the comics?), they get the last photon together, and reality reverts back to normal.

With all the Leaguers returned from limbo, Oracle asks J'onn how he knew the Atom was about to appear. The answer, J'onn explains, is very simple: of all the superheroes who have ever served the JLA, the Atom was the seventh to join.

And now you know...the rest of the story...

Cool Moments!
The JLA forming a human chain to connect the last two photon halves--very cinematic...

Cool Quotes!
Green Lantern, after being shrunk: "Wait. I'm confused. If we're smaller than light particles now, how are we even seeing?"
Atom: "You're not...not in any human way. The five senses become something else entirely at this level. Your mind's doing you a favor. It's processing all this into familiar visuals so you won't go insane. By the way, you're not breathing oxygen, either. It's best not to think about it."
Green Lantern: "No kidding."

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