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"History Is Written By...": In ancient Atlantis, Rama Khan is describing the prophetic dream that led him to found the League of Ancients. With the arrival of the JLA, this prophecy has come to pass, and tomorrow, the Le

Quote1.png We die every day. A thousand times an hour. Anyone who does this work sees it. Death. Their own... their partner's... their loved ones. We go to work anyway. Death is powerless against you if you leave a legacy of good behind. Death is powerless against you if you do your job. My father saved the lives of over four thousand people, one at a time... with his bare hands and his mind. Death was with him the entire time. Quote2.png

JLA #72 is an issue of the series JLA (Volume 1) with a cover date of November, 2002. It was published on September 25, 2002.

Synopsis for "History Is Written By..."

In ancient Atlantis, Rama Khan is describing the prophetic dream that led him to found the League of Ancients. With the arrival of the JLA, this prophecy has come to pass, and tomorrow, the League will fight for the survival of their world against this perceived threat. They share a toast, but Manitou Raven declines the drink, on the grounds that it looks like blood. Before Gamemnae can impugn him, however, the news arrives that several members of the Justice League are at the reflecting pool.

At the reflecting pool, Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter, and Plastic Man have found the magically imprisoned Aquaman. Since they cannot free him, he begs them to save the modern Atlanteans who are trapped in the past. Martian Manhunter is weakened dealing with Aquaman's pain, but the group is attacked by guards before he can process the pain. They escape by getting Martian Manhunter to force the guards to 'process' the pain for him, making them too depressed to fight.

At the cave, Flash and Green Lantern are minding Batman while he recovers from time travel. Green Lantern has been selected to visit the Atlanteans underwater. Green Lantern wants to sit it out because of his dreams of death, but Flash insists—of the two of them, his powers are more useful underwater. However, the argument distracts the two heroes, and Batman gets up. His internal temperature has hit 104 degrees, and he is delirious. In his current state, he lectures Green Lantern, telling him "We die... every day... We go to work anyway... Death is powerless against you if you do your job." Shaken by this, Green Lantern reactivates the equipment to heal him.

A few hours later, under Atlantis, the modern Atlanteans are being put to work reinforcing the pillars that support Atlantis. One slave stands out, but after a beating, she is revealed as Martian Manhunter in disguise. Martian Manhunter arranges a meeting between the Justice League and the head Atlanteans. On the way to the meeting, Superman is shocked to meet a disheveled Lori Lemaris. She explains that she has been under hard labor for 15 years. Taken to the cavern which Mera uses as her throne-room, they hear the story: how Aquaman set a plan to save Atlantis from the disaster which struck the world so regularly by sending its people into the deep past. They selected a period which their history told them was a Golden Age. As a great magician, Tempest was entrusted with the spell. When Imperiex exploded in Poseidonis, Tempest used the spell but the Atlanteans suffocated from the lack of air. Crawling back to the water, they realized that their history had been altered. When Aquaman tried to negotiate terms, he was led away and never heard from again. For the last 15 years, the Atlanteans have been enslaved.

Over Atlantis, Rama Khan is talking with Gamemnae. Rama Khan wonders why the Justice League would be interested in the pool, but Gamemnae deflects his questions, wondering if Manitou Dawn is still trustworthy after his mission to the future. She uses their relationship to leverage acceptance of her position. She then casually crushes some nearby insects. However, it turns out they are being used by Manitou Raven to spy on her. He does not trust her, but still, he, Sela and the Anointed One will complete the mission of capturing Batman and the Flash.

The arrival of the Justice League has rekindled Mera's desire to go home, and she has told them all she can. Destroying The Scarab's ship in the harbor, they attempt to make a grand entrance, but are attacked The Whaler. Everyone survives, but they immediately meet the League. Superman, Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter, Plastic Man and Green Lantern are confronted by the League, and their victim—the Flash, who has had his legs broken off.

Appearing in "History Is Written By..."

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


Other Characters:




  • This issue shipped on September 25, 2002
  • Due to the 'alternating storylines' format for this arc, this roster last appeared in JLA #70. They will next appear in JLA #74.


  • This issue marks the full version of the prophecy being used for the first time. It reads: "A Hydra comes, riding tomorrow's dawn to rain Hell on Paradise. Seven ravenous that must be severed, lest they devour the very Earth and drink her blood. Her life. Gather forces while ye may, kindred sons and daughters of the Earth, who walk as gods, to fight as gods do... a league of warriors. Ride the winds to tomorrow. Find the metal mountain with its serpent's heart. Lie in wait, and when they reveal their black hearts... Stab at them with the righteous fury of the Earth."

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