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"Obsidian": In ancient Atlantis, the JLA have confronted the League of Ancients, who have ripped off the Flash's legs. Denying Superman's request for a parley, they attack. [[J'onn J'onzz (New Ear

Quote1.png A savage unbound. Lashing out blindly. Innocents in his path. Only Kyle notices... Only Green Lantern turns his back on mortal enemies to protect lives... of men and women who believe him a monster. Without much left resembling a face... I smile.. then nothing more. Quote2.png
Martian Manhunter's dying thoughts

JLA #74 is an issue of the series JLA (Volume 1) with a cover date of December, 2002. It was published on October 23, 2002.

Synopsis for "Obsidian"

In ancient Atlantis, the JLA have confronted the League of Ancients, who have ripped off the Flash's legs. Denying Superman's request for a parley, they attack. Martian Manhunter thinks the only reason neither side attacked immediately was because the two sides were so similar as to shock one another. Superman fights the Ancient's powerhouse, the Anointed One, in a battle in the sky. On the ground, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern are determined to fight with no restraints to get back the Flash. The Flash wants Martian Manhunter to use telepathy to convince the Ancients not to fight, but has been set on fire by Rama Khan's magic. Martian Manhunter realizes the terrible truth—Rama Khan's prophesy is related to their fight with his predecessor, and the Ancients know how to fight them.

In a fight around the world, Superman and the Anointed One try to hit one another. The Anointed One will not move from his position, leaving bystanders to be crushed by falling rocks, and stating that the enslavement of the modern Atlanteans by their ancestors is "none of [his] concern", and asks nothing more of Atlantis than to be allowed to return to Jerusalem and prepare for 'the Prophet'. When Superman states that, by his time, no-one can remember the Anointed One, he responds, "God will provide. You are already ashes."

In Atlantis, Wonder Woman has fought her way to the Flash, who says he doesn't know what happened to Batman. Sela stabs Wonder Woman in the shoulder from behind. Meanwhile, enraged by his opponent's tactics, Plastic Man swallows Rama Khan and suffocates him, to the shock of his teammates. However, the most puzzling response is Gamemnae's: despite having a clear shot at Plastic Man, she waits a few seconds before attacking him. She turns Plastic Man to stone and Tezumak shatters him. At that tine, the Anointed One, having chased Superman all around the world, slams him into an Atlantean plaza at full speed. Superman is dead.

As Sela pauses before killing Wonder Woman to gloat, Batman stabs her in the back with a batarang and explains what he has realized: they didn't need to lay low; the Atlanteans knew they were coming, and choreographed the fight. Now they must follow a plan.

Batman and Wonder Woman share a kiss

Green Lantern makes a last desperate move against the Ancients, while Batman explains his plan. Puzzled by the plan, Batman remarks that he "trusts him". They kiss, mere seconds before Tezumak and Gamemnae strike them.

Green Lantern saves some civilians from one of The Whaler's misaimed strikes, to the approval of the dying Martian Manhunter. Turning to rally his friends, he sees the corpses of Batman, Wonder Woman and Martian Manhunter. Not even raising his ring to fight them, he is about to be killed by them, when Manitou Raven appears next to him and whispers something in his ear. Manitou Raven says aloud "Know that you die so the world may live," causing Green Lantern to laugh—at least, at the end of it, his dreams weren't madness.

Manitou Raven removes Green Lantern's heart, ostensibly to venerate the Great Spirit with the death. Gamemnae is puzzled by the gesture, but neither says anything. The modern Atlanteans are left to grieve in the dark while the people of the time celebrate with drink, dance and merriment. The League are exhausted, but still take part, secure in the promise that Gamemnae will see to their wounds as soon as she has seen to Rama Khan.

Manitou Raven, however, is not at the party. He is at the reflecting pool, where he vents his suspicions by trying to examine the water. He is captured by Gamemnae before he can discover anything, and she remarks how amazed she is that a savage gave her so much trouble. Responding to his accusation that she lied to them, she responds that she did it for the greater good of Atlantis. When Aquaman arrived from the future, she realized that Atlantis would sink again, despite all her efforts, unless she took drastic steps. When Aquaman refused to endorse her efforts, she "married" him to the pool. While doing so, she saw into his mind and received visions of the Justice League. Preparing to fight them, she met Rama Khan, who remembered his descendant's fight with the League, and the other five heroes she conned into following her. Each of them were eager to part of something grander than themselves. She intends to complete this process: she has absorbed Rama Khan bodily into herself using magic, and will do the same to the other Ancients—just as Atlantis herself will absorb their nations into herself. Shocked at her plan, Manitou breaks free and jumps in the pool. There he meets Aquaman, carving out "JLA" in the pool basin with his bare hands. To prove his intentions, Manitou shows Aquaman a Justice League badge he lifted from one of the League's corpses, and tells him to "prepare". He then turns into a flock of ravens and flies away. Gamemnae has bigger things to worry about, as the rest of her soldiers await.

In a cavern, Manitou Raven invokes his ancestors. He regrets his actions, but lists the three signs that showed him his path. The first was Batman - Manitou's tomahawk, blessed so it cannot pierce a good man, was useless against his skin. The second sign was Green Lantern's decision to save the Atlanteans from the Whaler. The third was when he whispered in Green Lantern's ear: he admitted his guilt, and begged Kyle to trust him. Green Lantern trusted, and now Manitou Raven has Green Lantern's heart, ripped from his chest before it had stopped beating. It still beats, fueled by Green Lantern's spirit and willpower. And with it, Manitou Raven can find Justice: the ghosts of the League, prevented from passing and allowed to stay on to strike back at Gamemnae.

Appearing in "Obsidian"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


Other Characters:

  • God (Mentioned only)
  • Satan (Mentioned only)




  • This issue shipped on October 23, 2002


  • Batman's remark that he "loves magic" is at least partly ironic, since Batman has always been more interested in the sciences.

See Also

Recommended Reading

Links and References