WARNING! SPOILERS NEARBY! COMING CLOSER! CLOSER! NO! NO! EEEYAAAAUGH!


Title: History is Written by...
Release Date: Late November 2002
Writer: Joe Kelly
Penciller: Doug Mahnke
Inker: Tom Nguyen
JLA Members: Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, the Flash, the Martian Manhunter, Plastic Man, and Batman.
Guest Stars: Aquaman, Lori Lemaris, and Mera.
Bad Guys: Gamemnae, Rama Khan, Tezumak, Sela, Whaler, the Golem, and Manitou Raven.

So what happens?
A grim issue. Depressing, claustrophobic, frightening. Many bad things are revealed. A grim, grim issue.

Last issue, we were in the present with the replacement JLA. This issue, we're on Atlantis, 3,000 years in the past, with the regular JLA. The League of Warriors--Atlantis' version of the Justice League--now know that the JLA are trapped in the past, but they believe that Superman and Co. are monsters in human form, servants of the Hydra, prophesied to lay waste to Atlantis, unless the League of Warriors can destroy them. It appears that only the Indian shaman, Manitou Raven, has doubts, but he keeps his thoughts to himself.

Meanwhile, at Atlantis' reflecting pool, Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter, and Plastic Man have discovered Aquaman, seemingly formed of water, rising from the pool. It appears that Aquaman's consciousness has been transferred to the water, and it has taken an extraordinary act of willpower for him to form himself into a recognizable shape. How did this happen? No one can say, but J'onn is able to pluck one thought from his mind: the present-day Atlanteans are still alive in the ocean. But too soon, Atlantean guards discover the heroes and attack. J'onn is able to disable them by making them feel Aquaman's despair, and they make their escape.

There seem to be a lot of flies buzzing around. Spies for an unknown power?

Away from the city, Green Lantern and the Flash are watching over Batman, who's still got a wicked high fever from time travel sickness. GL is still wracked with doubt because of the visions he's been having--of the Justice League members being slaughtered. Kyle is certain that they are prophetic; Flash is equally positive that they are merely nightmares. Batman rouses himself from his fevered stupor just long enough to give Kyle a pep talk.

Meanwhile, Gamemnae confides in Rama Khan that she fears that Manitou Raven has been tainted by something in the future and will betray them. Rama Khan scoffs--he knows that Manitou is a good man--but the seeds of doubt have been planted. Surreptitiously, Gamemnae kills some flies that have been buzzing nearby. Why should she care about a few flies?

Flash stays behind to keep watch over Batman, while Superman, Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter, Green Lantern, and Plastic Man go underwater to meet with the present-day Atlanteans. They learn disturbing things--first, that to the Atlanteans, 15 years have passed since they disappeared into the past, though for everyone else, it's been only a few months. Curiouser and curiouser...

Unknown to anyone, as Manitou Raven joins in the hunting party stalking the Flash in the jungle, he appears to be magically budding off flies to watch over Atlantis. But for good or evil purposes, who can say?

As the JLA members speak to Queen Mera, Aquaman's ex-wife, they learn more of what happened to Atlantis. After reading in historical records that the Atlantis of 3,000 years ago was a land of peace and tolerance, Aquaman made plans to transport the entire population of Atlantis there, if the city were ever to fall. When the war against the Imperiex drones seemed to be going badly (back in JLA: Our Worlds at War), Tempest cast the teleportation spell he'd been taught, and the Atlanteans were hurled three millennia into the past. But instead of arriving in an undersea city, they find an Atlantis sitting on the surface of the water, where most Atlanteans cannot survive. As the timelost Atlanteans scurry into the ocean, Gamemnae leads Aquaman away, promising to make sure his subjects are well taken care of. As soon as he is out of sight, Gamemnae's guards attack and enslave the Atlanteans. Aquaman hasn't been seen since. The conclusion is obvious: Gamemnae waylaid Aquaman so she could turn the Atlanteans of the future into slaves.

Filled with righteous anger, the JLA return to Atlantis, ready to battle the League of Warriors and free the Atlanteans. But they find a frightening surprise waiting for them: the Flash has already been captured by the Atlantean League. He's still alive, but it's clear that Wally won't be able to run anywhere anytime soon.

Not with a broken neck.

Not with both of his legs torn off.

Cool Moments!
That last page... Everyone talks about how gripping and exciting Grant Morrison's stories were, how he specialized in always making it look like the League was going to get beaten... but I'm going on-the-record to say this is the best cliffhanger in the entire series. I wouldn't lay money on any of the JLA surviving past page 4 next time we see them...

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