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

So what happens?
Last issue, we were with the replacement JLA in the present; this issue, we're with the regular JLA in ancient Atlantis. We pick up right after the cliffhanger in JLA #72; the Justice League discovers that the Atlantean League has already captured and crippled the Flash. Shocked, the JLA want to call a truce so they can try to fix Flash up, but the Atlanteans are not the kind of people who ever accept truces, especially not with people who they are convinced are monsters coming to destroy the world, so the fighting gets started.

Rama Khan, somehow accessing the memories of the future Rama Khan, learns that the Martian Manhunter is vulnerable to fire, so he lights J'onn up like a torch. Superman and the Golem fly around the world fighting each other. Green Lantern is able to temporarily blind the Whaler. Just before he dies, Flash is able to tell Wonder Woman that Batman somehow escaped from the Atlanteans, but then Sela drives a sword into Wondy's shoulder. Plastic Man goes all hardcore, trying to pummel Tezumak to death, then wrapping up the Rama Khan and trying to suffocate him to stop him from burning J'onn. And Manitou Raven is having serious doubts about all this, partly because he's trusting Gamemnae less and less, and partly because of something else he's seen...

After that, things really start going to hell. The Golem is able to kill Superman (Sound too easy? The Golem's a magical creation, and Supes has always been vulnerable to magic), and Gamemnae turns Plastic Man to stone so Tezumak can shatter him. Sela is about to kill Wonder Woman, but Batman makes his reappearance and stabs Sela in the back with a batarang. Bats and Wondy share a quick liplock before jumping back into the fray against Gamamnae and Tezumak. Blinded, the Whaler shoots a blast of his energy toward the crowd of onlookers, but Green Lantern is able to shield the bystanders before any are injured. But by the time he can turn back around, Batman, Wonder Woman, and the Martian Manhunter are all dead. Then Manitou Raven appears, whispers something inaudible to Green Lantern, then tears his heart out of his chest.

Damn. How did this one ever get a Comics Code approval seal?

With the bodies of the JLA suspended on stakes above the city, Atlantis celebrates the deaths of the destroyers. The other members of the Atlantean League are also celebrating and trying to recover from the injuries they sustained in the battle. But Manitou Raven is visiting the reflecting pool where Aquaman has been imprisoned when he is attacked by Gamemnae. After she subdues him, she reveals her plot. When Aquaman and the other Atlanteans from the present arrived by their time-travel spell, Gamemnae realized that the fact that they were all water-breathers meant that Atlantis, which she had heavily magicked to raise to the surface, would eventually sink back below the waves and into obscurity. Desperate to see Atlantis dominate all of the world, she turned Aquaman into water and trapped him in the reflecting pool, then enslaved the other Atlanteans. Foreseeing that the JLA would travel to the past to find him, she sought out the members of the Atlantean League; perceiving all of them as potential enemies of Atlantis' expansion across the globe, she tricked all of them into joining her to defend Atlantis. And now that the Atlantean League has exhausted itself in destroying the JLA, Gamemnae plans to absorb the powers and abilities of all of them as, she reveals, she has already done to the Rama Khan. Horrified, Manitou Raven breaks free, dives into the pool, and confers briefly with Aquaman's watery form. Then he changes into a flock of ravens and flies away.

Later, in isolation and meditation, Manitou Raven reveals how he realized that the JLA were not enemies. First, while the Atlanteans were taking out the Flash, he had tried to kill Batman, but had discovered that his magic axe, blessed so that it could not harm any good person, could not pierce Batman's skin. Green Lantern's selfless act of turning his back on the fight to save the innocent bystanders was the kicker that sealed the deal. Then he reveals what he'd whispered to Kyle before killing him: first, an apology, then, "I cannot help you nor your allies unless you trust me. Trust me now... Give me your faith and know you die so that the world may live."

With the presence of Kyle's power-ring-powered heart and Manitou Raven's own magic, he is able to raise the Justice League as ghosts. Not much, maybe, but it gives them a better chance of being around to finish this whole storyline up in the next issue...

Cool Moments!
In the past, Wonder Woman's smooched on Superman, Aquaman, now Batman, and she's carrying on with some guy in her own comic book, too? That girl's a ho.

Cool Quotes!
Batman's ghost: "I love magic. Let's get to work."

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