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Mild Mannered Reviews - JLA Comics

JLA #72

JLA #72

Scheduled to arrive in stores: September 25, 2002

Cover date: November 2002

Writer: Joe Kelly
Penciller: Doug Mahnke
Inker: Tom Nguyen

"History Is Written By...." (The Obsidian Age - Part 4)

John-Paul Zito Reviewed by: John-Paul Zito (

There is unrest within the ranks of "The League". The Shaman has seen the future and it vexes him terribly. The rest of "The League" toasts to their eventual success, but the Shaman cannot share their joy, in his wine glass he sees only blood.

Meanwhile, by the reflecting pool J'onn, Wonder Woman, and Plastic Man have made contact with the liquid spirit of Aquaman. Aquaman is trapped in liquid form, tortured in his prison, he is weak and pained. J'onn picks up a solitary messages from the fallen king. "Find my people and free them". A swarm of Atlantean guards attack and the JLA are forced to flee back to their makeshift command post just outside the city.

Back at the command post Kyle voices his overwhelming fear. This whole mission is doomed, he believes, they're all going to die. Not even the Flash's jovial and optimistic attitude can change his mind. It takes the will of a deathly ill Batman, to show Kyle the importance of what they're doing there.

Later, miles below the ocean water, Atlantean slaves from the future are forced to build the Queen Gamemnae an undersea defense system. Little do the Atlantean slave drivers know, the JLA walk among them.

Superman, Green Lanter, Wonder Woman, Platic Man, and J'onn meet with Lori Lemaris and Mera. The JLA learn that the spell cast by Tempest designed to protect them during the Imperiex attacks was flawed. The mystic doorway that was opened up was intended to deliver them to safety in a time known as the golden age. According to the Atlantean history the golden age was well renowned as a time of great peace when Atlantis accepted all strangers and prosperity was known to all her inhabitants. However, the history was falsified. When the present day Atlanteans were teleported through space and time they arrived on an Atlantis thousands of years in the past that had been risen to the surface of the ocean, where it should not be. As the Atlanteans crawled their way back to the ocean Lady Gamemnae arrived to offer them sanctuary. Shortly there after Aquaman was imprisoned and his people placed into slavery. That was 15 years ago. The JLA swear to see Justice served.

"The League," on the other hand, have other ideas. They've discovered the makeshift command center outside their city. They wait and stalk the unwitting Flash.

The JLA come crashing up through the oceans and rip the docks apart. Superman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Plastic Man, and J'onn come in, ready for battle. They're caught off gaurd by an enegery blast from Whaler. As the JLA regroup they're horrified by the sight before them. Flash is broken and bloodied at the mercy of The Hebrew... his legs hacked off at the knee....

To Be Continued....

5Story - 5: WOW! A few months ago I picked out a panel from a JLA issue as the most disturbing illustration I'd ever seen in a JLA comic book. Man was I wrong. The final splash page revealing Flash's mutilated body has got to be the most unsettling image in a JLA comic. At first I couldn't even bring myself to really look at it. It was almost devastating to see such a beloved character so horribly disfigured.

I say "almost" because I'm sure it won't last. Flash is gonna get his legs back, that is if he ever lost them. That half dead shell of a man we see on the final page could very well be a mental illusion. Who knows? But for now I'm going to enjoy the scene for the genuine shock it generated with me.

As for the rest of the issue it was pretty well done. The explanation of what actually happened to the displaced Atlanteans was satisfying. We're starting to see Gamemnea manifest herself as the true villain, but I'm not really sure where the other "League" members stand. Are they aware of her treachery or are they unwitting pawns?

5Art - 5: Solid stuff. Mahnke does a great job detailing Aquaman in his water form. It's an intresting extension of the character's powers. The consistent detail in all of the Atlantean architecture and the different cultural distinctions between "The League's" costumes continues to wow me.

3Cover Art - 3: It's well drawn and an eye catcher. However, the theme of the cover was last month's big surprise ending. I can't help but think this issue should have foreshadowed this weeks big surprise.

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Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

January 2002

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