Random Retrospective #7 – JLA #73

I know we had an issue of JLA a couple of weeks ago, but as these posts are looking just at my comic collection, there’s a fair bet it’s going to be DC heavy so expect some titles to crop up more than once.

Joe Kelly’s run on JLA was probably, for me at least, dominated by this storyline, The Obsidian Age, where the JLA go to Atlantis in the past and end up being killed, forcing Batman to enact a Plan B which saw Nightwing lead a bunch of mostly second string heroes as a reserve JLA to beat the bad guy and bring the main team back. That reserve JLA included a hero called Faith who, I think, got on to the League for the same reason that Naomi has these days – she was the creation of the writer.

The team travel to Atlantis in the present because some crazy old witch has moved most of the Earth’s water from one side of the planet to the other, destabilising the orbit. The find and confront the witch who really has bonded with her native land:

And despite holding the upper hand for about two seconds, the League are defeated by the witch just before the island is bombed by the air force on the command of Lex Luthor (as he’s President of the US at this point.)

That explosion is a new form of bomb which provides enough energy for the ring-generated energy form holding the spirit of Green Lantern (stay with me, people) to grab the team and protect them. He introduces them to Manitou Raven and says they’ve been waiting for 3,000 years in order to work out a plan to go back in time and save everyone.

I remember thinking at the time that The Obsidian Age probably went on a couple of issues too long – it was a prelude and seven issues – and re-reading this one still has me feeling that; it’s too drawn out when it should have been tighter. Can’t help thinking that it was waiting for a trade collection, to be honest.

That said, I enjoyed Kelly’s run on the whole and I think it gets forgotten a little as it follows Morrison and then Waid on the title, which is a shame.

4 thoughts on “Random Retrospective #7 – JLA #73

  1. I enjoyed Kelly’s run more than Waid’s, based on the fact I still own some of the former’s, but yeah, Obsidian Age stretched out a little too long. I did enjoy the way Kelly wove the time travel stuff together. And Kyle Rayner got to have some cool moments, be the one whose heart keeps them alive for 3,000 years.

    Plus, Doug Mahnke’s versions of the undead JLAers were pretty cool. Flash with the lightning legs, Batman as an empty costume. Firestorm’s, “I didn’t think it was possible, but you made Batman scarier,” line cracked me up.


    1. Yeah, Kelly’s run worked for me on the whole, like I said.

      Never too sure whether I like Mahnke’s work – all the males seem uber-pumped (especially Superman) whereas the women (especially Wonder Woman) have stick thin arms. Just something about it that jars with me.


  2. See that’s why I skipped out on this run myself. Just didn’t care for it after how well the Waid run was, both in story ideas & execution. Don’t get me wrong, I like Kelly as a writer, especially his runs on Deadpool and Superman (that classic #775 though against the Elite) just don’t think he translated well on JLA.


Comments are closed.