Comic Book / DC One Million

DC 1,000,000 note  was DC Comics' Crisis Crossover for the year 1998. Written by then-current JLA writer Grant Morrison, the basic idea came from his imagining what The DCU would be like if DC Comics continued publication until flagship title Action Comics reached issue #1,000,000 note ).

The core of the crossover was a core 4-issue miniseries written by Morrison. In addition, each of DC's then-running titles had a tie-in issue #1,000,000 showing what life was like for the protagonist's future counterpart. Some of the tie-in issues were linked directly to the main plot of the miniseries, while others were independent side-stories that contributed to the World Building.

The story begins when the League is visited by their descendants from the 853rd century. It turns out that Superman is still alive then, but had retired to live inside the sun for centuries, but had recently given word that he was coming out, and the future civilization is going to throw him a big "welcome back!" celebration- and the original League are guests of honor! To make sure that Earth is safe while the league is gone, the future League note  will stay in the present in their place.

In the future, the League members have various adventures detailed in the crossover's tie-in issues. The central miniseries focused on the Justice Legion's adventure on present-day Earth.

It turns out that the solar system of the future has been massively terraformed. Not only that, but several planets are dedicated to specific heroes: Mercury to The Flash, Venus to Wonder Woman, Earth to Green Arrow, Pluto note  to Batman, etc. The only planet missing is Uranus, destroyed and replaced by a second sun - Solaris, the Living Sun note  which was defeated by Superman and reprogrammed to be helpful, overseen by that century's Starman.note 

Unknown to the heroes, the hero-swap is part of an elaborate and sinister plot 830 centuries in the making. Soon, the Justice Legion find themselves trapped in the past, and the Justice League are on the run in a strange and unfamiliar time.

This series features examples of:

  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Vandal Savage's illegal Omicron Knife Suit. It used Nanomachines to constantly sharpen the blades so they could "cut out your very soul".
  • The Ace: The reason for Solaris The Tyrant Sun's second Face–Heel Turn was that every single descendant of Superman proved far nobler than him, causing great jealousy on his part.
  • Animal Superheroes: A side-story featured Justice Legion Z, composed of future equivalents of various animal sidekicks and zoomorphic aliens.
  • Arrow Catch: Vandal Savage, during his fight with Arsenal.
  • Aside Glance: After the original Superman returns from his sojourn in the sun, he ends the story with a knowing wink to the audience, a shout-out to all the times he did the same thing back in the Silver Age.
  • Badass Boast: Vandal Savage's dialogue seems to consist of a string of these loosely held together by plot. (They get less justified as his plans unravel.)
    • Savage: I remember a world without the wheel. I have seen empires bloom and wither and die. Brief as flowers. And periodically, I have chosen to rule the Earth... This time, I decided to wait until the competition was big enough and arrogant enough to make it worth humiliating...
    • Savage: Like all specialists, your dependence on one weapon makes you vulnerable. I'll demonstrate.
    • Savage: I planned and fought and won battles you have only read about in your history books, boy. You're no tactician.
    • Arsenal: I'm coming back and you're gonna pay!
      Savage: I paid for all this a long time ago; it cost me sixty barge loads of silver in the days of Thutmose. Look. The time has come for you to die, little boy soldier.
    • Savage: He trembled before those monsters of evolution. I destroy them with a wave of my hand! Look, Hitler, look!
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Solaris and Vandal Savage
  • Conqueror from the Future: Future Vandal Savage's plot is a variation on this.
    • The series Deconstructs this, since the heroes respond by realizing that an attack originating from the far future means that they have literally millennia to prepare with full foreknowledge of exactly what the villains will do. Being a Conqueror from the Future therefore turns out to be a serious disadvantage.
  • The Constant: Immortal villain Vandal Savage appears in both time periods, basically unchanged.
  • Crossover Finale: The Chronos tie-in issue ended that series by setting up the event's finale, while Creeper and Chase used the concept to provide very Distant Finale endings. Unsurprisingly, dying titles jumped at the chance to claim they'd made one million issues, even on a technicality.
  • Death by Irony: The future Vandal Savage's getaway is sabotaged so that he ends up in the past, at ground zero of a nuclear explosion caused by his past self.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Solaris has a major inferiority complex stemming from thousands of centuries feeling like he can't compare to Superman.
  • Exty Years from Now: With the twist that it's exty issues from now.
  • Face–Heel Turn: The mole in the Justice Legion, Starman, who was sick of having to fulfill his family's heroic legacy.
  • Foreshadowing: The 853rd century, where everyone has "icon" badges that give them superpowers, foreshadows the final arc of Morrison's JLA, in which another menace is defeated when the League temporarily gives all humanity superpowers.
  • Fusion Dance: The Metal Men, affected by the Hourman Virus, combine into a single being called Alloy.
  • Future Spandex: There's Superhero Spandex that is also Future Spandex — the present day heroes note that their future counterparts' costumes are shiny, seamless and even more formfitting, and wonder what they're made from.
  • Generation Xerox: Justice Legion A and its various offshoot teams are made up of a lot of Identical Grandson types and other close counterparts of the 20th century. It's even Lampshaded by the present-day League, who initially find it all very unlikely.
  • Genius Loci
    • Solaris is Solaris.
    • The Martian Manhunter has merged with Mars itself.
  • Golden Super Mode: Superman Prime, when he emerges from the sun.
  • Hates the Job, Loves the Limelight: The future Starman admits that he hates being a hero, but loves the attention.
  • Hurl It into the Sun: The plan for the Kryptonite chunk (to kill Superman); it backfired.
  • The Jailer: The Future Batman. (And Pluto was more secure than Arkham ever was, at least until the crisis happened.)
  • King in the Mountain: Superman has become this to the people of the 853rd century since his retirement into the sun.
  • Legacy Character: Most of the DC heroes have a successor in the future.
  • Long Game: As he notes in one of his Badass Boasts above, Vandal Savage uses weapons caches and funds set up generations ago. By the end, it's an Exaggerated Trope as used by the heroes, who set up and execute a plan across 833 centuries to undermine or circumvent every single one of Savage's and Solaris's plans.
  • Meanwhile, in the Future: The story alternates between events in the 20th and 853rd centuries.
  • My Own Grampa: Solaris originated in the 20th century, emerging out of the Hourman Virus which the future Solaris created and sent into the past as part of his plot.
  • Nanomachines: The Hourman Virus which threatens to destroy humanity in 24 hours.
  • Ninja Pirate Robot Zombie: A number of future citizens haphazardly combine icons, creating superpower profiles like "Negative Gorilla Woman" and "Metamarvel."
  • No Poverty: Played with; in a society based on dataflow, the "information poor" don't appear to be struggling by our standards, but have a desperation about them that reminds The Flash of "kids who'd mug you for your sneakers".
  • The Mole: the future Starman.
  • The Omnipotent: Superman Prime, after he comes out of the sun.
  • Phantom Zone: "Tesseract Space". Recently revealed to be the actual Phantom Zone.
  • Physical God: Superman Prime, after he comes out of the sun.
  • Pride Parade: There is a brief mention of a "Bizarro Pride Parade" in the Chronos #1,000,000 tie-in issue.
  • Redemption Equals Death: the future Starman
  • The Resenter: Starman One Million loathes his family's heroic lineage because he thinks no one gave him a choice in wanting to become the new Starman.
  • Resurrected Romance: One of the things the unimaginably-powerful Superman Prime does at the end of the story is resurrect Lois Lane.
  • Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: The 853rd century is over 80 thousand years into the future — that's over 10 times the length of recorded history, and at least twice the estimated length of the entire history of the human race. All things considered, the world of the Justice Legion A is remarkably familiar.
  • Seen It All: Vandal Savage rather laconically trounces the Titans in minutes thanks to having decades of experience battling superheroes and thousands of years of experience as a tactician; everything they do is something he;s already familiar with.
  • Sequel Hook:
    • A brief cutaway sequence in one of the miniseries issues gives a quick setup of the Ultramarines, who show up immediately after the crossover in the JLA title.
    • In a scene that seems utterly irrelevant to the rest of the crossover, one of the Linear Men returns from a time-trip babbling about The Kingdom (DC), which was itself the sequel to Kingdom Come. Additionally, the same sequence has some references to Gog killing Superman in the 21st century, the inciting incident of The Kingdom
  • Shout-Out: In the DC One Million 80-Page Giant, Rey Misterio can be seen leaping into a large crowd scene.
  • The Slow Path: Taken by Resurrection Man, Martian Manhunter, Platinum, Superman and Vandal Savage.
  • Space Is Noisy: Spoofed. The Superman of the 853rd Century flies out of the atmosphere with a cry of "Up, Up and ".
  • Stable Time Loop: Several aspects of the future turn out to be results of the Justice Legion's trip to the past. In particular, they unwittingly carry a computer virus created by Solaris which results in the original creation of Solaris itself.
  • Start X to Stop X: Solaris is created in the present as a result of the Legion's attempts to stop future-Solaris's plan.
  • Superpowerful Genetics: The Superman of the 853rd century is a direct descendant of the original Superman, and has all his powers plus a bunch more picked up in the intervening generations through intermarriage with other superpowered alien races.
  • Superpower Lottery: The Superman of the 853rd century has the superpower jackpot even more than the Superman of the 20th century does.
  • Super Zeroes: Some of the more comedic tie-in issues, such as Hitman #1,000,000 and Lobo #1,000,000, featured these.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Lampshaded and justified by the future Batman, who delivers, in the space of a single flying kick, an implausibly large infodump about the fact that he's delivering an implausibly large infodump in the space of a single flying kick:
    "You see... this is a martial arts move developed by a telepathic octopus species inhabiting the oceans of Durla; the attack's telepathic as well as physical, and by the time you realize this sentence seems way too long..."
    "'ll all be over."
  • Technopath: One of the extra abilities possessed by the Superman of the 853rd century.
  • Tele-Frag: Chase One Million has a black market icon dealer try and use an unlicensed Ambush Bug icon to escape arrest... he ends up messily merged into a nearby wall, mercifully dying seconds later.
    • The last issue of the main series mentions a group called the Jigsaw Justice Union of New Lallor, which used to be the Justice Union of Lallor before a teleporter incident.
  • Temporal Paradox: A couple of ontological paradoxes form key parts of the plot. First, as noted above, Solaris's source code turns out to be the Hourman Virus, which the future Solaris created and sent back in time. Second, Starman One Million's Gravity Rod was found in space and passed down through the family; in the present day sequences, we see that he loses his grip on it when he dies jumpstarting Solaris, leaving it to drift into space and eventually be found again by his grandfather.
  • Throw-Away Country: Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay, is destroyed for no other reason than giving Savage his Karmic Death.
  • Uranus Is Showing: When the Starman from the 853rd century proclaims himself as the protector of Uranus, Flash chuckles, while Green Lantern chimes in saying "Uranus" stopped being a funny word after the fourth grade.