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:
- 100% Adoration Rating: Sure, Superman almost always has this anyways, but his future self has gone on to accomplish so many more amazing feats, saved so many beings in the galaxy, founded a dynasty of Supermen who have protected the Earth for thousands of years, and generally become such a mythic figure in the eyes of the publc, that he has this like never before. The entire event is based around the fact that the original Superman has become so beloved that people in the future, from all over the universe, are gathering just to celebrate the first public appearance of him in generations, along with wanting his past self to be present for it.
- 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 FaceHeel 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.
- Armor-Piercing Question: With the Hourman virus already eating away at his sanity, future Batman goes berserk after discovering future Starman was aiding Solaris and nearly kills him. Starman calms Batman down, leading him to respond with this:
- Future Batman: You're right. I am going mad. The virus is causing me to experience extreme paranoid reactions. (Beat) What's your excuse for trading in human lives, Starman?
- 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
- Celebrating the Heroes: This is planned to take place for Superman Prime, his past self, and the Justice League members that he fought alongside.
- 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.
- Despair Event Horizon: The future Martian Manhunter remembers that he experienced one of these after over 20,000 years battling an alien race known as The Swarm, which ended with every member of the race being killed.Martian Manhunter: I felt no triumph. I had fought too long and the cost was so high. I wished never to fight again. I came back here, to Mars, and walked upon her sands once more. I lost track of the time; I just wandered.
Platinum speaking of the original Superman: No longer quite human, yet he had about him an air of deepest melancholy. He looked like one who had gone so far as to crash the gates of Heaven...And still not found that for which he searched.
- Superman seems to have reached his own version of this by the time he returned to Earth in the 700th century, as told by Platinum of the Metal Men.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: Solaris has a major inferiority complex stemming from thousands of centuries feeling like he can't compare to Superman.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: It takes a lot of hard work and not everyone makes it to the end, but by the time the story wraps up, every single one of Vandal Savage's plans has been systematically foiled, Solaris has been destroyed, Starman lives up to his ancestors and Superman has rebuilt Krypton.
- Everyone is a Super: Superman learns, when he first arrives in the 853rd century, that it's become possible for everyone to not only have powers, but to choose what powers they have as well.
- Exty Years from Now: With the twist that it's exty issues from now.
- FaceHeel 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.
- Flat "What.": This is Superman's reaction to learning that he's apparently still alive in the 853rd century...and living inside the sun.
- Fusion Dance: The Metal Men, affected by the Hourman Virus, combine into a single being called Alloy.
- Future Badass: It comes with the territory, but Resurrection Man is probably the biggest, jumping from a C-lister with purposely inconsistent powers to an honorary member of the Justice Legion Alpha who won the Superpower Lottery.
- 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.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Solaris' second turn to evil is motivated by this. He envies Superman for all the love and attention he receives.
- Hates the Job, Loves the Limelight: The future Starman admits that he hates being a hero, but loves the attention.
- He's Back: The impetus for the Justice Legion A traveling back in time at all is due to the original Superman, Superman Prime, finally returning from a self-imposed exile in the sun, which he undertook after a journey across the universe that took centuries, which he in turn started after outliving everyone he loved back on Earth.
- The Hero: Superman, as always, and it's the return of the original Superman in the 853rd century has everyone in such a frenzy to see him that they're willing to travel across time and space to bring in his old allies as guests of honor.
Kal Kent: You're the Prime Superman. The founder of our dynasty. The father of us all.
- It could be honored that the event is really celebrating how Superman not only embodies this, but how he was the first superhero who set the example for everyone that came after him, whether they be related to him by blood or not.
- Heroic Lineage: Turns out that most of the heroes have these, including Batman, Wonder Woman, Starman, and Aquaman, but the primary example is the Superman Dynasty.
- Hurl It into the Sun: The plan for the Kryptonite chunk (to kill Superman); it backfired.
- I Am the Noun: Perhaps as a Mythology Gag to Batman: The Animated Series, the Batman of the 853rd century gets in on this.Batman of the 853rd century: I am vengeance! I am retribution! I am the memory of fifteen thousand children. The screams that can never be exorcised! I am the fear you struck into their hearts. The dark nemesis who brings it all back home!
- 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.
- Let's You and Him Fight: Used as a joke of all things. When the Batman of the 853rd century first meets Nightwing, he attacks him. Nightwing questions why he's doing this and Batman responds that he's studied historical records and knows that it's a ritual "of the masked lawmen. We meet and challenge one another to test our skills".
- Light Is Not Good: As the name implies, Solaris the Sun Tyrant is a sun-like robot that emits cancer-inducing light.
- 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.
- Manchild: When Wally West meets the future Shazam (Captain Marvel) he hints at the truth behind Marvel's transformation by noting that he's just like he was back in the present day.Flash: Gotta hand it to him. The guy's 85,000 years old and he hasn't lost that youthful enthusiasm.
- Meanwhile, in the Future...: The story alternates between events in the 20th and 853rd centuries.
- Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds: The future Supergirl, a frightfully powerful little girl who walks around the universe obliviously futzing around with doomsday machines and dooming entire planets to destruction.
- The Mole: the future Starman.
- 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 Omnipotent: Superman Prime, after he comes out of the sun.
- Omnicidal Maniac: Though not appearing during the present day storyline and long dead by the 853rd century, Darkseid shows up as this during the future Martian Manhunter's flashback to the events of his life before he became one with Mars.
- 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.
- Robotic Psychopath: Solaris is a wicked artificial and mechanical sun which is hellbent on proving himself superior to Superman.
- Romanticism Versus Enlightenment: The backstory to the event, as told by Platinum of the Metal Men, features this conflict taking place between the 700th and 853rd centuries, when the original Superman first returned to Earth and took residence inside the sun. Up until then, Solaris had held great influence as a living computer, basically leading the superheroes on Earth in a fight against potential threats. With Superman's return, however, Platinum notes that the people of Earth began turning away from "thinking machines" in favor of human potential.
- 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 Mysterio can be seen leaping into a large crowd scene.
- The 853rd century Supergirl (actually the time-displaced daughter of Linda Danvers with the Superman from a divergent Earth-One) looks an awful lot like Little Orphan Annie.
- The Slow Path: Taken by Resurrection Man, Martian Manhunter, Platinum, Superman, Shazam, and Vandal Savage.
- Soul Jar. Future technology has evolved to the point that it's possible to actually capture people's souls now. The Batman of the 853rd century does this to the modern Batman in order to ensure that he goes to the future with the rest of the JLA.
- 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. Indeed, most of the characters are like this, given how Up to Eleven the 853rd century is.
- 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..."
"...it'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.
- Time Is Dangerous: Big Barda warns the rest of the JLA about this at the very start of the event, mentioning how delicate the basic structure of time is and that it's something best avoided altogether.
- Time Master: The android Hourman of the 853rd Century functions as this. Not only was he built with precognition and chronal manipulation powers, he was also the student of Metron, the New God who frequently traverses both the universe and time, and given the Worlogog, a map of all space and time by his mentor. He's the one who makes it possible for the Justice Legion A to travel to the past in the first place.
- 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.
- Walking the Earth: More like flying around the universe. Both Superman and Martian Manhunter are revealed to have taken this up sometime after the modern age of heroes. Who exactly left first isn't made clear, but both end up surviving into the 853rd century, though J'onn has merged with the planet Mars by that time.
- The War to End All Wars: When speaking to Kyle Rayner, the future Martian Manhunter recalls how one of these basically happened between the forces of Earth and Darkseid, with the latter turning Mars into the new Apokolips and attempting to conquer the entire solar system. It was only by pushing Darkseid and himself into The Source that J'onn managed to end the conflict.
- Would Be Rude to Say "Genocide": As he recounts to Kyle Rayner centuries later, Martian Manhunter and the future heroes of Earth end up in a conflict with an alien race known only as The Swarm. Like locusts, The Swarm invades a planet, strips it of all its resources, and then moves on to the next one. J'onn spends over 20,000 years fighting the aliens from one edge of the universe to Earth, whereupon the collective might of Earth's heroes manages to halt The Swarm's advance. A stalemate occurs, but with The Swarm unable to conquer new planets and unwilling to simply retreat, they are eventually all killed off until none remain.
- Your Soul Is Mine: Future Batman captures Bruce Wayne's soul and sends it to the future with the rest of the Justice League.