Thursday, September 29, 2011

80-Page Thursdays: One Million!

I honestly don't think I noticed the sound effects until I scanned this.
For the next stretch, as long as I can find them, every Thursday we'll check out an 80-page comic! Not 64, not 100, 80-page giants only! Today, revisit the Quantum Age of Comics with DC One Million 80-Page Giant, with Grant Morrison, Mark Millar, Chuck Dixon, and more writing; and Mike Wieringo, Flint Henry, Norm Breyfogle, Dusty Abell and more on art.

I like DC's 853rd Century, but I find it exhausting. With the core heroes stationed on different worlds of the solar system (and Batman presumably upgrading Pluto back to planet status by virtue of being Batman) and Justice Legions from A to Z (and possibly more) I don't think we've seen a baseline human normo yet in that setting. And why would we, when everyone and anyone could be a fifth-generation genesplice of Tamaranian and Braalian traits, trained in Vuldarian hapkido, carrying on the heroic legacy of the Infrared Bee, and locked in battle with Hellgrammite³? If none of that made any sense, DC's One Million is not going to be for you.

To be fair, the 853rd Century looks to be just as exhausting for the heroes as well: I suspect this is Morrison's doing, and could be read as a commentary on modern man or superman; but the crisis level is constantly at 10. 10+. 10+ followed by another 10, then some more that make that first 10 look like a 3. Picture three years worth of Justice League of America--the old series--happening in an afternoon; and that's a slow day in the future. (It's not in this one, but I know there's a Superman One Million story where he gives some prospective alien conquerors a quick tour of the solar system, and they're scared off by watching the JLA bash a bunch of threats in fifteen or so minutes.)

I don't think DC One Million has been seen recently, and with the reboot it might not be again for some time. But, it does kind of undermine dramatic tension: if you know there's a Superman and a Batman legacy centuries in the future, you're more sure than usual how things will turn out in the present. On the other hand, it is a fun place to visit every once in a while. Flip through this one, see if it grabs you.


Dale Bagwell said...

Hey Goo, I added my response to your nice comments/queries on my blog, otherwise here they are:

"-Goo, there's 2 methods for swapping heads:

1). You can use a hair-dryer to heat up the heads/pegs.

2). You can boil water in either a bowl or cup. You then dip the figure's heads in for a minute or 2, and then you can pop their heads off.

I was nervous as first too, but the heads actually came off pretty easily. Lex has a small peg hole though, while Riddler has a normal-sized one, so he wasn't a problem.
You should do it if you want, it's not that hard. Just be careful is all."

As for the future Superman story you're referring to, I have it also, and it's included in the JLA 80-page giant#2(Nov '99).
If you have it, you know how awesome it is, if not, other than the future Supes story, I highly recommend the Christopher Preist/Cary Nord story "The Game", which features old-school GA and Batman. Queen thinks he's figured out that Bruce Wayne is Batman, but Bats proves him wrong. Good one.
And for a nice old-school JLA story, check out Len Wein/Sal Velluto's Hawkman/GA team-up vs. Cap. Boomerang and I.Q. in "With friends like these..." This touches on the old rivalry between Hawkman and GA.

I agree with you that the reboot has pretty much put the 853rd century to bed, but you never know, since Morrison's still at DC.

Dale Bagwell said...

Just noticed that Black Vulcan, Apache Chief, Tangent's Wonder Woman, and Victorian Batman show up in the 1st picture. Cool!