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DC One Million. Written by various. Pencilled by various. Inked by various. New York: DC Comics, 1999. 208p. $14.95. ISBN 1-56389-525-0.


Adults, teens, kids; superhero violence

NOTE: This book collects some of the comics that made up the various 1,000,000 titles.

Superheroes from the 853rd century return to the 20th century to pay tribute to the founders of their superhero lines (there has been a more or less steady line of Supermen, Batmen, etc.). They invite various heroes into the future for ceremonial challenges to honor the return of the original Superman after a long time living in the sun. Of course, something goes wrong; today's heroes are stranded in the future, tomorrow's heroes are stranded here, a nasty nanotech virus from the future is making people and machines go crazy, and generally the future of the universe is at stake. Into this mix go a nuclear bomb that decimates Montevideo, battling human immortals, a sentient sun, and frequent releases of unimaginable power.

Ho-hum. Story- and art-wise, this is standard superhero stuff with not a drop of creativity to be found on any of the pages. If nothing else, the story makes the various heroes involved so ridiculously powerful that it's hard to imagine why they would ever concern themselves with the lives of puny humans.

Much more seriously, this book is incomplete. It doesn't collect many of the 1,000,000 issues, so a lot of what might have been interesting action--and a lot of stuff that would have helped this story rise above its complete incoherence--is dismissed in a few narrative lines. For example, "The Superman from 85,271 AD used his astounding 'force vision' to free Arsenal and contain a Rocket Red from laying waste to Metropolis."

Half-assed ripoff "books" like this are an embarrassment and an insult to the comics community. Although it probably has some current fans, I guarantee that in a few years no one will be able to make head or tail of it. I am philosophically opposed to publishing "books" like this, and I urge people not to purchase it.

Copyright 2001, D. Aviva Rothschild


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