Friday, July 24, 2015

Young Justice #1,000,000

Just Ice, Cubed

Writer: Peter David 1M
Main Frame: Todd Nauck and Larry Stucker
Doomsday: Angel Unzueta and Norm Rapmund
Final Night: Craig Rousseau and Sean Parsons
Millenium: Roberto Flores and Wayne Faucher
Colors: Jason Wright
Letters: Ken Lopez
Assistant: Frank McTigue 1M
On a Tangent Editor: Eddie Berganza
Digital cover backgrounds and frontispiece by Pat Garrahy.

The big crossover event of 1998 was DC One Million. The main miniseries was written by Grant Morrison, who originated the whole event by calculating which year would see Action Comics #1,000,000, assuming it printed monthly from its first issue in 1938. The year Morrison came up with was 85,271, which is where this story occurs. The main story involves the classic JLA switching places with their counterparts of the 853rd century, and running into all sorts of trouble.

Sadly, Young Justice did not get to meet their future doppelgängers, but we do get to see what the team will look like in the far future. On the cover, Todd Nauck and Lary Stucker give us the one millionth clone of Superboy, Robin the Toy Wonder, and the future version of Impulse, who is believed to be the personification of random thoughts of speedsters who traveled through the Speed Force.

The first page of the comic, or the frontispiece, proudly proclaims this as a special collector's item print edition, exactly replicating the way this comic was printed in the late 20th century. Of course, the joke kind of dies if you have the digital version of this issue. After that introductory note, there's a rather lengthy explanation of what's been happening in the main series and important crossovers. But really, none of that matters for the purposes of this issue.

Our story begins with Superboy arriving on Pluto to visit the hidden Young Justice Legion T headquarters beneath the surface of the dwarf planet. He passes through the Hall of Heroes, which is full of statues of the original Young Justice members. There's the core three of Impulse, Superboy and Robin, of course, as well as the Red Tornado. But there's also a few people who haven't joined the team yet, such as Arrowette, Wonder Girl, Secret, Captain Marvel Jr., and ... a teenaged Lobo?! Don't worry, we'll find out all about that in due time.

Superboy is greeted by Batman's robotic sidekick, Robin the Toy Wonder, who has made an exciting discovery. One his way to the meeting, he came across an ancient life pod floating through space. The figure behind the glass is too obscured to see, and the only hint to its identity is a sign that says, "Original member of Young Justice." The pure-energy Impulse suddenly pops out of Superboy's head, and jokes about how empty it is in there.

Robin asks Impulse to go inside the pod to see who their frozen companion is, but once he phases through the glass, he sets off the pod's security systems and is soon ejected from it. Impulse reports that it was too dark to see anything inside, and he tried to jump into the figure's mind, but it was blank, which leads Superboy to believe it's the original Impulse.

Robin decides to run a revival program for the frozen figure, which should take about two hours to safely thaw out their guest. Superboy then comes up with a more exciting theory, saying only the original Superboy could have been strong and smart enough to survive these thousands of years. And to illustrate his point, the one millionth clone of Superboy tells the story of how the original Superboy defeated Doomsday:

It was a time of a major crisis, and all the skies were red with blood. Cities were falling and worlds collapsing at the hands of the behemoth Doomsday. None of the heroes could stand up to the monster, not even Superman, who was killed by Doomsday. But then Superboy arrived and challenged the beast. Doomsday started the fight by hurtling the teen hero high into the sky, but Superboy quickly gained control and zoomed down toward the Earth.

Instead of hitting Doomsday directly, Superboy focused all his strength on the planet, accelerating its orbit around the sun to actually shove the world directly out from Doomsday's feet. As Doomsday floated away, he made one desperate grab at the planet's surface, but Superboy delivered a mighty butt kick, sending him tumbling through space.

The future Superboy calls this one of the original Superboy's more modest accomplishments, but to his dismay, neither of his teammates believe the story. Robin, especially, is furious with Superboy's lack of research, and decides to tell an accurate story about the original Robin:

It was a dark time for the Earth ... literally, because the sun was being consumed by the monstrous Sun-Eater. Gotham City was completely covered in ice and hit by an earthquake. Batman and Robin ran around saving people from the falling shards of ice, but suddenly Batman slipped and broke his back. And to make matters worse, once the sun went out, a bizarre energy covered the Earth, causing all the superheroes to lose their powers. The entire Justice League began to fall out of the sky above Gotham, and Robin had to skate his way around the falling heroes with the crippled Batman on his shoulder.

Robin put Batman in a big body cast, and did his best to prevent the rampant looting in the streets, battle Two-Face, and convince the JLA not to give up. But the heroes were convinced this was their Zero Hour, and all hope was lost. Robin angrily yelled at them to not choke at a time like this. At that word, Superman was suddenly inspired. He and all the other heroes immediately flew out into space and formed a large wedge that slammed into the Sun-Eater, causing it to choke on the sun and spit it back out. Doctor Fate then sent the Sun-Eater to a pocket dimension, where it could do no harm to any living thing.

However, the Toy Wonder's story is met with the same skepticism as Superboy's. Both Superboy and Impulse demand to know how the heroes got their powers back, and all Robin can say is that they only lost their powers for a little bit, but then they just came back. Impulse calls this rather convenient, then points out how both his teammates were too afraid to mention the original Impulse in their stories. So Impulse tells how Bart Allen averted one of the greatest dangers the Earth ever faced:

The original Young Justice were riding the Impulse-Cycle back from a previous adventure in upstate New York. As usual, Robin was hogging the steering wheel and Superboy was goofing off. But Impulse was diligent, and the only one to notice a giant, mile-long white feather on the ground. As the heroes investigated, they felt the ground shake beneath their feet and realized something very large was heading straight for New York City.

As the heroes approached the monster, Impulse warned his companions to be careful, but they refused to listen to him. Suddenly, a gigantic egg fell from the sky. Impulse easily dodged it, but Robin and Superboy were too slow. The yolk was on them, and they wound up with egg on their faces. But Impulse soon realized the true horror of the situation. They had caught up to the Millennium Chicken, which had come to New York to nest!

Superboy interrupts Impulse at this point, saying everybody knows it was a Millennium Cow. Robin thought it was a Millennium Deer, so Impulse decides to speed up the reanimation process so the original member of Young Justice can tell them who's right. Superboy and Robin tell Impulse he's doing it wrong, and they all fight over the keyboard. Before too long, the life pod suddenly bursts into flames, and the original Young Justice member is incinerated.

Robin suggests they don't tell anyone about this, and Impulse suggests the frozen hero was probably brain dead anyway, and if they brought him back, it could have been in a terrible state of living death. But Superboy is sad they lost someone who could have set all the stories straight for once. Robin admits he did guess on a few details in his story, but that was only to keep up with his teammates. Superboy also admits they did exaggerate a little, but ultimately says the original Superboy, Robin and Impulse were giants in their day. But none of the heroes realize that there's a gigantic chicken footprint on the surface of Pluto.

This was a pretty fun, wacky issue. It's nice to know that teenage boys can still be pretty goofy 83,723 years in the future. And I really loved the guest artists for each story. Roberto Flores, aided by longtime Impulse inker Wayne Faucher, would have been a welcome choice to handle a full issue of Impulse if needed. But the real gem for me was Craig Rousseau's five pages, in which he mimicked the style of Batman: The Animated Series and made the Sun-Eater a big fat orange guy. The sheer lunacy of this issue makes it a fun read for everyone, regardless of whether they've read the stories alluded to here. My only small complaint is that we didn't get to see these future heroes in action. We know that this pure energy version of Impulse can go inside people's minds, but what else can he do?

There aren't any letters to the editor this month, so we'll head straight to the ads:

Wide leg jeans $29.50. Gap Kids.

Sage Bolyard ... invert on Shaggy's skull. David Palmer ... migraine on the deck. JNCO. The picture shows one skateboarder lifting himself up on another's head.

Racing this close to the ground is Plane Crazy. Extreme Aerial Racing for SegaSoft.

Forget about ram and hard drives, install a little butt-kicker in your computer. Head Rush CD-ROM.

Lucky for you, ours comes with a reset button. RC Racer on PlayStation.

Well done soldier. Command & Conquer: Red Alert Retaliation for PlayStation.

The Contra Adventure for PlayStation.

Super Dynamic Duel. NASCAR on TBS. I guess this was a real thing, where they had one with Batman painted on it race another car with the Joker painted on.

Dump the 'toons. Get real. Saved by the Bell: The New Class, Hang Time, City Guys, One World and NBA Inside Stuff. Saturdays on NBC.

Next time: See John Fox, the Flash of the future, try to stop a nuclear missile in spite of Bart's "help" in Impulse #1,000,000!

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