An Apocalyse Beyond the Time Beyond Time
The Good: One of the best things about DC One Million is the absolutely brilliant covers. While the special '#1,000,000' issues have backgrounds made up of the 90's 3D representing the wild incomprehensible nature of the 853rd century I keep droning on about, the covers for the main miniseries have such a haunting simplicity. This time there's no extra shadows to obscure the truth because we know who the Justice Legion Alpha are. Instead things in the little picture are bright and illuminated. Contrasting the first cover's larger than life feel, this cover is all about the little guy. Tiny Atom and microscopic Hourman Virus.
Once again, Morrison sets the bar high with some powerful phrase, this time predating the famous apocalypse movie, The Day After Tomorrow. The first issue spent a lot of time building things around 'On the First Day,' and "On the Third Day.' This issue is the day AFTER that. On the Third Day, the world was in ruin, and the day AFTER tomorrow things are worse. It's also a nice pun with the future as 'tomorrow.' Tomorrow is another day, but it came and went, and we're in a chaotic quandry so far beyond that.
There's definitely a well thought out use of the speech bubbles. They never block out anything major, and tend to balance out the artwork noticeably so.
I'm more receptive to the artwork in this issue, it does a great job with little details blown large. Oracle's hand with The Atom in it specifically looks really good.
Morrison still does a great job with all the little dialogue, everything is so well written. Atom and Oracle's flirtations are so interestingly harmless, and the struggle for order with the JLA remainder is a good moment as well.
We really see how the scale of superheroes between ages works. Superheroes of our time are equivalent to normal people in the 853rd Century, Future Superman and Future Aquaman absolutely blow Firestorm and The Ray away with little effort. They are gods among gods, and yet our core League is considered just as godlike as they are. Being a legend is what makes someone larger than life.
The final scene sets an amazing amount of tension for the next parts of the crossover. Vandal Savage's twist to his plans to send bombs to major cities is deliciously twisted.
I'm reall impressed with how subtle a villain Solaris is. The Justice Leagion Alpha is suffering the same fate as the Justice League of America. Each group is trapped in the other's time, alienated instead of just being destroyed outright. Forced to suffer the slings and arrows of a public who fear and despise them; and living long enough to be tortured by the knowledge that Solaris is destorying their own time they love so much.
The Bad: Considering we never actually got the see the missile go off in Montevideo kind of messes with the pacing a bit. I looked back through all the previous issues because I felt like I missed something, but I guess I didn't. We're just kind of told about it and shown the aftermath, but never the actual bombing.
If Oracle is as against The Atom seeing her as she is, why does he go to her? Why can't The Atom go in any of the other billions of infected individuals?
There's a really awkward scene with the Linear Men that seems to serve no discenrable purpose other than setting up a bunch of other unrelated time travel stories. The Kingdom is alluded to, along with some other kinds of stuff. It just doesn't feel like it should be there, and it's done is a ridiculously confusing way with the holo images of Liri Lee and Hunter repreated a ton. But Liri was there in person, except actually she was dead, or something, and then she was a bunch of repeated pink ghosts, but some of them were actually Hunter once I looked REALLY closely.
In Conclusion: 4/5
This is just as large and epic as the beginning, but it suffers from a few very awkward moments that perhaps could've been filled in with a few tie-in issues that perhaps were planned but taken in a different direction. Either way, it's still a very essential part of this story which is still as impressively ambitious as hell.