Redesign Rewind: DC One Million!

Note: Comics companies are always re-inventing their character’s looks to keep with the ever-changing times, but back in 1998 DC Comics took that to the nth degree by re-imagining their entire universe into the 853rd Century. Titled DC One Million, it was a crossover storyline dreamt up by Grant Morrison and Val Semeiks (with a host of other creators involved) that reinterpreted the classic costumes of the core heroes in the Justice League all the way to characters like the Legionnaires, Lobo, Hitman and even Resurrection Man. While not all of the designs were home runs (or even base hits), flipping through this imaginative arc shows you just how creative comics can be while still staying true to the superheroes we love. Take a look at this great pin-up by Phil Jimenez, and go looking for more in back issue bins, bookstore shelves and online! - Chris A.

25 comments on “Redesign Rewind: DC One Million!
  1. I remember I think I was about 11 or 12 years old when Wizard magazine had a contest to Re-design characters in a “DC 1-Million” look. I actually drew submissions for all of those contests, never sent any in, but I still have my Batman’s Rogues Gallery 1-Million sketches. I don’t know why a 5th grader (back then) would have drawn “two faces” sewn together onto a mechanical wheel, but I did.
    Anyway, I only got Catwoman monthly back then and can only comment that that was one weird costume.

  2. I would be shocked if that wasn’t drawn by Phil Jiminez. That Superman is exactly his style, and he is definitely a go-to DC guy for crowded splash pages.

  3. Superman and Batman were great. Wonder Woman just looked like a statue in a bathing suit, which was weird. Hourman is pretty damn cool. Aquaman went full-on Poseidon. The Flash seemed a bit odd, looking more like a Byrne-era Kryptonian trying to imitate The Flash. Superboy is probably one of the worst things I’ve ever seen. It’s like the artist said to himself “wouldn’t it be great if Superboy was Mr. T?” And, while that admittedly would be great, the design was subpar to say the least.

  4. Chris – of course I can pick out Supes, WW and Flash…and by spatial association maybe Aquaman (he’s the green guy, right?) … possibly Batman because of the black cape, but he’s pictured pretty small.

    Most of these are forgettable IMO. But I gotta ask, who or what is the giant-flaming-spiked eyeball??? I hope it’s Atom because that would be pretty original

  5. Jay, that’s Solaris, the villain of the piece.

    I enjoyed this series, for the most part. Sort of all over the place, as all these crossovers tend to be, but the core concepts by Morrison were mostly fun. I don’t know that I loved any of the costumes in particular. I thought the idea was that they were so modern that they were hard to relate to.

  6. The big flaming eyeball thing is Solaris the Tyrant Sun. Morrison used him for One Million then again in All Star Supermen.

  7. Jay: I gotta ask, who or what is the giant-flaming-spiked eyeball??? I hope it’s Atom because that would be pretty original

    No, it’s not The Atom. That’s Solaris the Tyrant Sun! He was a character introduced by Grant Morrison. The Atom is there though. See Wonder Woman and Aquaman? Notice those two little red guys hovering above their shoulders? That’s The Atom!

    Personally I thought the majority of these were great costumes and looks. Especially Starman. He has a bucket on this head and he still managed to look cool, I can’t explain it.

  8. Nah the flaming eye thing is Solaris, the main villain of the peice. There was an Atom One Million but I don’t see him in that pic, he was pretty neat; he multiplied as he shrank. So at half his height there was two of him, at a third there were three and so on.

    I liked most of the designs tho I do feel it was pretty conveniant that the legacies didn’t mingle and mesh in the ensuing centuries, nevermind the fact that no new legacies popped up.

  9. The flaming sun is Solaris, the villain of the miniseries, who showed up later in All-Star Superman, as did the 853rd C Superman. I love how DC 1 Million and All-Star Superman form their own sort-of mini-continuity. Kind of like following around all of the appearances of the Knight and Squire that Morrison writes.

  10. This makes me realize I keep meaning to dig those out and re-read them. And Jay, the giant flaming eyeball was Solaris, the Living Sun.

  11. The most impressive thing about this image is the sheer logistical nightmare it must have been to get these guys to pose together. Especially Giant Flaming Eyeball Meteor. He HATES getting his picture taken.

  12. Mike: Sorry for the double post, but I just noticed…Is that a female “Watchmen” Night Owl on the far right?

    That is Owlwoman, descendant of Owlman, an alternate universe version of Batman from the anti-matter universe of Qward.

  13. Daniel: Mike: Sorry for the double post, but I just noticed…Is that a female “Watchmen” Night Owl on the far right?
    That is Owlwoman, descendant of Owlman, an alternate universe version of Batman from the anti-matter universe of Qward.

    Duh.

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