Zero Hour Strikes! Zero Hour #1

It feels like Zero Hour #1 should be the beginning, but remember, the series is counting DOWN. So then it's the end? No because we're counting down to ZERO. Siskoid and Bass make sense of it all (or do they?) as in its penultimate chapter, Zero Hour switches villains and the crowd of heroes standing around in New York almost definitely probably kind of do something!

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Relevant images and further credits at: Zero Hour Strikes ep.15 Supplemental

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18 responses to “Zero Hour Strikes! Zero Hour #1

  1. 1996- This is also when The Sandman ends- on a very deep level I “fan-Cannon” that this is what happens when a universe based on stories has that happen to him. It one of two “comic-shop discussions” I was having at the time. I spent many hours of happy fan talk discussion about it.
    Also a lot of great new books came out of this and I was discovering a lot of non-superhero stuff. This was a great time to be a fan of comics- I don’t want to make it sound like I wasn’t enjoying being a comic fan at this time-
    Hal as Parallax an idea I think is brilliant, bring this badly done was such a headache. Most either liked it or didn’t. “Do you like it or not?” It’s not that simple.
    “Stop trying to please both sides.” I am not trying to please either. “You just hate Hal because you like Kyle.” I dislike him because of Arisa (and I was a year from liking Kyle)- I remember a lot of frustration linked to this issue-

  2. I remember being so excited by the end of this issue. I had wrongly guessed the big bad in the cape that was shown completely blacked out in a Zero Hour preview giveaway may be the Earth-Two Superman. Now, I didn’t WANT it to be him, because I didn’t want to see him be the villain. I guess I was just about 10 years ahead of myself, and that didn’t work out well for ANYONE.

    Hal being the baddie interested me because I thought they may use this to redeem what had happened to him in Emerald Twilight…which I only knew by reputation, because I refused to read it. I read about its coming in a Comic Buyers Guide article and was flabbergasted. Why not just kill Hal off if you want a new Lantern? Let him die a hero like Barry Allen!

    Of course, I was a few events ahead of myself with a redemption arc for Hal too.

    Interestingly, this comic was often overlooked in DC Secret Files when they would list Jack Knight’s first appearance. They always listed it as Starman #0, but that’s clearly not the case. It reminds me that Cindy and I REALLY need to get back to some Starman coverage at some point. There are plans in the works…


  3. Of course. Another cheap shot at Hawkman. We can’t all be Batman, Bass and Siskoid.

    Opal City is DC’s Baltimore or thereabouts. So not too bad of a hike to Gotham (New Jersey). Now I’m sure Siskoid will point out some “fact” about this – but keep in mind there is a bunch of b.s. comic science and physics, so there.

    This issue was so-so.

    Also, to Power Girl and her friends the baby’s birth is important – impending Armageddon or not. I wish your hearts could grow as they’re clearly three sizes too small.

  4. Among the many things wrong with Zero Hour: Crisis In Time was maybe the lamest covers of any major DC event. Three straight issues of Colorforms and just shy of two blank covers? They would have been better off recycling promotional art that featured actual composition instead of layers of stock figures laid on top of one another.

    The area once known as Coast City, California, 2 hours, 12 minutes ago.

    Too many commas, not enough periods.
    Guy’s red battle armor looked cooler than his Warrior look, but having to draw all those studs and segments had to weigh a body down.
    I don’t recall buying into the “death” of Steel, probably because his solo series was solicited at least a month past #0.
    Did Jurgens hand down Morrison-style plot points to Beau Smith for the Guy Gardner series, or is the entire “plot” of Zero Hour just Jurgens creating a patchwork of elements handed in by various group editors? Is this mini-series basically a surprisingly coherent mad libs of the 1994 DC Comics Editorial Presentation?
    Why is Extant? Like, why would you make this confusing hodge-podge fake antagonist when it would have been clearer to just use Monarch as a red herring?
    If Hal Jordan is unleashing entropy to swallow all of space and time, why not just kill Extant to insure that the one person best positioned to mess up the plan doesn’t?
    I realize most of these events devolve into exposititis, but I find Jurgens’ dialogue particularly leaden, not helped by the comic-booky lettering of Gaspar.

    Pocket Earth. The 30th Century. One hour, 58 minutes ago.

    The greatest impact of this mini-series was the first ground zero reboot of the Legion after over forty years of continuity. If this title had any integrity, they would have been the stars rather than a footnote.
    I realize this question is eventually “answered” by Geoff Johns, but how is it donning a cape made Hal Jordan start talking like Dr. Doom? His characterization is screwed.
    Nothing about Emerald Twilight made sense, especially Hal beating the entire corps by himself, but why would absorbing the Oan central power battery bestow mastery of time travel?
    Besides his having the power to do so being nonsensical, why would Hal wipe out space-time from both ends when his goal is to fix an incident that happened five minutes ago?
    If this was a power the Guardians of the Universe possessed, why not stop Krona from unleashing entropy in the first place?

  5. So because of my 96 as opposed to 94 error above I went back and looked at some of my old typed arguments/ saved BBS posts. I didn’t discover Kyle for a year. I didn’t discover Starman for at least a decade in trades. If it was not for The Sandman and some other Vertigo books I was not buying DC once this was over. It was that tease of the multiple earths being a thing I knew as I read it to be false. I bought the Zeros issues a few first issues- then dropped DC for over a year.
    Looking at my posts- I was accused of trolling because I liked the idea of Hal as Parallax. While also being excited that the multiverse is coming back- then I just stop posting. I remember being upset that I knew already the “won’t be enough” wasn’t actually bringing the multiverse back. I wasn’t happy and I quit DC. I also had some nasty personal notes about Hal Jordan’s fans that seem to pre-date the idea of H.E.A.T. –
    The discussions over the multiverse and how it is “bad writing” are interesting to reread. As I obviously think it’s a cool idea, but make some arguments about how it is a great way to reduce confusion.
    Not all of those hold up. However yeah- not getting the multiverse back broke my little fan heart- I am “that guy”.
    ((I think I only read Kyle as a reaction to H.E.A.T. once it became a thing, but I haven’t actually found evidence of it in the posts yet.))

  6. This series is limping to the finish line. As much as I LOVE Jack Knight Starman, this is a terrible comic. Is the baby birth stuff the sort of writing that Comicgaters long for?

    Starting to wonder what’s next up for you two when this run is done.

  7. I’m trying to think of anything I got out of this issue. Anything. Just one takeaway. Ah, ok, I’ve got two.

    Jay Garrick did more than any of the New York heroes. He actually sought out the Spectre and tried to get him involved. Yes, the old Flash that was being written out tried to accomplish something, unlike the rest of the “relevant” heroes. Ha!

    SIskoid caught the thing about Metron not blinking out like I did. But if the New Gods exist outside of time and space, why does Metron care about saving the universe? Can’t he just go back to New Genesis and Apokolips and continue his fun-n-games there? No, I think their worlds would be lost with the universe, so he should have blinked out a while ago. And why didn’t they do more blink-outs right up to Zero Hour? Adult heroes disappearing one by one, leaving just younger and younger heroes, until only Robin and then Superboy remain. Superboy would have to be the last hero left, being less than a year old. And how hilarious would it have been for Ex-taunt to fade, saying “aw crap.”

    Loving the show, but the comic? I think Zero Hour strikes … out.

  8. The revelation that the big bad of this series being Hal Jordan was one of those things I remember thinking was really cool back in 1994. I had been reading the Kyle Green Lantern series for a few months, but had yet to read Emerald Twilight, so Hal being evil was something I knew about but didn’t know how it happened yet. I see the faults of this revelation, but part of me still thinks it’s cool.

    The other memory the ending of this issue stirs is from my first summer here in Georgia. It was a weird time and the people I hung out with were…okay, some of them were fine one on one but as a group toxic masculinity doesn’t even begin to describe it. One of the favorite things the group would do when it came to razzing me was to make fun of Superman, which didn’t get much of a rise out of me but they thought it was hilarious. One of the guys loved to mention this issue because Superman got sucker punched.

    Glad that social dynamic fell apart late in the summer.

  9. So guys, tell us how you really felt about the issue…
    To tell the truth, I remember being underwhelmed at the time, but now it’s actually painful to re read. I couldn’t really put my finger on what was amiss (in addition to the very poor writing) and you nailed it on the rushed, almost incomplete, “big panel” art. Jurgens and Ordway were at the time working on Superman and elsewhere (Power of Shazam, maybe?) but this should have been big enough to give them the time off to do a better job here.
    I’m really looking forward to the review of the Zero Month, of which I have very fond memories, editorial mishaps nonetheless.

  10. New York City. 53 minutes ago.
    The last time stamp was 8 hours, 8 minutes ago.
    That’s a Nixonian-level suspect unaccounted for gap in time.
    Murders are covered up in that time frame. I’m launching a Mike’s Amazing World of Comics-fueled inquiry with Zapruder film-panel inspection.
    I went back and to the left to determine that Aquaman had already lost his hand by #3, as the obscuring of that extremity in #4 makes dating inconclusive.
    No, wait– they make a point of stating that there’s nothing else besides their little pocket of reality, so where else could they have gone? Why weren’t they all following Guy Gardner in Warrior #24?
    Hold up– how does that issue even happen if only a few pockets of space-time empowered by chronal-enthusiasts like Time Trapper are still in existence?
    Was Hawk-Monarch really rebranding, or was it simply a statement of fact that he was extant?
    Who honestly believes that Hank Hall of all people would know such a vocabulary test extra credit word?
    Invisibles #1 was released this week.
    I’m just going to assume that they were all having a Disney Memorial Orgy-type bacchanal that nobody has ever talked about.
    Poor Kara and her 8+ hour delivery suffering from the heat and stink of large scale metahuman rutting.
    No wonder Diana insisted on staring unblinking into the quickening.

    Gotham City. 40 minutes ago.
    How did Jay Garrick get younger after Zero Hour than he was during?

    New York City. 29 minutes ago.
    Oh, now we have to check in on New York every half hour?
    Because I could have sworn Geo-Force and Hawkman were still arguing about forming a committee to inquire about the protocols for potentially adopting a plan to eventually properly address the Crisis in Time?
    I never realized that there was such a rigid bureaucracy governing masked vigilantism.
    Given the “Flashes always die in a Crisis” angle of the earlier issues, shouldn’t Supergirl have been the one got timed out on page 4 instead of Steel, or in that trumped by the “black guy in [insert genre] always gets killed” trope?
    Tangentially related to the previous sentence, am I the only person consciously avoiding the word “great” these days.

    Vanishing Point. 24 minutes ago, Earth time.
    Metron couldn’t have answered Darkstar’s question during the five minute Boom Tube walk?
    I guess they are infamously loud.
    Why did Metron gather legions of heroes to treat a few square blocks of New York like an outdoor music festival for fetishists for spikes and fingerless gloves if it was going to come down to five guys taking a five minute jaunt to release a couple of Linear Men?
    I realize Metron is notoriously passive, but he alone had this, right?

    New York City. 14 minutes ago.
    Every quarter hour now– jeez!
    Aged Jay Garrick and Aged Ted Knight have the same face.
    Does this mean that Jay Garrick is the oldest member of the JSA?
    Despite Spectre’s protestations of autonomy, shouldn’t the erasure of Jim Corrigan be his last chance, given that he should have been wiped out with the Biblical times?
    Where was Comicsgate when Hal Jordan retconned Jesus Christ out of canon?
    Samantha Bee recently made a joke about inheriting her family’s ancestral Hitachi Wand from her grandmother, who was given it when her future husband proposed marriage.
    If it’s a Cosmic Rod, why can’t any of the Knights keep a woman?
    A Starman being made by being given a Cosmic Rod was subtext made text?
    I think that was the title of a Limp Bizkit album.

    The Chamber of the Leymen. 13 minutes ago.
    Continuation of the previous joke chain?
    Were we ever given an explicit statement of Extant’s motivation?
    Like, he doesn’t seem to be working with Parallax, who whipped his monkey ass.
    Was Dan Jurgens trying to redeem his work on Armageddon 2001 after Hank Hall was made the last minute change in identity for the mysterious Monarch, only for DC to insist on Parallax as the last minute change of villain in Zero Hour.
    If not, and Extant was only a pathetically contrived red herring, would the No Prize be that Hal was erasing the 2001 future where Monarch ruled, and all of this was a desperate power grab before the end times, and if so, why didn’t Extant join the heroes against Parallax?
    Which DC editor made a list of every word in the English language containing the letter “x,” and did that person foresee this story being Ex-Lax?
    Was is Assistant Editor Hope Donovan?
    Or were the creators referencing the singer Donovan, as in “Mellow Yellow,” because this book isn’t worth piss?
    I was going to make an “Eve of Destruction” joke, but that was Barry McGuire, hence the “Mellow Yellow” reach.
    But seriously, WTF did the Leymen do to Monarch in 2001, and did it involve a Cosmic Rod?

    New York City. 7 minutes, 34 seconds ago.
    You guys. there’s nothing happening in an eighth of an hour that didn’t happen in eight hours.
    I’m going to say what we’re all thinking– Extant looks cooler than Batman.
    Just me… alright… how about why is Batman talking to the megalomaniacal ex-Teen Titan when Nightwing is right there?
    Nothing says brilliant tactician and world-renowned heroic team leader like directing the amassed champions to “Hit him hard and fast with everything we’ve got.”
    What they’ve got is Batarangs©, plain wooden arrows, and flung late-teenage-girls, but you do what you can.
    Tangent: how was Batgirl slightly older than Robin but also a hold a master’s degree in library sciences and serve as a congresswoman?
    Further tangent: How many redheads under thirty served in DC’s U.S. congress (asking for Shag?)
    If the fate of the universe is at stake, why does Waverider take the time to brag to Atom about saving his life while taking his eyes off the guy who killed “him?”

    New York City. 60 seconds ago.
    They were directing traffic and throwing Batgirls at Extant for SEVEN MINUTES?!?
    Oh right, Hal Jordan didn’t get his dumb new codename before now, which only strengthens my laxative gag.
    Couldn’t get the license for Shag’s One-Punch℠ sound file?
    Did this issue just end with a repurposed Parallax style guide turnaround?
    Should I have ended that query with “Praised Be His Name?”

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