Monday, 18 November 2013

Monday Memories #46 - Zero Hour #1

Each Monday this year I'll be taking a look back at a random comic, prestige format issue, graphic novel or collection of reprints from amongst my 3,000 or so comics that date from 1962 to 2003 - I figured anything in the last ten years would be too recent to hark back to.

The comics are chosen completely at random and apart from a four week lead-in period, even I don't know what I'll be looking at in the weeks to come!

ZERO HOUR #1 - September 1994

The penultimate issue (it was numbered from #4 to #0) of DC's 1994 crossover summer event that attempted to fix some of the continuity problems left over from Crisis on Infinite Earths - that's right, it took them almost ten years to try and fix the fix.

That said, it's a good old romp written by Dan Jurgens with art by Jurgens and the ever excellent Jerry Ordway. I'm sure you all know the story by now but Hal Jordan, driven mad by grief, has decided to use his new found time altering powers to restart the universe so that he can make everything right again. No destruction of Coast City, no massacre (by Jordan) of the Green Lantern Corps, no crippling of Batgirl. Everything will be fine.

Of course, the old omelettes and eggs issue comes up and as his partner in crime is the time travelling despot Extant (once Monarch, once Hawk) his methods are called into question by the heroes once they become aware of them. Said methods include the ageing and, in some cases death, of the Justice Society members, forcing Starman to pass on his cosmic rod to his sons:

even as the Earth is obliterated by fissures in time, one of which even takes out none other than Batman:

Once Extant has served his purpose, Jordan reveals himself under the new name of Parallax and finishes the job Extant started, tearing the final parts of the universe apart so that he can start anew.

Like I said, it's a good superhero story which despite the subject matter, never seemed particularly grim or gritty. Heroes died but did so fighting the good fight (and most of them were brought back anyway) and even the villain of the piece was acting with the best of intentions, even if he went about it in a very questionable way.

Couple that with Jurgens and Ordway on art and you've got a good, solid crossover event which was done and dusted in just a month, something that the heads of DC could learn from these days.


  1. Oh wow Gary. This post brings back so many memories as 13-year old reading this event. It was my age/generation's CRISIS oddly enough, complete with us all wondering, "Wow, they're really killing off Wally!?" Thankfully that was saved for for another 10 plus years, but wow what a story for the time. I can't say I didn't even mind Hal's heel turn since he really was sympathetic in that he wanted to right past and current wrongs. He just went over the edge due to grief. It's why when Rebirth happened, people still had a hard time reconciling that Hal and this one.

    I still have and love the back part of the trade that shows you a the timeline of how things ended up. Just awesome.

    1. It's great, isn't it? Always had a soft spot for Jurgens (more for the art than the writing if I'm honest) and I really enjoyed Zero Hour even if it never really solved the problems it set out to.

      And yeah, the pull out timeline at the end of issue #0 was great - I love that sort of thing! Just a shame it became outdated within a year or two!

  2. Very, very true, but you can at least respect what Jurgens attempted. I've always preferred his art to his writing as well, but it's not like he's the worst at the writing aspect.


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