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Zero Hour: Crisis in Time!
Zero Hour Crisis in Time (collection).jpg
Cover of the Zero Hour: Crisis in Time trade paperback,
art by Dan Jurgens
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
ScheduleWeekly
FormatLimited series
Publication dateSeptember 1994
No. of issues5
Main character(s)DC Universe
Creative team
Created byDan Jurgens
Jerry Ordway
Written byDan Jurgens
Penciller(s)Dan Jurgens
Inker(s)Jerry Ordway
Letterer(s)Gaspar Saladino
Colorist(s)Gregory Wright
Editor(s)K.C. Carlson
Collected editions
Zero Hour: Crisis in TimeISBN 1563891840

"Zero Hour: Crisis in Time!" is a comic book crossover storyline published by DC Comics in 1994, consisting of an eponymous five-issue limited series[1] and a number of tie-in books.

In the storyline, Hal Jordan, a member of the intergalactic police force known as the Green Lantern Corps, goes mad with grief after the destruction of his home town of Coast City during the "Reign of the Supermen!" storyline and attempts to destroy and remake the DC Universe after having obtained immense power as Parallax. The issues of the limited series were numbered in reverse order, beginning with issue #4 and ending with #0.[1] The crossover involved almost every DC Universe monthly series published at the time.

Background

Zero Hour: Crisis in Time! was the follow-up to the Crisis on Infinite Earths limited series. This event served as an opportunity to reconcile continuity problems left unaddressed by Crisis and other problems that had been unintentionally caused by it. In particular, the revised characters of the post-Crisis universe had been rolled out gradually, with DC continuing to feature the old versions until the new versions were launched.

Plot

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The story begins when characters from alternate realities such as Alpha Centurion, an alternate version of Batgirl, and Triumph suddenly start appearing in the DC Universe. A wave of entropy then moves from the end of time to the beginning, erasing entire historical ages in the process.

The villain of the story is Extant, formerly Hawk of the duo Hawk and Dove. Extant has acquired temporal powers, using them to unravel the DC Universe's timeline. In a confrontation with the Justice Society of America, Extant ages several of them — removing the effect that has kept them young from the 1940s into the present day — leaving them either feeble or dead. However, the true villain behind the destruction of the universe turns out to be Hal Jordan, a member of the Green Lantern Corps. Calling himself Parallax, Jordan has gone insane and is now trying to remake the universe, undoing the events which have caused his breakdown and his own murderous actions following it. The collective efforts of the other superheroes manage to stop Parallax from creating his vision of a new universe, and the timeline is recreated anew, albeit with subtle differences compared to the previous one, after the young hero Damage, with help from the other heroes, triggers a new Big Bang. Although Jordan was severely weakened from using so much energy, he manages to survive even after Green Arrow shoots an arrow into his heart.

Parallax (Hal Jordan, center), about to recreate the DC Universe in his image. Also pictured (clockwise from upper left): Time Trapper, Metron of the New Gods, Extant, the Spectre, and Superman. Art by George Pérez, from Green Lantern Gallery #1.
Parallax (Hal Jordan, center), about to recreate the DC Universe in his image. Also pictured (clockwise from upper left): Time Trapper, Metron of the New Gods, Extant, the Spectre, and Superman. Art by George Pérez, from Green Lantern Gallery #1.

Aftermath

DC published a fold-out timeline inside the back cover of Zero Hour #0 which identified various events and key stories and when they occurred. Although fixed dates were given for the debut of historical characters such as the JSA, the debut of Superman was presented as "10 years ago" and subsequent dates were expressed the same way, keeping the calendar years of these events fluid and relative to the present as a way to keep the characters at their present ages.

The Legion of Super-Heroes was completely rebooted following Zero Hour, and the various Hawkman characters were merged into one. Each ongoing series at the time retold the origin of its heroes in a #0 issue published after the end of Zero Hour and resumed their previous numbering the following month or went on to #1.

Tie-in issues

Series ending with Zero Hour

Series rebooted during Zero Hour

Series launched following Zero Hour

Zero Month

Following the end of Zero Hour, every DC Universe title published a #0 issue retelling the character or team's origins and featured the slogan "The Beginning of Tomorrow!" in an event dubbed "Zero Month".[citation needed]

Booster Gold #0 (2008)

In 2008, 14 years after the end of Zero Hour, an issue of Booster Gold (vol. 2) was published as "Booster Gold #0", and was announced as an official Zero Hour tie-in by DC Comics. The issue used the same cover style as the previous tie-ins to the event, referring to the "Crisis in Time" and using the semi-metallic "fifth color" ink used on the original Zero Hour issues. Like the other tie-in issues, Booster's origin was explained as part of the adventure in the issue. The cover was a homage to Zero Hour #4, with Ted Kord's mask replacing Wally West's, alternate Blue Beetles replacing the alternate Hawkmen and the superheroes around the edges replaced by Booster in the center.[2]

Collected editions

A trade paperback collecting Showcase '94 #8–9 (1994) and Zero Hour: Crisis in Time! #4–0 (1994), titled Zero Hour: Crisis in Time!, was released in 1994.[3] A trade paperback collecting the Batman tie-in issues, titled Batman: Zero Hour, was released on June 7, 2017.[4] A trade paperback collecting the Superman tie-in issues, titled Superman: Zero Hour, was released on June 20, 2018.[5] A hardcover collection collecting Showcase '94 #8–9 (1994), Zero Hour: Crisis in Time #4–0 (1994), the Zero Hour Sampler and including a new foreword by Dan Jurgens, was released on May 8, 2018.[6] A 25th Anniversary DC Omnibus edition collecting Showcase '94 #8–9 (1994), Zero Hour: Crisis in Time #4–0 (1994), all of the tie-in issues, and including a foreword by Dan Jurgens, an afterword by series editor KC Carlson, and promotional and behind-the-scenes material, was released on October 23, 2019.[7]

References

  1. ^ a b Cowsill, Alan; Wallace, Daniel (2010). "1990s". In Manning, Matthew K.; Dolan, Hannah (eds.). DC Comics Year By Year: A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 266. ISBN 9780756667429. In DC's blockbuster Zero Hour, writer/artist Dan Jurgens and finisher Jerry Ordway crafted a five-issue story that began with issue #4, and counted backward to zero.
  2. ^ Booster Gold (vol. 2) #0 (Feb. 2008)
  3. ^ Jurgens, Dan (1994). Zero Hour: Crisis in Time. DC Comics. ISBN 1563891840.
  4. ^ Batman: Zero Hour. DC Comics. June 7, 2017. ISBN 9781401272586.
  5. ^ Superman: Zero Hour. DC Comics. June 20, 2018. ISBN 978-1401280536.
  6. ^ Jurgens, Dan (May 8, 2018). Zero Hour: Crisis in Time (hardcover ed.). DC Comics. ISBN 978-1401278519.
  7. ^ Jurgens, Dan (October 23, 2019). Zero Hour: Crisis in Time 25th Anniversary Omnibus. DC Comics. ISBN 9781401294366.