Zero Hour: Crisis In Time #0
DC Comics (September, 1994)
WRITER/LAYOUT: Dan Jurgens
INKER: Jerry Ordway
COLORIST: Gregory Wright
ASSISTANT EDITOR: Mike McAvennie
EDITOR: KC Carlson
Time no longer exists, the universe no more. But Hal Jordan, the former Green Lantern calling himself Parallax, plans to recreate the very universe he destroyed, controlled not by nature but his hand. He has the power from absorbing leftover energy from the Crisis (as in Crisis On Infinite Earths) and knowledge taken from the Guardians. While some of the remaining heroes question whether or not to support him despite all of the lives lost he claims he will restore, all eventually see how extreme he will go when he tries to kill Damage, an important part of the new Waverider’s plan to restore the natural order of the universe. It’s Green Arrow who finally stops Hal, with Hal and Kyle lost to the timestream. However, time is reformed and with some minor changes all is as it was and should be. Not that it matters to Green Arrow. He saw the sacrifice of a Batgirl that was but now is not, and he was force to kill his best friend to save all of reality. With the greatest victory has come the greatest losses.
What they got right: The biggest stories need the biggest finishes and this miniseries delivers that. Every element works perfectly, from the character moments to the action, as well as great artwork by Jurgens, Ordway, and Wright on colors.
What they got wrong: The reason for this event is all I can give you. This was intended as a “soft reboot”, a way to clean up their mistakes because ever since Crisis On Infinite Earths DC seems to be unable to roll with their errors like Marvel…well, used to until the recent Battleworld arc. That’s why we get soft reboots like this and hard reboots like the New 52. To be fair the timeline in the back of the book seems to be trying to correct some of the post-Crisis errors that also dogged the New 52 (and 10 years of time works better for maintaining the Robin legacy than the 5 years of the New 52–and that was just three Robins and no Cassandra Cain or Stephanie Brown Batgirls), but this is to Crisis what Rebirth is to the New 52, a way to clean up mistakes they wouldn’t have if they were only paying attention to what they were doing and were better coordinated about it.
Recommendation: For all my complaints about DC and Marvel’s “eventitis” this is an example of how you do it right. (Probably easier when every storyline isn’t a huge event.) Great characters, great art, great action, and a satisfying finish that isn’t just setting up the next event but comes to a satisfying conclusion while Editorial allows the new status quo to actually exist for a while before shaking things up again. We’ll be looking at the fallout until my big comic organizing project is done in January (at least I hope it takes a week, which will be comic-review free unless I get a new one) but as its own story this is still worth picking up unless you really hate Hal Jordan as a bad guy, and I’m a not fan of the “fallen hero” myself.