Friday, October 21, 2022

Zero Hour #0 annotations: All the Way to the End of Today

Annotations forZero Hour #0:


  • Cover: I wonder who got paid for the original art?
  • The Legionnaires, having ceased to exist, do not appear in this issue.
  • Page 4: Hal Jordan, now Parallax, wants to remake the universe and fix what he thinks is wrong with it
  • Page 6 panel 4: Parallax talks about the end of time where entropy exists, that is effectively the incarnation of the Time Trapper. But time being an infinite loop is the incarnation of the Infinite Man.
  • Page 7: everyone here supposedly has a purpose for being here
  • Page 9 panel 2: Parallax considers bringing back an Earth where the JSA can exist, the re-creation of Earth-2 for the JSA was seriously considered as part of the ending to Zero Hour, but ultimately rejected
  • Page 11 panel 2: Alpha Centurion and Batgirl decide to take Parallax’s side because if he loses, their worlds won’t exist
  • Page 13: It’s the Spectre! I guess Jay Garrick’s words to him last issue finally got through
  • Page 20: Damage has collected all the energy of Parallax’s new universe and explodes
  • Page 21: The post-ZH universe is reborn, but without the guidance from Parallax
  • Page 23: Batgirl and Alpha Centurion vanish as their worlds never came into being, this earth is has “slight differences” in the timeline from before and “all alternate timelines” have ceased to exist
  • Page 25 panel 1: Extant escapes
    • What happened to Extant after this? Not seen again for 5 years, until the 1999 one-shot Impluse: Bart Saves the Universe, when Extant tricks the Linear Men into saving the life of an innocent bystander who was supposed to die, which through a chain of events would have prevented Hal Jordan from becoming Green Lantern and so Parallax never would have stopped Extant. Impulse helps stop that. After a later battle against the JSA (#11-15, 2000), Extant is teleported by Hourman and Metron into being on the plane that Atom-Smasher’s mother was on when it crashed, taking her place and killing him instead. He later appeared as a zombie in Darkest Night (but as a time traveler he’s not really dead, right?). Hank Hall was then resurrected as Hawk as part of Brightest Day, and he and Dove were recruited to join the Birds of Prey.
  • Page 26 panel 4: back in the present, all of Parallax’s deeds are undone and anyone who died in the chronal fissures is fixed, but those who died by other means are still dead
  • Page 26 panel 6: But at least Power Girl’s son was born, that’s got to be good news for everyone, right?
  • Page 28 panels 3-4: in the forward to the 2018 re-release, Jurgens said that he intended Batgirl to be the new Time Trapper
  • In the afterward to the collected edition, editor KC Carlson discusses what new stories were going to be coming out of Zero Hour, from a new beginning of the Legion to Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, the Justice League teams, plus new series with Dr Fate, Manhunter, Starman, Damage, Primal Force, and more.
  • New sliding timeline introduced in this issue in a 4-page foldout

  • Reprint collections:
    • 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
    • A trade paperback collecting the Batman tie-in issues, titled Batman: Zero Hour, was released on June 7, 2017.
    • A trade paperback collecting the Superman tie-in issues, titled Superman: Zero Hour, was released on June 20, 2018.
    • 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.
    • 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.
  • As mentioned earlier, Parallax considers bringing back an Earth where the JSA can exist, the re-creation of Earth-2 for the JSA was seriously considered as part of the ending to Zero Hour, but ultimately rejected by DC Editorial.
What would have happened if the Hal Jordan/ Parallax character create[d] other Earths, I wanted one Earth to survive to put the JSA on, and give them back Earth-2. If you had that separation, they would always have a place to be where time could exist on its own, and they could exist with the DC Universe.
More than anything, it was an editorial decision that DC did not want to go through with it.
This is the end of the recaps of the 5YL timeline, which we started with episode 549 on April 15, 2019. So it’s taken exactly 3-1/2 years.

So here we have the last few days of story as ending with Zero Hour. I'm color coding them based on whether the date appeared in the 2995 Sourcebook (yellow), it's a confirmed date that was given in the comic (green), or an estimated date based on keeping track of events and days (cyan). Bold text is something new added this issue. Italics are unknown dates.

Due to the timelines in the stories bouncing between 2995 and 1994 and things happening "simultaneously" 1001 years apart, I'm keeping the events in the order that they happen to the people involved, not strictly chronological by day and year. To make it easier to follow, the 1994 dates will be inred textand anything outside of time (like at the beginning or end of time) will be inblue text.
  • Fri 9/29/95: Arriving at Weber’s World, the team tries to stop the Khunds’ bombs from destroying the planet; Dawnstar arrives and meets Wildfire; Firefist kills Veilmist; and after studying at the Infinite Library, Glorith travels to Tharn where she restores Mordru’s powers to help her conquer the universe (LSHv4 #58). Meanwhile, SW6 Brainy & Triad find that Valor has been retconned from history (Valor #13, Legionnaires #16 pages 9-10), so a team of Legionnaires goes back in time to find out what happened (Valor #14, Legionnaires #16 page 10).
    • Outside of time: the Legionnaires enter the time stream and crash their Time Bubble (Valor #15); the Legionnaires fight Valor and find out that Lori is Glorith (Valor #16), and then fight Glorith, but Valor succumbs to the effects of his lead poisoning and dies; SW6 Valor appears (Valor #17); Brainiac 5 tells SW6 Valor that he will have to spend another 1000 years in the Phantom Zone in order to save time, and Valor does not take it well (Valor #18), but the presence of Waverider and seeing his fellow Legionnaires vanish changes his mind. Once he accepts his fate, the Legionnaires appear back in their own time and the legend of Valor is restored (Valor #19, Legionnaires #16 page 11. From Vanishing Point, the Linear Men see a timequake affect the 30th century (Valor #20), which causes Dream Girl and Star Boy to appear (Legionnaires #16).
    • The Legionnaires instantly return to their present, unaware of their meeting with Glorith and the Valors (Valor #15-19, Legionnaires #16 page 11); Star Boy, Dream Girl, and Bouncing Boy appear with the Legionnaires and Ferro Lad is long dead, leading Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, and Lightning Lad – who seem to be the only ones aware that something funny is going on – to take a Time Bubble to figure it out (even though Invisible Kid and Rond Vidar are secretly aware that something’s happening); Polestar appears at New Earth (Legionnaires #16, LSHv4 #59); Rond, SW6 Brainiac 5, and SW6 Invisible Kid arrive on Weber’s World in a time bubble at the same time as with Mon-El, Shadow Lass, and Dev-Em, but they're all too late to prevent the death of Laurel Gand from the Khund bomb; Jo leaves for 1994 to find Tinya (LSHv4 #59). The SW6 Legionnaires confront Polestar at New Earth (Legionnaires #17).
  • Sat 8/6/1994: Valor tries to re-create the feats he did before he went into the Phantom Zone, but fails; the Linear Men watch Valor from Vanishing Point (Valor #20). As a result of the timeline issues, Valor splits into multiple copies of himself and manages to do all the things that legend said he did over the years, in just a few hours, then resigns himself to having Glorith send him back to the Bgztl Twilight dimension. But the Linear Men realize it’s too late, the future is doomed (Valor #21).
  • Sun 8/7/1994: Jo Nah arrives from the future in the time bubble (L.E.G.I.O.N. #68). He meets who he thinks is Tinya, but it turns out to have been her cousin Enya all along. He wants to bring her back to the 30th century (L.E.G.I.O.N. #69).
  • Sat 9/30/95: Laurel Gand is laid to rest on Shanghalla in a ceremony attended by a number of adult and SW6 Legionnaires, after which Glorith and Mordru attack the group with replicas of some of their old foes and kidnap Rokk, and then Dawnstar fades out (Legionnaires #17). Valor and others go to New Earth to help RJ Brande bring Pocket Earth into this universe, but while the Subs and several Legionnaires blink out of existence, Pocket Earth turns out to be unstable and will explode in 72 hours (Valor #22). Rokk tries but can’t escape Mordru and Glorith (LSHv4 #60).
  • Sun 10/1/95: Rokk escapes Mordru and Glorith by going into the Infinite Library; the surviving members of the adult and SW6 Legions meet on Winath to help look for Rokk, but when Glorith and Mordru show up on Talus seeking the Time Beacon, the Legions go there. The magicians call forth the Infinite Man, and then they take his powers. Gim Allon disappears when his SW6 counterpart Leviathan is killed (LSH v4 #60).Mordru and Glorith begin to remake the universe, and the Legion teams fight them and their evil dopplegangers. But one by one, more Legionnaires fade out. Mysa manages to break Mordru and Glorith apart which causes their spell to fail, at least temporarily, before she fades out (Legionnaires #18). Valor and Shadow Lass meet Pre-Crisis Superboy, who helps the Legions fight Glorith and Mordru. The team beats Glorith, and her Infinite Man powers flow to Valor. He then dumps it all on Mordru, who is unprepared to have his mind merge with the universe. Mordru teleports away into the core of Pocket Earth, which is ready to explode in a couple of days. Valor and Shady vanish, and after Superboy makes a rousing speech, he too vanishes (Valor #23).
  • End of Time: Time Trapper is blasted by someone unknown, who starts to destroy time from the end going backwards and from the dawn of time going forwards (Zero Hour #4).
  • 8/8/1994: Jo tries to go back to the future with Enya/Phase, but at the last second she leaves him and returns to her L.E.G.I.O.N. team (L.E.G.I.O.N. #70). His time bubble is blocked from going to the future moments later. SW6 Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, and Livewire fall out of the timestream in 1994, where they are met by Jo (Legionnaires #18). Meanwhile, the pre-Crisis Earth-1 Kal-El Superboy appears after helping the Legion and meets Kon-El Superboy in Smallville. Kal-El quickly realizes that this is a mix of his town and the post-Crisis Byrne version, and after a fight with Kon-El he realizes that he is the time anomaly here. Kon-El tells Kal-El that he will carry on the job as Superboy, and Kal-El vanishes (Superboy v3 #8). Batman, Superman, Metron, and GL Kyle Rayner contact heroes, including Emerald Dragon and the SW6 founders (Legionnaires #18) and Kon-El (Superboy v3 #8), to join up in New York City (Zero Hour #4).Metron notices that Impulse is from the 30th century (Zero Hour #3).
  • End of Time: Rokk spends an infinite amount of time in the Infinite Library and meets the Time Trapper when he finally escapes (Legionnaires #18).The Time Trapper explains his history and reveals that the SW6 Legionnaires were taken from time by him, not cloned by the Dominators. But their continued existence warped time and caused the Trapper to go insane trying to “fix” things to actually protect the Legion from the Zero Hour energy wave (Valor #23). He then reveals himself to Rokk that the two of them are really temporal duplicates (Valor #23, also shown in Zero Hour #3).
  • 8/8/1994: In the middle of the night, SW6 Saturn Girl, Livewire, and Cosmic Boy and Emerald Dragon join the gathering of heroes, including Superboy and Impulse (Zero Hour #3). Vril Dox launches a probe into the time stream to try to figure out what’s going on; it will reappear in ZH #1 (L.E.G.I.O.N. #70, Zero Hour #3).While trying to save NYC, Emerald Dragon reminds Booster Gold that they’ve met before. Afterwards, Waverider tells the heroes that they must try to stop time from eating itself in the past and in the future; the Legionnaires choose to go on the future mission, as this is their only way home. (Zero Hour #2)
  • Beginning of Time: Waverider leads a team to the distant past. They are attacked by Extant, and Waverider sends the heroes back to their own time (Zero Hour #2).
  • 10/2/2995: Meanwhile, Superman leads a team to New Earth in the 30th century where they see “the end of time and space”. Metron devises a plan to stop the future from collapsing; Captain Atom blasts Metron’s Mobius Chair inside a boom tube which apparently saves the day in the future. Polestar arrives with Time Trapper, who sends the 20th century heroes back to their home while the Legionnaires remain in the 30th century (Zero Hour #2).
  • 8/8/1994: Extant says that he was not supposed to lose in the 30th century (Zero Hour #2).
  • 10/2/2995: A little while later later, someone appears in the 30th century and reopens the rift in time to make sure things happen correctly (Zero Hour #2).The remaining Legionnaires (adult and SW6) arrive on Pocket Earth from Talus, only to find that they can’t stop the imminent destruction of the planet. The Time Trapper brings Rokk and the Legionnaires who just helped out at New Earth to Talus, and tells them that they are temporal duplicates and the only way to save the universe is by combining all of the counterparts (LSH v4 #61). The Time Trapper leaves the Legionnaires on Pocket Earth, saying the future is in their hands. It’s now a group of both adult and SW6 Garth, Imra, and Rokk, and the Trapper’s Iron Curtain of Time is the only thing protecting them. The Legionnaires and the universe fade to white (LSH v4 #61, Zero Hour #1).Then the Time Trapper confronts someone, who blasts him again and apparently destroys him. The 30th century fades to white (Zero Hour #1).
  • 8/9/1994: Heroes from the future start disappearing – first Impulse, then Booster Gold. Metron theorizes that the time entropy wave is coming back through time and that their times are now gone. At Vanishing Point. Superman and Kyle retrieve Vril Dox’s time probe (from Zero Hour #3 and L.E.G.I.O.N. #70) for Atom to use its components in creating a new Waverider. Later, on Earth, the one behind it all reveals himself: it’s Hal Jordan, aka Parallax, who says he knows how to fix the universe, even if it means destroying it. Hal was the one who stripped the Time Trapper of his powers and killed him, and Hal has decided that the universe needs him as a protector and he wants to reboot the universe (Zero Hour #1).
  • Dawn of Time: Hal Jordan, now Parallax, wants to remake the universe and fix what he thinks is wrong with it. The Spectre joins the fight and the heroes funnel the energy of Parallax’s new universe into Damage, who explodes, re-creating the universe but without the guiding hand of Parallax. Waverider says there will be slight differences from what they knew before. Power Girl’s son is born (Zero Hour #0).
  • End of Time: The new Time Trapper is glimpsed at the end of time (Zero Hour #0).