Hello everyone! I'm Chris Renshaw, and I run a blog called "Obsessive Comics Disorder" (ocdcast.com) where I have various podcast/videos about all the geeky things that I am into. Being a big comics fan, one of my favorite apps on iOS is the Comixology app. So each week, I'm going to bring you guys a new review of a comic (or series) that you guys can find on that app. This week, I'm talking about the 1994 DC Comics event "Zero Hour: Crisis in Time", written by Dan Jurgens and inked by Jerry Ordway (5 issues, $1.99 each).
Now understand, I've only been into comics for the past couple of years, so I did not originally read this event when it was originally published. About a month or so ago, Comixology ran a sale where each issue was only $0.99. I am an avid DC Comics fan, and I've been working on reading DC's major event books (Crisis on Infinite Earths, etc.), so I picked them all up. There are five issues, labeled Zero Hour #0 - 4.
Around the DC Universe, strange occurrences start to happen. People from alternate timelines begin to show up, confusing the heroes of the DCU. Gradually, they begin to learn that something (or someone....) has disrupted the timestream, causing temporal disruptions that are eating way the past and the future, working its way to destroy all of time and reality! Our heroes must work together to figure out what is going on and find a way to stop it before all of time and space is undone!
This was my biggest problem with this comic, as the way Comixology presented them, the issues started with #0 and ran through issue #4. So I opened up #0 and began reading. I was immediately confused by what I was reading, as I seemed to be jumping into the middle of a story. I couldn't understand anything that was going on. By the time that I got to #2, I realized that events were happening in reverse order. At first, I thought maybe that as a time travel event, this was on purpose. However, after looking up the event online, I found out that the books were supposed to be read in reverse; starting at Issue #4 and "counting down" to Issue #0. When I went back and read the books in the correct order, suddenly the story made more sense.
Just like any story dealing with time travel, there are a bunch of minor details that get overlooked. As the "disruptions" destroy parts of the timeline, characters from the past and future that have been moved to the present blink out of existence. Yet, if the past was vanishing, ALL our heroes would be gone. Other than that, the story is fairly straight forward (if you read it the correct way....). Just like any DC event, obviously the more you know about DC characters, the more you get out of their events, as you will recognize and understand more characters and their decisions that someone who hasn't read many DC books.
As someone who has gotten started reading modern day books, it's always weird going back and reading books from the past. With the advent of computers, modern artists have completely new tools that older artists did not have. Not only that, but every era has new "styles" of art that are popular, and reading outside of the style you are accustomed to can be interesting. The art is this book is fairly similar to others I've read from the 90's. There are a few times when the artist gets a little crazy with some of the coloring, but otherwise the artwork is pretty standard and gets the story across, which is crucial in a complex story such as this.
My Rating: 3 out of 5. It's a standard DC event, used to correct various "continuity errors" that came up during the 90's. If you are a DC comics fan, you'll enjoy seeing all your favorite characters. If not, you might be a little thrown off by the story. Just make sure that you read it in the right order....
Have you read this event? Do you agree/disagree? Do you have suggestions of other comics for me to review? Leave a comment below, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, you can follow me on twitter at twitter.com/ChrisTheProf.