Wednesday, May 17, 2017


I had something else planned for today, but I bumped it to share with you something I'd never before heard of, despite it being a "thing" during the same period when I briefly managed a comic shop. We probably had this, but I didn't care, and rightly so ...

Anyway, during Free Comic Book Day this year, I met a man in a home-made Zero Hour t-shirt. Turns out he might be the biggest Zero Hour fan in the world, if not the only Zero Hour fan in the world (I kid, I have several copies of many issues of Zero Hour, mostly because I like drawing rude stuff on those partially-white covers).

Among the many other pieces of Zero Hour-related wisdom which he shared with me, he alerted me to the presence of a promotional Zero Hour video created and released to comic shops on VHS in 1994. And it's available on YouTube.

Now, if you read this blog and don't know what Zero Hour is ... well, first off, congratulations. Secondly, here's what it was: DC's first attempt, following the Crisis on Infinite Earths, to shore up the inconsistencies in its new universe and simplify some confusing contradictions. And, like all of the subsequent attempts to do that very same thing, it actually made it much more confusing across the board. Let's just let Hawkman be Hawkman and stop trying to explain him, already.

Actually, this is a big problem with DC, and it's alarming to think about how far back it's gone; rather than exploring and building new continuities in stories, DC will periodically have a crisis-level event and then just sort-of, you know, tell you in a caption what changed in continuity. Convergence, Infinite Crisis, Rebirth, they've all just told the reader what continuity elements have changed. I'd rather just read a good story, myself, but then I'm from a college.

Whoops, got off-topic. So, during the blitz of Zero Hour -- which DC was clearly anticipating would be its new major event -- they released the video below. Some highlights of what you'll see in this breath-taking fourteen minutes of sheer Space Ghost Coast 2 Coast-lookin' video excellence:

  • Hal Jordan's Christian Bale voice
  • Hal Jordan sassing DC creators in his Christian Bale voice like a USA Network version of Mystery Science Theater 3000
  • Dan Jurgens talking timelines like a fucking nerd
  • Mike Carlin and Dan Jurgens talking about third-tier loser villain Conduit and Jurgens trying to sound like it's really cool and Carlin talking like he's explaining how timeshares work
  • "I remember you"
  • Denny O'Neil's hobo shirt and suspenders
  • Paul Kupperberg's Herb Tarlek tie.
  • Editor Pat Garrahy kind of laughing at the word "orphan" like it's the dumbest thing you can be
  • Augustyn's about to fucking lose it
  • How much Kevin Dooley looks like the Croyde Bowder of this video
  • Hey, it's Eddie Berganza, not sexually harassing someone for once!
  • "Hah. Hah. Hah."
  • "I declare the beginning of a new era!"
It's a roller coaster ride. Enjoy!


Mach Z said...

This was so,so,so great...and fuc@#$ing bizarre.

BillyWitchDoctor said...

"DC will periodically have a crisis-level event and then just sort-of, you know, tell you in a caption what changed in continuity."

And not just in the "events;" for as long as I stuck with the title, Geoff Johns' JSA was a constant exercise in continuity sanitation--devoting plot after plot to retconning "errors" that no sane person would even remember let alone care about, even while writers in other titles worked furiously to create new messes.

We were initially fed the excuse that something would be "fixed forever"--magic, cheap death/resurrections ploys, what have you--but it never seemed to work out that way. Now the constant rebooting just gives the creative staff free reign to haphazardly fling whatever poop they want at the wall, and anything that doesn't stick gets flushed away with the next 'boot (the most recent example being the New52 Superman/Wonder Woman relationship). "Ah, freedom! ...Hey, why is our readership still declining?!?"

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