Saturday, April 19, 2014

Zero Hour #2

Story and Pencil Art by Dan Jurgen
Ink Art by Jerry Ordway
Gaspar Letterer
Gregory Wright Colorist
Mike McAvennie Asst. Editor
KC Carlson Editor

There are a TON of characters on this cover, but the only one I care about is Impulse, who once again enjoys prominent placement. The other cool thing with this cover is the growing white space in the middle, which will get bigger and bigger the next two issues.

Waverider brings the Justice Society of America back to the present time, and when all is said and done, the original Atom, Hourman and Dr. Mid-Nite are all dead. The original Flash, Jay Garrick, says he's seen too many of friends die, including Barry Allen and Wally West, and he decides to retire. Jay exchanges a meaningful look with Impulse, but it's unlikely that he knows who he is. Rather, I believe he can feel Bart's connection to the Speed Force.

The remaining heroes then finally come up with a plan to stop the entropy destroying space and time at the past and future. Waverider takes a team to the past, while Metron takes a team to the future. To stop them, Extant sends the brainwashed Team Titans. I really don't know who any of them are, and it really doesn't matter, except for the two Team Titans who are able to resist the compulsion to attack — Mirage and Terra. We don't see a whole of Impulse here, but he does fight alongside Superboy and a few of his future Titans teammates.

Ultimately, the Team Titans are pretty easily defeated, and Metron is able to destroy the rift by sacrificing his Mobius chair. Extant is shocked to see the entropy destroyed, but a mysterious, unseen villain reopens the rift.

So yeah, there's not much to say here, since Impulse really didn't do anything to stand out. But I'm OK with that — this story has to focus on everybody, which means quite a few people have to spend some time in the background. All in all, this issue was still pretty fun, with great artwork. It does, however, address the inherent problem with big crossovers like this. In order to find a big enough threat to bring together all the heroes, Dan Jurgens ended up with something intangible and virtually impossible to destroy. Well, there are ways to destroy it, but they're rather boring and technical. What we all want to see is all these heroes actually fight somebody, hence the Team Titans. It wasn't the smoothest bit of the story, as it, like so many decisions in this story, reeks of editorial mandates. Jurgens tried to make every death and character alteration seem natural, but in hindsight, everything was oddly and annoyingly specific. Perhaps that's one reason why so many people forget about Zero Hour. There weren't really any massive changes, just a few subtle, yet specific tweaks.

Next time: Zero Hour #1

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