Zero Hour #4

ZH04Writer: Dan Jurgens

Penciller: Dan Jurgens

Inker: Jerry Ordway


Cover    The main image is a hand of Waverider holding the mask of the Flash. On the left of the cover, from top to bottom, are Superman, Green Arrow and Batgirl. On the right are Batman, Waverider and Green Lantern (GL) Hal Jordan.

Page 1 – Panel 1    Unlike Crisis on Infinite Earths which started with the creation of the Multiverse, here we start at the very end.

Page 1 – Panel 2    This is the Time Trapper, a long-time (no pun intended) villain of the Legion of Super-Heroes who’s just about to meet his match.

Page 2 – Panels 1 to 4    The unseen villain of the piece blasts the Trapper, possibly killing him.

Page 2 – Panels 5 to 8    The villain speaks of his plan to alter time as the body of the Time Trapper drifts away.

Page 3    And the whole thing starts with a bang at the end of time!

Page 4 – Panel 1    This is Apokolips, a planet ruled by . . .

Page 4 – Panel 2    . . . Darkseid of the New Gods who is being warned here by Metron, another New God who comes from Apokolips’s counterpart, New Genesis.

Page 4 – Panels 3 and 4    How Metron becomes aware of the universe unravelling isn’t explained; Darkseid’s arrogance prevents him from believing him.

Page 5 – Panel 2    On Earth, the Joker tries to escape.

Page 5 – Panel 5    He’s caught by Batgirl who, at this point, shouldn’t be up and around as she was paralysed by the Joker (though he didn’t know it at the time) and had recently started working as Oracle.

ZH04BatsAboundPage 6 – Panel 1    They’re joined by Batman and Robin. Batman’s obviously so startled to see her that he almost blurts out her real name, Barbara Gordon. The Joker’s remark of “What’s next? A Bat-Dog?!” is a slight dig at Ace, the Bat-Hound.

Page 6 – Panel 2    Robin sounds like he’s taking a little too much interest in her and not all that subtly.

Page 6 – Panel 4    The Robin she remembers was Batman’s first partner, Dick Grayson. This one is Tim Drake.

Page 7 – Panel 3    As Joker escapes, he mentions an “imposter” which refers to Jean Paul Valley, once Azrael and then, when Batman was incapacitated by Bane, took over the mantle of Batman for a while.

Page 7 – Panels 5 and 6    On the roof tops above them is the Dick Grayson Robin – who, by now, is actually Nightwing. Something has gone seriously wrong.

Page 8 – Panel 1    As the caption says, this is Vanishing Point, the home of the Linear Men.

Page 8 – Panel 2    Stunned by the blank screens is Matthew Ryder.

Page 8 – Panel 3    Entering the room are Waverider (flying) and Rip Hunter. Waverider and Ryder are two alternate versions of the same person. In one timeline – seen in the Armageddon 2001 story – Ryder becomes Waverider to prevent Monarch taking over the world. The Ryder seen here, however, is from a timeline where Monarch failed thus giving him no reason to become Waverider.

Page 9 – Panel 2    In the future, the 64th century to be exact, Flash battles Abra Kadabra, thinking he is responsible for the entropy rift threatening existence.

Page 10 – Panels 3 and 4    Together, Abra and Rip Hunter come up with a plan to collapse the rift using the Flash.

ZH04FlashDiesPage 11 – Panels 5 to 8    As Hunter and Waverider watch, the Flash begins to disintegrate as he heads into the rift. Hunter’s mention of “not another Flash!” refers to the death of Barry Allen in Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Page 12 – Panel 7    As Waverider grabs his costume, the Flash vanishes, pulled apart by entropy.

Page 13    Escaping into the time stream, Waverider and Hunter pledge to try again.

Page 14 – Panel 1    Batman and Superman meet up on the outskirts of a ruined Metropolis (note the makeshift camp site in the background) following the Fall of Metropolis storyline. Superman’s mention of Batman’s broken back refers to the Knightfall storyline.

Page 14 – Panel 2    “My injuries weren’t nearly as serious as yours.” says Batman because, really, a broken back is nothing to being killed.

Page 14 – Panels 3 and 4    Metron appears again as a doomsayer.

Page 15 – Panel 1    Back in the future, Waverider and Hunter find the anomaly once more.

Page 15 – Panel 3    Finding GL Hal Jordan in 5700 AD surprises Waverider; in Jordan’s very early adventures, he would occasionally be brought to the future to pose as Pol Manning, a fictitious hero. He would help the future and then be returned to his home time with his memories of the events removed.

Page 15 – Panel 4    The man with the white hair is Korlian Dasor, chairman of the Solar Council and the man who first had the idea of bringing Jordan into the future.

Page 15 – Panel 5    Hmmm, whatever could Dasor mean? While this might be foreshadowing for the reveal that comes later in the series, it is a moot point now as, at the time of writing in 2009, Jordan has gone through his “final, malevolent fate” and had a rebirth. Malevolent? Yes. Final? Not so much.

ZH04HunterConnectionPage 16 – Panels 1 to 3    Jordan is, however, unable to prevent the rift from slowing down. Hunter finally makes a connection with the Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Page 17 – Panel 1    As Waverider flies through the timestream, he spots an anomaly which we’re about to see in a bit more detail.

Page 17 – Panel 2    Hawkman battles perennial Justice Society villain Vandal Savage.

Page 17 – Panels 3 to 5    The anomaly Waverider witnessed is bound to Hawkman whose convoluted continuity and history in the DC universe at this point was headache inducing. Various versions of Hawkman are shown but apart from the original (the only one shown in full) I only recognise the two to the right of him: the first is the Hawkworld version; the next from Dan Jurgens’s Justice League America storyline, Destiny’s Hand.

Page 18 – Panels 1 and 2    Dr. Mist, an immortal, plans to summon his team, the Leymen.

Page 18 – Panel 3    GL Kyle Rayner. He hasn’t been a Lantern long at this point and has recently suffered his girlfriend, Alexandra DeWitt, being killed by Major Force.

Page 18 – Panel 5    Superman turns up with Metron to enlist his help getting Superman’s message to other heroes.

Page 19 – Panel 1    This is Donna Troy during her stint with the Darkstars.

ZH04GAWorriesPage 19 – Panel 2    Aquaman.

Page 19 – Panel 3    The Titans: the tall hooded guy is Phantasm; on the left is Red Star; next to him is Pantha; in the foreground is Changeling.

Page 19 – Panel 4    Superboy.

Page 19 – Panel 5    The Atom.

Page 19 – Panel 6    Green Arrow (I’m taking this as Panel 6 because the Atom’s dialogue runs in to it.)

Page 19 – Panel 7    The Ray.

Page 19 – Panel 8    Inza and Kent Nelson who, combined, are Dr. Fate.

Page 19 – Panel 9    Geo-Force at the top of the panel, Katana in front of him.

Page 19 – Panel 10    Anima.

Page 20 – Panel 1    GL Rayner’s question about getting “hold of all the big guns” seems a little incongruous when the list above is viewed. At the time, none of them – perhaps with the exception of Aquaman and Superboy – were really A-listers.

Page 20 – Panel 4    Despite being asked to help, the Spectre refuses as, at this point, the entropy rifts are seen as “natural disasters” which, as the spirit of vengeance, he has no concerns with.

Page 21 – Panels 5 to 8    Back at Vanishing Point, Waverider learns of the Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Page 22 – Panel 1    The Justice Society assemble with Hawkman and Vandal Savage. Left to right are Flash, Wildcat, the Atom, Dr. Mid-Nite and Hourman.

Page 22 – Panel 2    GL Alan Scott arrives. As Hawkman says, he looks different: this is due to a recent costume change as well as becoming a lot younger.

Page 22 – Panels 4 and 5    Vandal Savage disappears, destroyed by the entropy rift in the past.

Page 23 – Panels 1 and 2    Waverider, stunned at the revelations concerning the Crisis, finds the Justice Society and explains what happened to Savage.

Page 23 – Panels 3 and 4    The Flash is told of the death of his successor.

Page 23 – Panel 6    At Vanishing Point, the Linear Men have been overcome. Laying on the floor on the left is Liri Lee; on the right Matthew Ryder.

Page 23 – Panel 7    And the villain of the piece is revealed – Extant!

ZH04Extant

Deaths in this issue:

  • The Flash – killed by an entropy wave
  • Vandal Savage – killed by entropy

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