Thursday, September 24, 2015

All-Star Comics - Zeroed Out!

Zero Hour was a later reasonably well-crafted but ultimately uninteresting attempt by DC to yet again tap the vein which the original Crisis on Infinite Earths had done so exceedingly well some years before. Here again is a giant threat which spans the entire DCU and which by the end revises substantially much of what had existed before. But unlike the Crisis which arguably filled a need, Zero Hour merely filled a desire for more profits and while that's perfectly understandable for a company to wish for, it undermines the ultimate value of the effort. That and it pretty much failed. Few if any of the character changes which resulted from Zero Hour seemed to linger much past the event itself.

For Justice Society fans though the Zero Hour was mostly regrettable in that once again the mavens of DC tried to off the JSA seeing the vintage heroes as old and out of step, and once again missing the delightful texture to the fictional DC universe the existence of such venerable heroes can bring. DC it seems is always wanting to revise its history and sadly all too often ignoring the rich vibrant history it already has.

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  1. I'd like to underscore some of your points and add a few,

    These constant mega-crossovers and history revisions are largely responsible for driving older fans like me away. I was on board for the original Crisis series, which arguably set up a significant new lineup for the first time in years and recruited some major talent to restart the DC titles ( Miller, Byrne, Perez et al). It felt like big news at the time. but seemed to ultimately make things worse or, at the very least, pointless.

    (1) Crisis itself was something of a shaggy dog story, with the Spectre coming in at the end and rendering most of the previous struggle moot. (2) Continuity was more confused than ever as separate line editors didn't hew to the new order or didn't care to figure it out.(3) Eliminating all of the other Earths took away a problem that didn't need solving and took away so many story possibilities that work-arounds were inevitably patched together that were less elegant than what they started with,

    The art in Crisis was beautiful and something of a virtuoso performance. Considering how big a deal it was supposed to be, it's a shame about the lousy printing and the change in inkers.

    Every time one of these big gang-bangs happens, it devalues the very concept by reminding us how shaky any revision, character death or universe explosion is. After a while. one loses interest in keeping track or investing time in a series or character that could be voided at any moment. I like the idea of big crossovers in superhero comics. but I'd also like to be able to enjoy favorite characters just having adventures and fighting bad guys without fretting over reality warps. (The Blue Beetle is a kid and the Question is a woman? Why bother buying characters if you're going to change who they are and how they look?)

    The reality is that comics cost a lot compared to those first mega-crossover days,and if someone has to buy everything to get one story, then one is just as likely to opt out of the whole process.

    Sorry, Rip. You were saying..?

    1. I was saying nice analysis. I have my own take on the Crisis, which I rather like as a pure story upcoming in a few days. But your take is pretty valid in many respects. The Crisis was about growth too, a bit, since it added the Charlton Action Heroes to the DCU, but what it did to the JSofA is a shame.

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