Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Crisis Time! - Adventures of Superman #516 and Zero Hour #2

This installment of Crisis Time is brought to you by Dwayne Wade: the newest fighter in the next Mortal Kombat game!

(by the way, if you haven't seen the teaser for Season 2 of Mortal Kombat: Legacy, go see it because it was Glorious!!!)

Welcome back to my look at the Zero Hour event. Today's issues are Adventures of Superman #516 and Zero Hour #2. I did not own these issues back in the day though I do vaguely remember reading Zero Hour #2 at some point in a store. In those days, the only places I would hang out in stores were either the toy section or the books section. This time, I'm switching up the order this time because ZH #2 literally takes place after ZH #3.

The creative team for Zero Hour #2 is the same as it was before. For the Superman issue, the credits for the creative team is pretty funny.  I'll just show ya.
  • Karl "Claudius" Kesel
  • Peter "Caesar" Krause
  • Jackson "Ausgustus" Guice
  • Glenn "Galerius" Whitmore
  •  Albert "Abionis" DeGuzman
  • Chris "Croesus" Duffy
  •  Frank "Petronius" Pittarse
  • Mike "Caligula" Carlin
If they only had a "Longinus"...

Zero Hour #2
12 hours, 36 minutes ago – The issue starts off right where the last issue left us. The JSA have been decimated and aged, Alan Scott’s ring is out of juice, and it’s revealed that Extant has Waverider’s powers. Waverider is peeved of course. He tries to fight Extant, but Extant has other plans. The villain teleports Waverider and the JSA away from Vanishing Point. Elsewhere, he amasses an army…or does he?

12 hours, 34 minutes ago – Back in New York City, the heroes are trying to figure out how to stop a 25th century city from crushing NYC. Through the power of the Mobius Chair and technobabble, the most powerful heroes are able to send the city back to the 25th century. After all of that craziness, the JSA and Waverider show up in New York. Everyone is shocked and they are told about what happened in Vanishing Point. Martian Manhunter takes the injured JSA members to a hospital. Both Jay and Alan quit the superhero life and go to join their friends at the hospital. Alan hands Kyle his old ring and tells him to take care of it. The other heroes plan to stop the ruptures in the past and in the future.

Don't worry about those two. They'll be back.

10 hours, 6 minutes ago – One group of heroes are accompanied by Metron to the 30th century. This group also  includes a young Cosmic Lad, a young Saturn Girl, and a young Lightning Lad. They look upon the opening rupture and make plans to stop it. Suddenly, the Team Titans come in and attack the group. I don’t know who they are, but I think that they were another Titans team that came from the future and lived in the 90’s for a while. Even Mirage and Terra, heroes from our time and members of the Team Titans, start to attack the good guys. Apparently, Extant has taken control of this superhero team.

9 hours, 17 minutes ago - Dr. Mist, that other immortal from the first issue, ceases to exist. He leaves his Leymen in charge to keep time safe.

9 hours, 12 minutes ago – In a NY hospital, doctors were able to save Sandman and Wildcat. Unfortunately, Dr. Mid-nite passed away. Jay leaves the hospital and heads out to find the Spectre.

8 hours, 22 minutes ago – In NYC, Power Girl is beginning to have labor while Supergirl watches. By the way, they are not the same person in this era. They're not even Kara Zor-El here which is pretty confusing.

8 hours, 9 minutes ago – Extant is at Vanishing Point gloating over the captured Linear Men about how they pretty much suck.

10 hours, 6 minutes ago (…) – The second group of heroes, led by Waverider, has teleported to Earth’s distant past. By the way, these are all of the young folk and that’s pretty cool. While Superboy flirts with Anima and the others heroes plan, another group of Team Titans show up and fight our young heroes. Extant then shows up and starts to attack the heroes. Green Lantern gets badly hit by Extant’s blasts and loses Allan’s ring. Waverider goes to face Extant and it is revealed that this Extant is a younger version of the villain. While the older Extant watches from Vanishing Point, the younger Extant defeats Waverider and absorbs his powers. Before Waverider dies, he teleports the young heroes back to their time. As a fully powered Extant leaves the area, an unknown figure (the one from the beginning of the event) picks up Allan’s ring.

Superboy, you may dress horribly (love the jacket), but you're still cool.

8 hours, 9 minutes ago – In the 30th century, the other group of heroes has beaten the Team Titans. Metron realizes that the only way to stop the rupture is to use his Mobius Chair. Captain Atom then uses his powers to power the chair so that it will close the rupture… I think I explained that right. Suddenly, the Time Trapper (old Cosmic Lad) and the adult Cosmic Lad show up to teleport the 20th century heroes back home. The young Legionnaires stay in the 30th century and we even get panel of the three Cosmic Lads. I guess that’s cool. It's not as cool as Three Doctors though.

Guy growing guns? He should probably get that checked out.

8 hours, 8 minutes ago – In NYC, another group of heroes is fighting off the Team Titans (exactly how big was the Team Titans!?!?). Guy Gardener grows a gun out of his arm…I can’t explain that, but I think I know who can. The Team Titans disappear because of the rupture being closed in the future. All of the time-traveling heroes return to this period and they wonder what’s next.  Also, is Guy eyeing Batgirl??? Man, first Impulse does it and now Guy's doing it! As I said before, I can’t blame them. In Vanishing Point, the two Extants meet. They merge with one another and Extant's part ends with him wondering what to do next.
Wow, a walking Batgirl turned heads even in this era!

7 hours, 59 minutes ago – In the 30th century, the unknown figure teleports in and re-opens the rift. The issue ends as he destroys Allan's ring as the rupture continues to eat away at time.


And that ends another Zero Hour issue. I don't know what to say about this issue. It's not bad, but it's not really good either. I guess all I can say is that "stuff happens" here. A lot of weird stuff gets thrown at us. We find out why Extant has Waverider's powers, and that was kinda confusing. I think I wrote that down right. Also, it seems that Metron's trip to the future was pointless sense Para...I mean, the unknown figure just opens the dang rift back up.

While I think that this issue is my least favorite thus far, it's still pretty decent. The artwork is still kickin' butt. I did enjoy the "end" of the JSA. It was a little sad seeing these heroes get taken out like this. Even a part of me likes the "wibbly wobbly, timey wimey" aspect of the issue. Well, now it's time to get to another Superman tie-in.

Adventures of Superman  #516 - The Hero of Metropolis
We start this issue with Superman heading back to Metropolis and getting struck by lightning. Instead of getting sent back to 1885, he realizes he's been sent to an alternate version of Metropolis because it's not damaged. He heads to the Daily Planet and dawns the glasses. He sees Lois and plants a huge kiss on her. This in turn makes her hit him call him things like "Brutus" and such. Clark then realizes that no one in the office even recognizes him. He hears a disturbance and gets back in uniform to take care of it. He's about to do his thing when he sees the Alpha Centurian (AC) taking care of the criminals.

Ooo! Brown Cybermen!

The villain AC is taking care of is Bloody Mary, who could look hot if it wasn't for the bad artwork. AC recognizes Superman from their time in New York, so he asks him to help out here in "his city." Superman's a bit annoyed at that aspect, but he helps out and destroys even more Cybermen. AC takes on Bloody Mary and even saves her from a high fall. Unfortunately, Ms. Mary stabs him and is about to get away when Superman catches up to her. Then The 100 led by Maggie Sawyer shows up to apprehend the villain. They almost get Superman, but AC vouches for him. By the way, Superman's face in this whole issue looks weird, but I'll get to that later. just got to love the look on Superman's face in the bottom panel. "I'm Gomer Pyle, #$%#!"

The two heroes head to AC's headquarters located where Lex's tower is supposed to be. Superman helps the injured AC to his pool where the hero falls in. Superman is about to go in when he notices that AC's vitals are steady. AC comes out of the pool refreshed and healed. The pool is full of a substance that heals him. We then get some backstory on AC, whose real name is Marcus Aelius. He was a Roman centurian who was picked by an alien race to learn from them for 10 years. Unfortunately, those 10 years turned into 2,000 years. When he returned, he made Metropolis his new home and saved a shuttle (remind you of something?). He's been active for 10 years.

Suddenly, Lois shows up at the palace and Clark is shocked that Marcus not only has Metropolis, but he also has Lois (!!!). Superman tells AC about how uncomfortable he feels being here. Personally, I can't blame him. He tells AC that he needs to head back to his time and fix the damage. AC decides to join Superman and the two set off to kick some butt....Hmm, how does Superman--- Never mind.

Wow, this art is bad. What's up with Superman's face in that middle panel? Is he crying? Is he possessed? Are those even eyes?

And that ends another Superman tie-in. It's ultimately a mixed bag for me. The main thing is the artwork. It just doesn't look that appealing. A lot of the faces look weird, especially Superman's.  His face looks weird throughout the whole issue. I saw that there the penciller and inker were guests on this issue. I don't know if they ever came back, but I hope they didn't. While the artwork is pretty poor, I thought the 2-page spread of AC getting into action was kinda cool. The cover to this issue is also pretty good though I believe it was done by the main artist of this book.

The story itself isn't a bad one. It's not really good, it's just passable. Superman sees a world where he doesn't exist and another hero has taken his place. That's not a bad concept, but it was a little cliche that Lois would be the one who was with AC. I will say that the story feels rushed at the end. How does Superman get back to his  universe? I guess they would have found a way back eventually, but it was weird to end the issue like this. Also, I don't know where this issue ties in with the rest of the mini-series. The first two tie-ins fit pretty well into the event and  I can even tell where the last Action Comics tie-in I'll be looking at next time fits. It has to take place after the action in New York and before the action in the different time periods. All in all, I have to say that this is my least favorite tie-in.

Wow, this post is kind of a bummer. I had two issues that were average to below average. Will it get any better next time? Find out next week as I look at Zero Hour #1 and Action Comics #703!


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