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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Crisis Time! - Superman #93 and Zero Hour #3

Today’s installment of Crisis Time is brought to you by Snape: the potions master.

Hmm…Learning how to “pickle victory” would be good.

Welcome back to this event segment. Today’s issues are Superman #93 and Zero Hour #3. As I have said before in other posts, I did own Zero Hour #3 for a while. I don’t know why I got it. At that time, the only characters I would have recognized were Superman, Batman, Robin, and maybe Wonder Woman. Recently,  I'm beginning to think I might have actually owned this Superman issue. I’m really not sure. I know I had to have read it at some point when I was younger, but I don’t know if I bought it. All I know is that I have it now.

The creative team for the Superman issue is Dan Jurgens (…I know that guy!) and Josef Rubinstein. Jurgens did both the story and the pencils while Rubenstein did the inks. Zero Hour #3 is still done by Jurgens and Ordway. So with that out of the way, let’s get to it!

Superman #93 – “Home!”
(I’ll note that this issue also uses those countdown caption boxes here too.)
20 hours, 31 minutes ago – The issue starts with Supergirl (the Matrix one) viewing Superman’s message  and getting attacked by an alien ship. Apparently, this disruption in time sent them here. She looks like she’s handling herself well until Superman himself shows up and pretty much finishes her work for here…Nice guy, that Superman. The two set down and start to talk about what’s going with when Lois shows up with her cellphone. The Kents are on the other line and they tell him to get home quick. Before anymore is said, the phone dies. Superman is a little hesitant on what to do since there's a “cats and dogs living  together” scenario going on. Still, he knows that his parents wouldn’t have contacted them unless it was really important, so he heads to Smallville.

Jor-El, you ARE the father!

On Kent Farm, Jor-El is asking where Clark is. At that moment, he shows up and is shocked to find his biological parents. I gotta say, they’re looking good for their age. It must be that Kryptonian Healthcare plan. Anyway, Clark knows that they can’t be his parents because Krypton blew up. He’s even been to the area where Krypton was (I think it was during Byrne’s time on the book). Jor-El tells him that Krypton didn’t blow up because some geophysicist was able to save the planet. He tells him and the Kents that he was able to develop a serum that would make Lara and him able to survive this trip to Earth.  Jor-El expected that Clark wouldn’t believe them, so he gives Clark a viewer that would show him what happened while he was off of Krypton.

Wow, only Cyclops and Geordi LaForge can make visors look cool.

In the viewer, he doesn’t see Krypton blow up. Instead, Clark sees that Jor-El and Lara got tired of Krypton’s way of life. The two became leaders of a group that sought to bring back Krypton’s humanity and soul. Eventually, Lara became pregnant and had another son. They named him Zan-El and he led the Kryptonians to a more humane way of thinking. After all of this change, the family never forgot about Clark. They even have a room for him if he ever returned. Jor-El then perfected the serum after a few years, and he and Lara came to Earth to find Kal.

You know, I would actually read something like this.

The interesting flashback ends and we are back at the farm. While Clark knows that the anomalies brought these Els here, they are his real parents. During all of this, the Kents are worried that Clark may actually leave. Unfortunately, the serum’s effects are diminishing, so the Els have to leave. They say their goodbyes and ask Clark to come. He hesitates, but as they’re leaving, he tells them that he can’t leave right now. He does accept them as his parents and that he wants to visit Krypton. At that moment, the Els disappear and Clark is distraught. Metron shows up and tries to tell him that they were not his parents, but Clark tells him that they were close enough.

Metron has come to get him to join the heroes in New York. Before Superman leaves, he goes to the Kents and tells them that he’s okay and that he loves them. The issue ends at 17 hours and 4 minutes as Superman and Metron head to New York.

………………………………………………………

This was a pretty good issue and it’s on par with the previous tie-in. It continues from the cliffhanger of that issue and expands on a lot here. It also ties really well into the event since they both have the same writer/penciller.

The story is pretty good.  This probably had more of an effect on Superman that any of the other tie-ins. He actually meets his real parents. While it’s true that they’re from another reality, they’re pretty remarkably close. I really like that we get to see what could have happened on Krypton. I also like the fact that things like Jor-El’s dislike of Krypton’s cold culture and the genetic issue were mentioned here. My only nitpick is the dialogue. I guess I just have to get used to 90’s dialogue again. Other than that, the story is good.

The artwork was also well done. I love the fact that they tried to make Jor-El look like Clark. Mind you, he was missing facial hair. I did think it was a bit much to make Zan-El look a lot like Clark and Jor-El. He even has the long hair. Anyway, other than a small gaff involving the weather in Smallville, the artwork is pretty good and consistent.

Now, let’s see some old folk get beat up!

Zero Hour #3
17 hours, 7 minutes ago – We start the issue with a PO’ed Jay Garrick as he laments over Wally’s death. At this point, all JSA members have met up in the alley. Instead of joining the other heroes in NYC, they will investigate the source of the problems. Dr. Fate uses his powers to find some answers and those answers are at Vanishing Point. Dr. Fate teleports the team there, but it look like Waverider and the Hawks (Hawkman and Hawkwoman) are going somewhere else.

17 hours, 3 minutes ago - We then transition to Superman and Metron flying towards New York. Superman sense a disturbance below in some city. We got dinosaurs on the loose, but they are being taken care of by some kid named Impulse...That's right. Bart Allen makes his first appearence in the DCU here. He ends up joining Superman and Metron as they head on to NYC.

16 hours, 22 minutes ago - We then get a weird transition. We find out that the Time Trapper is still alive and he has come to see an adult Rokk Krinn (Cosmic Lad). It's then revealed that the Time Trapper is an even older Rokk....this is indeed confusing. If only I looked at the Legion tie-ins...

 14 hours, 39 minutes ago - In NYC, the heroes meet up in a glorious 2-page spread. Unfortunately, I don't know who 20% of these people are on this page. Even when I've been a DC looker since 2006, I still don't know who some of these people are! We also get the first meeting of Robin, Superboy, AND Impulse! We also have a Power Girl who isn't from an alternate Earth, is NOT Kryptonian, and is pretty pregnant. Then, the heroes elect Superman to lead this group...Awesome. He called them all here anyway, so he might as well.
All right, I got a couple of things:
Why does Blue Beetle look only 3 feet tall here?
I still don't know who about 10 of these folk are.
Is that Despero at the right?
3/4 of Young Justice is here!!

17 hours, 3 minutes ago (huh, that's weird)- The JSA finally make it to Vanishing Point, where they are brutally attacked by Extant. For those who don't know, Extant was originally Monarch, who was originally Hank Hall aka Hawk. Unfortunately, the dang comic rarely explains that. Elsewhere in the timestream, Waverider and the Hawks have been brought to someplace where all versions of Hawkman are converging into the original source or something. All of this "wibbly wobbly, timey wimey" crap is happening because of the original Crisis. Eventually, the Hawks, some random Hawkman, and a Hawkgod are combined into one new Hawkman....yes, that was confusing. I'll show you my confusion right now!

Me: Doctor, where are you? Explain this crap to me!

14 hours, 1 minute ago - Dril Vox of L.E.G.I.O.N. senses that the universe is contracting.

14 hours ago - On New Genesis, the Highfather also senses the death and entropy.

13 hours, 59 minutes ago - Back in NYC, all of the heroes are getting used to certain changes. Guy meets Kyle...not much to say there. It's all good. We also get Impulse checking out Batgirl. Personally, I can't blame him. We also get a random dude in a helmet behind the two who we might see  in a Superman issue. Eventually, Waverider and the new Hawkman join the party. Everyone is caught up on the issue at hand.

Bart, get your head in the game!

It's also where the news of Wally's and young Hal's deaths are revealed. Everyone is shocked, but Guy wonders if all of this "timey wimey" stuff could fix a lot of the things Hal did during "Emerald Twilight." Aquaman (with one hand now) wonders who would be powerful enough to cause the rupture. Waverider thinks he may know who.

12 hours, 50 minutes ago - At Vanishing Point, the JSA go up against Exant. Extant, who is wielding a lot power now, goes on a brutal spree. He kills the Atom (Golden Age one) and defeats Dr. Fate and splits the helmet from the Nelsons. Extant ages Wildcat and Sandman to their rightful ages and they start to have health issues.

12 hours, 45 minutes ago -Waverider sense the problems at Vanishing Point, so he teleports there. Unfortunately, he's too late as Extant ages the rest of the JSA and kills Hourman. GL Allan Scott is the only one left unfazed by the aging because of his power ring.

12 hours, 42 minutes ago - In NYC, a 25th century city appears above the city and starts to descend upon it. Metron tells them that different timelines are starting to merge with their own. He also tells them that they need to stop this crisis right now...Oh really? Right now? Sorry, I think they would know that, space Xavier!

12 hours, 38 minutes ago - Waverider tends to the JSA members while Allan goes in to fight Extant. Unfortunately, "Mr. Powerful and Douchey" is able to deplete the energy from Allan's power ring. As the two remaining heroes stare down the former Hawk, it's revealed that he has absorbed Waverider's powers. The issue ends by promising answers...and MORE questions!

Yeah, I'm now confused...

.............................................................................

And that ends this pretty confusing issue. I like it, but there is all of that "wibbly wobbly, timey wimey" stuff going on. I think one thing that hurts this is that I'm not looking at the other tie-ins to this event. For a person who just picks this off the shelf or the bin, they would be confused straight. The parts involving Hawkman and Time Trapper were weird. Now, I understand the Hawkman issue because of some research. The Time Trapper issue comes out of nowhere. As I said before, I wonder what my 8 year-old self thought while reading this. I guess I got it for the good art, which is still pretty good.

As I said before, I do like the issue. The heroes meet up and discuss things, we get some heavy casualties in the in the JSA, and we get a new speedster in Impulse. We got a totally weird cliffhanger which makes the third issue even more confusing. I think I may need to call someone about this. See ya next time.

The Doctor: How do I use this thing again?

NEXT TIME: ANSWERS, QUESTIONS, AND EVEN MORE WEIRDNESS!!!!!

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