Monday, March 23, 2015

More Than Zero: Zero Month 20 Years Later


CROSSOVER! Everybody loves a crossover! Today several comic-themed websites are teaming-up to remember DC's "Zero Month"!

In 1994 DC Comics published Zero Hour, a five issue mini-series designed to not only serve as a major summer crossover but also fix some of the continuity problems that had emerged since the end of Crisis on Infinite Earths. Some have suggested that Zero Hour caused more problems than it fixed (especially Legion fans), but at the time it was the dawn of an exciting new era for DC. To kick off this new age DC followed Zero Hour in August & September 1994 with "Zero Month." As the name suggests all of the main DC books published an issue numbered zero, though each had a different approach to the idea. Some books featured a new origin. Some contained tweaks to the existing origin. Some contained brand new versions of old characters. Some featured a complete reboot (like the Legion). All of them served as a jumping on point for new and old readers alike.


To celebrate this new era (or perhaps to bury it), some of us in the comic book fan community have banded together from remote galaxies. We're featuring the solicitations of our character's zero issues as well as delving into the Wizard Magazine Zero Hour Special, which was published around the time of Zero Hour.

The Reboot... well, the first Reboot

In the case of the Legion, Zero Month was a major turning point. It was a complete reboot, making a clean break from all existing Legion continuity. The Legion history started fresh and we were reintroduced to our favorite characters. Lead by writers Mark Waid and Tom McCraw, along with editor K.C. Carlson, these creators wanted to correct some of the lingering continuity problems associated with the Legion and make them accessible to new readers and interesting to regular fans. Little did we know at the time, this was only the first time the Legion would be rebooted.

Love it or hate it, the "Reboot Era" provided a jumping on point for many new Legion fans. There is lots of pros and cons that could be said about the reboot. We'll leave that discussion for another time. Today we're just going to focus on the solicitations and the Wizard special.

First, the Diamond Comics Previews solicitation for Legion of Super-Heroes #0...


And the actual cover to Legion of Super-Heroes #0.
Notice the shiny silver/metallic ink cover enhancement. Ooooo.. the 90s!

 

Next, the Diamond Comics Previews solicitation for Legionnaires #0...


And the actual cover to Legionnaires #0. More shiny metallic ink! Yeah 90s!


Finally, here is a page from the Wizard Magazine Zero Hour Special talking about the changes to the Legion. Be sure to wear your big-boy pants when your read this piece. I imagine some of Mark Waid's statements won't sit well with long-time Legion fans (and they probably didn't sit well back when this was published either). I understand what Waid is trying to say, but it was still hard to watch Legion history be rewritten.


And just for fun, we thought we'd include the Zero Month items for R.E.B.E.L.S. '94. We haven't really touched on L.E.G.I.O.N. and R.E.B..E.L.S. yet here at the Legion of Super-Bloggers. They are sort of like distant cousins, twice removed. Who knows, if there is enough demand (and someone interested in writing about them), perhaps we'll cover them here someday.

First, the Diamond Comics Previews solicitation for R.E.B.E.L.S. #0...


And the actual cover to R.E.B.E.L.S. #0. You are not going to believe this... shiny metallic ink!


Finally, here is a page from the Wizard Magazine Zero Hour Special.


It's Zero Hour for These Sites!


Several blogs have teamed-up today to reflect upon Zero Month! While we're featuring Legion of Super-Heroes and Legionnaires (plus a little R.E.B.E.L.S. '94), you should visit these other sites to see how they spotlight their own favorite heroes today. Visit them now, visit them later, and visit them often!

Long Live the Legion!

2 comments:

  1. I never got into the reboot Legion. Actually, the only time I read LSH regularly was during the Five Years Later period! So I was kind of annoyed to see it wiped out, though in retrospect I've since come to appreciate optimistic futures over grimdark ones (and 5YL wasn't even *that* grimdark, all things considered).

    But I really liked L.E.G.I.O.N.

    R.E.B.E.L.S. was fun, but it's L.E.G.I.O.N. that sticks with me.

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  2. I liked the Legion reboot well enough. The 5YL stuff had probably hit a wall anyway by then. It was an experiment that couldn't go much farther.

    But I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVED L.E.G.I.O.N. The recent R.E.B.E.L.S. was actually pretty good - awesome Vril Dox dickery - but every story arc tended to last way too long.

    I look forward to the day when this here blog has put enough of a dent in other Legion series that it makes sense to also start talking about that retconned precursor.

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