TGH: Welcome to another adventure of our favorite surly ex-Lantern! The last time we met up with Guy, he had gained mysterious new powers by drinking strange water that he found in the jungle (kids, don’t try this at home). Surely with a brand new power set, there will be plenty for Guy to figure out this issue. Oh wait, never mind, it’s another goddamn crossover event.
DN: Ah. Zero Hour. Crisis on Infinite Earths‘ inbred sibling.
TGH: DC came to finish the job they praised themselves so hard for finishing last time. I always wonder who in the heck reads one of these clusterfucks and decides it was well-written.
QP: I’m not gonna lie, I read the entire (surprisingly brief) Wikipedia article about Zero Hour, and I still only barely have an idea whats going on.
DN: Oh I wouldn’t worry; it was completely bonkers. Every comic had a tie-in issue AND a #0 and it didn’t make a goddamn lick of sense
QP: I think “bonkers” is being charitable. This is just a mess.
TGH: This issue of course is right in the middle of the story, so it really makes almost no sense by itself. The cover is Guy making a terrible face, and then I have to assume the rest of the heroes behind him are just mocking him by copying his stupid pose and facial expression.
DN: How does Steel’s face work?
TGH: The same way Mr. Miracle’s face works: magic.
QP: His face has been replaced by a silver Mr. Potato Head.
TGH: I like that the ‘O’ in Zero Hour looks like a razor sphincter.
DN: And now I can’t unsee that.
QP: It IS a big book of painful poop. Which would also explain everyone’s faces on the cover.
DN: Those are Chipotle poop faces.
TGH: That’s where all the fire is coming from too.
DN: I think we’re so focused on the cover because we don’t want to try and explain this.
QP: I mean, it’s kind of like the silent punching issue all over again, except there are words and none of it makes sense.
TGH: Wikipedia claims that this is a 5-part series with almost 30 tie-in issues, so I think it would be hard for anyone who isn’t a historian to dig through this. Which is really sad, because the gist of it is that Hal Jordan tries to rewrite history and everyone stops him. That’s two issues, tops.
DN: I bought more of the tie-ins than I care to admit and all I can tell you is Alan Scott was in the Green Lantern tie-in.
QP: Sandman: World’s End is the only Zero Hour issue I’ve read and I feel like Neil Gaiman made excellent choices there. Specifically, ignoring all of it.
DN: Hal got super sad about Coast City even though nobody he actually cared about died so he tried to restart history. Also some dudes named Extant and Waverider were involved.
QP: Aquaman Waverider?
DN: Nope. Gold skin Waverider. Impossible cosplay Waverider.
QP: *Googles* Ohhhkay. Now I want Kirby Dots for hair.
TGH: I think Extant used to be Hawk or something, but I have no idea whether it was Hal in disguise or if Hal was using him or what. Or why they needed to hide Hal’s involvement, since the very last crossover was him going insane so of course it was him.
DN: So Guy is teaming up with Steel, Supergirl, and a Batgirl from an alternate timeline who, understandably, wants to not be paralyzed.
QP: Seems fair.
TGH: God, this issue. It opens up with just a ton of exposition for people just joining in, even though it makes no sense even with said exposition if you haven’t read the other issues. Then they immediately go back to prehistoric times for some reason. This the Turtles in Time of comics.
DN: Hey, between this and the previous issues I think the artist might just like drawing dinosaurs.
QP: His entire portfolio when he applied for the job was just dinosaurs. But that is a very nice brachiosaurus drawing.
TGH: Yeah, I mean he doesn’t do a terrible job of it.
QP: He’s way better at dinosaurs than people.
TGH: Is it the same artist from last time? The art switches like five times in this issue.
QP: Yeah, the dinosaur section is Mitch Byrd I think. The next section is pretty clearly Phil Jiminez.
DN: Yeesh there are four artists on an issue of Guy Gardner. The hell?
QP: No, its good, it means 3/4ths of the art look great this issue.
TGH: Everyone was working overtime to tell a story of such high quality.
DN: Zero Hour: you’re under contract and will draw what we tell you.
QP: Anyway, after being in awe of dinosaurs, and almost being stampeded by them, this Extant fella shows up and attacks our intrepid heroes. Kinda.
TGH: Extant shows up rocking the Magneto swagger, and is surprised that they dared to show up, even though I don’t think they did it on purpose at all.
QP: No, they literally just got sucked into a vortex.
TGH: This happens a lot in the next 20 pages.
DN: Anthro throws rocks at Extant. Because DC’s prehistoric heroes were not as cool as Devil Dinosaur.
QP: Oh that guy has a name? Also, no one is as cool as Devil Dinosaur.
DN: This is true.
TGH: A fight breaks out, and since there are no more dinosaurs, Extant sucks them into a vortex.
QP: They end up in the Wild West, which for some reason Extant is also in charge of.
TGH: Maybe send them somewhere where you won’t be, Extant. Like the cold vacuum of space. Or maybe a black hole.
DN: Guy calls Extant a time turd, which is actually Zero Hour‘s alternate title.
QP: BRB, vandalizing a Wikipedia page right now.
TGH: Guy has a plan to stop Extant, which is shooting him with a gun. A gun that comes from his arms!
QP: Well thank God, now people understand our homepage banner.
TGH: Apparently Guy figured out he could do this. But in another issue of Zero Hour, not the issue starring Guy Gardner. It’s good that we learn about his new powers in passing.
QP: Well yeah, if they waited till this issue, then something of importance might’ve happened.
TGH: Sorry, 13-year-old Guy Gardner fan, maybe you should’ve ponied up $50 this month (this goes for all the fans of anything DC-related that month).
DN: It was a tough time. I had to mow a lot of lawns during Zero Hour.
QP: Fortunately, all of DC’s Wild West heroes show up to save everyone’s asses when Guy’s armcannons fail to kill Extant.
TGH: All the cowboys just go and beat up the other cowboys and not Extant, but have a bunch of old-timey manly dialogue.
QP: Thankfully no one gets called a slut dog this issue.
TGH: Maybe they’ll retcon that phrase out of existence.
QP: For some reason, Supergirl morphs into Extant and attacks him? I’m not really sure what her plan was here.
DN: And I guess this was the Supergirl who could shapeshift?
QP: Was this before or after she was an angel?
DN: I think the angel WAS the one who could shapeshift.
QP: ’90s Supergirl made no sense.
DN: I want the CBS show to make as much sense.
TGH: Supergirl pretends to be Extant because that’s her power I guess, so then Extant attacks Extant but Extant wins and the cowboys attack Extant and Extant blasts them.
QP: This story is really going places fast.
TGH: I’m really shocked that they didn’t make a full page of Steel holding Supergirl and sobbing. Shoving him in the corner of that panel is a surprising amount of restraint.
DN: Well we can’t go an issue without Guy making a weird face.
TGH: I guess the cowboy story was getting old, so Extant sucks them into a vortex.
DN: To…space? The future?
QP: Presumably to WWII. At least judging by the tanks, airplanes, and Blackhawks. Man, Phil Jiminez’ style has not changed in 20 years. At. All.
TGH: Extant knows that if you pull a bunch of comic book people into the same time period you can just sit back and they’ll all try to murder the shit out of each other for you.
QP: I have no idea who the Captain Comet wannabe is.
DN: He’s in an issue of Starman. That’s all I can tell you.
QP: And the weird knockoff Green Goblin?
DN: No clue on that one.
TGH: Guy and friends go after the ugly ones, because that means they’re evil. Guy saves Blackhawk, so then they get sucked into a vortex.
QP: This time they end up in Coast City in the past, where Guy sees Hal Jordan before he went crazy. Also more importantly, his younger self mackin’ on the ladies.
DN: Guy’s rather animated series looking past.
QP: I think this is actually the Batman: The Animated Series comic’s artist.
TGH: Guy’s suit decides to go crazy, which causes younger him to fall ill, just like in Back to the Future.
QP: He punches Lady Blackhawk, which causes Hal to take notice.
TGH: Kari Limbo’s face in the bottom right is pretty much the face I’ve been making the entire time I’ve been trying to understand Zero Hour.
QP: Man, why *didn’t* we all foresee that this would just turn into a damned mess? Also, Guy’s suit goes “splort.” That’s probably not good.
TGH: Hal disappears or something, and then they get sucked into a vortex.
QP: This time it’s just Guy and presumably the Kari Limbo who belongs to this time period, because she’s remembering seeing that idiotic robosuit in the past. Fortunately, it’s the day Coast City gets destroyed, so it works out well for everyone.
TGH: I like that she just starts talking to him like he was there the entire time. He just appeared out of nowhere, screaming “EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.”
QP: Maybe he always used to do that.
TGH: That was their thing.
QP: She’s used to having to talk over him screaming.
TGH: Guy knows that he can change history, if only he could fire a few more rounds at Extant.
QP: It’s worked out so well for him thus far.
TGH: Extant’s not even causing Coast City to blow up. Guy’s not even shooting ineffectively at the right person.
QP: Yeah, but it’s a fixed point in the timeline, he can’t go blow up Mongul and fix it or anything.
DN: His “Noooooo” face is pretty bad.
TGH: Well luckily it melts away pretty quickly.
QP: Leaving us in the end with three blank pages, which I guess was the gimmick for Zero Hour.
TGH: I guess it represents the timeline being rewritten, but in this issue it’s more like the fallout of being in the center of an exploding city, especially since this issue didn’t resolve with any mention of a time reset at all.
QP: I mean, it’s kinda what they did at the start of Crisis? So I guess if this is supposed to be the other bookend to Crisis it kinda makes sense. A little. Maybe could’ve used a few less tie-in issues to tell it.
TGH: Nah, if nothing else I would’ve doubled it. Maybe have Zero Year.
DN: Oh God.
QP: Well 52 worked pretty well…
DN: Countdown was like stabbing yourself in the eyes.
QP: Was Countdown a full year too? I keep forgetting that thing happened.
TGH: They killed JLI with Zero Hour.
QP: Oh, well fuck Zero Hour.
TGH: But on the plus side Catwoman wasn’t a prostitute anymore!
QP: We did get Starman out of it, so I guess it wasn’t all bad.
TGH: Apparently one of their main goals was to make Hawkman’s history make any sense, but they actually completely failed to do that somehow. Maybe because Hawkman sucks.
QP: Yeah, considering that DC’s felt the need to completely reboot their universe every couple of years or so since then, they clearly didn’t do a very good job simplifying things.
TGH: “Sales are low, let’s reboot again.”
“Wait, maybe we should write down a plan or something first.”
“Too late, issue 1 is out this week.”
QP: Sounds about right. Woe that Has DC Done Something Stupid Today didn’t exist back in the ’90s.
TGH: So what in the actual fuck does Zero Hour do for Guy Gardner now that he blew up? I guess we’ll have to wait until next time to find out! (Spoilers: It’s complicated.)
QP: Well thank God they rebooted it then.
TGH: The letter section sadly did not have its own Zero Hour issue, so I guess all mail was burned this month.
DN: I’m totally okay with that.
QP: Depends on how many people were still screaming about the name and costume change.
TGH: I’m sure Charles Brown had written quite a few hilarious knock-knock jokes for everyone. The best part about the early ’90s is that if you spent a really long time handwriting a shitty letter to Guy Gardner and nobody published it, you couldn’t just send it again easily.
QP: If you write a long and rambling letter to Guy Gardner, and Zero Hour happens, does it make a sound?
’90s Ad Showcase:
QP: This ad for X-Am Jeans makes no sense. I guess its supposed to be things about Muggsy Bogues/things he likes? But WTF does that have to do with jeans?
TGH: He was still a little shaken up from having his powers stolen by the Monstars.
QP: Holy shit I am taller than Muggsy Bogues. I knew he was short but not that short.
DN: Did either of you see Blankman? I did not.
TGH: I didn’t.
QP: I don’t think anyone saw Blankman.
DN: Probably for the best.
TGH: It looks like Damon Wayans pretty much filled every role in the creation of that movie.
QP: Damon Wayans was Eddie Murphy before Eddie Murphy was Eddie Murphy.
QP: Is Virtual Bart actually the name of this Simpsons game?
QP: Huh. It looks like shit.
DN: Didn’t play that one.
TGH: I never played this but it looks really similar to Bart’s Nightmare, in which Bart has dreams that reference popular media instead of being trapped in virtual reality simulations that reference popular media. That one was pretty alright, at least for a few hours if you’re 14.
QP: Are either of those the one where Bart skateboards on the Great Wall? I think that’s the only one I ever played.
TGH: No, that was Bart vs the World on the NES. That was crap. I couldn’t get anywhere in that game. There are not very many good Simpsons games, but there are a ton of terrible ones.
DN: Pretty much just played the arcade one.
TGH: That one’s still one of my favorites.
DN: Spent many a quarter on that one.
TGH: I grabbed it on Xbox in the tiny window before it vanished forever.
QP: Remember the good old days when having a fancy Bic pen was a status symbol?
DN: Remember that small window when back to school shopping was fun?
QP: I don’t think I had any of the cultural appropriation pens, but I definitely had some of the color-changing ones.
TGH: I think I just had the plain white Bics that were like 69 cents for 20, because I was a square.
QP: Poor thing. How did you cope?
TGH: Have you seen me? Clearly I never did.
QP: True. I withdraw the question.
TGH: I was going to say that I didn’t remember mullet Superman in the Batman cartoon, but it’s just the comic based on the cartoon based on the comic using the theme from the movie based on the comic. Did the mullet get Zero Houred?
QP: Well it’s not in the ad a few pages later for Superman’s Zero Hour stories, so I’d guess not.
DN: I think the mullet is around a little longer. Maybe until right before he goes electric blue.
QP: I’d love to be a fly on the wall every time someone pitches a new Hawkman book.
“It’ll be great! He’ll fly around and smash stuff with his mace!”
“Yes, but no one has ever bought a Hawkman solo book before, why would they start with this one?”
“…uhhh…he’s got a sword coming out of his arm?”
DN: I think the Geoff Johns one lasted more than a year!
QP: That’s gotta be a record.
TGH: Coming soon: The Ray: Turn Off the Dark.
QP: That is a weird ad.
TGH: I thought The Ray was supposed to be kind of an everyman, but it looks like he’s out for blood now. The drool foaming in his mouth doesn’t help matters much.
QP: Yeah, I was only halfway looking at it when I first read the book, and I thought it was Warlock. My brain is making the wrong associations. Why would there be an ad with Warlock in it in a DC book, brain? Get your shit together.
TGH: DC really needed the money that month, Not even the Warner-owned companies were calling back.
QP: Yeah, this is the first issue that hasn’t had a Six Flags ad in it for a while.
QP: Bigger Better Stridex: Because you still haven’t done anything about your pizza face since the last time we yelled at you about it.
TGH: They’re just coming door to door next month and holding everyone down.
QP: Still running with that “Read And Follow Label Directions” slogan. Still not very catchy.
DN: Baseball cards: just keep throwing your money into a flaming trash can.
QP: Psst: That’s a football.
DN: Oh wait that’s–
DN: Is that the one with yards and downs, or is that hockey?
QP: No that’s golf. God. Also, all the cool kids wear their underwear on the outside, and there’s a pool on the roof.
TGH: I don’t think I’ve ever known anyone who actually made any kind of money off of cards of any kind. I guess because I didn’t know anyone who owned one of those companies and ripped everyone off.
QP: Did baseball cards turn out to be a scam or something? That was news I missed.
TGH: No, it’s just when was the last time any of those cards ended up being worth anything?
QP: Probably around the same time a comic book ended up being worth anything.
TGH: Older cards were valuable because nobody kept them, but the ’90s ushered in a wave of collectors mentality that pretty much made none of it rare.
QP: Sounds familiar.
TGH: Exactly, just like all of those holofoil comics we’re all holding onto. We’ll have to start breaking into people’s houses and burning their copies before they’re considered a rarity ever. It’s a much nerdier version of Highlander.
QP: I think that’s a great plan.
DN: I’m in.
QP: Hell, if I could even get a dollar back per issue, I’d be set.
DN: If someone stole my copy of X-Force #1 I wouldn’t even notice.
QP: What about all your Nu52 #1’s?
QP: Those are worth a lot still I’m sure. Because they’re new, you see.
TGH: It’s all downhill from there. Just like cars, once you leave the store it’s dropped in value big time.
QP: Oh man do you mean I’m not gonna get $5 for Convergence issues?
DN: Well Amazon is selling nuBatman #1 for 11 bucks. So lookie thar it done tripled.
TGH: Well damn, I guess it’s time to sell! We could buy a whole second set of Gardner comics with that kind of profit.
QP: Yeah, get on it. Fund the next year of this website.
TGH: Next week, Guy Gardner: Warrior changes forever in the wake of Zero Hour, as we are introduced to Guy: Gardner Warrior. A humble gardener by day, Guy takes to the mean streets to fight all who would ruin his beloved plant life. Guest-starring Swamp Thing.
QP: Protecting the flora of the galaxy from aphids, drought, and root rot.
DN: That sounds so much better than the mess we’re walking in to.
QP: Sssh, try not to think about it. Just sit back and imagine your friendly neighborhood Gardner-man instead.