The Forgotten Proto Version Of DC’s Zero Hour
by Benjamin Hall
[**Warning of spoilers for Zero Hour: A Crisis in Time (1994) and World’s Finest Comics #250 (1978).]
Zero Hour: Crisis In Time is a four issue 1994 event comic series from DC. It ties in to nearly every major series from DC in 1994. Also it acts as a launching point for a slew of titles including Starman (1994-2001). Not to mention this event series serves as an attempt to rectify a number of inconsistencies in DC’s continuity. These inconsistencies are due to things leftover from the reboot event series Crisis On Infinite Earths (1985-1986). The basic premise of Zero Hour: Crisis In Time is that all of history is in danger of being erased and DC’s superheroes must fight to save everything.
Admittedly, this basic premise is seen in a lot of other stories (including Crisis On Infinite Earths). However, there are a few extremely similar elements between Zero Hour: Crisis In Time and the main story of World’s Finest Comics #250. Said story is titled the ‘Reality War.’ In both stories, Green Arrow shoots the main physical threat (and some of the panels feature near-identical choreography). There is also a main villain as well as a secondary villain that the reader is supposed to think is the main villain. Also, both tales feature the primary threat of time being erased due to a hero trying to do good. Finally, by the end of each story, everything is reset with most characters not remembering the details.
There are a few other details that one might point too as similarities that these stories share. For example, characters forgetting those they are usually allies with. Yet these kind of details are more like basic premise elements than being distinctive to these two tales. Instead, we should consider that this story may have been read by someone working on the main issues of Zero Hour: Crisis In Time. Thus, either consciously or unconsciously, they repeated certain elements. This, in essence, makes the main story in World’s Finest Comics #250 a forgotten prototype.