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Zero, Vol. 1: An Emergency

(Zero #1)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  1,437 ratings  ·  122 reviews
Edward Zero was the best spy the Agency had—and then he realized he was working for the wrong side.

Collecting: Zero 1-5

"A first issue is the buy in of the great game, story. This is Zero, and it's where all the action is. Have a seat." —Jonathan Hickman (The Manhattan Projects, East of West)

"With Zero, Kot continues to push boundaries of both form and content to stunning a
Paperback, First, 172 pages
Published February 19th 2014 by Image Comics
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Showing 1-30
3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,437 ratings  ·  122 reviews

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Aug 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comix
This one’s a mixed bag.

Any time I have to go back and re-read parts of a comic just so I can understand what’s going on or figure out who’s who, it detracts from the enjoyment I have reading.

This one’s an uncertain collage of espionage, science fiction, and action adventure, never quite settling into exactly what it wants to be – even going so far to employ different artists for each issue devoted to a sub-genre. Each issue is effective in and of itself, but when taken as a whole it leaves the
Sam Quixote
Feb 12, 2015 rated it it was ok
James Bond. George Smiley. Jason Bourne. Edward Zero? Nuh-uh. Although Ales Kot really wishes it were so, his spy/secret agent “character”, Zero, is as archetypical as they get - a bland, yes I’ll make the obvious pun, zero who never feels vaguely real or interesting. But he’s the “star” of this series so settle in for some generic spy stories in this first volume, An Emergency.

The subtitle is a good indicator of what’s wrong with this book. Kot thinks that by throwing in mindless action, showi
Apr 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
A tank round liquefying a shoulder, an upper lip being savagely bitten off, a hunk of brick ruining years of orthodontics, and a flaccid middle-aged wiener. These are some of the things you have to look forward to in the phenomenal first chapter of ZERO. Ok, maybe not the wiener so much. But it didn't ruin the experience. Ales Kot did a good job of making what could have been a Operation Treadstone clone into something more interesting. Ales jumps back and forth in time to tell the story of Edwa ...more
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
Pretty generic spy storytelling. Artwork is weird..changes artist so never really develops a style.
Robert Davis
Apr 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novel
Almost entirely awesome, with each chapter drawn by a different artist, and the discontinuity of time throughout, it does seem quite disjointed. I was with it all the way up until the last 4 pages, where is really took a wild left turn into WTF-ville!

I was least impressed by the art of Tradd Moore who styled chapter 2...


...but that's just personal preference.


If you were wondering what Mina was whispering, it was... (view spoiler)
Apr 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book by Ales Kot has been talked up by a lot of people since issue #1 came out. Kot, who had a well-received short run on DC's Suicide Squad, delivers up a spy thriller that's dense, uncertain, suspenseful, and full of psychological insight. Zero, Vol 1, An Emergency, collects issues #1-5, for a bargain price of only $9.99, although other first volumes from Image have collected six. Ah, well, never the mind.

Although there's some element of Jason Bourne in Edward Zero, Kot gives the denoueme
I'm not a big reader of espionage plots, but the summary of this graphic novel intrigued me, so I decided to give it a try. Ironically, the plot wasn't what made me dislike it so much. Everything else about the story was pretty much a disaster. The drawings looked more like sketches than final works. There was a part of the story printed to look broken up, but it was so rubbed off that I couldn't even read it. In one chapter, one female is insulted by her co-worker, and in the next scene she is ...more
Ander Luque
Feb 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing

2018: A soldier, who belongs neither to the Palestinian or the Israeli side, infiltrates the Gaza Strip with a classified mission.
2000: A child is educated and molded to kill under the motto "Existence is a perpetual state of war.”
2019, January: A James Bond lookalike is having a drink in Shanghai at an event organized by and for high caliber terrorists.
2019, October: In Rio de Janeiro a young man announces to an older one: “I’m here to kill you.”
2038: An old man sitting in front of a cliff in D
Scott Foley
Aug 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Zero has gained a lot of buzz during the last several months. It’s typically described as a spy story with ruthless violence and a cold, detached protagonist. Its main claim to fame is that it features a different artist with each new issue.

I’ll be honest. I’m not much for spy stories, but the book has garnered such acclaim, I figured I should give it a shot.

I’m glad I did.

First of all, yes, this is a spy story … sort of. I would actually tell you that it is a spy story with a heavy dose of subt
Mar 18, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: comics, image
Ales Kot's heart is in the right place, and his politics are admirable, but this is not a good volume of comics. The best parts are so-so imitations of Ed Brubaker and Garth Ennis, and the worst parts are bad imitations of Alan Moore. And while I agree with Kot's sentiments, "maybe creating dehumanized super soliders and perpetuating global war for a bad thing" is not a novel or interesting enough theme to base an entire series on, especially when your central character is by definit ...more
Jan 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I read this monthly and in the span of 5 issues it has quickly become one of my favorite books. Kot has masterfully crafted a world of espionage and secret government operations where everything is not exactly as it seems. The book employs a unique narrative structure where each issue is a standalone story about the titular character, Edward Zero, yet is part of an overarching narrative about his life and career as a veritable super spy for the Agency. As each issue is essentially a one shot, th ...more
Dec 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
It's a bit difficult to follow the story in this comic. There's a different artist every issue so the different drawings confused me and sometimes I didn't know who was who. Also, the art quiality goes from very good (issue 1) to not my cup of tea at all (issue 2).
I like the spy genre and I want to know more.
Dec 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: library, comics
AN ok start; looks like it might get more interesting in the next one. Good use of different artists and story telling styles between chapters, making it look like a collection of shorts.
Devon Munn
May 29, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
James Adams
Jan 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
A fun spy thriller with sf elements. The script is good, no more (or less) cryptic than appropriate. As each of the five issues here had a different artist, visual consistency is a no-go, and quality variance should be expected. Far as I can tell, though, preferred visuals will be a preference issue more than qualitative.
It isn't really anything new, but is still a treat for fans of gritty spy fare.
Bram Ryckaert
Jun 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: top-tier
I got this book purely based on hype. The praise... is justified.

'Zero' is stellar. At first the plot seems pretty straight-forward: we see Zero as an old man, who wants to get his life story off his chest before he gets a bullet in it. Every issue is a flashback that shows us a chapter in the life of this super spy: his training, covert missions, debriefings, ... Slowly we learn what's going on behind the curtain and that's when it gets more interesting. At first this seems like a pure hard-bo
Mar 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
The first collection of Ales Kot's Zero feels like it's reaching for something so specific to say and when it doesn't get there, spits out every one of its ideas in one mad breath. It's an action spy thriller with pretensions of geopolitical intrigue, technocratic paranoia, lost love, and transhuman futurism. Almost too much to take in at once.

Edward Zero grows up in a clandestine government school for spies and assasins, affection and empathy weaned out by the handlers as the children grow up.
Mar 24, 2016 rated it liked it
Actual rating: 3.5

This was an interesting one. I only vaguely knew going in what to expect with 'Zero' (the barest of bare details: a spy story).

It became so much more than that, though. I won't go into it too much, because to be honest, I am still quite confused. The story jumps around from different points in time during Edward Zero's life. He, and other children, were molded into spies for the 'The Agency,' a mysterious government faction. What side are they fighting for? Are they agents of g
Nov 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
First read I was going to give it 4 stars but re-reading it made me give it 5.

At first you are reading a very exciting and elegant spy thriller but re-reading it made me aware of all the symbolism and parallelism beneath. I even want to re-read it a third time, for God's sake. Every issue makes you want to search concepts you are not sure about. That makes you learn. You learn a lot reading this.

Maybe I am biased because I love spy genre and most of all Hideo Kojima's work (which I am sure has
Feb 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
I've been waiting for this for a while, ever since I absolutely fell in love with Kot's Suicide Squad back in May. I trade-wait Image, though, because they are a company that's actually punctual about releasing trades. And I wasn't crazy about the rotating artists.

However, the art won me over. I saw some other people complaining that it seemed unfinished, somewhat sketchy, and I suppose it is. I thought it really added to the overall tone, though. I also appreciate Kot's commitment to sharing th
Nicola Mansfield
Apr 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is an amazing spy story and I don't really want to say to much as it's going to be best read going in, with as little information as you can have. it starts in the future, 2038, with an old man sitting in a chair looking out at the ocean from the top of a cliff, sipping a beer. He speaks to someone and we see a kid behind him with a gun pointed at the man's head ready to kill him. The man says he won't stop him but he'd like to tell him a story first and so goes the book. Going to the past, ...more
Shannon Appelcline
Oct 02, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics, comics-indy
An OK action-adventure story.

The spywork (and wetwork) is actually the weakest part of the volume. It's quite standard without a lot of variance from what I'd expect. The brutality is somewhat refreshing (though less surprising than it was a decade or two ago), but some of these action sequences go on way too long.

Fortunately, the book has other strengths. To start with, there's Edward Zero himself. It's obvious that this story is mainly about him changing, and we see that starting in this volum
Jun 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Image continues it's quality run, I've lost count how many excellent series that company currently publishes and Zero is up there on a quality ladder.

Ales Kot as a writer is new find for me, but from now on he's gonna be in my watch list. Vol. 1 contains first five issues, all illustrated by a different artist, and it works just fine as the artist talent fits with the story.

So, now I'm hooked in yet another series because plot seems to be something 'out there' and this new writer who seems to ha
Haniel Barbosa
Jan 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Procurei ler Zero porque o vi em uma lista de melhores de 2014 descrito como "a non-linear metaphysical thriller". Como não amar?

O mais incrível é que ao ler a estória essa descrição aparentemente sem noção se confirma. O negócio é absurdo. E muito bom. E tem aquela característica das coisas grandiosas: vai em um crescendo que a cada página reverbera mais na sua alma, ao ponto de ao fim você estar em êxtase e incrédulo.

Se antes achava que seria só uma série de ação meio sem noção agora estou doi
Dec 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, comics
I still think that the different art between issues is a hindrance to understanding the story. However, with this re-read, things were a lot clearer.
Joey Heflich
May 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
I guess I should probably read Suicide Squad now. That, and Tradd Moore and Jordie Bellaire are fucking awesome.
Nov 22, 2013 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. There is enough to there to keep you interested. Can't wait to see what happens next.
Ricardo Baptista
Jan 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
As pessoas têm o seu Alan Moore ou o seu Grant Morrison como escritores que os surpreendem, confundem e deixam um travo de genialidade difícil de explicar à primeira leitura. Eu tenho o Aleš Kot.

No primeiro volume de "Zero" somos apresentados ao espião que dá nome ao livro, uma espécie de James Bond moderno na linha do que os filmes recentes da franquia nos têm habituado.

O recontar da vida de Edward Zero é feito de forma episódica, com saltos temporais, explorado diferentes missões com as suas d
Alex E
Dec 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Espionage, politics, backstabbing, deceit, murder, etc... these are all the things that our protagonist not only experiences on a regular basis, but his whole life he was taught with these types of ideals in mind.

We are thrown right into the story of Edward Zero. He's definitely not a hero. Then again, he wasn't raised as a hero, but yet, as a force of good. He is the ultimate description of the ends justifying the means.

I really enjoyed this book, even though there are times where the plot le
Dec 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this one. I was very much turned off by the beginning thinking it was just a war/secret agent story, but it was so much more! The weird thing is that usually I connect with characters, and that is how I get invested in the story, but with this one I actually just enjoyed the ride. Sure it was hard to follow the time period, I didn't know who anyone was, I didn't understand the significance of certain characters deaths, but I loved the idea of something more ...more
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