Despite the fact that “zero” literally means nothing, it’s become a rather popular name for pop culture characters. Pop culture tends to see “zero” as something cool, which is why most fictional characters named Zero are pretty awesome (although there are some characters named Zero who are literally… zeroes). And zero is a pretty remarkable number in mathematics, with several unique properties. In fact, some ancient civilisations (like the Greeks) did not have zero in their number system, because the whole concept of it was mind-boggling.
But before your eyes glaze over in this discussion of mathematics (hey, maths is interesting!), we’re going to show you some of the best characters in fiction named Zero. Who’s your favourite Zero?
1. Zero from the Megaman X series
Zero. Credit: MMKB
Admit it – the first time you saw Zero in Megaman X (when he was not yet a playable character), you thought that Zero was a girl, thanks to his long, flowing golden locks. Zero became the breakout character of the game, and went on to star in future Megaman X games after that. I mean, does anyone remember Vile, the antagonist in the robot suit who kept menacing X in the first game?
Zero became even more awesome when he was turned into a playable character, because he had such a different fighting style from X. Whilst X was all about ranged attacks and using different types of guns acquired from the Mavericks, Zero used a sword. A sword! It did much more damage than X’s X-Buster, with the downside that he had a much shorter range. Like X, Zero would acquire swords with different powers after each Maverick was defeated.
2. Zero from the Sonic the Hedgehog series
Zero. Credit: Sonic News Network
Zero is a Sonic the Hedgehog boss that has a pretty interesting backstory. He’s actually a prototype model for the E-100 series of robots created by Dr Robotnik (or Dr Eggman, if you prefer). He was designated as the zeroth E-100 unit, also known as E-100 Alpha. Although the titular speeding hedgehog never really fought him, his sort-of-girlfriend Amy Rose did!
Thankfully, she managed to beat him in her own storyline in Sonic Adventure. Zero was one of those puzzle bosses that required strategy rather than brute force. He met his end at Amy’s hammer in a rather… painful manner.
3. Ultraman Zero from the Ultraman series
Ultraman Zero. Credit: Ultraman Wiki
Ultraman Zero is one of the strongest Ultramen in the franchise, and the son of Ultraseven (the third Ultraman to come to Earth). He began as a villain who was banished from the planet where the Ultramen came from (also known as the Land of Light) when he attempted to steal the Plasma Spark from their world. The Plasma Spark served as the Sun for the Land of Light, and also turned the inhabitants of the planet into Ultramen.
Fortunately, Zero redeemed himself by defeating the villainous Ultraman Belial (who also tried to steal the Plasma Spark), but not before a long and complicated saga involving possessions, revelations of secret identities, and armies of alien warriors. He went to helm several movies and star in several series after that, so there was happy ending for Zero after all.
4. Agent Zero from the Marvel Universe
Zero (Daniel Henney) in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Credit: X-Men Movies
While X-Men Origins: Wolverine has aged poorly with time (especially with the current Deadpool going back in time to kill the Deadpool from X-Men Origins: Wolverine), it featured the first film appearances of many mutant characters. One of them was Zero, who was on the same team as Wolverine, Sabretooth and Deadpool. He’s more formally known as Agent Zero.
As a mutant, Zero had fairly standard powers – superman reflexes and agility. But he was also strengthened by absorbing kinetic energy, which meant that getting smacked around would only make him stronger.
5. Private Zero from Beetle Bailey
Private Zero from Beetle Bailey. Credit: The Daily Star
Believe it or not, Beetle Bailey, which was created in 1950, is still running! Even if you don’t read newspapers anymore, you can still find comic strips on their website. One of their main characters was the dim-witted Private Zero, who took every command literally, with disastrous results. He was literally a farm boy with buckteeth, but his sincerity was what made him endearing.
As a result, Sarge was constantly being irked by Zero, to the point that he would give Beetle Bailey easier tasks just so that he could get rid of Zero. We think that Zero has mastered the art of siam-ing, and he would probably be able to breeze through BMT just by “acting blur”.
6. Zero from Detective Conan: Zero the Enforcer
Detective Conan: Zero The Enforcer. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas
Zero is the codename of Tooru Amuro, an agent from the National Public Security Police. If he looks familiar, that’s because he goes by many, many other names – fans of the Detective Conan series will know the many conspiracy theories regarding Zero’s various identities.
In one of his other cover identities, he has a fierce rivalry with one of the other villains of the Black Organisation (we’re not saying who, that’d give away his identity!). Despite Zero’s seemingly friendly personality, he also hides a darker, more Machiavellian side – one that would not hesitate to sacrifice a person’s life to achieve his goals. Can you guess who Zero is?
Detective Conan: Zero the Enforcer. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas
Find out more about the mysterious Zero in Detective Conan: Zero the Enforcer! When a terrible explosion occurs at the opening ceremony for the Edge of the Ocean facility, Conan suspects that Tooru Amuro is involved. With a Summit Meeting due to be held at the Edge of the Ocean soon, it’s up to Conan to find out who’s behind the terrorist attack.
How is Amuro involved? And what does a strange case from four years ago have to do with all of this? Why exactly is Zero an “Enforcer”?
Find out in Detective Conan: Zero the Enforcer!
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