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Well math says that 0 comes before 1, so putting "Zero" in the title of a work, or episode of that work, can be a good shorthand that a work is a Prequel, prologue, or even a remake of a first chapter. Some comic book origin stories are shown in issues numbered 0.

Of course if "Zero" is in the title for any other reason, it doesn't count (as it wouldn't be the beginning). So works like Mega Man Zero and Phantasy Star Zero wouldn't be an example.

Also, the names have to be official, not fan nicknames.

Compare Numbered Sequels, Unusual Chapter Numbers, Year Zero.


Anime and Manga

Comic Books

  • Robert Crumb's Zap Comix came out with an issue zero: he had lost the art to the first issue and made a new one, then discovered the missing artwork and released it later.
  • Spider Girl's first issue was numbered 0, and was a reprint of the What If issue she first appeared in.
  • "Zero Month" following DC Comics' Zero Hour is a borderline case; the #0s all retell the heroes' origins, but in Flash Back, with a Framing Story in the present.
  • Marvel Comics had a "Flashback Month" in which every comic published an #-1, set before the origin stories.


  • Cube Zero is the third film in the series but is a prequel to the first film.
  • Yoshie Zero, a prequel to Mutant Girls Squad. A rare example where the non "zero" part of the title doesn't match the sequel.
  • Ring 0: Birthday. A prequel to the Japanese film Ring.
  • Ichi the Killer: Episode Zero, an animated prequel to the live action film Ichi the Killer.


Live Action TV

Video Games

Web Animation

  • 24: Day Zero. A series of animated webisodes. It's a prequel series, focusing on Jack Bauer's first 18 months at CTU.

Web Comics

  • On the Origin of PCs, the first The Order of the Stick prequel, was published as issue number 0. Start of Darkness, the second prequel, takes place even earlier, so it's issue number -1.
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