It’s week 2! After seeing some highlights such as Convergence: Justice League and The Question, we burst onto WEEK 2 of this very special edition of The Sunday Stash. Yes, our second tier of great and holy congregants break down the Next 10 of DC Comics’ 40 new monthly titles during this widespan event.
Let us know which Convergence title in week 2 proved your favorite this week, over @GodHatesGeeks.
LLLLEEETTT’S GET READY TO.. read a really cool ‘What If?’ intro! Yay! What? No? No one else is feeling this? Well, “Cardinal” Roberto is gonna feed you baby birds. Don’t you worry; Green Lantern starts off in the Pre-Zero Hour Metropolis with a very guilt-ridden Hal Jordan in jail. The dome cut off all outside power, so there is no Parallax to make Hal go crazy…yet. In this book, P.Z.H.M. Kyle Rayner is meant to fight the chosen one from the Electropolis. But once the dome comes down, hilarity ensues. Okay, not really, but you get what’s going to happen. Tony (Blue Beetle) Bedard’s “What If?” plot is cool, but the dialogue goes from inspired to forced. Ron (G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero) Wagner‘s pencils have a 90’s feel to it, which works for what this comic is trying to accomplish. I’m having a bit of a problem with the Convergence titles — despite the vast majority of the universes having a neat niche to it — in that the comics have a #TBT feel. Throwback stories just feel forced, as if attempting to shoehorn so and such back into our lives by presenting us with something from our
childhood. You know, there’s a reason why some of these universes got swept– and should stay swept up under the rug. 3/5 Bibles.
Vuu Vuu Vuu Vuu Vuu. Let’s see. Did it work? Yep? I have an audience. As you can see, I tried to communicate with fellow geeks in the time-honored tradition of Aquaman – bringing you via my mind. Here goes…
While this does take place in the same Pre-Zero Hour Metropolis as the comic reviewed above, this issue wasn’t bogged down by backstory. Bedard appears to have a better handle of this superhero, re-capturing the Arthur Curry of old without losing what makes him such a.. ahem.. great character. Yes, I said it! Aquaman The Great returns, having a hook for a hand (complete with a nice twist), and Cliff Richards‘ linework is refreshing. At the end of the day, the reason you come back to GHG is because you know we are going to give you an honest review, an honest take, and an honest perspective because we know that we are gaining your trust in the House of the Holy Geeks. 4/5 Sea Urchins.
I don’t really know where to begin here, without sounding like a general hater. So I’m just going to start hating and hope that I think of something nice to say before it’s over. I found Doom Patrol artist Ron Randall‘s linework to be decent. That’s all. Just decent. It’s obviously on a professional level of quality, but nothing impressive or attention-grabbing. The story itself, from Jonah Hex‘s Justin Gray, felt a little stationary until the last 5 pages. Everything before that just felt like random events in Zero Hour Catwoman’s day to day life that weren’t really connected to any super villains or world domination plot. The narration and dialogue were very cliché and I found it very hard to stay focused on this, actually stopping about 3 times to do other stuff. If your story isn’t going somewhere, chances are, I will. I understand this is the 1st issue, but I still expect some kind of excitement and progress before I get to the back cover. Not even Kingdom Come Bats could save the day. 2/5 Bibles.
Since the story was far more engaging than Convergence: Catwoman #1, I guess I’ll start with the super standard 90s artwork from modern day penciler Philip Tan (Green Lantern). Maybe I’m too picky; maybe I’m just destined to be a grumpy old man before I even get old, ‘cause I sincerely want to sit on a porch and shake my fist at the artist of this series. The Batman in the background of the cover is better than all the other pages, minus the frame with Whale holding a spear tip to the neck of a bloody Bruce Wayne. I’m not sure why, but this Deacon really dug that frame. G.I. Joe legend Larry Hama returns to one of Batman’s most iconic stories — some of which influenced The Dark Knight Rises — but the continued story still has a few unnecessary lines that annoyed me. For example, I don’t need the inner monologue of a truck driver describing his thought process of steering around an explosion.. as he is steering around the explosion. Just typing that sentence pissed me off all over again. I have no problem with Azrael Batman, even though he looks like a renegade Mormon and his name sounds like the DC Universe moved to Narnia. I’ll allow it. Even his suit is completely acceptable. However, I do have a problem with Batman chasing behind him like some overly cautious soccer mom. Don’t hurt them too much, Azrael; don’t kill them, Azrael; make sure you wear your seat belt, Azrael. The last few pages were exciting but really made Batman look like bitch..or a passionate hero with morals…or maybe that’s the same thing. Either way, seems like the Batman perspective of this series is going in a direction I’d be interested in following. You may continue, Mr. Wayne. 3.25/5 Broken Back Bibles.
DCU’S Convergence series plays with the “what if” notion of every DC hero being pit against one another. Issue 1 of Justice League International follows the likes of Blue Beetle, Martian Manhunter, Red Tornado, Captain Atom, Fire and Ice as they’re locked into their own little slice of Metropolis, stripped of their powers. A bubble encapsulating the city prevents Beetle and the group from contacting any outsiders, including calls for repairs to the damage Metallo causes in the opening sequence. As the abilities once second-nature to the heroes are gone, they must adapt to fight Metallo and his army machine-to-machine, with Blue Beetle using a land-roving, four-legged tank and battery overload to defeat Metallo. As a rather short series (there’s only two issues!), Ron Marz’ writing sets up well for the ensuing battle in the finale. I enjoy the idea of picking up your favorite hero’s Convergence comic as supporting their faction, reading things from their point of view. Once the barriers between cities are gone, Telos informs everyone (…Telos-pathically) that the only way to survive in his world is to fight– and if Wonder Woman and Shazam showing up with their own posse is any indication, a
fight is what we’ll get. Action-heavy in the beginning and more of a story set-up to follow, JLI #1 as a standalone garners a 3.75/5.
Following Steel (John Henry Irons) and his niece and nephew, Nate and Jem, issue 1 of Convergence: Man of Steel takes place in Steel’s own little slice of Metropolis. He fights armored, renegade Lexcorp staff making use of weapons similar to his toastmaster prior to Telos’ relinquishing the domes over Metropolis. Interestingly enough, it seems that the tech-savvy were the winners in Convergence’s dome-Metropolis, where the only ones who could get the job done were Blue Beetle and Steel, because they could engineer in lieu of superhuman abilities. However, once the bubble was released, Gen-13 appears out of thin-air, traversing the West Coast to wind up in Metropolis from San Diego– and they think Steel is the enemy. Only wanting to help, Steel’s niece, Nate, jumps into combat, but all it served to do was worry her uncle and bring him to apparent paralysis when he took a hit for her. Ending on a rough note, Nate and Steel’s friend Dr. Hamilton are the only two on their feet, as Steel is unconscious was drained of his powers earlier on by a parasite. Taking a turn of uncertainty, MOS #1 — despite its sort of misleading, Zack Snyder-driven title — asserts that Metropolis is doomed and the threat at hand in the final issue will be the Parasite. 3.5/5.
With the excitement over the announcement of that Will Smith-meets-Margot-Robbie-Again Suicide Squad movie coming out in 2016, I was anxious to get into Convergence: Suicide Squad #1. I was sadly disappointed. Tom Mandrake’s (Firestorm, Martian Manhunter) art gives you the feel of classic comics, but because of that, there was nothing too exciting about these particular visuals. Thankfully, the story by Frank Tieri (New Excalibur, Iron Man) is a slow crawl with hope that things will pick up. Like many of our other parish-geek-staffers reviewing this joint, I’m unsure what to make of the Convergence storyline thus far, too. In addition for my optimism with the roster of Suicide Squaders, I gasped in excitement during two moments in the comic: One, the super hot and sexy introduction of the Star Sapphire Carol Ferris(!!), and,
two, the panel appearance of Cyborg Superman. Hell, I know they both are gonna tear some shit up. 2.5/5 Detroit “D”’s.
Let’s get this out of the way here first (because, you know, I forgot to in my first review): I’m definitely more of a Marvel Fan. With that said, I enjoyed the work here of Christy Marx (Birds of Prey); she delivers a fairly quick pace, showcasing her version of Green Arrow — because Lord knows there will be a Converging many. Ollie has always been (in any incarnation) a quick-witted, slickster, and this issue was no different.
The artwork by Rags Morales (Identity Crisis, Batman: Confidential) kept me engaged and didn’t distract me from the storyline. The introduction of Connor Hawke kept me turning the pages to see how the father/son relationship would develop. Ha! Green Arrow as a dad? Can you imagine? Well, apparently with Convergence, readers will get a slight taste of what his “fatherly skill-set” is all about. As far as antagonists go, a racially charged hate group seemed appropriate for the ongoing issue, as there will always be hateful bitches in the world. Compared to the rest, Green Arrow #1 feels realistic. 3/5 Star City Stepchildren.
The best thing to happen to the Matrix Supergirl was Peter David when he killed her off in the first issue of Supergirl in 1996. The folks at DC can’t even take this version of Supergirl seriously. On the first page Keith Giffen (Annihilation) tries to explain what the Matrix Supergirl is — a shape-shifting telekinetic ooze from another dimension created by a well-meaning Lex Luthor — he has to cap it off with: “Said with a straight face.” Ramon F. Bachs (Civil War: Front Line) and Cruddie (Gen 13) Torian‘s pencils provide a lot of up-skirt views of the Maid of Might, which makes everything that much more creepy but harkens accurately back to the ’90s. Why can’t Supergirl wear pants? Her BFF is the cloned and brain transplanted Lex Luthor — the 90s were weird. She fights a bickering married couple while Lex tries to find a way out of the dome. The only reason for this character was because the DC Comics overlords inisted that the post-Crisis Superman was going to be the sole survivor of Krypton.
That meant no Zod, no Kandor and no Supergirl — all mistakes that took 20 odd years to rectify. So, instead, they have alternate reality versions of these characters and complicated an issue that shouldn’t have been. This is nothing more than a nod to the stupidity of all of that. 3/5 Bibles.
Only slightly better was Convergence: Superboy #1. It’s only better because the character was allowed to grow and change over 20 years, so there’s a bit more to work with. However, too much of his angsty whines of: “Don’t call me Superboy!” dominated the issue, and the absolute ridiculousness of the Cadmus Project is in full effect with the DNAlien, Dubilexx, directing the Metropolis Kid throughout the story. Where’s Knockout? Where’s his Danny DeVito promoter? (Go all in, people!) The the Kingdom Come Superman’s appearance at the end makes is all better. He has a plan, and it doesn’t involve punching things. Acting like Superman, which is something that Superman has been missing of late, he demands for Superboy to follow him. So, Fabian Nicieza (Convergence: Teen Titans) offers the only plot point in this otherwise Superwaste of time. 3.25/5 Bibles.