It’s another week for Convergence! After previous highlights that included comebacks from The Question and Wally West Flash, and a hook-handed Aquaman, will there be any more surprises in Week 3 of DC’s monthly event?
Do no more now than peep the Stash. And we’ve got all the OG members of GHG on this one!
Ahhh, the big bowl of spaghetti that is Convergence where anything and everything could happen. While still not completely sold on the concept myself, this title definitely nudged me in a more favorable direction. We open with a power-less Wonder Woman who has been shacking up with a Pre-Crisis Steve Trevor, thank God, as Larry Hama (Wolverine, last week’s impressive Batman: Shadow of the Bat) does a great job at making their chemistry feel natural. Diana, working as a caregiver alongside her assistant Etta Candy, quickly becomes wrapped up in the dealings of a group of religious crazies. The action on this issue is definitely on the slower side, until up to the very end– expected from an introductory issue. Joshua (Supergirl, American Virgin) Middleton’s art hits all the right marks. His simpler and clean style pops from page to page. Overall, it’s a great start and a breath of fresh air in the huge cluster#&$* of “Convergence” titles, and one I’d recommend to anyone. 4/5 Bibles.
Life under the dome… man, it’s gotta suck. Cities plucked from dying worlds, preserved by their lonesome. Powers stripped. Cut off from the outside world. No Daredevil on Netflix. It’d make anyone want to just mope around and wait for whatever’s gonna happen to happen–unless you’re Pre-Crisis Superman, Supergirl, and Lucius Fox, that is.
From the get-go our trio are proactive as hell, trying to figure a way out of their current predicament. Our heroes decide to use the Phantom Zone as a loophole out of the dome, to further investigate these mysterious events that have been unfolding. Once in the zone, this issue soars. The legendary Marv Wolfman (The New Teen Titans, down below) pens the story, and it’s great to have him on board. He captures the character of Supergirl like the champion he is, and his Superman is a nice change of pace. The art by Roberto Viacava (Batwoman, Absolution) also pushes out the much-appreciated throwback personalities of these Pre-Crisis characters. With a cinematic cliffhanger of an ending, this Dynast can’t wait to scoop issue #2. 4.5/5
I’d like to start by simply deeming this entire crossover event as confusing. It’s almost like DC was going for that though. If you weren’t a fan of every obscure thing that happened throughout the 90’s, you go into these comics feeling really no empathy for any of the random versions of these characters; they’re all fresh and new, and frankly, uninteresting. The no-powers-under-the-dome thing is an . . . interesting unifying element. It literally humanizes every character by leveling the playing field, but it also kinda just bums everyone out.
Superboy and the gang are brooding for literally the entire comic, until Telos switches their powers back on, then they spring into action. That pretty much sums up the whole issue– which pretty much sums up this entire month. Story aside for a moment, the art is… simple? I get that they were going for the whole 90’s thing, and they have definitely succeeded. Overall, the book wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t for me. But I’m sure it was for someone out there, and if that someone is you, then enjoy (My favorite book this week. – Editor Moody)! Now I’ll wait to get my regularly scheduled comics back in— what? Two months? Dammit. 2/5 Backwards-Worn Baseball Caps.
Ooooh, Guy Gardner is so angry! Even before the Red Lanterns were a thing, Guy was a generally angry dude. But he’s a quirky kind of angry, which makes him like-able!
The 90’s were such a simpler time, weren’t they?
We start off with the three Not-Kyle-Rayner Earth Lanterns in various mental states. Guy is, well… angry. John Stewart is coping, and being helpful like the boring, vanilla character he’s always been. (But hey, it’s the first issue I’ve seen with John Stewart NOT mentioning Xanshi!), and Hal is disappointing Carol, per the norm, and has gone completely manic. So, like literally every issue this month, I’ll simply copy-paste an edited version of my review from above: *ahem* “[Guy Gardner] and the gang are brooding for literally the entire comic, until Telos switches their powers back on, then they spring into action.” “Overall, the book wasn’t bad it just wasn’t for me . . .”
Yay Convergence. 2/5 VHS Tapes.
In the history of JLA teams there is one team that has always gotten the blunt of all jokes — similar to Avengers Great Lake — and that is the ’80s-era Justice League Detroit team. Thanks to the talent of Fabian Nicieza (New Mutants, X-O Manowar) and ChrisCross (X-Man, Superboy) this team is given true honor, besides bad hair and costumes. Fabien refuses to acknowledge the Squirrel-Girl mockery and tells an engrossing story that takes you back to your first innocent days of picking up a comic at the local 7-11. This pre-Identity Crisis era story’s best penmanship revolves around the character development between Sue and Ralph (The Elongated Man), bringing us back before the days of her death is greatly appreciated. Another selling point of this Convergence title is Cross’s dynamic angles and highly detailed, photo-realistic characters. 3.75/5 Bibles.
And, like most DC event side books we learn to bode with the side of caution, but in this Convergence helmed title Jeff Parker (X-Men: First Class, Walk-In) and Tim Truman (Hawkworld, Jonah Hex) deliver an exceptional contribution. Hawkman is a purchase worthy comic in this weeks den of comic pocket-money thieves. Parker captures all of the charm and innocence of a pre-Crisis Hawkman and his lady love Hawkgirl (or, as put in this ish: “Hawk-woman!?”), in this witty and well written issue we find the dome transplanted couple making the best of it in Gotham by being more than just super-heroes.
Also, the price of entrance could be earned with the Truman art alone, getting the chance to see him draw classic versions of a franchise he helped put on the nerd map is a win. Truman has always had a retro feel with his pencil work and never has that been more deserving than with Convergence. 4.25/5 Bibles.
The Divine One here! No, you didn’t click on the wrong article– I’m just not talking TV for once. And this is a Flash comic, so you see the relation. This book is also quite different than the show, with a much older and much blonder Barry Allen stuck in Gotham City because Stephen King and Brian K. Vaughan decided to interrupt Dan Abnett‘s story. Ha– no, here, the dome erases all the powers of all the heroes trapped inside. Not only does this put a serious wet blanket on Barry’s confidence (which he seems to lack at times in the show), but the fact that he can’t get back to his WHITE WIFE Iris has him one step away from going to a Morrissey concert. But Abnett (Guardians of the Galaxy, Nova) has come up with an intriguing angle for Flash, which places the hero in a life that has totally been turned upside down. Federico (Starcraft, Suicide Squad) Dallocchio’s art is quite natural and simple– and some of the more lifelike art that I’ve personally seen in some time. I dig it! And just in case you think this book is just going to stay all ho-hum the dome comes down and things get a tad more interesting. Then, of course, you reach that last page… Damn it. 3/5 Bibles.
So, now, we switch gears to a comic doing much of the opposite. Well, at least this side of an upset Wonder Woman who, much like Barry, misses her lost love as well. But that is brief. So, we get the NEW Teen Titans, but by an OLD writer, the legendary Marv Wolfman (Tomb of Dracula, Crisis on Infinite Earths). Despite the fact a non-DC Comics novice such as myself (perhaps back in the day, but TV takes up all my time now) can easily be confused by the constant story shifts (should the comic have been called Doom Patrol instead?) and all these time/space/shift thingies, whadya know, the dome comes down and all the action amps up. Here come the powers and here comes the scuffles! In addition, Wolfman delivers a nice amount of character development, displaying all the various stages of drama the Titans have in store for them. Drama? Oh those superheroes always have to be in peril! Lastly, here’s compliment to the fantastic art by Nicola Scott (Wonder Woman) and Marc Deering (Green Lantern: New Guardians). The decision to make their characters look like heroes and not overbound steroid abusers is appreciated. No vein, no gain? Despite not knowing exactly what was going on with the story, the rest was enough to fulfill my converging enjoyment. 3.25/5 Bibles.
As a popular geek culture website publisher and editor, it’s my job to hype up the things that geeks hate. And what geeks have been finding “cool” to hate lately is anything coming out of the DC Universe not named Arkham Knight and The Flash/Arrow TV shows. The Batman vs. Superman trailer? Too brooding. That new modern, neo-hip hop infused Clown Prince of Academy Award-winning Crime? Yikes! Oh, and Convergence? Event hate hath cometh. How predictable. But, as we should know, there’s a method to DC’s madness. As a journalist who also wants to keep his integrity in tact, I’ll admit the event hasn’t been so hot. But since I’m a bit older than a lot of newer comic fans — but not old enough to be too bitter — Convergence, for the most part, has delivered just the right early-90s memories to tingle my fancy. The first week showed off the Superman I first knew and loved (Dan Jurgens’ original version), and the second week delivered some of The Dark Knight’s darkest moments (Knightfall was one of my first Bat-stories). Still, it’s hard for me to argue our wise Minister’s points in the first review above: If these characters meant anything to you in the past, you’ll enjoy it; if you’re just here for the New 52, forget it. Funny how Convergence‘s original intent was a love letter to the fans, yet it’s the fans themselves who aren’t overwhelmingly embracing.
That said, I think have a pair of reviews to type now. Sheeet.
Your Monsignor chose these two comics in particular to tackle because of my history with both sets of heroes. First, while I don’t remember Len Wein‘s original run on Swamp Thing as much as that of Alan Moore (just from all the years of drugs and drinking, Len, nothing more…), it’s great that an assortment of legendary comic scribes are getting their chance to pen the characters they reached their career peak with once again. Problem is, Wein doesn’t get to the fallout of Telos’ interruption right away. There’s a little too much backstory and set-up in Convergence: Swamp Thing #1, elements that have plagued the majority of other Convergence stories. The reason Convergence: Justice League was so good and so forth, was that Tieri’s story refused to lay down (panel-for-panel) to the whole “Dome is up!” scenario, and avoided exposition that takes away from the other 22-pages. That aside, Wein hired the right artist for the job. Kelley Jones does nothing less than bless my eyes with his rendition of Swampy. It’s all very Ed McGuinness, but with a far more shadowy, Gothamy-Gothic feel. Jones’ linework pops off the page, melding the horror of his previous Elseworlds Batman tales with some of the more recent incarnations of Alec’s wet monster. Kudos to Michelle Madsen (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), too, whose brilliant shading and timely limes and olives compliment all of Jones’ subtle fear and eye-popping terror.
Before I go onto my second breakdown, allow me to say that it’s no coincidence that I’m reviewing these titles; I covered them at WonderCon. Of all the Convergence tie-ins spoke of that day, it was Batman and The Outsiders that got the nerves going most. You see, Batman’s metahuman Outsiders were the said “replacement” following Bruce’s death in the final pages of Final Crisis. This, also happened to be around the time I jumped back into comics after a lengthy lay-off, playing sports and doing all sorts of foolish things like that. So, I’ve got a little fuzzy for these goofball heroes — Halo, Katana, Geo-Force, The Creeper, Black Lightning, Metamorpho, etc. — and, in this Convergence tie-in, they’ve never looked better. Hell, Carlos D’Anda (Star Wars) delivers his own comic version of a dream Batman & The Outsiders: Arkham Knights video game with art that can only be defined as video-gamey.
But not necessarily in an ostentatious way, either. The contrast between Marc (Batwoman, Manhunter) Andreyko‘s light script, which avoids all of the intro-junk and places our personalities right into the inevitable situation, and D’Anda’s poppy visuals go hand-and-hand. This issue can be read several times for both appearance and dialogue, without it feeling too retro or all heavy-handed. Each character gets their own moment to shine, show grievance, weariness, happiness, and depression. Yes, all of their powers are back and that’s bad news for our element man, Rex Mason. Genesis 12:3 – And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” But not you. Swamp Thing #1 = 3.5/5 I.am.groots; Batman and The Outsiders #1 = 4.25/5 Batdomepieces.