Singles Going Steady is Comics Bulletin’s weekly single issue review roundup.
So part of the schtick of Convergence is that Telos, the guy forcing all these realities to fight each other, says he’ll let the winner exist aka will be a part of the DCU again in some capacity. It’s an incredibly weak attempt at generating suspense for this series, as I can’t imagine anyone actually believes that the Zero Hour era heroes are going to get to stick around, or the original Wildstorm characters are suddenly going to exist again. It is, to a certain extent, DC’s ridiculous attempt to make this event “matter.”
So here’s a spoiler for you (it’s not really a spoiler as I don’t have confirmation, but I think it’s a safe bet: the world that survives is Earth 2.
See, the first 5 pages of this issue are basically pages that should have/could have been in the Earth 2 weekly series. We know that that world ends more or less. And we now have them fighting Telos. And we know that they have a new book coming out after all this is over.
Guess what super cool pre-Flashpoint universe? You’re going to get fucked again.
Earth 2, which was destroyed about five minutes ago, is the one that will be reborn.
Besides all that, we get an incredibly un-moving scene between Earth 2 Batman Thomas Wayne and his Earth something or other son, Bruce.
My disdain for this series continues to grow.
– Kyle Garret
Convergence Aquaman #1
Everyone thinks Aquaman is a joke and Deathblow kills a bunch of people. There you go. That’s the entire issue.
That said, this issue brings up the dumbest and greatest aspects of this week’s Convergence titles (and a dumb aspect rolled into the greatest one).
The dumbest actually extends beyond this week: the idea that the majority of the important heroes from a specific period in DC’s history just happened to be in the same city at the same time. Really? We couldn’t have more than one pre-Flashpoint or pre-Zero Hour city? I mean, they’ve got freaking Batman AND Azrael in Metropolis for some reason. Just extend it to two cities, for god’s sake. We can take it.
The upside is alternate universes they decide to throw at our Zero Hour heroes — Kingdom Come and Wildstorm (listed as San Diego which is, of course, idiotic). It’s a perfect encapsulation of the 90s. It’s a fantastic decision by DC…which makes the inclusion of Electropolis stupid as hell — particularly given that there’s a freaking pre-Crisis set of books coming in two weeks!
You are killing me, DC.
– Kyle Garret
Convergence Batman Shadow Of The Bat #1
Blah blah blabbedy blah. Hey, DC, maybe you should try to consider is we want to read a too-wordy story in which the usually fantastic Larry Hama completely misses the point of why we might want to read the story of the utterly despised and thoroughly awful Azrael-as-Batman.
Azrael, or Azbats as people love to call him, is probably the most hated DC hero of all time. He’s exxxtreme, with three X’s because that makes him more extreme. He’s got the worst costume ever, an absurdly insane armored suit that I (and many other fans) love to hate, and all I wanted to do was to glory in my utter delight with a flat formatted art style and Azrael being thoroughly diskish.
Crazy as it sounds, this comic is too good. The art by Billy Tan, Jason Paz and Rob Hunter (with coloring by Victor Santos) is deep, and abstract, and lovely, and utterly, utterly wrong for the book. I really wanted to eat some cheese here.
– Jason Sacks
Convergence Catwoman #1
Here’s the problem with the “heroes from before Zero Hour” portion of Convergence: they don’t count.
See, Flashpoint changed every character in the DCU. Crisis came pretty close to doing the same thing. Zero Hour changed diddly squat. Okay, that’s not true, it changed the Justice Society, the Legion, and Hawkman, but none of those characters in this book. In this book is perhaps the least interesting version of Catwoman in the last thirty years.
But these characters to need revising because they existed for another 20 years. In fact, these are technically the exact same characters as the ones in last week’s batch of books. The distinction between the two makes no sense.
Anyway, Catwoman was robbing a place in Metropolis when the dome arrived, so she’s been stuck here for a year now, during which she’s laid claim to Suicide Slum. Intergang, Metropolis’ mightiest organized crime organization, kidnapped a friend of hers, so she tries to kidnap her back. Then the dome comes down and Kingdom Come Batman attacks.
Ron Randall’s art looks great. I hope we see more of it from DC in the future.
– Kyle Garret
Convergence Green Arrow #1
I think this is a minority opinion, but here you go: I love Rags Morales’ art. Can you honestly think of anyone else who’s ever said that? I think most people just kind of like it or nothing it. But I love it. There’s something so classic about it. In fact, that’s probably why it’s not more popular.
That said, Morales’ art is the main reason to buy this book. I really want to like Christy Marx’s writing because she sounds great in her interviews, but so far I haven’t read anything by her that I really dig. In this issue we get some standard white supremacist bad guys and an incredibly out of character Connor Hawke who is meeting his father for the first time.
Which, I should add, is another problem with this round of titles. If were revisiting the 90s ultimately only for the sake of 90s nostalgia, then Oliver Queen shouldn’t even be in this book. It should be Connor Hawke in full on Green Arrow mode.
Again, this whole “Zero Hour” think is just so arbitrary. It makes these stories seem completely random.
– Kyle Garret
Convergence Green Lantern Parallax #1
This is the Hal Jordan story we needed way back in 1994. If you weren’t reading comics back in the day — and if you didn’t, in a way I admire you– you missed the fact that Hal Jordan, like many of his DC brethren, got wild and uber-destructive when his beloved Coast City was destroyed by the evil Mongul. So Hal went crazy and… umm… killed every one of the Guardians of the Universe, got a wildly absurd costume, destroyed all kinds of things, was killed, came back to life. It was all a giant mishegoss that all good-thinking people wanted to ignore and that everybody involved with the incident hung their head about as they cashed their big royalty checks.
Anyway, Tony Bedard (who’s kind of the underrated genius behind the best comics in this project) finally delivers a nice dénouement to that storyline, with some lovely art by Ron Wagner and Bill Reinhold that does a wonderful job of showing Hal’s guilt along with the inner strength of the Kyle Rayner, who is finally growing into his possession of the ring.
It’s a major bummer that Hal, or maybe the force of evil inside his body that represents Parallax, is back in action at the end of the issue. But at least we had a few glorious pages of closure.
– Jason Sacks
Convergence Justice League International #1
This might as well have been called “Blue Beetle” (yes, I’m aware he has his own book coming up) as the focus in squarely placed on him. It makes sense, given that he’s the only member of the JLI who has never had powers, so the fact that all superhuman abilities have been canceled means nothing to him. The fact that he’s now a) the leader and b) dating Fire. Neither one of those things makes any sense given the context that’s supposed to exist here (these are pre-Zero Hour characters), but were again seeing DC trying to right a wrong done to characters that no longer exist.
Mike Manley’s art is nice. If there’s one thing I can say about Convergence, it’s that they’ve brought in some great artists, people who should be getting more work.
Anyway, the Justice League ends up facing off with a bunch of Kingdom Come characters at the end of this issue and that’s basically all you need to know. Like more or less all the other Convergence books this week, this feels insubstantial.
– Kyle Garret
Convergence Suicide Squad #1
Convergence Suicide Squad had one very big strike against it from the start: It isn’t written by John Ostrander.
Now, I don’t know if DC approached Ostrander and he was just too busy (he returned for Blackest Night, so you’d think he would have found the time for this) or if they didn’t ask him at all, but the simple fact is that John Ostrander IS the Suicide Squad. You can dress Harley Quinn is trashy lingerie all you want, but there is only one version of the Suicide Squad worth the paper it’s printed on and it’s the one that John Ostrander wrote.
This books did have something going for it in advance, though: Tom Mandrake. Mandrake’s work has always been dark, yet still clear. His story telling is moody, but not muddy. At the very least, I knew this would look good (and Mandrake had a decent run working with Ostrander on the Spectre).
So how does Frank Tieri do stepping into such giant shoes as writer? Not bad, actually. Amanda Waller is every bit the bad ass she should be, as is Barbara Gordon. There’s a strange merging of past, present, and future members going on with the formation of this version of the Suicide Squad, but I’ll accept it, although I do wonder how it’s going to play out given there’s only one more issue left. But if the goal was to incorporate characters that will be in the upcoming issues of the current series with old school fan favorites, Tieri handled it well.
This might actually be my favorite of all the Convergence titles released this week, but I suppose that makes sense, since the Suicide Squad is the concept I miss the most (no, that current title doesn’t count).
– Kyle Garret
Convergence Superboy #1
I’m trying to figure out if this issue would be have been as enjoyable to someone who didn’t read the Superman books in the 90s. At the very least, they would probably get less out of it. But since I did read the Superman books in the ’90s, I can endorse this title as being so very much in line with what Superboy’s stories were like. He was your typical 90s teenager. He did his fair share of sulking. And he was always comparing himself to Superman.
Having him face off against Kingdom Come Superman (or potentially doing so) is a nice move as it’s exactly the kind of Superman that Superboy has been hoping to face. I mean, it’s hard to really get angry with the real deal.
This issue did underscore, however, what a one note character Superboy was for a long, long time.
– Kyle Garret
Convergence Supergirl Matrix #1
Man, if there’s one thing that this whole super serious Convergence epic needs to add some spice to this super serious battle royale, it’s a giant dollop of silly humor. So thank God (or Keith Giffen) for Supergirl: Matrix. Giffen, along with delightful artist Timothy Green II, gives us a thoroughly wonderful action epic in which Supergirl and a nice, red-haired Lex Luthor trade witty repartee and z-grade her/villains Lady Quark and Lord Volt (who the f are they?) are a bickering couple who have been way too long but can’t stand each other, despite (or maybe because of) their super-powers.
So far it seems that Giffen is the only one who really understands the craptitude of the absurd crossover epic, mocking the fact that none of us readers care very much about this version of Supergirl, let alone mutton-chopped Lex Luthor, let alone buzzcut hero/villain Lady Quark and Lord Quark with his beautiful flowing locks and arrogant ego to match. It’s all just ridiculous super-heroes, Giffen seems to say, so let’s just put our feet up and have a few giggles. That means this is the best reminder of the utter otherworldly strangeness of 1990s comics of all oft his week’s Convergence titles.
– Jason Sacks
Convergence Superman The Man Of Steel #1
There are few things in comics as ridiculous as armor formed in the shape of hair. I mention this because there are not one, but two characters in this story who wear arm that has been form fitted to their particular hair style. What happens if they cut it? Or it gets longer? I mean, it’s exactly in the shape of their hair.
Anyway, I was glad to see Steel get his own Convergence title, even if they called it Superman (a book he took over very briefly, particularly when compared to the decent run his solo title had). It was nice to see Natasha again, too. But this is a pretty boring issue even with the addition of the Gen 13 kids. It ends on a cliffhanger, but the problem with cliffhangers in a book like this is that there’s no suspense because no of this ultimately matters.
– Kyle Garret