Singles Going Steady is Comics Bulletin’s weekly single issue review roundup.
And so, with a loud thud, DC’s Convergence comes mercifully to an end. I’m not going to sugar coat it: this event was pretty bad. Convergence is what happens when bad writers try to tell a story like The Multiversity. Now as a fan, I won’t deny that that some parts of Convergence #8 that I liked. Seeing elements of Grant Morrison’s The Multiversity bleed in made me smile. The idea that everything in DC’s past is now canon – or at least can be explored in some capacity – is pretty cool (fingers crossed for a Ralph and Sue Dibney series). That’s about it.
Convergence #8 provided readers with nothing but $5 of toilet tissue, and it’s not even double-ply. All of DC’s past crisis events and reboots are all canon? Thanks, we got the memo in Justice League #40, and that issue was both well written and gorgeous. Here, the “money shot” splash pages which detail the reborn Multiverse underwhelm. Ultraa Comics (from The Multiversity) in particular suffers from the issue’s wildly inconsistent art, the result of having several pencilers and inkers. Perhaps the most telling scene in Convergence #8 is one in which Superman and Supergirl of Earth Prime (Earth 0? New 52 Earth?) just float idly near Telos’ planet. They consider getting involved, but decide it’s ultimately best to sit this one out. I wish I had done the same.
– Daniel Gehen
Convergence Action Comics #2
Action Comics is not great. I’s readable and visually acceptable, but it still falls into the horrible dilemma of being a part of a very poorly designed and developed crossover.
There are some great ideas, including a battle between Power Girl and Wonder Woman that is not bad at all. It took me a while to figure out who Claude St-Aubin’s work reminds me of and strangely enough it’s Howard Porter from the ’90s JLA – which is actually kind of a cool thing. With a grain of salt I would have to say that Action Comics #2 is enjoyable but probably only for me. I’ve always wanted to see a WW vs. Power Girl Battle, and I like the art. I don’t think many other people will enjoy the book but then again I don’t think anyone really has enjoyed Convergence at all.
– Kristopher Reavely
Convergence Blue Beetle #2
I know I have to turn in my reviewer’s union card for saying this, but I loved Convergence Blue Beetle #2. Alright, the plot threads don’t make a ton of sense and the ending comes out of nowhere. But I don’t care.
Crossover one-shots are more about the fun of the characters and the cleverness of the moments than about coherent threads — hell, DC already shit all over these two-issue bombs in the main title so who cares about internal consistence. Instead it’s great to enjoy the buddy comedy hijinks of this issue, reminiscent of the DeMat/Giffen/Maguire days, and the delightfully breezy Yishan Li art, and that cute dog… aww, the Blue Beagle. So cute! Blue Beetle should be light and fun and no stress to read, and Lobdell delivers that here. Please, DC, put him on a new Beetle title. I’m sure I wouldn’t be the only one who read it.
– Jason Sacks
Convergence Booster Gold #2
I miss Blue Beetle. I miss how some writers have written his interactions between him and Booster Gold. Booster Gold #2 provides a lot of those interactions, which is really the only reason to buy this book.
There is so much potential with the covers of the book but it really comes across like Dan Jurgens decided to fit every Booster Gold story he ever wanted to write into one issue, and it doesn’t do his skill as a writer justice. I wouldn’t recommend Booster Gold #2 to anyone who isn’t a fan, and I would definitely not recommend it to anyone just looking for a casual read. This book wants your attention, but its story can withstand too much deep analysis. Give it a shot, don’t expect too much. It’s still better than 99% of its parent crossover but still not great.
– Kristopher Reavely
Convergence Crime Syndicate #2
A surprisingly sympathetic Crime Syndicate faces Justice Legion Alpha from the 853rd century, resulting in several one-to-one takedowns by foes differently committed to the staged battle they’re been forced to play. You’d think the future heroes, sci-fi analogs on our familiar League, would have the home-team advantage, but they’re surprisingly uncoordinated in their attacks, whereas the Crime Syndicate is fighting for survival, and love, and much more mundane but relatable goals. Super Woman even feels bad for her life of crime, and is motivated by her love for Owlman (who seeks vengeance for her execution in part one) to take on the future Wonder Woman.
The novel approach of the first issue runs a little thinner here, with everyone’s powers (and Lois’ immortality) restored, and it gets rather grim watching each player meet their lonely fates. Winslade’s art is solid, but better at depicting the characters than the futuristic environment. The One Million costumes for the most part can’t compete with the classic Syndicate looks. It comes down to war between the two women, a conflict epic enough to cause earthquakes. And while I think I know who the winner is, even that has a note of ambiguity.
– Shawn Hill
Convergence Detective Comics #2
This issue makes slightly more sense than the previous one, where Huntress acted far more like some of the feisty subsequent models than the original cerebral Helena Wayne, who this was supposed to be. She even comments at one point that her actions were out of character. There’s a hint that she was being spurred to more aggressive behavior, but by whom?
We also get the Earth 2 Robin (“the Adult Wonder?”), who finally gets over his hesitancy to assume his mentor’s mantle. This is spurred on by a touching meeting with the Russian Batman, who feels a kindred sentiment he can’t explain to Helena and Dick and is more practiced than they at fighting Kryptonians. As they’re all more comfortable in the dark, they learn fast.
The rest of the issue continues the focus on the Soviet Superman, who comes off (especially with the help of the always excellent Cowan/Sienkiewicz art team) rather like the doomed Superman who confronted the Dark Knight back in those old Frank Miller days. All obsequious confidence (which continues to rile Helena’s nerves), but also committed to a rational approach that results ultimately in a choice for peace between the two cities. Which is against the rules but doesn’t result in instant doom for some reason? More questions than answers in this mixed bag.
– Shawn Hill
Convergence Infinity Inc #2
I really enjoyed the first issue of this for two main reasons, both of which were no where to be found in this issue: the slice of life story of the former Infinity, Inc. members and the art from Ben Caldwell. I expected losing the former, as the last issue ended with the introduction of the obligatory fight scene, but didn’t realize Caldwell would only be handling the layouts for this issue, and even then only the layouts for the first 9 pages! June Brigman does a nice job filling in, but it’s just a completely different feel from the previous issue.
There’s some fighting and Infinity, Inc. wins and then they meet with the former members of the Justice Society at a scene completely at odds with the Justice Society book (this couldn’t have been coordinated?) and theoretically take over the mantle of the JSA, or Justice Society Infinity, as is suggested by the Star Spangled Kid who should be beaten for it.
I would buy the heck out of a series like the first issue of this, but wouldn’t think twice about a series like issue #2.
– Kyle Garret
Convergence Justice Society Of America #2
As with most of the second issues of Convergence, this is a big fight scene. It’s nice enough and it’s got some really great superhero art from Tom Derenick and Trevor Scott, but it’s still just a long fight scene. I was also under the impression from last issue that these four characters (seen on the cover) were given one last chance to be young again in exchange for, well, their lives. This was supposed to be their last hurrah.
But they don’t die, they simply get old again. And then Dr. Fate, and only Dr. Fate, goes to tell the Infinity, Inc. kids that they’re the new JSA (even though all of them talk to their kids in Infinity, Inc.).
What I found interesting about this book was the choice of characters. DC eventually made The Flash, Green Lantern, and Wildcat the remaining members of the old guard post-Crisis, so seeing Hawkman and Dr. Fate instead of Wildcat was strange, particularly given that Hawkman didn’t look like his pre-Crisis self. I always preferred that version, to be honest, because the Egyptian stuff was always way cooler than the alien stuff.
Anyway, I’m still holding out hope that we get a Justice Society book of some kind featuring the original Earth-2 cast. In my head, it would take place in real time, so the Infinity, Inc. kids would be senior citizens and their children would be the Justice Society, allowing DC to add some diversity to the cast while keeping the legacies alive. And think of all the wonderful flashback stories you could tell!
I’m sure my phone will be ringing any minute now…
– Kyle Garret
Convergence Plastic Man And The Freedom Fighters #2
One of the biggest problems with many of these Convergence issues is that they feel rather passive and inert, as if these sorts of paycheck jobs are so unappealing for the creators that they just can’t be bothered to be anything other than professional. Anything more is giving too much over to the man.
Convergence Plastic Man and the Freedom Fighters is the opposite of that kind of comic. Writer Simon Oliver and artist John McCrea deliver a story where everything is endlessly in motion: giant robot wheels tumbling, robots taking over buildings, double-crossing Nazis, even some redemption for Eel O’Brian. It’s exactly what you want from a comic that’s about it’s robots vs. Nazis vs.super-heroes. Shakespeare it ain’t but who cares?
– Jason Sacks
Convergence Shazam #2
About twenty years ago, a little-loved and much-despised weekly crossover miniseries was published called Zero Hour. It stopped all the DC Comics for a month for stunt issues, launched a slew of new comics, and mainly is remembered – if at all- for being the launching pad for the beloved and acclaimed series Starman.
Now we have Convergence and Parker, Shaner and Bellaire’s Shazam!, and we can only hope that history repeats itself again. These two issues have been close to perfect comic stories, capturing the delight and charm of the Marvel Family characters with a thrilling steampunk Batman, along with some perfectly spot-on art. This comic is a thoroughly joyful experience, easily the best of these cross-over stories (and I’ve read them all). If there’s any justice in the world, DC Editorial will treat this as a pilot for an ongoing Marvel Family comic by this team because we need more pure happiness in comics.
– Jason Sacks
Convergence World’s Finest Comics #2
I’m a Legion of Superheroes fanboy (so their abuse in Blue Beetle insulted me on a cellular level — those characters were never on the same team at the same time!). Back in the 90s, the current Legion series jumped ahead 5 years. The book became fairly dark and serious, but also incredibly dense and complex. Much of that density came from Keith Giffen’s art, which featured 9 panels on every page (ala Watchmen). Giffen was known for taking short cuts with these pages by using the same panels more than once per page.
I knew a guy who would take his issues of the Legion from that time and cut them up into individual panels. Then he and his friends would mix them all up and put them back together and see if they got a coherent story — and they often did.
That’s what this comic book feels like — like someone drew a bunch of superhero panels featuring a set of characters and then someone else put them together. Because while this comic might make sense as far as logic is concerned, there is absolutely no flow to it.
I mean, there’s a random scene where some Qwardians attack a grocer and said grocer is saved by a cop who appears in only one panel. Is he important? He must be, right? He saved the grocer! Who knows?
At one point in the story Vigilante and the Crimson Avengers high five each other in the middle of a fight. Seriously. I had to read it three times to make sure they didn’t have Wonder Twins powers or something.
I’ve always enjoyed the history behind the Seven Soldiers of Victory (they were DC’s 2nd superhero team after the Justice Society), but I can’t imagine this series convincing anyone that they need to return.
– Kyle Garret