Singles Going Steady is Comics Bulletin’s weekly single issue review roundup.
I’ll be honest, I wrote this event off back at Convergence #2. I thought it was a lazy event with sloppy art that was a “fill-in” in every sense. Here’s an event where the main protagonists are the heroes of Earth 2. No, not pre-Crisis Earth-Two, but the New 52’s Earth 2: a book so successful that they dedicated a weekly series to its destruction, probably because they couldn’t bear to stretch it out over a regular monthly schedule. But the misguided urge to keep up on the major events in my favorite comic universe (multiverse?) lead me to finally catching up on the series, which brings me to Convergence #7. Surprisingly, having read issues #0-7 in a row, I found the story actually enjoyable.
Don’t get me wrong, this main event is still a tire-fire and you’ll find much better storytelling in the side adventures like Shazam or Nightwing/Oracle, but there is a level of enjoyment that can be found in this Jeff King / Scott Lobdell story. Not the kind of enjoyment that comes from reading well constructed narrative with a strong emotional base, but the kind of enjoyment that can be had watching Killer Klowns From Outer Space while eating Taco Bell at 3 a.m. after a night of heavy drinking. This is enjoyment at of the most undignifed level. So what’s actually happening? Well, the characters from the main DC Universe are part of this story now (sort of), but they’re resigned to sitting back and hoping that Convergence doesn’t enter they’re reality. With “Darkseid War” looming in the pages of Justice League, I’m hoping for the same thing.
Convergence Adventures Of Superman #2
Lets be honest with each other, nobody believes that this crossover is any good. A few tales here and there seem to catch a few readers eyes, and even I can say that a few comics in this series have been good. I believe when I reviewed Adventures of Superman#1 I had high hopes for number 2. My hopes have been smashed away.
Adventures of Superman #2 becomes the absolute representation of why I hate reading Superman stories. He is my favorite character but very rarely is he ever represented properly. In this book he is beaten and bloodied by multiple Phantom Zone inmates, only to be saved by Supergirl. Later he is saved from Gorillas with guns, again by Supergirl. Maybe I got the name on the comic wrong, maybe this is Wolfmans attempt at making up for murdering Supergirl during his original Crisis. Either way this book sucks, the art has moments but in the long run falls apart under the weight of a bad story.
Convergence Batman And The Outsiders #2
There’s a nice twist here in showing us the “bad” side of the battle which gives this version of Omac some depth. The fight is fine as those things go, the art is nice, and I like Halo’s new costume.
There’s no much else to say, really, because these are two issue series and there’s no much else going on. Would I love to see the return of these characters? Sure. I just don’t know that two issues constrained by a silly event really won over any new fans, so I can’t imagine we’re going to see these particular Outsiders again.
– Kyle Garret
Convergence Green Lantern Corps #2
Just for the fun of it, because there’s not a lot of fun in Convergence Green Lantern Corps #2, let’s run down some of the weirdest and most random moments in this very weird and random comic book.
- We get maybe two dozen idiotic aphorisms along the lines of “No risk. No reward” and “Being the best doesn’t guarantee success” from the lips of Guy Gardner, traditionally one of the least unreflective of all super-heroes, for no particular reason.
- Guy fights some sort of giant six-armed monster with small faces all around his large face (or are those parts of his mask? Who knows? Who cares? He looks stupid!)
- One of the big guest stars in this issue is Hercules, from an impossibly obscure 1970s DC Comic, and we get him with no explanation, doing pointless things for no good reason.
- Hercules’s girlfriend has no toes. Poor girlfriend. Maybe she’s an action figure.
- Hercules and Guy Gardner arm wrestle and Guy wins because he has superior technique. Umm, yeah.
- Guy wears Hercules’s armor but at least he trades a motorcycle for the armor. Wha? (the six-year-old inside me thinks that’s kind of cool)
- Then three Green Lanterns defeat the six-armed monster
- Then the issue (mercifully) ends
Everybody who always dreamed of working in comics but never could get hired should be crying their eyes out because chances are they can produce something better than this drek.
– Jason Sacks
Convergence Hawkman #2
Well, this was certainly a comic. Jeff Parker has proven his ability to craft enjoyable stories from “broken” or difficult-to-write characters like Aquaman, Red She-Hulk, and
Captain Marvel Shazam. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the crazy continuity calamity known as Hawkman. This second chapter of the Convergence tie-in takes the most basic elements to Katar and Shayera’s mythology to tell a story that is all too simplistic. Also, Hawkman vs. Manhawks – are you kidding me? I don’t know how anyone thought that’d be a good idea.
The “back to basics” approach that Parker used to great effect in Convergence: Shazam! falls flat here mostly because the Hawks, for most of their publication history, just have not been terribly interesting. The artwork also leaves something to be desired, as it never rises above mediocrity. Until DC is able to find a version that can work and just stick with it, perhaps they might think it best to keep their winged warriors in storage.
– Daniel Gehen
Convergence Justice League America #2
Fabian Nicieza was one of the few writers smart enough to skip the entire “day in the life under the dome” bit with this series and instead jumped straight to “day when the dome came down.” The upside is that he was able to jump fairly quickly into the big fight, which meant the big fight was able to have some actual ebb and flow. This allowed us to see that the Tangent Universe Secret Six aren’t all bad. We also see the Justice League get beaten, regroup, and finally win with the return of their version of the Big Three. Nicieza does a nice job with Vibe, perhaps the character who needed the most work. The narration by Sue Dibny nicely underscores what a horrible, horrible series Identity Crisis was.
The art by ChrissCross is wonderful and I really wish he was doing a regular book, although perhaps he doesn’t have the time.
I would read the hell out of a Justice League Detroit book by these creators.
– Kyle Garret
Convergence New Teen Titans #2
I wanted to like this so much more than I did. Nicola Scott has a history with the Titans, and she’s up to the task of recalling both George Perez and Dan Jurgens (doubly appropriate since their foes are the Tangent Doom Patrol). Sadly Wolfman is focusing on not the exciting original Team with Raven, but the later soap operatic team he pursued with Kole and Jericho. Jericho may have been way ahead of his time as an out gay character, but he’s too stereotypical (the artistic pacifist in a family of assassins, a disappointment to his father) for the twenty-teens.
He also characterizes Donna as everybody’s codependent best friend, and is way too caught up in the Starfire/Nightwing love affair of mixed signals and passive aggression. About the nicest thing I can say about this aspect is that, when they make up, Scott captures Kory in all her glory as a big orange alien in love with a slight and gloomy Dick. The two teams do finally decide to work together, but the path to get there was corny and clichéd. Vic and Gar bonding isn’t enough to really recall the old times, and the Doom Patrol seem accurate but under-developed.
– Shawn Hill
Convergence Superboy And The Legion Of Super-Heroes #2
Well, this is just a hot mess of a comic and that’s saying a lot given that most of these comics have been a mess.
Why does Gardner Grayle, leader of the Atomic Knights, go straight for the nuclear option? Why is he mad at the Legion for not saving his world when he knows full well that they never existed on his world? Why does he think his city will survive after he unleashes a biological weapon? It’s just going to be nice enough to stop with Metropolis? Superboy’s powers are inherent, simply triggered by the yellow sun, so why were they taken away if they are a part of him? Shouldn’t Brainiac 5 have lost his intellect, then? Why have Superboy hook up with Lightning Lass, who would become one of the first gay characters in comics to actually appear on panel with her girlfriend?
The art is nice, but this story didn’t equal it. As a long time Legion fan, I was hoping for better.
– Kyle Garret
Convergence Swamp Thing #2
The second issue lives up to the first as being one of the best of this abbreviated event. Swampy and Abby went to Gotham looking for Batman last issue, only to find the Red Rain Batman and a Gotham beset by vampires. They’re still meant to fight it out for dominance, but Len Wein writes both players as too smart for that. Or, more interestingly, their team-up isn’t about fighting at all. Batman actually wants his Gotham to lose (overrun by vampire hordes as it is), and enlists Swampy’s aid in fighting his foes and curbing his destructive urges.
Alec quickly realizes he’s something of an anti-vampire weapons grade ordinance all by himself, and with Abby they make a great team dusting the mindless hordes, clearing lairs, and taking on the Bat’s long-term enemy, who resembles Barbara Gordon (thought nothing is actually made of it). Wein’s script is the picture of efficiency, with all involved acting logically given their odd plight. Enough cannot be said about how perfect Kelley Jones is for this project, as his Southern Gothic style couldn’t be better suited to Bats, swamp monsters or revenant hordes. Every page is a surreal vanitas reminder of mortality and the fleeting beauty that grows amidst decay.
Together Wein and Jones succeed in capturing the best effect of this event, generating a palpable moment of nostalgia that feels just like the old days, for one last time.
– Shawn Hill
Convergence The Flash #2
In my mind there was once a conversation that went like this…
“Dear DC Comics, please give me a crossover issue of Convergence where I don’t actually want to claw my eyes and rip out whatever remaining hair I have left.” – Kristopher Reavely
“Dear Kristopher, please read Flash #2″ -Dan Abnett & Federico Dallocchio (writer and artist)
Flash#2 represents some of the best storytelling that DC’s creative teams have released as part of Convergence. It’s not perfect but it has enough character interaction between Barry Allen and an Elseworlds Superman that it truly makes the tale different than almost any other superhero story found within the Convergence crossover. Even though these juggernauts must battle it is fantastic to read a conversation between two characters that is open and honest. It’s also nice to see that no matter what version of Superman one reads, he is almost always a force for good.
Flash #2 is good, thank you DC Comics for not completely destroying what little credibility you still had with me.
– Kristopher Reavely
Convergence Wonder Woman #2
No, no, just fucking no.
Who has ever asked for Wonder Woman to battle a vampiric version of the Joker, while the Joker’s vampiric henchcreatures kill Steve Trevor? And have Diana’s friend Etta killed too? And destroy a church in the process? And do so in the most soul defeating, terribly bleak and cloistered way, where this story only makes sense if you’re completely separated from reality, morality and the world outside of comic books?
“The city still stands, and the citizens still breathe. I am apparently the victor here, but there is no exultation, and somewhere else, a city has ceased to exist, and countless lives have been snuffed out. I saved Gotham, but could not save those closest to me… The Duke of Wellington was right when he said that a battle lost is only half so meloncholy as a battle won.
To quote Daniel Elkin, where’s the gin?
– Jason Sacks