Same Geek Channel: ‘Convergence’ Week 3 – Crisis Time!

Comic Books Same Geek Channel

Corrina: With this being week 3 of the event, it’s hard not to feel the sameness of the stories. That’s not the creators’ fault since I suspect they were all told “have the characters dealing with a city trapped under a dome for a year.” This plot prompt is going to produce a lot of depressed characters, and it does. However, reading them one after another gets old fast. There are a few issues here and there, and a few excellent scenes here and there.

Otherwise, it’s just like reading a Rumbles forum, over and over.

I did enjoy the Convergence: Wonder Woman issue a great deal, even though it’s written by a creator never associated with the Amazon, but I’m not sure if that’s because her current regular series is so bad.

I also need to add up all the Jim Gordon cameos from this week and last week, as they amuse me. Word has gotten out that Gordon is Gotham’s indispensable man, so he tends to appear in just about every doomed Gotham story as coordinating things with the police or just plain coordinating.

Mordechai: I admit, I was excited about this week. Why, especially after the last two? Bluntly, the creators. Timothy Truman on a Hawkman title? Len Wein on Swamp Thing? Marv Wolfman writing both Supergirl and New Teen Titans? At the surface, this feels like an absolute love letter to classic fans (in this case, fans of the Crisis on Infinite Earths era–aka “my childhood”). Something the first two weeks have (generally) lacked.

Convergence #3
Story by Jeff King; Art by Stephen Segovia

Mordechai: We can now safely say that there’s no reason to read this main comic. As in the past two weeks, it’s an overly-wordy mess. Stuff actually happens this issue–Telos kills the entire city of Kandor (apparently he only took one version), We find out that Skartaris exists on this planet, and the Earth2 Batman gives his life to save his team from the pre-Flashpoint villains of Gotham. Yet at the same time, nothing feels important.

Thomas Wayne dies? Isn't that his job description? Copyright: DC Comics.
Thomas Wayne dies? Isn’t that his job description?
Copyright: DC Comics.

Corrina: I don’t care in the least about this book, and Skartaris existing feels like a weird plot point to toss in. It’s just one big Rumbles book with the only interesting interactions among the various version of the Batmen: Thomas Wayne and alternate universe Bruce talk, alternate universe Dick Grayson meets them both. That’s maybe five pages across three issue. I don’t enjoy comics with endless battles to see which character might be cooler and that’s all this series is.

Mordechai: It invades all the titles. As our mutual friend Michael Pullmann observed to me: “This specific plot really does suck all the fun out of the nostalgia, doesn’t it? ‘Here are your favorite characters as you remember them from growing up–and they’re fighting to the DEATH!’ … I mean really, you bring together every era of DC continuity, every beloved Elseworld (and some not so beloved), and THIS is all you can think of to do with them? … This is just Sid from Toy Story, strapping Buzz Lightyear to an M-80.”

Buy it? Hell, I might stop reading it for free.

Corrina: I skimmed #3. As for the others… :sigh: I could enjoy some of them if not for the fact that, at the end of their spotlight, they’re gonna die. At least some of them are facing pure villainy. The worst ones are when heroes and heroes kill each other.

Convergence: Adventures of Superman #1
Story by Marv Wolfman; Art by Roberto Viacava

Mordechai: A Marv Wolfman Supergirl story, so of course it references her death in Crisis. I liked this issue more than I was expecting to, and that had a lot to do with the story having less to do with the crossover than the actual characters.

A slight spin on a tired old joke doesn't make it less tired. Copyright: DC Comics.
A slight spin on a tired old joke doesn’t make it less tired.
Copyright: DC Comics.

Corrina: Yes, Kara Zor-el has an existential crisis about knowing she’s probably going to die in Crisis. But I do like her and Kal’s plan to try and rescue the city. It’s imaginative and gives a different flavor to this book.

Buy it? Yes.

Convergence: Batman & The Outsiders #1
Story by Marc Andreyko; Art by Carlos D’Anda

Corrina: Once again, our heroes are reacting to life under the dome. Only Rex Mason is enjoying himself because he’s normal. That doesn’t last. I expected to enjoy this look back at one of my favorite comic teams and… well, it’s fine. It’s just not that much more than that.

: I’m trying to remember if there was ever a time when Metamorpho was caustic to the touch, and I’m coming up blank. Rex and Saphire never had issues prior to this. Sure, it could be about his appearance, but instead they turn him into Acid Man.

And not the fun kind. Copyright DC Comics.
And not the fun kind.
Copyright DC Comics.

Also, note that this is another example of them being inconsistent with what the Dome does. I’m pretty sure Black Lightning’s powers were still coming from the suit at that point, yet it does not work.

Buy it? Corrina says if you must, Mordechai says don’t bother.

Convergence: Flash #1
Story by Dan Abnett; art by Fredrico Dallocchio

Corrina: The best part of this issue is the talk between Barry Allen and Bruce Wayne, and Barry’s frustration at being ordinary. There’s also a cool use of his powers at the end.

Why can't TV Barry be this fun? Copyright: DC Comics.
It’s weird remembering that Barry is actually blond.
Copyright: DC Comics.

Mordechai: This issue does a good job setting Barry’s dynamic up, and agreed on the Bruce page. Dan Abnett is a favorite of mine, and his handling of this story shows why.

Buy it? Mordechai says yes–if you like The Flash.

Convergence: Green Lantern Corps #1
Story by David Gallaher; Art by Steve Ellis

Corrina: I saved this issue for last in my stack, because I’ve never been a Lantern fan. Surprise! This issue features Guy Gardner and, while he’s depressed at being under the dome, he’s also royally pissed. I like this anger; it’s a great change, and reminds me of what a lovable pain-in-the-ass Gardner can be. Bonus: Hal Jordan is a jerk this issue to everyone, as it should be. Because I cordially loathe Hal in all his incarnations, save DC: The New Frontier.

Mordechai: See, and I was a Lantern fan (but also a Hal hater), and have read this era time and again for an old blog of mine. This is actually a perfect portrayal of just about every personality involved from the era. Plus, how about that cover?

Buy it? Yes.

Convergence: Hawkman #1
Story by Jeff Parker; Art by Tim Truman

Like Supergirl, the characters become aware of the Crisis. Copyright: DC Comics.
Like Supergirl, the characters become aware of the Crisis.
Copyright: DC Comics.

Corrina:  There is one particular sequence with Shayera Hall giving a museum tour that’s just gold and should be on the bulletin board of every creators who writes the Hawks forever after. “This is the greatest museum lecture ever.” Yes, it is, kid.

Mordechai: Jeff Parker is a great writer. I’ll buy anything he does and this is a great example why. The book does a great job of setting up the situation without miring it in the same continuity dross as some of the others. I’d argue that this is the second strongest book in the batch.

Buy it? Yes!

Convergence: Justice League America #1
Story by Fabian Nicieza; Art by ChrisCross

Corrina: Detroit JLA! Yes, I’m one of those nostalgic for them, along with Geoff Johns, considering how much he likes Vibe, plus this has Ralph and Sue Dibny working together. Unfortunately, the plot is the JLA versus the Tangent universe. I know nothing about them and the focus on the battle plot drags the book down.

Although this scene was cute. Copyright: DC Comics.
Although this scene was cute.
Copyright: DC Comics.

Mordechai: I didn’t like them at the time, but I admit to liking this book. It does a decent job, although once again the Dome’s rules are weird. Apparently Steel’s robot parts count as “powers,” so he ends up hooked to machines. This makes no sense to me. And note how in this Dome, Aquaman can’t go underwater, but the Zero Hour-era one could last week. Someone needs to poke an editor.

Buy it? Depends on how much you like JLA Detroit.

Convergence: New Teen Titans #1
Story by Marv Wolfman; Art by Nicola Scott

Corrina: Disco Nightwing drawn by Nicola Scott. Yes, I’d buy the issue for that alone though, alas, not too many backside shots. Ah, well. Is the issue good? It’s fine, it’s great to see my team of Titans working together again, though I could do without the continued emphasis on Starfire wanting to kill people, the main conflict between Dick and Kory.

Kole is in this. Who’s Kole? The character created by Wolfman to die in the original Crisis on Infinite Earths. I guess he felt guilty about that.

Mordechai: I used to aggressively hunt down issues from this era, so I was shocked at how “meh” this felt to me. The one nice hook was one of the Tangent Doom Patrol getting in touch with Nightwing at the end. You know the two of them are going to be subverting the fight. That’ll be a welcome touch.

Apparently whatever messaging system they're using exists in two universes. Copyright: DC Comics.
Apparently whatever messaging system they’re using exists in two universes.
Copyright: DC Comics.

Buy it? Eh.

Convergence: Superboy & The Legion #1
Story by Stuart Moore; Art by Gus Storms

Corrina: Classic Legion… trapped? Brainiac 5 seems like he should know a way out, but this is the cranky Braniac, not the Silver Age one in love with Kara Zor-El so he’s cranky. Did I mention he was cranky?

Mordechai: This was very much the cranky/insane Brainy era, so it works. It’s a solid issue overall, with Superboy giving some real emotion.

We all do, Clark. Copyright: DC Comics.
We all do, Clark.
Copyright: DC Comics.

Buy it? Maybe. Let’s see issue two.

Convergence: Swamp Thing #1
Story by Len Wein; Art by Kelly Jones

Corrina: Swamp Thing, now knowing he’s a plant, goes to Gotham to talk to Batman about something, ends up trapped in the Dome, and nearly dies from being cut off from organics. It’s a nice insight into the Swamp Thing of that time period but that’s about it. I kept waiting for a Poison Ivy appearance but, when she showed up, it was disappointing.

Mordechai: I have nothing to add. Kind of a waste of paper. Which is not something I ever thought I would say about a book with this creative team. I didn’t even think it was worth clipping an image from.

Buy it? No.

Convergence: Wonder Woman #1
Story by Larry Hama; Art by Joshua Middleton
Corrina: My favorite of the week, because this is classic Wonder Woman and even classic Steve Trevor. Great character moments for Diana, showing who she is even without her powers, and it’s nice to see someone remembered that people turn to religious explanations when insane things happen–like being stuck inside a dome for a year.  I’m a bit bummed at the ending but glad Diana has a foe she can gleefully destroy, the Red Rain universe vampires.

Buy it? Yes!

Mordechai:This was the strongest week of the crossover for sure, but it’s still… um… how to put it?

: But there’s nothing outstanding in the whole batch.

Mordechai Luchins: Yes. That, sadly, is going to be Convergence‘s epitaph.

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1 thought on “Same Geek Channel: ‘Convergence’ Week 3 – Crisis Time!

  1. Scary indictment of the industry these days – to have this many creators, with this much history to draw on, and nothing is happening.

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