Same Geek Channel: The Last Convergence Review

Columns Comic Books Featured Same Geek Channel
Can we just be freinds? Copyright: DC Comics.
Can we just be friends?
Copyright: DC Comics.

At last, our long national nightmare is over!

If you recall, week four of Convergence actually featured many of our favorite tie-in books. Will the second parts continue? Let’s read on.

Convergence: Shazam #2
Story by Jeff Parker; Art by Evan Shaner

Mordechai: Convergence could be the worst crossover since Avengers: The Crossing, but I’m willing to forgive all that for Doc Shaner and Jeff Parker’s Captain Marvel. This comic is perfect, you guys. It captures everything I love about the classic comics (right down to Billy and Cap being two distinct personalities) and just sells it.

This panel is everything right about comics. EVERYTHING. Copyright: DC Comics.
This panel is everything right about comics. EVERYTHING.
Copyright: DC Comics.

Corrina: I could add something but why when Mordechai said it so well.
Buy it? Get one for everyone you know. Paper your room with it. It’s awesome. This is the second of the Convergence stories (the other is The Question) that stands alone as a great story.

Convergence: Action Comics #2
Story by Justin Gray; Art by Claude St-Aubine

Mordechai: I liked the first issue, and liked this one even more. Crisis-era Powergirl vs. Red Son Wonder Woman was actually (gasp) fun, as were the machinations of Luthor. I particularly like Red Son Lois.

You tell 'im, girl. Copyright: DC Comics.
You tell ‘im, girl.
Copyright: DC Comics.

Corrina: This was a surprisingly interesting mash-up of alternate worlds. But I’m not sure anyone but a DC fan would enjoy it. But Lois fans? Lois fans should snabble it up.

Mordechai: Only downside? Power Girl’s husband feels like Terry Long, and not in a good way.

Buy it? Yes.

Convergence: Blue Beetle #2
Story by Scott Lobdell; Art by Yishan Li

Mordechai: It’s that rarest of creatures -a Scott Lobdell book I like! The Earth-C heroes vs. the SW6 era Legion of Superheroes (time-clones of the original Legion, living on a massive fake Earth because Superman and a Daxemite destroyed the moon. Long story.) plays out really, really well. Ted Kord is played with both humor and a level of respect we don’t usually see for him.

Respect from the writer, not his fellow heroes. Copyright: DC Comics.
Respect from the writer, not his fellow heroes.
Copyright: DC Comics.

Hell, I’d go so far as to say that I might be interested in reading more stories set in this universe, by the same creative team.

Corrina: I wouldn’t go that far. It’s a decent story but it’s so heavy, heavy on DC continuity that it almost falls under its own weight. I liked the humor, however. C’mon, you just said SW6 Legion. Show of hands out there – who knows what that means?

I'm wrong, anyway. Their Sensor wasn't a snake. And no LoSH ever said "frack". Source: DC Comics.
I’m wrong, anyway. Their Sensor wasn’t a snake. And no LoSH ever said “frack.”
Copyright: DC Comics.

Buy It? Ted Kord fans don’t get much, so they should get this.

Convergence: Booster Gold #2
Story by Dan Jurgens; Art by Alvaro Martinez

Mordechai: Four words – kill it with fire. I love Booster Gold and love the old JLI, but wow, was this ever a painful “love letter” to Blue and Gold. Almost a direct contrast to how well done the Blue Beetle series was. Also, note to Dan Jurgens: Stop trying to make Waverider a thing. It’s not going to happen.

Also, Which version of the Legion is this, ‘zactly?

Corrina: Now you’re asking what version of Legion it was? You were okay with the other Legion in the other thing, even though they were clones or something. My main issue with the story is that sometimes time travel gets too much and with all these versions, it does here. I didn’t mind Waverider. I can’t imagine anyone outside of a hardcore DC fan even knows who Waverider is. Or cares.

Is there a future where Jurgens stops using you? Let's go there. Copyright: DC Comics.
Is there a future where Jurgens stops using you? Let’s make that one.
Copyright: DC Comics.

Mordechai: Well, all the other versions of the Legion in this crossover have been pretty clear. This one is just kind of there. I guess it might be Crisis era. As for Waverider, he was another Dan Jurgens creation, and was used on JLU because of his visual, but nothing else.

Buy It?

Corrina: Sure, why not, if you need Booster. Mordechai says no.

Convergence: World’s Finest Comics# 2
Story by Paul Levitz; Art by Jim Fern

Mordechai: I lost my copy. Take it, Corrina. 

Corrina:I  They killed Victory!! They killed the horse. Noo!!!

As you might guess, this story is a bit bleak and bittersweet, almost a love letter to creators past. The Seven Soldiers of Victory do not get much of a victory but this story is still an ode to heroism even against impossible odds.

Buy it? Yes.

Convergence: Plastic Man and the Freedom Fighters #2
Story by Simon Oliver; Art by John McCrea
Corrina: A super Nazi plus the Freedom Fighters versus the evil robots from Futures End. It’s a better story than you’d guess, especially since no one trusts the Nazi. The art makes fine use of Plastic Man’s bendy form and the style suits the darker nature of the story.

Mordechai: It’s really weird seeing Plastic Man in a “dark” story. it also makes me wonder exactly why the Futures End heroes had such a tough time with the OMACs, if this small team could do so well. Still, good story.

Buy it? Yes.

Convergence: Crime Syndicate of America #2
Story by Brian Buccatello; Art by Phil Winslade

Mordechai: How about that art? Arguably one of the roughest fights, with the DC One Million crew far, far more violent than any of the other fighters. Wonder Woman vs., well, everyone is just great to read. The book ends with “The End?” so I can’t help but wonder if this is a book we may see play out elsewhere in the multiverse.

Let's get ready to rummmmmble. Copyright: DC Comics.
Let’s get ready to rummmmmble.
Copyright: DC Comics.

Corrina: Stuff went dark in this book, which makes sense for one named after villains. I’m not even sure who won at the end.

Mordechai: I think that was deliberate. Not sure.

Buy it? Yes.

Convergence: Detective Comics #2
Story by Len Wien; Art by Denys Cowan and Bill Sienkiewicz
Mordechai: I’m going to shut up for ten minutes so Corrina can gush about the art.

Corrina: Will someone please give Denys Cowan a monthly Batman book. Please. I’m looking at the pages with the discussion between the Russian Batman and Earth-2 Helena Wayne and Dick Grayson and they’re beautiful, especially the close-ups of Batman and Helena’s face with a single tear. I have to mention the superior work of the colorist, Chris Sotomayor, in those sequences. Tugged at my heartstrings, like some of the encounters between our Batman and Helena Wayne after her father died.

Is moving, no? Copyright: DC Comics.
Is moving, no?
Copyright: DC Comics.

Mordechai: I loved the ending of the book, but getting there was a chore. Great art, weak story.

Buy It? Yes.

Convergence: Infinity Inc #2
Story by Jerry Ordway; Art by Ben Caldwell, June Brigman, and Roy Richardson
Mordechai: To me, one of the big draws of #1 was the Ben Caldwell art. Sadly, he’s only on layouts this month. June Brigman does a passable job, but without the funky energy of Caldwell’s art, this goes down a few notches for me. Ordway manages to give us a passable fight scene, ending in a stalemate (this is one of several this week). His main focus, though, is the last few pages, where the aged Justice Society pass the torch to the Infinitors (isn’t it nice that they found the time for that?). I guess that means if we ever do see this version of Earth 2 again, it will be very different.

Corrina: I didn’t like the art much last issue, so I have no problems with this. I did like another chance to experience the Infinity Inc. characters but it wasn’t enough for me to demand a series. The last few pages? A love letter to the old-school JSA.

Mordechai: You see a love letter, I see meh. I couldn’t even find a page worth clipping.

Buy it? Coin flip.

Convergence: Justice Society of America #2
Story by Dan Abnett; Art by Tom Derenick

Mordechai: As a last JSA story, this works. As part of a larger crossover, not so much. For one thing, the JSA are pretty damn mellow about the fact that destroying the weapon from Qward means Qward dies. And, yes, they win. No tricks, no nothing. Their last act as heroes is to destroy the last remnant of a universe. I know Qward is a “bad” universe, but can everyone there be evil?

Overall, it’s one big fight scene, with some fun art. I’d argue it’s passable.

This, for many pages.  Copyright: DC Comics.
This, for many pages.
Copyright: DC Comics.

Corrina: I was disappointed that with such a build-up, it’s just one big action sequence. But I think it’s been established the Qwardians are basically the Nazis of space. What confused me is why the heroes aged after after they were done, since they had their powers back. Why is that?

Mordechai: That was established in the first issue; Fate could only give them their powers back for one day (Never mind that Fate is powered up in Infinity Incorporated).

Buy it? If you find it in a cheap bin.

Convergence #8
Story by Scott Lobdell and Jeff King; art by Stephen Segovia and Carlo Pagulayan
Mordechai: Since for the last seven weeks we’ve told you this book isn’t worth buying, it’s not a shock that we’re going to come right out and call this comic an absolute waste of paper. But not for the reasons you think.

There’s basically zero reason to read a book that’s 80% exposition, with lots of posing, explaining how now there are infinite Earths again. Yep, at long last, Crisis is undone. Except it still happened, so Barry and Supergirl still have to die. Oh, and Parallax goes back with him, because Hal needs redemption. Which means now there’s an Earth in the multiverse where Hal never died/came back. So I guess that’s one good thing.

I’ve wanted to see the multiverse back since they took it away. I’m actually glad it’s back. But this? This may have been the most ham-fisted, dull way ever to bring it back. A bunch of people fight, then they don’t, then a third party fights, then a fourth party kills the third party, then magic!

Just bring the multiverse back. You don’t need an insane, convoluted set-up. I’m sure there’s some small segment of fandom that needs this, but you’ve already got The Bleed and multiple Earths. All you needed was a crossover that said “Yeah, there are lots of them.”

You know, like Multiversity.

Corrina: You had me for a while but lost me at Multiversity, which has been one meta-commentary of disappointment save for two issues. But on to Convergence

Good that the new Earth-2 had a happy ending of sorts. I think. I didn’t expect it but that means the apostrophe-less Futures End never happened, right? (Which is great because if you thought Convergence was bad, try 52 issues of something that bad.) So why does the new Batman Beyond book feature that?

Mordechai: Now that there’s infinite Earths, it happened. One of the Earths in the early issues was Earth Future’s End. Also? I never said Multiversity was good; they just could have accomplished the same goal. And hey, note the lack of art? Too much chatting, nothing worth clipping. That’s a bad sign.

Corrina: I’m not sure what the people who went with Flash and Superman mean for the multiverse. Does this mean old-school Barry is alive through the multiverse? Or Supergirl? If so, where did Parallax and old-school Superman, Lois, and son go?

Mordechai: Parallax went with Barry and Supergirl. Not sure about Superman, Lois, and the kid.

Corrina: Not that I’m requesting answers. I can make up the happy endings in my head. I’m just wondering.

Still, Convergence could have been one issue. This one. And it would have been fine.

We probably should mention the previews in all these books for the new DC books. Some of them look promising and, to DC’s credit, they all seem to be heavily skewed toward individual creators like Annie Wu on the Black Canary book. I’m just not sure I ever needed Black Canary fronting a rock band.

I’ve read Black Canary since the 1970s and she’s had her ups and down. (Do not mention her other short-lived series please.) But she finally had a definitive characterization in the old Birds of Prey and now it’s gone and I guess I’m still in mourning.

The perils of being a fangirl. DC wants to grab the next generation of fans and I can’t blame them for that. But when DC reboots again and the new favorite characters are replaced, I’ll be over here for anyone who needs a shoulder.

Mordechai: Well said. The Black Canary rock band thing spins out of Batgirl, and it’s an entertaining take. You’re right that it’s different from old school BoP, but New 52 Dinah has been pretty generic till now. I’m also very interested in Justice League United, a book featuring “as needed” heroes, and done by Jeff Parker, the guy who wrote both the Hawkman and Shazam minis for Convergence and a lot of other stuff I’ve loved in the past.

I’m going to be honest and admit that this current wave has me more interested in DC than I have been in a while. After years of tight editorial control, it sounds like DC may really be letting creators run with stuff. That’s how you get good comics.

Fingers crossed.

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