Threat Level: WEDNESDAY!!! Convergence Week 2, ALL Titles Reviewed!!! ~ What'cha Reading?

Threat Level: WEDNESDAY!!! Convergence Week 2, ALL Titles Reviewed!!!

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Threat Level: WEDNESDAY!!! Convergence Week 2, ALL Titles Reviewed!!!

The second week of DC’s Multiversal Mash-up is under way, and it’s a doozy. Starring characters from Earth 2 ( NEW 52 )  and Earth 1 ( the new Earth One Graphic Novels ) in Convergence itself (there’s also a blink-and- you’ll-miss-it Superman Red and Superman Blue appearance, beside the Tony Daniel variant cover ), and popping up in the ties are predominantly characters from pre Zero-Hour ( Azrael, Parallax, hook-hand Aquaman, shape shifting Supergirl etc. ) and Kingdom Come with guest appearances by pre New 52 Wildstorm characters, the Futures End OMAC dystopia, the Just Imagine Stan Lee creations, as well as characters from Electropolis, the former Earth-6 from pre Crisis, home universe of Lady Quark of L.E.G.I.O.N. fame.

 

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Author’s Note: All reviews for this week are violently biased, as the Zero Hour- Kingdom Come era reflect the coming of age time of my life when I got into comics full blast. When I decided no matter what the job, how the friend, who the girl, where I was, when it fell on, or what people thought, I would be at my comic shop every Wednesday. It worked out okay. Met my wife there.

So like I said: Biased

BAtmanConvergence #2

$4.99
w. Jeff King
a. Carlos Pagulayan

4 out of 5 Space Monkeys

Why?:
Because if its one thing DC knows how to do right, it.s a Multiversal Crisis ( practice makes perfect ). King’s epic story is beginning to take shape, aided tremendously by Pagaluyan’s picture perfect renderings of all the characters involved and the cosmic flare he gives the whole book with his dynamic storytelling.
Still captives of Telos, the surviving city-less heroes of Earth 2 can only watch as the Domes fall, and Telos’ announces his Gladiator rules of city versus city. But in Cities filled mostly with heroes from all over the multiverse, Telos is recognized as a common enemy, with most Cities at first refusing to fight. So Telos prods them along a little bit, sending the evil OMAC Super-hero-Cyborgs of Futures End after the denizens of Just Imagine Stan Lee… characters. As the Earth2ers struggle against their liquid silver energy restraints, they are forced to watch a slaughter……. the OMACS devastate the Just Imagine characters ( who fall rather easily, like any concept created by Stan Lee without Jack Kirby or Steve Ditko !!! ).
As Telos is distracted by the battles he is now forcing among the cities ( see ALL crossovers ),his grip on the Earth2ers is waning, and they take full advantage. Trying their best to stop Telos, even the combined might of Superman (Val-Zod), Flash(Jay Garrick ), Batman ( Thomas Wayne ), and Dick Grayson can’t destroy a being whose very essence of  the planet itself.

Not until Green Lantern ( Alan Scott) regains consciousness. His attempt to merge his Earth force power with that of Telos’ world gives him just enough time to blast Telos apart, and give the heroes a much needed break….that is until he reforms!!! It’s Val-Zods turn to take him down, and with years of pacifist rage built up, he’s got the perfect person to unleash it on.  After Telos’ retreat,GL reveals that his temporary merging with Telos’ let him on to a little secret.

Telos’ has a weakness and ts somewhere within the planet itself, an its centered on a ruined city nearby. Superman, Flash, GL and Yolanda Montez head to the city under Batman’s orders, while he takes Dick Grayson to a nearby Gotham to gather recruits for the coming battle. Its’ a father and son reunion 75 years in the making as Thomas Wayne, the Batman of Earth 2, finds his way to the batcave of Bruce Wayne of Earth One, can a father and son reconcile their mutual losses across a universal gap?? Will the heroes find a way to stop Telos’ mad plan?? And judging by the sudden long lost character appearance at the end, when Alan Scott said the weakness was within the Planet, he really meant WITHIN the planet! ( that’s a hint!)

downloadAquaman #1
$3.99
w. Tony Bedard
a.  Cliff Richards

3 out of 5 Space Monkeys

Why?:  Because, despite the washed-out-emo-cosplayer look on the cover, the Aquaman Bedard and Richards show us within the book is pretty cool. Captured in the Dome soon after losing his hand, this Aquaman does not fair well with Dome life. Cut off from his powers, Aquaman goes into a period of isolation, unable to speak to fish, but still keeping his inborn water breathing powers, he becomes an outcast vigilante, and is driven further into seclusion when Metropolis harbor, his only source of fresh natural water, is poisoned by a leaking Chemo, damaged in battle. Taking to living in the City Aquarium, Aquaman is recruited by STAR Labs’ Dan Dorrance, the former Sea Devil. Given a cybernetic multifunctional hook, and kept hydrated, Aquaman slowly becomes the man he once was…. just in time for the Dome to fall and Wildstorm’ s most ruthless killer is prompted by Telos to defeat Aquaman. Yes folks …Deathblow has Aquaman in his sights!!!!

 

4329150-1+conv_bm_shad_1Batman: Shadow of the Bat #1
$3.99
w. Larry Hama
a. Philip Tan

5 out of 5 Space Monkeys

Why?: It gets full stars for the creative team alone, I mean c’monnnn. Industry legend Larry Hama ( ahem, Wolverine….Snake Eyes,…Silent issue!!! ) pens a tale set shortly after Bruce Wayne’s recovery from his back-breaking battle with Bane.

Trapped under the Dome, Batman, decides to infiltrate Tobias Whale’ s crime empire in disguise…. as Bruce Wayne!!!! The billionaire playboy, looking to stay rich in a post-Dome world, wants in on Whale’ s business, but the oversized Cornelius doesn’t trust him, leaving it up to his right hand man, and strong arm guy Johnny Valli ( a.k.a Jean Paul Valley….that’s right folks…Azrael is back! ) to soften him up! Can the two Batman work together despite their unresolved issues and different approaches to crime fighting??? Can they save Gotham’ s food supply ?? Does it make a difference, when Cyberforce shows up in Gotham, ready to take down its distrustful Dark Knights???

All of this great Hama scribing is backed up by the spectacular art of Philip Tan, who over the years has improved his style by leaps and bounds, and might have just reached its pinnacle. He lays down this issue with a smooth Bermejo-like realistic finish, but still keep his kinetic style underneath. This might just be his best work yet

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Catwoman #1
$3.99
w. Justin Gray
a. Ron Randall

3 out of 5 Space Monkeys

 

Why?: actually, it got an extra space monkey because it’s Jim Balent’s Catwoman, my all time favorite. Stuck in Metropolis while on a heist, Catwoman has spent her year under the Dome, tip toeing between cat burglar and being the guardian of Suicide Slum. Protecting the poorest residents of Metropolis from nefarious predators like Mannheim ( anyone else.remember Intergang?? ). While rescuing a scientist from their very clutches, Catwoman is suddenly pursued by her Kingdom Come combatant, who else could it be but…. Batman. It was real cool to see Ron Randall back at DC, I mean this is the guy who transition the Justice League Europe into the Justice League International!

4329158-3+conv_ga_1Green Arrow #1
$3.99
w. Christy Marx
a. Morales & St.Aubin

3 out of 5 Space Monkeys

Why?: Because Green Arrow, rather well adjusted to life under the Dome, is still fighting crime, only slightly disillusioned, mostly by the effects of everyone giving up on getting out, and the depression it’s causing among the populace.

Meanwhile, a gang of White supremacists are going block by block, “purifying” their neighborhood, until they encounter Connor Hawke, a Buddhist monk who just happens to be the Green Arrows unknown son. But Connor knows who his father is and  an encounter with an actual green arrow leads Connor to believe his long.lost father is also trapped under the Dome. Using an ingenious flare to signal him, the two are reunited,just in time to save Connor’s apartment complex/ temple, full of minorities kicked out their homes, from the racist bigots trying to run them out. But this father and son reunion gets a little interrupted, when the Black Canaries ( yes there’s two ) of the Kingdom Come Universe appear ? It’s Mother and Daughter versus Father and Son , the fate of two cities in their hands!!!!

 

Green Lantern/Parallax #1CONV_GL_PAR_1
$3.99
w. Tony Bedard
a. Ron Wagner

4 out of 5 Space Monkeys

Why?: Because Bedard and Wagner capture the era perfectly. The Dome went up right before the Zero Hour event. Hal Jordan was Parallax and mad as a batter and Kyle Rayner had the last Green Lantern ring for all of five minutes before they were both rendered powerless by the Dome.

Now a guilt ridden Jordan had himself imprisoned for the horrors he committed as Parallax ( you know… killing all his fellow Lanterns, and the Guardians) Rendered sane by not having access to the Parallax power, Hal refuses to blame anyone but himself despite absolution from his friends. Even repetitive  visits by Kyle won’t change his mind, as the young former Green Lantern  begs for tales of yesteryear and spends his down time wandering what might have been.

When the Dome drops, so does Hal’s fragile  grip on realty! Parallax returns, and realizing his predicament begins to go on a rampage! Can Kyle convince Hal to take control before he starts destroying cities? He might not  get a  chance to when princess fern and the armies of electropolis attack the two green lanterns! It’s all out war as Parallax heads to  an undefended ( Lord Volt and Lady Quark are busy elsewhere see below) Electropolis to exact his revenge!!!!

JLI-Convergence-CoverJustice League International #1
$3.99
w. Ron Marz
a. Mike Manley

3 out of 5 Space Monkeys

Why?: Because the Bwa-ha-ha team,minus Booster Gold ( plus Red Tornado!) is still cool, even when powerless under the Dome. Defending Metropolis from threats and villains of a more techno-level ( tech still works…hence Androids!) under the leadership of Blue Beetle.

With  Fire, Ice, Martian Manhunter and Captain Atom all losing there powers, it’s the already powerless Ted Lord ( who really steps up as the professional hero, since the others couldn’t hack being powerless ) now leading the more tech reliant team, taking on villains like Metallo and his Metallic Men!  But even re-powered after the Dome falls, are they match for a team led by the warlike Wonder Woman of the Kingdom Come city. A team that consists of reckless warriors from a dark future like Shazam, Nightstar, Obsidian and Jade, the Hundreds, Blue Beetle and the Creeper??? …it’s gonna be a tough one!

4329159-4-conv_ssquad_1Suicide Squad #1
$3.99
w. Frank Tieri
a. Tom Mandrake

5 out of 5 Space Monkeys

Why?: Cuz I’m a sucka for some Mandrake art. God this guy is great!
He captures all the old school coolness of these all these villains without making them hokey, as Tieri does with the story an script. Captain Boomerang and Deadshot were the top gun crime lords, until the balance of power was restored when the dome dropped, now they know Amanda Waller gonna come calling for them.

Mrs. Waller and Oracle are a little busy though, being recruited backinto action by General Sam Lane: There mission: Take out the Kingdom Come City before they take us out. Not an easy task considering their older, wiser and more powerful version of this world heroes. Just Green Lantern’s floating tower of New OA is intimidating enough let alone the massive amount of superpowers who reside there.

The old Suicide Squad gets called in, Deadshot, Boomerang, Bronze Tiger, Count Vertigo and Poison Ivy all returned to duty after being summoned… but are relegated to back up squad! ( they’re not happy about it either!) When taking on a worlds best heroes, you need your wost villains…. are Star Sapphire, Bane, Deathstroke, Black Manta and Cyborg Superman enough to take down New Oa an it’s resident heroes… maybe with a little help from Kingdom Come’s Lex Luthor!!!! This one is worth every penny… just for Mandrake’s art alone!

 

Convergence-Superboy-1Superboy #1
$3.99
w. Fabian Nicieza
a. Karl Moline

4 out of 5 Space Monkeys

Why?:

Because a now powerless Superboy, feeling the responsibility of a Domed Metropolis without a Superman, has been subjecting himself to barrages of solar experiments, some quite painful, in an attempt to regain his powers. Believing that someday the Dome will fall and Metropolis will need a Superman again, Kon spends his spare time wondering if he is truly worthy of the mantle.

When the Dome falls, and Kon gets his power back, he celebrates with the exuberance and cocksure attitude that we all love and missed about the Pre Zero Hour Superboy. But his excitement may be his downfall as the Kingdom Come Flash and Red Robin ( Wally West and Dick Grayson) attack Kon with a carefully laid out plan. At first it looks like Speed and Smarts will take down every ones favorite telekinetic clone, that is until Flash and Red Robin piss off Superboy enough for him to really let loose… and he does! Don’t celebrate just yet Superboy, because their back-up was….. you guessed it… Kingdom Come Superman. Its a battle of generations with a little extra gap thrown in there!

 

stk668443-123541Supergirl: Matrix #1
$3.99
w.Keith Giffen
a. Timothy Green II

4 out of 5 Space Monkeys

Why?: Because I love Keith Giffen. And if you do too, you’ll love this book! Giffen’s sarcastic tones and subtle humor plays out great. Lex Luthor, the young one with long red hair and beard, has grown bored and restless in a Superman-less Domed Metropolis, and he’s taking it out on Supergirl.

The former lab-expirement-Lana-Lang impersonator turned Superhero/Bodyguard can take it though, ( although Giffen does push Lex’s superior attitude toward Supergirl to the extreme, with phrases such as “amoebic blob of matter”, “glutinous glob of protoplasm” and “imbecile” being thrown at her! )  bored as well and looking for fight, both leap into action the second the dome drops.
Lex’s plan to have Supergirl hunt down the teleportation technology that brought them there, with a tracking device of his own creation. Lex’s plans are pushed to the back burner when Lord Volt and Lady Quark show up ( leaving their city of Electrpolis defenseless… shhh… Don’t tell Parallax! ). Itching for a fight, Supergirl has no problem confronting them… if only they would stop arguing with each other long enough to duke it out with her! ( think, your parents on a road trip… but they’re super-powered royalty!)
Desperate to complete her mission, Supergirl finally gets her wish… but she might need a little help taking down this power couple… oh gawd, we said help… not AMBUSH BUG!!! This is non-stop Giffen-goodness, coupled with the awesomely expressive talent of Timothy Green who captures all the expressions and nuances Giffen puts in his script, but still manages to make a full page knock out punch look spectacular! Together you got a class A book by a class A team! Well done!!
CONV_SM_MOS_1Superman: Man of Steel #1
$3.99
w. Louise Simonson
a. June Brigman
4 out of 5 Space Monkeys
Because: Well, 1 Space monkey is just for coolness, Louis Simonson, who launched the Superman: Man of Steel title in the 90s, continued to write over 75 issues, and co-created Steel, returns to the book she helped create, bringing with her long time collaborator June Brigman on pencils.
The two leading ladies created Power Pack together over at Marvel, way back in the 80’s. If that isn’t cool enough, Louise got her husband to do the cover! You might have heard of him. His name is Walt. He draws comics.
Steel, along with his armored up niece and nephew are still active as heroes, their tech based suits being unaffected by the power dampening dome. Mostly handling other Armored and Tech based villains, Steel siblings intervene when looters attack Bibbo’s Bar (By Rao, I missed Bibbo’s mug! ) during one of Steels fracas with a suited up gangster.
Normally an easy situation, it turns deadly when the dome drops, and one of the looters turns out to be The Parasite. The energy absorbing villain goes on a rampage now that his powers are restored, nearly killing Steel’s nephew. In hot pursuit of the Parasite, Steel is attacked by Gen 13 and beaten to a near pulp. When Natasha shows up to rescue him, a combined assault by Freefall, Rainmaker and Burnout will surely kill her, until Steel takes the blast and falls, badly burned and his armor destroyed. Gen 13 turns from victors to victims when the Parasite attacks them draining the team of their powers and becoming an even bigger threat! Who will save Metropolis from the Parasite??? How great of flash back was this!?
And Don’t forget to check out Chip Kidd’s Crisis inspired Variant Covers for this week:
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And Join us next week when The Heroes of Pre Crisis clash with Heroes from Elseworlds , Kirby’s Great Disaster , The Tangent universe and more!

 

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About Author

Trained by the Four-Color wizard, Hagan, in all things comic-booky, young Robert took to the streets of New York, dragging his large bespectacled head from comic shop to comic shop, absorbing, learning… knowing…. Until a very delayed pubescent spurt in his early thirties when the tumescent lump of comic knowledge burst forth, rupturing into nonsensical rants about Jack Kirby, superhero related tattoos, questionable cosplay activities, worshiping Jim Starlin as a prophet, and courting the young lady working in his local comic shop. Now he is just mad…roaming the streets late at night while walking his dog, plotting and preparing to unleash more comic-booky goodness on an unsuspecting world. He likes bread. The food. He thinks the band is crap. *Hey wanna freak Bob out? Come follow him on twitter (@dyrewolf1218), he's totally new to it and suspects it may be black magic...* - Chuck the editor monkey

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