The third week of Convergence hit stands on Wednesday 4/22 and it’s still giving us blasts from the pasts of the DCU. This week the Earth 2 characters continue their battle against Telos, witha little help from a citizen from Skataris, and the Bottled City of Kandor, Pre-Flash Point Gotham city villains and a host of captured time travellers made an appearance. Meanwhile in the Miniseries, we have characters from a Crisis-Era DC, The Tangent Universe, Red Rain Elseworlds and Earth A.D. (After Disaster, the Kirby future starring Kamandi, OMAC and the Atomic Knights, who were added into Kirby’s post apocalyptic world) . Brace yourself folks!
w. Jeff King
a. Stephen Segovia
5 out of 5 Space Monkeys
Why? Because Jeff King’s war of timelines continues, with Stephen Segovia stepping into the art chores (keeping it seamless by the way). The heroes of Earth 2; Superman (Val-Zod), Flash (Jay Garrick), and Yolanda Monte, the new Red Avatar (who hasn’t been called it yet, but gonna go ahead and just call her Wildcat, the precedent is set, look it up. It’s either that or Animal Woman. Maybe Vixen…anyway…) are trying to save Deimos from Telos’ drones. Telos, realizing the threat of a Kryptonian running around loose, has his drones capture Val Zod in power dampening nets. A last-minute rescue from Batman and Dick Grayson, in a Batmobile borrowed from his Earth-One counterpart (his son), saves the rest from defeat.
Meanwhile Telos, who had to instigate war between cities finds himself making an example out of Kandor. The Kryptonians of that city (who have the distinction of being the FIRST bottled city) are conscientious objectors, led by Nightwing (nope not that one), refusing to participate in Telos’ mad games. Telos makes it pretty clear what happens to those who don’t play by the rules.
Deimos, who the Flash doesn’t trust ( and who would, if you read Warlord you’d know there is a reason he’s named after the God of Terror, leads the heroes to Skartaris in search of a weapon he knows will defeat Telos. It might have something to do with all those time travellers, like the Linear Men, Monarch and Per Degaton, trapped in stasis by Shakira (the Panther-Woman from Warlord, not the Colombian singer with the truthful hips. Equally sexy though)? While Batman, currently out of Miraclo, stays behind with Rick Grayson. Something followed them back from that other Gotham they passed on the way. Something not good.
The worst of Batman’s villains from pre-Flashpoint, led by the twisted Dr.Hurt, arrive. Willing to settle for the Father for now, before heading to kill Bruce Wayne of Earth One. The battle goes south for a depowered Thomas Wayne, who sacrifices himself to save Dick by blowing up the Batmobile and taking all the villains with him…. except one….the worst one. Just when you think Earth 2’s Dick Grayson will rise up and take the mantle of Batman from Bruce’s father… the Joker steps out of the shadows and “Barbara-Gordons” Dick Grayson. Read that sentence again and you’ll figure it out.
This event is not only fun in a nostalgic way for old-time fans it’s fast paced and updated for modern audiences to enjoy. The clash of different timelines, the constant flashes to other worlds from DC long and varied existence. The writing is sharp and fun, and the art top-notch. If you’re any sort of DC fan, you’ll find something you’ll like somewhere in these books:
Convergence: Adventures of Superman #1
w. Marv Wolfman
a.Viacava & Owens
3 out of 5 Space Monkeys
Why? Because, Superman and Supergirl have a plan, and with a little help from Lucius Fox, they are going to find a way out from under the Dome and save Crisis Era Gotham. The three are using Supergirl’s repressed memories of her father building the Phanton Zone Projector, with the hopes of short-cutting through the Kryptonian prison dimension and finding a way out. While traversing the Zone, The Super-cousins discuss having such vast powers (Silver Age Superman was like a GOD!) and their mutual admiration for each other, especially Supergirl’s ability to inspire hope. When they are a set upon by Phantom Zone criminals, Supergirl is dosed with gas that gives her prophetic visions of the future, including her own death during crisis. Fighting off her existential Crisis ( lol) , Supergirl manages to rescue Superman from the gang of criminals that want revenge on the House of L, but it may be too late, as hordes of Ape-Men from Earth A.D. invade an unguarded Gotham ! Can they escape the Phantom Zone and save Gotham? Will Supergirl save a timeline that she knows will lead to her death???
Convergence: Batman and the Outsiders #1
w. Marc Andreyko
4 out of 5 Space Monkeys
Why? A more experienced Batman tries his best to hold his city together as the now Domed Gotham’s supplies are dwindling and a general restlessness has settled over its citizens. With the help of his team of Outsiders, he maintains a semblance of order and control. One year under dome has changed the Outsiders alot, with Halo in a coma and Geo Force a functioning alcoholic, things seem pretty bleak with only one Outsider having a positive experience. Rex Mason, formerly known as Metamorpho has been reverted back to his handsome human self…and he’s loving it. But when the Dome falls, Batman and the Outsiders have to work fast…OMAC (the awesome original Jack Kirby one!) leads an army of mutants right into Gotham, determined to win and save his timeline from extinction.
Nice action packed art from D’Anda makes this book pop, and it’s worth the cover price just for the Andy Kubert cover and that last page splash!
Convergence: The Flash #1
w. Dan Abnett
3 out of 5 Space Monkeys
Why? Because even without powers, Barry Allen is still able to fight crime…in his forensic lab at GCPD. He still runs though, well..he jogs. He does miss his superspeed, although he does miss Iris more, who he left stranded in 31st Century. After his trial for kill Professor Zoom (Flash #s. 323 to 350) the couple fled to the future for some much-needed rest and relaxation after their time tossed reunion He returned to present day Gotham for a charity event via the Cosmic Treadmill and found himself trapped under the Dome.
Now a year later, Barry is starting to give up on any hope of getting out, and a pep talk from Bruce Wayne (pep really isn’t the right word!) doesn’t help Barry deal with his lack of speed, his fear of never seeing Iris again and the increasing flirtations of his attractive lab assistant!
When the Dome drops, the now re-powered Flash’ s hopes are crushed, when he realizes that they are no longer even on Earth! But that’s the least of his problems… The Tangent Superman is his chosen combatant, and if you didn’t know, Tangent Superman is a highly evolved human with godlike mental powers and a tyrannical view of his place in the world….any world!
Abnett and Dallochio capture the flavor of the pre-crisis Flash perfectly, when you read the back page summary of the Flash’ s life, it leads perfectly into this story.
Convergence: Green Lantern Corps #1
w. David Gallaher
a. Ellis & Parks
2 out of 5 Space Monkeys (would have been 3, but see below!)
Why? Because this story picks up at a very specific point in Crisis Era Green Lantern history. Guy Gardner was Green Lantern for a day, before being beaten into a coma by Sinestro. We all know he recuperates, and goes on to be a now legendary Green Lantern, Yellow Lantern and Red Lantern. But being captured under the Dome while in a coma, he never gets the chance. Now he feels isolated and withdrawn, suffering panic attacks brought on by his battle with Sinestro. His therapy sessions with Leslie Thompkins prompts him to go in search of someone who has a similar experience that can sympathize with him. He goes to find Hal, who he blames for all the troubles in his life, but instead finds his estranged wife Carol Ferris, who has not seen Hal since he left… Six days after the wedding. A furious Guy follows up on a lead from Carol. He finds John Stewart, now running the Mosaic Construction Company (Get it??? No? Google: Green Lantern: Mosaic!). John warns Guy that Hal’s gone of the deep end, working obsessively on a project they started together to re-power the rings. Guy finds Hal trying to communicate through the Dome with Oa, using advanced SETI like equipment. Guy loses it and starts smashing up Hal’ stuff. When the Dome falls, the battle between Guy and Hal becomes more intense, as it shifts to gaining possesion of the now repowered lantern Battery! Hal Lands a literal knock out blow, and gets the Ring, but echoing events from post crisis, this punch causes a change in Guy Gardner’s personality… are we witnessing the return of Guy Gardner Warrior??? A nice read, but lost a Space Monkey because… NO VILLAIN!!! No challenger from another city in a last page reveal! Nada! WTF man?
Convergence: Hawkman #1
w. Jeff Parker
a. Tim Truman & EnriqueAlcatena
4 out of 5 Space Monkeys
Why? Just look at this creative team! Jeff Parker, who can not only write cool, current takes on characters, happens to be a big fan of comics history. And I mean A Fan! Then you team him up with artists who made Hawman cool again in the late 80s. Who didn’t get the Hawkworld 3 issue Baxter format miniseries and not freak out over how awesome Hawkman and Hawkwoman were as bad ass space cops from Thanagar??? I freaking know I did!
Well now we flashback to the Shadow War, where Hawkman and Hawkwoman find out that an insidious alien invasion, with infiltrators throughout society, is actually a military force from their home planet Thanagar! Tracking some Shadow Warriors to Gotham when the Dome went up, the Hawks are able to continue their superheoics due to the technological nature of their Nth metal laced wings. While tracking a Thanagarian criminal who has encitd riots, the Hawks are beset by Manhawks, vicious birds of prey with human like faces ( weird and goofy, but scary as hell in Alcatena’ s hands ). Fighting the creatures off, the Hawks find a cell of Thanagarian using alien technology. The tech, along with the help of their resident precog, has given them all a glimpse of Telos’ plan. Will the Hawks team with their enemies to stop an even greater threat?? Wait, what threat???? Just like the GLC book, the opposition is yet to be shown!!! WTF??? You guys lose a Space Monkey for that!
Convergence: Justice League America #1
w. Fabian Nicieza
4 out of 5 Space Monkeys
Why? Because it takes a very special creative team to make the Justice League Detroit cool, I mean c’mon they were the Great Lakes Avengers of the DCU. But 90’s Bad Boys Nicieza and ChrisCross suprised me with this one, with Nicieza’s story and dialogue using everyone to their best abilities, plus, being THE ONLY convergence mini to open with the DOME already DOWN, coupled with ChrisCross’s dynamic signature style leaping off the pages, I was very Impressed.
With their powers restored, and battle eminent, the happily married Dibnys (it’s nice seeing them again!) have a plan. While Sue coordinates with Comissioner Gordon to ready the city, Ralp takes the rookie Leaguers Vibe, Vixen, and Steel to a training session to work out the kinks, the Big Three head out on patrol looking for their chosen enemies. No not that big three. Aquaman, Martian Manhunter and Zatanna use their vast powers (with a little help from Gypsy) to search with no avail. A sudden attack on the members that aer training lead the Big Three (and Gypsy) right into a trap. Caught in a stasis field, the city of Gotham is now under siege by the Tangent Secret Six (Joker, Spectre, Deathstroke, Plastic Man, Flash and Captain Atom… and no, they are nothing like characters we’re familiar with). But Justice Leaguers are hard to take out, even when you blow up the building they’re in! Can Vibe, Steel, the Elongated Man and Vixen take down the Secret Six and save Gotham? We’re about to find out!
Convergence: The New Teen Titans #1
w. Marv Wolfman
a. Nicola Scott
5 out of 5 Space Monkeys
Why? No, that’s not a typo. Marv Wolfman, the guy who made the Titans outsell every other book (with a bit of help from George Perez), has return to script the characters he helped shape into the classics they are now considered. And he hasn’t lost his touch, taking these characters voices back in time, without seeking hokey or outdated. And I can’t think of a better artist then Nicola Scott to capture not only the designs, but the very essence of the Perez era Titans. Like she did with Earth 2 and the Golden Age DC heroes at the beginning of the New 52, Scott gives us classic characters with a fresh look and vibe.Unlike most of the Convergence books, the opposing team is r revealed from the start with the Dome dropping rather early in the story. Being powerless under the Dome has caused some trouble in the Titans dynamic, with Donna Troy ( the red jumpsuit one ) barely holding the team together while dealing with the loss of her husband and child. Changeling has been taking care of Cyborg, who without access to certain technologies is, literally, breaking down while he helps maintain the city’s infrastructure. And the strain of being powerless begins to affect the marriage of Nightwing and Starfire, as her more warrior side comes out on their patrols from being cooped up for so long.
Oh, and the Tangent Doom Patrol (Google it!) Has showed up to battle for the right to survive, so they can get back to their timeline and continue their mission, warning their past of a coming apocalypse. Nore reluctant than most to do battle with other heroes, the team’s skirmish, but an overwhelmed Doom Patrol retreats.
Can a secret communication from Firehawk of the Doom Patrol to a like-minded Nightwing be the key to defeating Telos??? Find out next month when this fantastic creative team lets us in on what’s going down in Crisis Era Gotham.
Convergence: Superboy & the Legion of Superheroes #1
w. Stuart Moore
a. Gus Storms
4 out of 5 Space Monkeys
Why? Because the 30th Century Domed Metropolis is still protected by The Legion of Superheroes, even though they are powerless. Shadow Lass and Invisible Kid are running the Med-Labs, Brainiac has sequestered himself away, working on a way to contact the Planet itself, while the remaining Legionaires help maintain order with the Science Police. Superboy, hiding his feelings, gives inspiration speeches to the populace to reassure them (it works, since he’s a legend in that time) while him and Lightning Lass get closer, both emotionally and physically over their shared losses (Superboy misses his parents…and Krypto, Lightning Lass lost both her brothers), which shouldn’t be a surprise given her codenamed’s initials! When the Dome falls and their powers are returned, the Legionaires gather to decide their next course of action in Telos’ plan. But it looks like the decision has been made for them when the Headquarter’ s alarm goes off! The Atomic Knights of Durvale are in Metropolis! Giant Dalmations and all!
A fun read, pairing up two of D.C.’s most interesting and vastly different takes on superheroes of the future.
Convergence: Swamp Thing #1
w. Len Wein
a. Kelley Jones
5 out of 5 Space Monkeys
Why? Because if Nicola Scott captured the spirit of George Perez in Teen Titans, well then, goddamn Kelley Jones (Batman: Red Rain!!!) locked down Bernie Wrightson’ s body and soul (and the guy ain’t even dead yet!). Oh yeah, Len Wein, the guy who created Swamp Thing (and that other force of nature for Marvel… Wolverine!) writes it! So we’re given a beautifully rendered retelling of Swampy’s origin, worth the cover price alone, as well as the highlights of his adventures with the Floronic Man, the Parliament of trees, Anton Arcane, and his daughter Abigail, the love of his life.
Feeling compelled by the green to travel to Gotham, Swamp Thing brings Abigail along for the journey.
When the Dome goes up over Gotham, Swamp Thing finds himself cut off from the source of his powers, The Green. The small biosphere of Gotham is all Swampy has to work with, which is barely enough to keep him alive. Confined to a small park, being fed plant food and given fertilizer baths by Abigail is the only thing keeping him going….until the Dome drops and Swamp Things connection to the various Greens on the planet restore him to full power!!!! But the happy couple only get a few minutes to celebrate… an Army of Vampires from the Red Rain Gotham invade Swamp Thing’s turf, determined to win Telos’ deadly game!
Whoever the editorial genius is who decided to take Len Wein and Kelley Jones and put them together on a book starring Swamp Thing and a host of Vampires should get a medal. A real big one. If you are in anyway a fan of Swamp thing, Vampires, Horror, and/or hauntingly beautiful artwork… well this is a must read for you!
Convergence: Wonder Woman #1
w. Larry Hama
a. Joshua Middleton
4 out of 5 Space Monkeys
Why? Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor have adjusted to life Under the Dome rather well. Wonder Woman, along with best friend and confidant Etta Candy, is helping to take care of the terminally ill and elderly, while Steve coordinates various Military personnel into an ad-hoc police force for the city. While helping an elderly woman with a brain tumor to a church, Wonder Woman is rendered unconscious by a religious cult as soon as the Dome start to fall. The Cult believes the Dome was a work of God protecting humans from the false gods of superbeings, and now they perceive the Dome falling as an act of Satan. Wonder Woman is tied up and imprisoned in the bowels of the church, while the Cult members rejoice in the street after they think they see Angels descending onto Gotham. But to quote a teenage street urchin… “Them aint no Angels”.
The Vampire Joker, Poison Ivy and Catwoman of the Red Rain Gotham attack, tearing their way through the Church looking to finish off a weakened Wonder Woman. It’s a battle Diana could never have prepared for, with Trevor getting overwhelmed by Posion Ivy and Catwoman, and the Vampiric Joker holding Etta hostage, Wonder Woman has to make a choice that will destroy her life!
Middleton captures the nuances and horror aspects of Hama’s story in his tight shadowy artwork (his vampire Joker is siiiicckk!) giving a darker feel to Wonder Woman you rarely see in comics. The combination of the two eras fit nicely into Hama’s tale revolving around the Cult and it’s Church, lending an atmosphere to the Red Rain characters they can work with. Kudos guys!
And don’t forget to check out Chip Kidd’s Crisis inspired variants:
And join us next week when the Worlds of Pre-Crisis DC (Earth S. Earth X, Earth-4, etc) collide with the Crime Syndicate, The JSA, Inifinity Inc. the Red Son universe and more!