DC Comics Review & Spoilers: Convergence #2 Carlo Pagulayan, Jason Paz, Aspen/MLT’s Jason Starr w/ Peter Steigerwald

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CONVERGENCE #2 (of 8) Review
“The Planet Incarnate” (28 pages)
Story by: Jeff King
Pencils by: Carlo Pagulayan
Inks by: Jason Paz
Colors by: Aspen/MLT’s Jason Starr w/ Peter Steigerwald
Letters by: Travis Lanham
Covers by: Ivan Reis, Joe Prado & Peter Steigerwald; Tony S. Daniel & Mark Morales: Jae Lee; David Finch
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99

Beware the Bats!!

I’m going to deduce that the first five pages of each subsequent issue will serve as a framing sequence, for lack of a better term. This time around, Dick Grayson narrates a tragic event from the really recent past: the death of his son Tommy. Things go really awry involving a mass exodus off-world. Apokolips is coming down hard on Earth 2. The transport ships require a number for entry. A mishap leads to Dick leaving his son with a mysterious woman. He has embraced his imminent demise but has faith that Tommy will live to see the future. Not!! As soon as the ship is airborne, it’s blown to smithereens. Dick barely has time to grieve when metal tendrils ensnare him.

Previously on Convergence…Yolanda wakes up Dick. She, he, and the Wonders remain firmly secured by the liquid metal. Telos really loves the sound of his own voice. The debate circulates since neither side is willing to bend. Batman sticks it to Telos by noticing that the living planet’s surveillance is pointless if opponents have yet to raise fists. Telos knows that some coaxing is needed.

Cheater, cheater, reality-beater!! Telos interferes in a battle between Just Imagine Stan Lee’s heroes (squeal!) and the Brother Eye controlled heroes from Futures End. The slaughter lasts nanoseconds and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out who emerges victorious.

The Earth 2 heroes get a break when Telos becomes a bit distracted. Val-Zod cracks a good one against the stone-cold curator’s face. Alan Scott is down but not out. He refuses to give into despair. He exerts himself to tap into Telos’ essence. Contact is made and he repels Telos. Dick observes Batman injecting himself with Miraclo. Batman growls at Dick and tells him to MYOB.

The absence of Telos is short-lived. He reanimates with massive fury. Val-Zod flies again giving all his best shots. Telos sees him as an insignificant gnat. As far as he’s concerned, Superman is an unoriginal analogue within the multiverse. Reverse psychology is used here: Telos drops out of the game. For now. Green Lantern was able to connect to the planet’s energy even though it was toxic. More importantly, he established a link into Telos’ mind. Batman sees this as the ultimate advantage. Information is everything!! GL states that he senses fear when communing with the planet. The way to defeat Telos is to travel to the core (literally!) The focal point is an unnamed ruined city.

Batman has spotted a version of Gotham nearby on his scanner. He tells the group he is going to scout for allies and that Dick will be his companion. Grayson doesn’t understand why he was volunteered. He’d rather be with the others since he feels his presence is vital to the upcoming battle. Batman bursts his bubble and tells him that he’s under observation since he doesn’t trust Dick. The two walk through some drones with ease.

Batman navigates through the sewer system so flawlessly that Dick is left with giant question marks over his head. Once they arrive in the Batcave, Oracle appears on the screen. The trespassers have been exposed! Dick is frozen as this version of Barbara is an exact replica of the one he lost. Alfred calmly walks in and begins to converse with Dick. Dick tells Alfie that he’s with Batman a.k.a. Dr. Thomas Wayne. Upon that tidbit, Alfie muses that the two remain in the cave while the father and son hug it out.

The reacquainting of the two Bats is uneventful. Let me rephrase that: it’s expected. Rather than duking it out à la Marvel, there is unspoken interaction. Presumably.

Flash ponders at the absurdity of the situation. He tries to pull off a Dr. Seuss by stating the number of Supermen fighting, including the infamous Red and Blue versions. Given the various battles, he informs the others that they will have to take a major detour to reach the ruined city. Yolanda is outraged at the bodies left along the trail. GL swears justice for all.

The Batmen join Dick and Alfie. Bruce gives Dick an unexpected but useful gift: a body suit made of lightweight high-tensile Kevlar. Thomas has keys to the Batmobile. I see a new Dynamic Duo on the horizon! Thomas praises Bruce as he leaves and states that he swells in pride, assuming that Bruce’s father feels the same way. Little does Thomas know that Bruce’s father is long gone from his world. A full page has a grim portrayal of Bruce standing in silence, with his head low.

The Wonders of the World come across a man who has been trapped by Telos’ drones. Flash races to the rescue. Enter: brand new character — Deimos!!! He tells the heroes that their arrival was prophesied and that he can provide escape from the sentient planet.

Clap clap for the same creative team. While this isn’t uncommon, especially on a mini-series, anything can happen. As such, it’ll be a bit easier for me to provide commentary. Jeff King is taking his time in getting to the prize fight. I wouldn’t be surprised if the latter half will be all-out action. Regardless, he is concentrating on characterization. In the first issue, it was Telos. Here, it’s Dick Grayson who is first person observer. Glimpses of two confrontations is enough to sate those hungry for knuckle exchanges.

Carlo Pagulayan superbly focuses on the dark. The trip to the Batcave and the time in it is soothing. Hope comes in many forms and even the shadows can cast some light. Frenzy characterizes the other-Earthers’ heroism.

Jason Paz keeps up the pace with Carlo. The full page of Bruce is an iconic image that will be ingrained in my mind for all eternity.

Jason Starr and Peter Steigerwald get to play with shadow this time around given the obvious interaction between the Batmen as evidenced on the cover. The pseudo-JSA really stand out with their distinct costumes.

Travis Lanham really brings out the creep(y) in Telos. He is as hard as the land formation characteristic of his planet. Writing sound effects is always amusing.

This is a stepping stone compared to the zero and number one issues. The intriguing cover may have falsely promised a pow-ow between the two Knights. Turning to the last page and seeing a new player come on to the scene is definitely cliffhanger-worthy.

I give this book 7.5 for the casualties incurred [look back to pages 8-9, 23-24].

Earth 7.5

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