Converse Convergence: Week 2 Of DC Comics’ 2015 2-Month Event

Welcome to my new 8-part column called Converse Convergence where I assess each week of DC’s 2015 2-month event. We’re now onto Week 2!

Converse Convergence Week Two banner

There’s always room for improvement! That being said, as I look back on Week 2, I’ll say that the focus is on the second-stringers (no insult intended). At least Electropolis was actually featured. The Kingdom Come Metropolis had its inhabitants appear. San Diego gets a mention but no materialization.

I’ll be a little more through and acknowledging of the W5. I’ll cover the 5 C’s: credits, cities, cameos, and character conflict. In honour of RPG, VG, PVP, MMORPG, LARP, etc. I’ll rate the titles by power levels. Here’s a glimpse into this week’s batch.

CONVERGENCE - AQUAMAN 1

CONVERGENCE: AQUAMAN #1 (of 2)
“Fish Bowl” (22 pages) by Tony Bedard, Cliff Richards, John Rauch, Dave Sharpe

No man is an island. That being said, Arthur Curry is a man with no land, I mean water. Cat Grant gives a summary of what happened to the Sovereign of the Seven Seas. He knows is a land-lubber due to a battle with Chemo that ended up poisoning Metropolis Harbor. With nary a friend in this world, only Dean Dorrance, formerly of the Sea Devils and director of S.T.A.R. Labs, is Aquaman’s only ally. I feel the intense isolation experienced by the former Marine Monarch. His weight is unbearable. When the dome opens, his opponent will be Deathblow who’s more than determined to take down this Gen-Active. Loved that faux-Batman depiction.

City: pre-Zero Hour Metropolis
Character Conflict: Deathblow [Wildstorm Universe]

Cameos 1: Blue Beetle {Ted Kord}, Fire, Green Arrow, Green Lantern {Kyle Rayner}, Martian Manhunter, Steel, Superboy, Amanda Waller, unidentified female (?) [page 5]

Cameos 2: Blue Beetle {Ted Kord}, OMAC, Swamp Thing & Abigail, alternate version of Aquaman & Ocean Master, more unidentified (?) [page 13]

Power level: 8/10

CONVERGENCE - BATMAN SHADOW of the BAT 1

CONVERGENCE: BATMAN – SHADOW of the BAT #1 (of 2)
“The Dark Side of the Street” (22 pages) by Larry Hama, Philip Tan, Jason Paz & Rob Hunter, Elmer Santos, Steve Wands

Azrael goes undercover as one of Tobias Whale’s henchmen. I find Tobias to be a grotesque version of the Kingpin. Bruce Wayne is at the mercy of this crimelord. Luckily, Azrael in his guise of Johnny Valli convinces Whale that Wayne is worth keeping around to fund his latest scheme. The dialogue borders on exposition during the fight scenes and is completely unnecessary. Little do the Bat and the former assassin know of their upcoming opponents. Gorgeous art.

City: pre-Zero Hour Metropolis
Character Conflict: Jester, Pilgrim {Wetworks} [Wildstorm Universe]

Cameo: Parallax {Hal Jordan} [page 3]

Power level: 6.5/10

CONVERGENCE - CATWOMAN 1

CONVERGENCE: CATWOMAN #1 (of 2)
“Schrödinger’s Cat” (22 pages) by Justin Gray, Ron Randall, Gabe Eltaeb, Pat Brosseau

Selina Kyle becomes the sentinel of Suicide Slum. She has the odds stacked against her since Bruno Mannheim is now leading Intergang. Nevertheless, Catwoman graduates from adrenalin-obsessed thief to urban protector. She violently opposes those who will prey on the weak. While rescuing a friend, her assigned enemy flies in: The Batman!! Love the innuendo and puns referring to the felonious feline. Plus, the title is a nod to the head-scratching existential paradox.

City: pre-Zero Hour Metropolis
Character Conflict: Batman [Kingdom Come]

Cameos: Captain Carrot, Plastic Man, Blue Beetle & Question {Quality Comics}, Extremists, OMAC, Swamp Thing & Abigail, alternate Cosmic Boy & Saturn Girl, alternate Aquaman, Crime Syndicate, Gen13, alternate Wonder Woman, Red Rain Batman, alternate Batman & Robin, more unidentified (?) [pp. 20-21]

Power level: 7/10

CONVERGENCE - GREEN ARROW 1

CONVERGENCE: GREEN ARROW #1 (of 2)
“Father and Son” (22 pages) by Christy Marx, Rags Morales, Claude St-Aubin, Nei Ruffino, Travis Lanham

Oliver Queen’s world comes crashing down on him, hard! when he learns that the boy he abandoned is a full-fledged teen living in an ashram in Metropolis. Connor Hawke has been protecting the citizens from the hate-mongering group The Brothers of Purity. When he learns of the Emerald Archer’s presence in the city, he sees it as a most fortuitous occasion. He creatively fashions a green arrow out of flares to summon his father. How Connor knew that GA was his dad is beyond me but even more shocking are the alternate future versions of Ollie and Dinah who addresses Connor as “Dad”.

City: pre-Zero Hour Metropolis
Character Conflict: Dinah Lance & Olivia Queen [Kingdom Come]

Cameos: Harley Quinn, Amazo, Blue Beetle {Ted Kord}, alternate Aquaman, alternate Animal Man, Green Lantern {Kyle Rayner}, various unidentified or indistinguishable [page 19]

Power level: 7/10

CONVERGENCE - GREEN LANTERN PARALLAX 1

CONVERGENCE: GREEN LANTERN•PARALLAX #1 (of 2)
“Crime and Punishment” (22 pages) by Tony Bedard, Ron Wagner, Bill Reinhold, Paul Mounts, Dave Sharpe

Two men who had never met in a previous lifetime interact in this current reality as Kyle Rayner visits Hal Jordan on a daily basis at Metropolis’ 8th Precinct. It’s accurate to say that Kyle is Hal’s one-man perpetual cheering section. After a synopsis of Hal’s story is given to an officer, the dome is uncovered. Kyle gets his green back and Hal regains the Parallax entity. The two end up ready to converse when Princess Fern of Electropolis attacks. Finally!! Another city revealed. Despite holding her own, Parallax tears into her and stands ready to obliterate the opposition. Note: minor tie-in to CONVERGENCE: SUPERGIRL – MATRIX #1.

City: pre-Zero Hour Metropolis, Electropolis
Character Conflict: Princess Fern [Earth-6]

Cameos: Captain Carrot, Plastic Man, Blue Beetle & Question {Quality Comics}, Extremists, OMAC, Swamp Thing & Abigail, alternate Cosmic Boy & Saturn Girl, alternate Aquaman, Crime Syndicate, Gen13, unidentified [page 8]

Power level: 6.5/10

CONVERGENCE - JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL 1

CONVERGENCE: JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL #1 (of 2)
“It Only Hurts When I Laugh”, part 1 (22 pages) by Ron Marz, Mike Manley, Sotocolor, Tom Napolitano

Ted Kord is the man in charge of the loveable, docile JLI. Being the only non-powered hero of the bunch, he is a natural, efficient leader. The team has done their best to defend the Man of Steel’s city even from the menace of Metallo. I really enjoyed the bonding time between Ted and J’onn. That is cut short when the JL from Kingdom Come make their flashy entrance. Seeing this unorthodox version of the League warms my heart but will they make it out in one piece against their ruthless counterparts?

City: pre-Zero Hour Metropolis
Character Conflict: Justice League: Blue Beetle, Creeper, Huntress, Jade, Nighstar, Obsidian, Shazam, Wonder Woman [Kingdom Come]

Cameos 1: Captain Carrot, Plastic Man, OMAC, Swamp Thing & Abigail, alternate Cosmic Boy & Saturn Girl, Aquaman & Ocean Master, alternate Superman & Batman, Gen13, unidentified [page 15, panel 2]

Cameos 2: Plastic Man, Question, Tim Drake(?), Swamp Thing & Abigail, Ultraman, OMAC, Aquaman [page 15, panel 3]

Power level: 7/10

CONVERGENCE - SUICIDE SQUAD 1

CONVERGENCE: SUICIDE SQUAD #1 (of 2)
“When Kingdoms Fall”, part 1 (22 pages) by Frank Tieri, Tom Mandrake, Sian Mandrake, Dave Sharpe

The Wall is back in all her splendor and glory!! Although you wouldn’t know that by the first page, and especially not the second. Flashback time. So many moving parts but that’s to be expected with a team book such as this consisting of covert operatives and the vilest of villains. New (Bane, Black Manta, Cyborg Superman, Deathstroke) mixes with old (Bronze Tiger, Captain Boomerang, Count Vertigo, Deadshot, Poison Ivy. Amanda Waller is called back to reel in the Suicide Squad by orders of General Sam Lane. Carol Ferris a.k.a. Star Sapphire and Oracle are added assets. Task Force X must take down the Kingdom Come Justice League, specifically Alan Scott and his sanctuary of New Oa. Oracle is the back-up plan as she contacts Lex Luthor from that alternate timeline. Things go terribly wrong when Amanda is shot by a familiar face (unseen to the readers).

City: pre-Zero Hour Metropolis
Character Conflict: Green Lantern [Kingdom Come]

Cameos: Captain Carrot, Plastic Man, Blue Beetle & Question, OMAC, Swamp Thing & Abigail, Wonder Woman, Aquaman & Ocean Master, Atomic Knights, ‘savage’ Batman, unidentified [page 7]

Power level: 6.5/10

CONVERGENCE - SUPERBOY 1

CONVERGENCE: SUPERBOY #1 (of 2)
“The Hero’s Return”, part 1 (22 pages) by Fabian Nicieza, Karl Moline, José Marzan Jr., Hi-Fi, Travis Lanham

The Metropolis Kid makes a comeback! Sadness seeps into Kon-El’s core since he is incapable of re-emerging as the hero he now understands he needs to be. The pathos is piled on when he visits the golden statue memorial in honor of the real deal, a man he never got to meet. He is super-powered once the dome disperses. Kon manages to hold his own against two alternate Justice Leaguers. The defining moment will be in him holding his own against an older, more ruthless version of the Man of Steel.

City: pre-Zero Hour Metropolis
Character Conflict: Flash, Red Robin, Superman [Kingdom Come]

Cameos: none

Power level: 7.5/10

CONVERGENCE - SUPERGIRL MATRIX 1

CONVERGENCE: SUPERGIRL — MATRIX #1 (of 2)
“Who the Hell is Lord Volt?!” (22 pages) by Keith Giffen, Timothy Green II, Joseph Silver, Hi-Fi, Corey Breen

All I got from this is an insight into abusive relationships — Lex Luthor’s blatant misogyny and contempt towards the naïve Supergirl Matrix and Lord Volt’s chauvinistic views of his spouse Lady Quark. Aside from incessant blather, the humor doesn’t quite gibe with me even though this is Keith Giffen’s forté. A few punches are landed after long-winded convos and out-of-character interactions. Ambush Bug’s surprise appearance cements that more hilarity than gravitas will ensue.

City: pre-Zero Hour Metropolis
Character Conflict: Lord Volt, Lady Quark [Earth-6]

Cameos: none

Power level: 4/10

CONVERGENCE - SUPERMAN MAN of STEEL 1

CONVERGENCE: SUPERMAN – the MAN of STEEL #1 (of 2)
“Divided We Fall” (22 pages) by Louise Simonson, June Brigman, Roy Richardson, John Rauch, Dave Sharpe

The original creative team that brought John Henry Irons to prominence has returned! Steel gets an unknown assist from his niece Natasha and nephew Jemhal as the teen twosome fend off looters from Bibbo’s Ace o’ Clubs while John pursues some renegade Lexcorp armorers. Things go south real quickly when the Parasite is powered-up and Gen13 materializes. A three-way battle becomes lopsided as John Henry becomes critically injured: he is paralyzed and there’s no way of mending him.

City: pre-Zero Hour Metropolis
Character Conflict: Gen13 [Wildstorm Universe]

Cameos: Captain Carrot, Freedom Fighters, Blue Beetle, Extremists, OMAC, Swamp Thing & Abigail, Crime Syndicate of America, unidentified [page 10]

Power level: 6/10

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