DC Streamlined Review & Spoilers: Divergence #1 By Scott Snyder, Gene Luen Yang, Geoff Johns & Other Big Names!

Divergence 1 review spoilers
DIVERGENCE #1
Cover by: Jim Lee & Scott Williams w/ Alex Sinclair; John Romita, Jr. & Klaus Johnson w/ Laura Martin; Greg Capullo w/ FCO Plascencia
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: FREE!

It’s Free Comic Book Day 2015!! There are three titillating tidbits to the top tier of titles!!!

“The Rookie” (8 pages)
Written by: Scott Synder
Art by: Greg Capullo
Inks by: Danny Miki
Colors by: FCO Plascencia
Letters by: Steve Wands

Gotham City is mourning the loss of its ultimate protector. On the flipside, it is overjoyed that its greatest tormentor seems to be gone for good. Two months already? Isn’t it always the way that you don’t know what you got til it’s gone? Batman inspired all the citizens to rise to the occasion and never back down. That’s his legacy. [Read BATMAN ETERNAL #52] The enormous question posed is whether Gotham can carry on without its trademark symbol. Answer: affirmative!!

Uh-oh, hints of BATMAN BEYOND are present here and none of them good! Powers International has bought up what was left of Wayne Enterprises. Geri Powers, its CEO, is rehearsing a press release for the unveiling of a new Dark Knight. Admittedly, she was not a fan during his presence but now realizes how vital he is to the city.

The shaded individual that she is addressing thinks it’s overwhelming. She pushes him by reassuring him it’s the right thing to do. The mystery man has one nasty habit that he just can’t kick: smoking cigarettes. [That should’ve been a giveaway]. His training has paid off. The new appearance comes with a buzz-cut, given his Marines background [another major hint].

The new Batman is none other than……Commissioner Gordon!!! What the beep? I will ashamedly admit that I never saw this coming, but only afterwards by retracing the steps do I see the logic. Ever so humble, he doesn’t seem to fit the bill. Plus, he emphasizes the silliness behind it all.

Commissioner Gordon is the new Batman
*squeal* I cannot wait to pick up BATMAN #41.

The Chappie is extremely imposing and intimidating, especially the close-up of the face in the very last panel. Mr. Capullo blew me away with Jimbo’s new look. Plus, Geri Powers may sound sincere but she looks contrarian. Clean, tight work focusing only on the protagonists. Plus, that two-page spread of the Bat-flashlights aimed at the overcast sky, ingenious!!

Scott Snyder, will wonders never cease? What else do you have stored in that crazy brain of yours?!? I mean that as the highest compliment. Raising the stakes is what you do best. I’d like to see Jim in this role at least until the celebratory #50. I’m ‘worried’ about Powers Int’l coming on to the scene. They are evil incorporated.

Danny Miki has always been on par with Mr. Capullo. Every face is so distinct and palpable. The grief, the sternness, the determination, and the doubt are evident.

I read in a recent interview for BATMAN #40 how pleased Greg is with FCO Plascencia. He’s a young whippersnapper who compliments the artist’s sketches. I especially like the soft glow of the orange within the makeshift Bat-signals. Blue and black are my abso fave colours and they liven the Chappie armour. I can’t get enough of that very last panel. It reminds me of the front of the Batmobile from the 60’s.

Paving the way for bigger, bolder stories is what DC is promising here. So far, this one delivers!

“Exposed” (8 pages)
Written by: Gene Luen Yang
Art by: John Romita, Jr.
Inks by: Klaus Johnson w/ Scott Hanna
Colors by: Hi-Fi
Letters by: Travis Lanham

There is a fallout to recent events for the Man of Steel. One, he is dealing with and recuperating from using the solar flare power. Two, even though Jimmy knows Clark’s secret, the reporter is laying really low. Three, a super-powered thug pretty much outs the ‘alien among us’ while he and Jimmy are in Little Saigon. The cat is out of the bag when the hooded Clark stops a pho truck from injuring several bystanders.

Let’s backtrack a tiny bit. Some two-bit criminal with a major chip on his massive shoulders now has meta-abilities and wants some form of respect. Thus, he hurls an enormous object to endanger innocents. Shortly after, he tears Clark’s hoodie to reveal the giant S shield on his chest. Clark takes him down easily enough and leaps away.

This is what breaks the internet in the DCU. Social media is having a major field day as reactions range from unbridled admiration to venomous xenophobia.

Superman revealed as Clark
I was floored with this tale. I ate up Geoff Johns’ turn on the main title. I never saw this one coming. The bigger shock is that Lois Lane is the one who leaked it. HHHMMM. Bitter? Once the New 52 launched, the execs were adamant that she and Clark would never be a couple but to go to this extreme?!? Clark rightly closes the door in her face. She can’t pretend to be concerned after what she did.

Welcome to DC, Mr. Luen Yang!! You already pulled the rug under my feet with this one short story. I’m salivating for more 😛 At the risk of assuming, I like how Mr. Yang uses a character of Asian descent and makes mention of Little Saigon (first time I come across this). In the middle of this most serious situation, he still interjects humour. I chuckled at Jimmy’s “Horace Horaceman” alias for Clark and the pho vendor outraged at her husband for the “ugly” comment. Oh yeah…pho is my fave Asian dish 😉 Two chopsticks up! Also, the use of social media. Sign of the times!

After 30 years in the industry, I’m finally starting to appreciate Mr. Romita’s art. My tunnel vision has dissipated. His ‘bulky’ figures work well for someone like Superman. Clark was almost unrecognizable on the last page with the crew-cut (is this a new thing now among the leading men?) and the stubble. Jimmy keeps his youthful exuberance. Lois is a shark disguised as a siren.

Klaus Johnson is Mr. Romita’s long-time collaborator. He is assisted by Scott Hanna. The two men cut a mean figure in the Asian thug.

Hi-Fi nails it with Clark’s new ‘street look’. The S emblazoned under his hoodie and jeans just works.

Travis Lanham gives his fingers a workout with all the messaging and viral news.

I am anxious to pick up the “Truth” storyline that will now take place in June. I’m finally starting to appreciate the Man of Steel. Pick up SUPERMAN #41, people!

“Darkseid War, prologue two: The Other Amazon” (8 pages)
Written by: Geoff Johns
Art by: Jason Fabok
Colors by: Brad Anderson
Letters by: Rob Leigh

As if it weren’t head-turning enough that Darkseid and Anti-Monitor will wage battle with the entire universe/multiverse as their trophy, now we’re shown that Uxas sired a spawn secluded even from him. On top of that, she’s an Amazon! WOOT! WOOT! Diana, this is your newest rival and future number-one archenemy.

The narrator is Myrina, mother to the dark daughter (literally!) This tale definitely fits the bill of

    secret origin

 

. As far as twists go, Hippolyta was not the only one giving birth to a girl that night. Myrina is aided by Penelope and Menalippe. As soon as the baby emerges, Menalippe’s visions kick into overdrive. She’s the Amazons’ Oracle, you see [get it?].

Grail as baby
There is a foretelling of the titanic battle between the two cosmic giants. Every member of the League will be affected in interesting ways. I love how Wonder Woman will be the centre piece 🙂 Penelope wants to kill Myrina’s baby. Menalippe’s visions always come true. In order to avoid the encompassing darkness, the infant must die. Myrina, like any other mother, will protect her newborn and retaliates. She reveals that she wants all-out war. Darkseid must die and her daughter will be that weapon.

Myrina stabs Menalippe in the back (literally!) Luckily, the Queen of the Amazons did not witness this interaction even though she was spotted by the crazed lunatic. Myrina takes the two bodies to sea and fakes her death as well as theirs. She christens her daughter Grail and shocks all by saying that she is the first Amazon to depart Themyscira.

My head is spinning!! Geoff, you are DC’s version of Shakespeare! I’m aflutter with all the morsels you provided: Diana being a Roman name [duh!], the villains’ simpler designation of Dark God and Anti-God, Batman becoming a New God [whoa there!] and the inclusion of Mr. Miracle to the team.

Grail, daughter of Darkseid
Jason Fabok was mentioned as being DC’s newest pencilling sensation by Dan DiDio and Jim Lee on the intro page of this book. True, but not true!! Mr. Fabok has been around for a few years beginning with DETECTIVE COMICS. I’m thrilled that he’s now the regular artist on JUSTICE LEAGUE and I hope he has a long stint on there. His best piece is baby Grail. Seeing her stone-cased skin and blazing eyes is definitely disturbing. The Amazonians have their warrior mentality incorporated into their attractive visages.

Brad Anderson expertly uses the dark tones for all intents and purposes. He remains true to the various Leaguers. I dig the Omega tattoo beneath Myrina’s left eye. Not very conspicuous.

Rob Leigh acknowledges this unsettling story best with the black boxes for Myrina’s unravelling of events. Not only do they stand out but they accentuate the evilness within the Amazonian expatriate.

Three for three in this compilation!! As a collective, I give this 3×3 which equals 9.
I need to compose myself.

3x3

Tags: ,