Converse Convergence: Week 4 Of DC Comics’ 2015 2-Month Event Reviewed In Full!

Welcome to my 8-part column called Converse Convergence where I assess each week of DC’s 2015 2-month event. We’re now onto Week 4!

Converse Convergence Week Five banner

Halfway there, people. Things are going in a completely unexpected direction, but I like it, I like it a lot!! I was under the assumption that it would focus on the analogous Trinity of each world but I’m pleasantly surprised that ‘minor’ characters are brought to the foreground like Travis Morgan a.k.a. Warlord. Plus, the focus is on the early days of the DCU as well as the far future.

CONVERGENCE 4

CONVERGENCE #4 (of 8)
“The Return” (28 pages) by Jeff King; Stephen Segovia; Mark Farmer, Julio Ferreira, Jonathan Glapion, Rob Hunter, Jason Paz, Mark Roslan, Stephen Segovia; Aspen/MLT’s Jason Starr w/ Peter Steigerwald; Travis Lanham

Telos takes Dick Grayson under his wing and grants him mobility and a chance at salvation. During their interaction, Dick tries to convince Telos that he is more than the sum of his parts. Deimos tricks the Wonders into believing that Warlord is the villain of Skartaris. Even that world is unsafe from the Convergence! Shakira has the Time Masters imprisoned. She seems to be almost kind-hearted as she asks for one single word of information to win their freedom. Deimos comes clean with Yolanda and takes out Shakira to sap the combined power of the time travellers. In doing so, he breaches a dimension wall and summons Braniac. A bargain is about to be struck!!!

Dimension: Skartaris

Meta-commentary: Telos has accelerated time so that the upcoming battles will only take days. HHHMM, is this to emphasize the brevity of the weekly mini as well as the forty two-month books?

Spoiler!: Deimos peers into the Multiverse!! He makes mention of

    the very first CRISIS

way back in 1963 featured in JUSTICE LEAGUE of AMERICA #21-22! Plus, he pretty much states that the Wonders of the World are destined to become the ‘new’ JSA: “I can see all of your timelines now, Jay Garrick. You were the first to encounter a breach in the multiverse in a life long ago. I understand why you are the center of this now. You are the original heroes reborn. The first, and now, the last.” — You are quite crafty, Mr. King!

Mystery: There are two unknown individuals within the grouping of Time Masters. Who are they?!? All search engines have come up empty.

Pawns: Black Beetle, Chronos, Epoch, Hourman, Monarch, Per Degaton, Time Trapper

Trouble?: Seven inkers for one issue. This does not bode well.

Threat level: 8/10

CONVERGENCE - ACTION COMICS 1

CONVERGENCE: ACTION COMICS #1 (of 2)
untitled (22 pages) by Justin Gray, Claude St-Aubin, Lovern Kindzierski, Steve Wands

Superman is truly now a man of the people. The Earth-2 version. Once the dome appeared, he revealed his identity to the world. Kal now has what he always wanted: a normal existence with his one true love Lois Lane. A meeting of the minds is occurring in Moscow. Lex Luthor’s hypothesis about the true purpose of the dome is infuriating Josef Stalin. Kara is not enjoying her newfound plain existence. Vanity is her major flaw. The former Red Son gives a friendly warning to Lex about talking down to Stalin. If it occurs again, that’s the end of it. Dinner between Kara, Andrew, Kal, and Lois is ruined with talk of the dome. As Lois storms out, the announcement is made and Wonder Woman materializes.

City: pre-Crisis Earth-2 Metropolis; Earth-30 Moscow

Wicked vehicle: Invisible jet

Threat level: 5/10

CONVERGENCE - BLUE BEETLE 1

CONVERGENCE: BLUE BEETLE #1 (of 2)
“Convergence” (22 pages) by Scott Lobdell, Yishan Li, Dave McCaig, Saida Temofonte

The Charlton heroes return in all their splendor and glory. Screen time is shared between the three protagonists: the titular character (duh!), The Question, and Captain Atom. Vic Sage continues investigating crime and corruption in his civilian guise as well as his faceless alter ego. His quest for the truth makes him butt heads with Mr. Military Man Captain Nathaniel Adam. Ted Kord is tirelessly finding a way to crack the dome. When he summons Nate, success!! A tiny sliver was opened with his ‘laser’. Captain Atom is back in action!! Just as soon as he flies, his nemesis Dr. Spectro materializes. Cap assumes him to be the culprit. Their battle is interrupted by a version of Booster Gold who fades out after Atom zaps him. The euphoria has ended. Atom loses his powers and freefalls. Luckily, Blue Beetle has no powers, just armour. He rescues his buddy from an untimely demise. Telos forms from the pavement into a rock giant and almost smashes The Bug. As the trio take off, the opening of the dome is as clear as day.

City: Hub City, Earth-4

Wicked vehicle: The Bug!! (Blue Beetle’s baby)

Memorable line: “I suspect Telos is an unreliable narrator. Who knows if we can believe a word he says?” – The Question

Threat level: 7/10

CONVERGENCE - BOOSTER GOLD

CONVERGENCE: BOOSTER GOLD #1 (of 2)
“Ride the Wave” (22 pages) by Dan Jurgens, Álvaro Martinez, Raul Fernandez, Corey Breen, Chris Sotomayor

This is THE book that everyone must have in his/her possession!! It’s not quantum physics. Booster is at the centre of this entire thing. Literally! Two Boosters are better than one, or are they? Rip rescues his father after a botched robbery from Gotham in 2462 lands him Braniac’s prisoner. Booster is disoriented and Rip informs him that they are in Skartaris with Deimos as the despot. Booster drops the bomb that he revealed the location of Vanishing Point to spare his sister Michelle’s life. Booster surprises Rip again by stating that Superman and Wonder Woman are a couple. For whatever reason, that relationship is major danger for the multiverse. Seems like Rip isn’t the ultimate Time Master since he is learning of it at that moment. Too many paradoxes to mention but suffice to say Rip rescues ‘his’ Michelle and Michael. The quartet come across a skirmish between Deimos, the Lizard Men, and Machiste. As they make their way out of Skartaris, they fly into the Legionnaire’s Metropolis. The dying Michael is transported elsewhere. After a hard fall, he gets a hand from his supposed-to-be-dead good buddy Blue Beetle. Duh duh duh!!

Locations: Vanishing Point, Skartaris, 30th century Metropolis

Flub: How can Booster from Prime-Earth {Flashpoint} know that Rip is his sister’s nephew but is astounded that the ‘other me’ (Booster from New Earth) {pre-Flashpoint} is Rip’s father?!?

Memorable lines: “ Rip’? For real? Sounds like one of those made-up, fifties-era movie star names. Either that or you eat a lot of beans.” “You, Booster Gold, are making fun of my name? That’s rich. Especially when you aren’t even the Booster I was looking for.” – It’s obvious.

POW: How many time travellers can you identify? I spot Black Beetle, Chronos, Extant, Hourman, Monarch, Per Degaton, Time Trapper, Waverider. There are two women and one armoured man. No clue.

Trusty sidekick: Skeets

Time Travel 101: You try wrapping your head around all this! @_@

Threat level: 9/10

CONVERGENCE - CRIME SYNDICATE 1

CONVERGENCE: CRIME SYNDICATE #1 (of 2)
untitled (22 pages) by Brian Buccellato, Phil Winslade, Lovern Kindzierski, Rob Leigh

Lois Lane a.k.a. Superwoman is slated to die for crimes against humanity. Death penalty. Public execution. She rues her entire evil existence. She never wanted to resort to murdering but now the punishment must fit the crime. Her partners-in-crime Ultraman, Owlman, Johnny Quick, and Power Ring won’t let that stand and plan to break her out. They are impeded by the Rogue Hunters: a female Capt. Boomerang, Capt. Cold, Mirror Master, Top, Weather Wizard. The rifles the CS sport aren’t enough to take down the Hunters. The scuffle delays them and the switch is pulled, snuffing out Lois. As the criminals march in cuffs, their powers re-emerge and they are whisked away. Meanwhile, in another time and place, the Justice Legion A try to convince Batman to not kill Lincoln Luthor. An unexpected assault by LL’s men kills the Atom. Enraged, Batman begins his one-man crusade. Convergence begins as he and Superman are transported elsewhere. They barely have their bearings when Ultraman sneak-attacks Superman.

I’m going to provide a little commentary — Brian Buccellato writes a compelling argument for this ne’er-do-wells. I’d say his character examination rivals that of Geoff Johns. Superwoman seems truly sorry for all the harm she’s caused but it isn’t enough since she is executed. Owlman is nothing but a coward. When he spots the Justice Legion A, he steps into the shadows not wanting to engage in combat. Batman from the 853rd century borders dangerously close to all that he stands against: he really doesn’t see murder as a problem.

Cities: Earth-3 Metropolis; 853rd century Metropolis

Memorable lines: “With all of the powers in our hands, WE chose the easy way out. Those ‘do-gooders’ were heroes on their world…and we were the cowards of ours. We were the backwards ones.” – Superwoman

Fanfare: DC One Million!! It’s not only worlds that are affected but timelines. This is too obvious to state but for Telos’ experiment to reach this extremely distant period underlines the severity of the situation.

Threat level: 9/10

CONVERGENCE - DETECTIVE COMICS 1

CONVERGENCE: DETECTIVE COMICS #1 (of 2)
“Powers and Responsibilities…!” (22 pages) by Len Wein, Denys Cowan, Bill Sienkiewicz, Chris Sotomayor & Felix Serrano, Travis Lanham

The Dynamic Duo of Dick Grayson and Helena Wayne are coping with Bruce’s death and life under the dome. Helena is just as rash, impatient, and full of fury as her other counterparts. She pretty much wants to tear apart Toyman. Dick is struggling with assuming the mantle of the Bat instead wearing a hybrid costume. Helena mocks it and pushes him to become the new Dark Knight. She knows it’s what her father would have wanted for his ‘son’. The Red Son Superman pulls a massive hoax on the Muscovites. He is powerless but the citizens need not know. Deception comes complete with a flying harness. It is necessary to quell the potential revolution due to the dome’s presence. In a blink of an eye, Kal-L regains powers and comes across his quarry. Helena fires missiles at him. Dick is able to calm the situation and have Superman on their side. This is ruined when Helena charges away with the Batmobile. As Supes stops her, Huntress presses the self-destruct button.

Cities: pre-Crisis Earth-2 Metropolis; Earth-30 Moscow

Memorable lines: “The world needs a Batman. The world deserves a Batman. And you…you deserve closure.” “Coming from you, that’s ironic.” – Helena to Dick
Helena, I’ve got a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”

Danger!: The crimson skies appear over Moscow! They appear over Gotham City and Metropolis as well. This is a precursor to CRISIS on INFINITE EARTHS!!

Deceiving appearances: Superman is downright sympathetic and nice!! HUH?

Wicked vehicle: The Batmobile!! No contest.

Threat level: 6.5/10

CONVERGENCE - INFINITY, INC. 1

CONVERGENCE: INFINITY INC. #1 (of 2)
“The Family Business” (22 pages) by Jerry Ordway, Ben Caldwell, Veronica Gandini, Rob Leigh

The children of the JSA move on without their powers. Another ‘slice-of-life’ trope. Jennie Hayden (Jade) has taken up acting. Todd Rice (Obsidian) has a brand new beau. Henry King, Jr. (Brainwave, Jr.) is a major mess. Lyta Trevor-Hall (Fury) polices the streets of Metropolis. Sylvester Pemberton (Star-Spangled Kid) desperately needs Infinity, Inc. to exist again. Albert Rothstein (Nuklon) is perfectly content with the day-to-day. Norda Cantrell (Northwind) kept his wings since he is half-Feitheran. He watches over the people. Hector Hall (Silver Scarab) is working on a solar array to breach the barrier. Just in time since Telos states his intentions and FWOOSH! Jonah Hex from the 21st century emerges with his team the Dogs of War (Centurion, Manta, Stanley Harris, Stiletta, Starkad, Sun Hawk). Bang! Bang! You’re dead!!

Sorry to say but I care nothing for the artwork. I like how the youth are the JSA’ legacy.

City: pre-Crisis Earth-2 Metropolis

Memorable lines: “Sounds like a fancy pants outlaw name. But ya look like some kind o’sheriff. Ain’t no law here, sonny. Nuthin’ personal, but way I see it, we got us a job ta do.” – Hex to Star-Spangled Kid

Threat level: 4/10

CONVERGENCE - JUSTICE SOCIETY of AMERICA 1

CONVERGENCE: JUSTICE SOCIETY of AMERICA #1 (of 2)
“Society” (22 pages) by Dan Abnett, Tom Derenick, Trevor Scott, Monica Kubina, Dave Sharpe

Kent Nelson is in a coma. He’s been that way since for a whole year, pretty much since they were all de-powered thanks to Telos’ dome. Jay Garrick visits his fallen friend every single day without fail. Carter Hall has taken up gardening. His son Hector is itching for some heroics. Alan Scott keeps reporting the news. In fact, he informs Jay and Carter that Kent has awakened. Dr. Fate is in the house!! He explains to his companions that they must fight for their survival. A spell will restore their youth but it will also accelerate the end. They accept without question. Presto change-o!! The JSA are reborn!

Tom Derenick’s artwork is sharp and neat!

City: pre-Crisis Earth-2 Metropolis

Memorable line: “Arthritis is a bitch.” – Who would’ve thought clean-cut Jay Garrick had a potty mouth??

Threat level: 8/10

CONVERGENCE - PLASTIC MAN and the FREEDOM FIGHTERS 1

CONVERGENCE: PLASTIC MAN and the FREEDOM FIGHTERS #1 (of 2)
“Out of the Frying Pan…” (22 pages) by Simon Oliver, John McCrea, John Kalisz, Saida Temofonte

Plastic Man is the main man in this tale. He’s the leader of the ultimate Nazi opposition — the Freedom Fighters. Fat lotta good their efforts were since they’re all now prisoners of the Third Reich. Black Condor, Doll Man, Human Bomb, Phantom Lady, Ray, Uncle Sam…shackled to rot. Flashbacks reveal their exploits as a team especially in thwarting the top two agents: Herr Kommandant and Silver Ghost. When the FF lost their powers, the Nazis really came out on top. Extermination and indoctrination were the mandates du jour. Plas went back to Eel O’Brian and turned again to a life of crime stealing food to survive. He was sold out by his ‘pal’ Woozy Winks. That’s how he ended up in his current predicament. Interestingly enough, Plas feels his powers return without the cry that convergence has come.

Sadly, not a fan of the art. Plus, I’ve never been big on WWII despite the massive impact it had in 20th century history.

City: Earth-X New York City

Memorable line: “But as they say…‘Landing’s a bitch!’ ” – Plastic Man —- The B-word twice in one week? Hi-larious! I thought DC was going PG 😉

Sprechen sie Deutsch? Shame on Simon Oliver for not translating X(
• “Was machen wir mit den gefangenen?” — “What do we do with the prisoners?”
• “Wo ist mein verdammter cognac?” — “Where is my [********] cognac?”
• “Das dritte Reich wartet nicht.” — “The Third Reich is not waiting.”
• “Wieso die verspatung?” — “Why the delay?”
• “Was ist, wenn es eine falle ist?” — “What if it’s a trap?”
• “Der silbergeist ist auf dem weg.” — “The Silver Ghost has gone away.”
• “Wir befinden uns nun im NYC luftraum.” — “We are now in NYC airspace.”
• “Wir warten auf landeerlaubnis.” — “We are waiting for permission to land.”
• “Was in aller welt?!” — “What in the world?”
• “Backbordmotor ausfall! Wie verlieren flughöhe! Notruf!” — “Port engine failure! Losing altitude! Emergency!”
• “Notluke sprengen.” — “Blow the escape hatch.”

Danger level: 4/10

CONVERGENCE - SHAZAM! 1

CONVERGENCE: SHAZAM! #1 (of 2)
“Return of the Thunder” (22 pages) by Jeff Parker, Evan Shaner, Jordie Bellaire, Saida Temofonte

With one word the magic lightning transforms Billy Batson, his sister Mary, and Freddy Freeman into the World’s Mightiest Mortals!! The three teens are obsolete without their powers. Luckily, Bulletman and Bulletgirl are protecting the city. An assortment of villains join forces, specifically the Monster Society of Evil. The secret’s out as to the true identity of the Marvel Family. The trio are easily captured by the nefarious group. The youth feel betrayed by their Uncle Dudley but it is a holo-image used by Dr. Sivana. His companion Sterling Morris is Ibac in disguise. Tiger Tawny to the rescue!! The heroes are outmatched until Ibac reverts to mortal form upon uttering his name. Billy spits out SHAZAM!! Enter: Captain Marvel. The tide turns in favour of the good guys and the real Dudley and Morris are freed. Celebrations will have to wait as explosions are set off throughout the city.

Jeff Parker really brings out the magic (literally!) and charm in these characters. He is so adept at the old school stories. I always thought the Marvels’ adventures were way too cheesy for me but reading this makes me want to reconsider.

City: Earth-S Fawcett City

Memorable lines: “See, Sivana? Friendship trumps a society based on hate.” – Billy Batson
Sivana and Ibac beat by children and cat! HA!!” – King Kull

Threat level: 8.5/10

CONVERGENCE - WORLD'S FINEST 1

CONVERGENCE: WORLD’S FINEST COMICS #1 (of 2)
“The Seven Soldiers of Victory” (22 pages) by Paul Levitz, Jim Fern & Shannon Wheeler, Joe Rubinstein & Shannon Wheeler, Paul Mounts, Tom Napolitano

Long before the JLA, there were these Magnificent Seven: Crimson Avenger, Green Arrow, Silent Knight, Speedy, Star-Spangled Kid, Stripesy, Vigilante. Together, they thwarted many threats. Scribbly Jibbet is a cartoonist for The Metropolis News. His illustrations recount the exploits of the team that he so admires. Things are hunky-dory until five years pass and red skies herald a crisis!! Green Arrow and Speedy perish after they save Scribbly from a pterodactyl. Silent Knight and Scribbly experience the rising of the dome. Sir Justin ages immediately since the enchantment that kept him eternally youthful has vanished. Metropolis does its best to thrive without its stalwart heroes. Hope is renewed when Sir Justin’s sword glows anew. Telos hands off (literally!) the duo to battle when they are attacked by an unseen assailant! Scribbly thinks his time is near.

It’s great that Mr. Levitz acknowledges this by-gone era. He is the ultimate librarian for the DCU. It’s also a different take to have an ordinary citizen be the focal point. Nevertheless, I was really looking forward to seeing all seven heroes do what they do best.

City: pre-Crisis Earth-2 Metropolis

Best anachronistic scene: Vigilante roping a rhino.

Fanboy #1: Scribbly Jibbet

Faithful companion: Winged Victory

Memorable line: “You risk your life, scribe…for a cartoon?” – Sir Justin to Scribbly

Meta-moment: The setting is 1980 when the story begins. Five years later, 1985, red skies cover the city. Time is out of joint. This heralds the CRISIS on INFINITE EARTHS!! However, Telos inadvertently interrupts it by putting up the dome.

Threat level: 5/10

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