Welcome back 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 5!
Week five and not everyone comes out alive! Oops!! Did I say that aloud? This week there is abandonment, betrayal, creation, desertion, and death!!! And that’s just in the main mini-series! In terms of the second parts of each ancillary title, at least one individual comes out a winner. Predictable? Maybe…Read on!
OH! I was almost remiss to mention that on the flipside of this event is DIVERGENCE!! Surely, you were able to grab the Free Comic Book Day sampler? If not, all 40 titles will be offering sneak peeks presenting all-new stories for the streamlined DCU that comes out next month. Twenty-four new entries and twenty-five returning faves redefined.
CONVERGENCE #5 (of 8)
“Liberty?” (28 pages) by Jeff King; Adam Kubert; Sandra Hope, Brad Anderson; Travis Lanham
Telos is in a tizzy @_@ Not only has Deimos summoned his master/creator but he’s also able to keep him in check. The Wonders of the World are just as astonished. Empowered with the imprisoned Time Masters’ powers, Deimos knows Telos’ true name and backstory. Secret origin time!! His name is never revealed (dang it!) but it smells à la Silver Surfer pledging his life to Galactus. Dick finds a compatriot in Telos since he’s the sole survivor of a life long gone. Green Lantern angrily disagrees. The hits just keep on coming!! Tara is killed by one of the Lizard Men. Warlord goes somewhat berserk. He finds comfort in joining her in the afterlife but his moment hasn’t come…yet. Deimos rips Machiste’s heart out of his chest. The dark wizard fells Superman with his magic. Telos regains his composure and will follow Brainiac’s order to kill Deimos. The Big Brain is banished by the diabolical one. Warlord breaks into the castle and valiantly tries to avenge Tara. He is aged to the point of dust by his enemy. Among the wreckage, Dick finds a batarang. He also takes the liquid metal and fashions a bat on his chest. We all know where this is going!! Deimos takes Yolanda and reveals that she was Wildcat before the Crisis on Infinite Earths. He divulges his endgame to her and tells her that he will lead on the heroes. Deimos takes over the P.A. broadcasting his own message. He is every single world’s saviour. All the formers captives must pledge their lives to him for a very high price. Will the next issue be titled “or Death?”
Social commentary: I’m going to bring to everyone’s attention something that escaped my eye the first time around. Before that, I want to thank a friend who works at my local comic shop for pointing it out. Here I go!!! Anyone notice that Machiste become more discolored as the panels went by? On page 6, he looks olive-skinned instead of his ebon tone. Pages 9 and 10 portray him ever lighter. To be perfectly blunt, I’ll spell it out this way, paraphrasing my friend’s speculation — most likely DC didn’t want to show a completely Caucasian character slaying an African-American, or if you prefer, black man, due to the riots in Baltimore. There, I said it!
Spoiler! Being omniscient must be dullsville, or not. At any rate, Deimos gives us a hint of a possible re-setting of the DCU — “I have seen the future, Superman. It will. Lois and Clark. Together again. The Titans hunted. Reunited.”
Deimos refers once again to the game-changing event of 1985-1986 [real time for us readers] to a bewildered Yolanda Montez: “You don’t know it, Yolanda, but you were there during the first nexus event. The first convergence. The crisis.”
Interest level: 8.5/10
CONVERGENCE: The ATOM #2 (of 2)
“Return of the Atom” (22 pages) by Tom Peyer, Steve Yeowell, Andy Owens, Hi-Fi, Pat Brosseau
Two fights! Two Atoms! Issue two of two. How apropos! Ryan Choi proves to be a major distraction to Ray as he engages Barracuda in combat. He wonders how Ryan stayed alive. At first he thinks it was heaven. Ryan flatly tells him that there were physics involved, not divine intervention. Ray realizes that Ryan was transported to the dimension where the extra mass is stored when they shrink. The revelation distracts Ray and he ends up losing a hand. What the heck?!? DC sure has an amputation fetish. Ryan regains corporeal form in time to lend a hand (oops! my bad) to Ray. Shortly after, Ray wakes up in a hospital with Ryan nowhere to be found. Perhaps it was all a dream. The fight ain’t over yet. Deathstroke barges in ready to off the predecessor. The mercenary was happy to be under the radar but Ray’s rant brought him back into the fold. As he’s about to deliver the killing blow, Ryan reappears! He manipulates the extra mass to regrow Ray’s hand and shrink both of Slade’s. How cool and unusual is that? The master assassin now has T-Rex paws. Yuck yuck yuck!! The two decide to create a physics lab along with Maria. They ride the bus as hope springs eternal.
K.O! Ray takes down Slade with his non-existent limb.
Shocking scene: Deathstroke has been diminished!!
And the winners are…Ray Palmer! Ryan Choi is resurrected and triumphs over his killer.
Sore losers: Barracuda; Deathstroke
Clever acronym: A.T.O.M. [Answer to our misery]
Interest level: 7.5/10
— Bonus Feature — DIVERGENCE: GREEN LANTERN [8 pages]
CONVERGENCE: BATGIRL #2 (of 2)
“The Love Song of Stephanie Brown, pt. 2” (22 pages) by Alisa Kwitney, Rick Leonardi, Mark Pennington, Steve Buccellato, Tom Napolitano & Sal Cipriano
The bulk of this issue is Steph fighting her feelings for Tim. It’s quite apparent in the title. That makes her extremely sloppy in the battle that she is supposed to win as champion of Gotham City. The involvement of Catman and Grodd doesn’t do either character any justice. They’re just filler and easily dispatched. Black Bat (Cassandra Cain) is completely useless. I’m sure she was added to appease the fans but all she does is observe and snap. She’s off the board in one quick stroke. C’mon!! This girl was trained by David Cain, one of the deadliest assassins in the DCU. Either way, she can’t stand the sexual tension between her teammates. I adored Steph’s turn during Bryan Q. Miller’s run but this is one of my least fave titles for this week.
Distinct delivery: “You say ‘Hey, I don’t want to date you anymore because you’re not Batgirl or Robin or Spoiler.’ You say words. One after the other.” – Steph to Tim
K.O! Steph rightly clocks Tim in the kisser for his condescension.
And the winners are…Batgirl by default; Steph for regaining Tim.
Sore loser: Grodd
Just plain sore: Stephanie Brown, Tim Drake — Love hurts!!
Relationship repaired: Steph & Tim finally work out their differences and plan to live happily ever after, more or less.
Interest level: 3/10
— Bonus Feature — DIVERGENCE: PREZ [8 pages]
CONVERGENCE: BATMAN & ROBIN #2 (of 2)
“Father & Sons, pt. 2” (21 pages) by Ron Marz, Denys Cowan, Klaus Johnson & Joe Rubinstein, Chris Sotomayor, Rob Leigh
Batman and sons (plus Scarlet) vs. the Extremists. Things get down and dirty. The four-on-four seems to be in favour of the villains. Animosity between the two boys makes matters worse. The Dark Knight is ever the focused one. After a do-si-do with the vicious group, the trio come out on top. Damian and Jason put aside their differences just before they plummet to their near doom. Damian is the one to extend the olive branch before he is caught by his father. One big happy (dis)functional Bat-family.
No! Not again! Brute hoisting Batman is most definitely reminiscent of Bane having broken Bruce’s back.
Who cares? What happened to Scarlet? Gone without given a second thought.
Surprise guest appearance: Superman
And the winners are…Batman, Robin, Red Hood, Scarlet. Batman times two for his sons.
Sore losers: Extremists [Brute, Carny, Death Angel, Meanstreak]
Relationship repaired: Jason and Damian mend fences. That thrills Bruce to no end.
Interest level: 6/10
— Bonus Feature — DIVERGENCE: OMEGA MEN [8 pages]
CONVERGENCE: HARLEY QUINN #2 (of 2)
“Rabbit Season” (22 pages) by Steve Pugh, Phil Winslade, John Dell, Chris Chuckry, John J. Hill
The scenes are split three ways. One is the interaction between HQ and CC. The second has Pig-Iron trying to lend a hand to his cottontail chum. The last has Catwoman and Poison Ivy waiting out with Harl’s main squeeze Louie. Harley resorts to violent hilarity as she engages in battle with Captain Carrot. She has him shaking like a caged bunny with the outrageous claims regarding her ‘powers’. It’s kind of off-putting to see how cowardly Rodney Rabbit is in his super-form. Man, she pranked him good. When the roller coaster falls apart, they come to terms with each other’s abilities or lack thereof. Selina and Pamela giving Louie the third degree made me shrink in my seat. Girl power!! The three amigas ride away in Ivy’s florist van. Kudos to Mr. Pugh for giving lots of exposure to the Zoo Crew.
Distinct delivery: “Sizzlin’ celery stalks!” “Leaping lettuce!” – Captain Carrot
“Whoa, that bunny’s gotta lotta bounce!! I wish Animal Man were here! Hey, I wonder if anyone’s ever said that before?” – Harley Quinn
Death does not come for thee: Pig-Iron. Why mess with our heads?!?
Fake-out! Harley’s silhouette is easily mistaken for that of Carrot’s much to Piggy’s mistake.
K.I.S.S. Harley’s ‘Dear John’ letter to Louie is a riot. How many X’s can one write?
Stalemate: Harley Quinn and Captain Carrot see the error of their ways.
Sore loser: Louie D’Anna, who got his ass dumped.
Interest level: 8/10
—Bonus Feature— DIVERGENCE: SECTION EIGHT [8 pages]
CONVERGENCE: JUSTICE LEAGUE #2 (of 2)
“Somewhere Beyond the Sea” (22 pages) by Frank Tieri, Vicente Cifuentes, Monica Kubina, Tom Napolitano
The JL swim to Atlantis to rescue Mera. Luckily, the five females are well-equipped to travel there. Little do Supergirl, Zatanna, Jade, and Jesse Quick know that they’re fighting a decoy: Ocean Master. Vixen, in turn, does her own deking when, disguised as a guard, she takes down Vulko and comes to Mera. Sadly, the King of Atlantis is extremely shrewd. He takes her down clad in his brother’s garb. Vixen puts up an excellent fight against the A-Hole but he proves to be superior. Supergirl really lays a pounding on him but that tough Atlantean hide spares him. Mera is the one that finally incapacitates him. Aquaman is a chauvinist, plain and simple. I’m glad he got his butt kicked by an all-female team. The violence was prevalent in this issue. I understand its purpose given the bloodthirsty nature of the main opponent but I found it a bit disturbing since it was directed at all the ladies.
Distinct delivery: “I don’t think you’ve thought this through. You’re tapping into the abilities of marine animals. And who is it that can telepathically control marine animals, I wonder?” – Aquaman to Vixen
Death sucks: Vixen. Say it ain’t so!!
And the winner is…Mera with her feminine wiles.
Sore loser: Aquaman [Flashpoint]. Talk about a fool for love.
Interest level: 8/10
—Bonus Feature– DIVERGENCE: DETECTIVE COMICS [8 pages]
CONVERGENCE: NIGHTWING•ORACLE #2 (of 2)
“Birds of Rage, pt. 2” (22 pages) by Gail Simone, Jan Duursema, Dan Parsons, Wes Dzioba, Carlos M. Mangual
The Hawks wage war on the Romantic Duo, round two! Furious fisticuffs get Nightwing only so far. He’s not savage enough to come out on top. Oracle puts her brain power to the test. She has to be part of the away mission for her plan to work. A hooded ally wants to enter the fray but Oracle suggests to bide time. When it is revealed that the Hawks have been hearing every interaction between Dick and Babs, the ally uncloaks. It is Dinah Lance, the Black Canary!! Her cry is enough to guarantee the upper hand for Dick. Hawkgirl is unfazed. She flies towards the chopper and directs all her fury at Babs. It seems like Babs is a definite goner but she fights like mad with her escrima sticks. She bests Shayera and even has possession of her mace. Hawkgirl will never say die even after Telos’ drones are hacked and obliterate the Absorbascons. Lives are spared and an offer is made. To every single fan’s delight, Barbara Gordon and Dick Grayson finally become man and wife.
Cool cameos: Clark Kent, Lois Lane, Bruce Wayne, Alfred Pennyworth, Roy Harper, Cheshire(?). No clue as to who the bridesmaids may be. Dinah could be the one in the light blue dress.
Wedding planner 2.0 — Babs’ wedding dress on the cover suits her to a terabyte 🙂
And the winners are…Nightwing and, by a large margin, Oracle.
Sore losers: Hawkman & Hawkgirl. No honourable death. Plus, they are offered co-existence.
Relationship repaired: Babs accepts Dick’s proposal and experiences wedded bliss. It’s about frickin’ time!!
Interest level: 9/10
—Bonus Feature— DIVERGENCE: MIDNIGHTER [8 pages]
CONVERGENCE: The QUESTION #2 (of 2)
“Just One More Thing…pt. 2” (22 pages) by Greg Rucka, Cully Hamner, Dave McCaig, Corey Breen
The clock is ticking not just for the survival of Gotham City, but because Renee’s father is dying and there isn’t much she can do!! Renee is so focused on her mission to defeat Two-Face that she doesn’t realize that there is a unilateral battle between her ex-lover and her roomie. When the other-worldly Harvey Dent faces his demented, twisted counterpart, he realizes his only option is to excise the evil embraced by his alter-ego. The Question jumps right in and catches the bullet. That act of interference causes Harvey to be transported back from whence he came. True love’s kiss is enough to wake the sleeping beauty, as is Kevlar 😉 Renee is able to make peace with her father before he passes. The fast pace and fiery interactions are indicative of Mr. Rucka’s strength as a scribe. There was no pulling punches. Things are on the up and up for our faceless heroine. Want more? Send e-mails, tweet, post!! #bringbackreneemontoya
Distinct delivery: “The people who say they have no regrets are the ones too stupid to know the mistakes they’ve made.” – The Question
“Okay, number one, roommates. Number two, your ex. Number three, jealous much?” “Well, I’m embarrassed.” “I damn well should hope so.” – Huntress to Batwoman
Catfight: Batwoman sure had a bone to pick with Huntress. Ironically, the hot-headed Helena cooled her jets to let Kate admit her feelings for Renee and to let that love resurface.
And the winner is…Renee Montoya, all the way!
Sore loser: Harvey Dent (before Two-Face from an undetermined timeline)
Relationship repaired: Renee’s father, Hernando, finally accepts his daughter for who she truly is and whole-heartedly embraces her before his final moment.
Interest level: 9/10
— Bonus Feature— DIVERGENCE: STARFIRE [8 pages]
CONVERGENCE: SPEED FORCE #2 (of 2)
“Zip-Ties, pt. 2” (22 pages) by Tony Bedard, Tom Grummett, Sean Parsons, Rain Beredo, Dave Sharpe
Flash has to vanquish Wonder Woman, otherwise there’s a whole world of trouble. Despite his super-speed, Wally is hesitant to vanquish Diana simply because she reminds him of the kinder, gentler version. Plus, having his two children around has him off his game. As expected, this Wonder Woman is all fighter, ruthless to the core. She will slay Wally and Jai, and make Iris an Amazon. Luckily, Fastback is around to provide some much-needed assist. A super-fast turtle is the best ironic idea ever. No blood is shed and Wally acknowledges his failure as a husband and father. This is the impetus for winning. WW and the Amazons decide to retreat. Jai and Iris will stand by their dad’s side as they accept their new living situation. Family ties are reinforced.
Distinct delivery: “What kind of warrior are you, always running away?” – Wonder Woman
“Gallopin’ Galapagos, this is bad.” “Bless my shell!” — Fastback
And the winner is…Wally West, Flash III with an assist from Jai, Iris, and Fastback.
Sore loser: Wonder Woman [Flashpoint]
Interest level: 8/10
—Bonus Feature— DIVERGENCE: GREEN ARROW [8 pages]
CONVERGENCE: SUPERMAN #2 (of 2)
“Superman Again” (22 pages) by Dan Jurgens, Norm Rapmund, Brad Anderson, Tom Napolitano
Quelle surprise to see Batman [Flashpoint] on the opening page. Didn’t see that one coming. Dr. Thomas Wayne is surveilling the current situation. His allies are engaged in battle with an immensely powerful adversary. He surmises that the man in question is Kryptonian and hails from New Earth where his son Bruce remains alive. Supes holds his own against Captain Thunder and Cyborg. Jimmy, in the flying car, ambushes Abin Sur. The Man of Steel hears Lois’ cry for help and flies off. The Batcave is trespassed by Subject One and Lois Lane. She’s due any minute now and the elongated alien is determined to keep her safe. Clark rushes back to their condo. Lois left a recording on the laptop. Abin Sur has a heart-to-heart with Clark and points him in the right direction. Clark is aware of the Flashpoint history and thanks Abin. Lois’ contractions have begun. Clark arrives just in time. He asks Thomas to help with the delivery but the doctor gave up his profession when his son died. Everything goes without a hitch. The super-couple are proud parents of a healthy baby boy. The new mother christens him after both their fathers.
I’ll never get tired of looking at Dan Jurgen’s art. Once again, he is the expert on Big Blue!
Distinct delivery: “Leave me alone. I don’t want to deliver my baby…in a freak show.” – Lois Lane to Thomas Wayne
And the winners are…Lois and Clark with the birth of their son!
Sore loser: ?????
New beginning: Welcome to the DCU, Jonathan Samuel Kent >_<
Interest level: 8.5/10
—Bonus Feature— DIVERGENCE: DOOMED [8 pages]
CONVERGENCE: TITANS #2 (of 2)
“Try for Justice, pt. 2” (22 pages) by Fabian Nicieza, Ron Wagner, José Marzán Jr., Chris Sotomayor, Carlos M. Mangual
What we got here is a classic Mexican standoff!! Roy turns on his friends, weapons ready, all to regain his daughter Lian. Fake-out!! The sharpshooter purposely missed the mark, instead bringing down cranes on the Extremists. Dreamslayer mocks Roy at his shoddy attempt but he swoops in to whisk Lian. Back-up has arrived!! Beast Boy and Cyborg even the odds. Roy brings Lian to his bunker. He is overwhelmed with emotion. Lian is oblivious to her true fate. All that matters is the reunion. The hero in Roy cannot watch his friends struggle nor does he want to abandon his daughter. Dreamslayer interrupts his contemplation and makes a Faustian offer. What a twist!! Roy converted Gotham City into a mega-sized arsenal. Once again, he has arms pointed at his friends. After one blast, he does an about-face and uses an EMP to shut down everything. Dreamslayer and the others ‘port away. Roy stays behind with Lian as the others prepare for round two.
Distinct delivery: “Kory, we don’t have the firepower to fight these mooks.” “That shouldn’t lessen our resolve.” “No, but it could lessen our life span.” – Beast Boy to Starfire
Death most definitely forgotten: Lian is back among the land of the living!!
And the winner is…Roy Harper, for having re-gained his baby girl.
Sore losers: The Titans. Say what?!?
To be continued: This ties in directly to CONVERGENCE #6 given the blatant indicator on the very last page.
Interest level: 7/10
—Bonus Feature— DIVERGENCE: RED HOOD/ARSENAL [8 pages]
Tags: Convergence, Converse Convergence, DC Comics, Divergence, Racial Profiling at DC Comics