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 7!
Week seven and there ain’t no heaven!!! Not only have the tables turned, but Deimos’ demise comes at the hand of an unexpected but omnipotent ally!
Not enough pages are given to the slugfests between heroes, villains, and heroes. I guess fan fiction would be the route to go. I’ve given the rare perfect rating to two titles. Try to determine which!! DIVERGENCE enters its third week. I’m worse than a dog waiting for his master to come home. I’m truly hooked on all these previews. Say, is DC finally rising to stellar status?
CONVERGENCE #7 (of 8)
“Showdown” (28 pages) by Jeff King & Scott Lobdell; Aaron Lopresti; Mark Morales; Peter Steigerwald; Travis Lanham
Time is out of joint!! Physics are askew. The Oracle (not Barbara Gordon) is now blind. How cruel a fate for one who is able to peer into all facets of the fourth dimension. His own destiny is unknown. Superman gathers all those around the anomaly and returns them to safety. Various versions of villains, heroes and the like wage war. Telos breaks through the core of himself along with Dick Grayson determined to deter Deimos. The dark wizard is a rascally one. He blasts Deimos in the back. He has such unlimited power that when he screams the heroes of Prime Earth can hear him crystal clear in the vacuum of space. A nifty two-page spread showcases select versions of Superman, Supergirl, and Martian Manhunter. Telos is tortured not knowing his origins, something Deimos isn’t too eager to share. Parallax interrupts and talks down to the demi-god but he swats him aside. Yolanda tells Dick within earshot of others that Deimos wants the death of all parties. This kernel begins to turn the tide. Yolanda pinpoints the moustachioed madman’s weakness: fear of Telos. Upon that declaration, the living planet restrains him and those who are part of his crusade. Telos was too passive but is all too aware of what has transpired. Once again, Deimos unleashes his might. Parallax finally steps up to the plate. The death lord is actually dead. The solution was too extreme – by zapping him into the void, the power Deimos had harnessed from the time travelers has now scattered. Oracle regains sight. He is ready for the big sleep. As he begins to crumble, he tells Supergirl it’s not just him but all of reality.
Identity theft: Oracle is Aurakles, a character from the New Gods’ universe who was rewritten as the original DCU super-hero. Investigate on your own: http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/Aurakles_%28New_Earth%29
Uh-oh! Spaghetti-O!! Parallax provides the out-of-left-field save but he did more harm than good. As the lesser of two evils, there’s only one more issue to deal with him. Remember that he was responsible for Zero Hour, where he tried to restructure the universe by tampering with the timestream.
Done, son! Deimos got the ultimate trash talk from Parallax — “You’re the worst kind of villain, Deimos. One obsessed with power for power’s sake. You wield it for your own selfish needs. But power like that can not only save lives. It can revive them. My universe. My world. My Coast City. You bore me.”
Under a blood red sky: Need more be said??
Brawler! Too many cool mix-ups to mention but all done unapologetically in two-page spreads.
CONVERGENCE: ADVENTURES of SUPERMAN #2 (of 2)
“” (22 pages) by Marv Wolfman, Roberto Viacava, Andy Owens, Sotocolor, Rob Leigh
When one door closes, another opens. In this case, after a harrowing escape from the Phantom Zone and a return to Metropolis, a new threat has arisen: General Symian the First, of Earth-AD. Do not fear, Kamandi is here!! He swings around his co-existent and tries to convince him to spare the humans. Symian is too bloodthirsty. Big Blue and the Maid of Might make their contribution. Kamandi recognizes Superman from the ancient texts. Supergirl is so obsessed with Kal’s safety that she freaks out when he is blasted and doesn’t like the plan he has devised. Kamandi manages to surprise and unsettle Kara when he makes reference to the ancient texts and begins to speak of her sacrifice. Fake-out!! The two Supers only pretend to be knocked out. Superman detonates the warhead with ease. Kamandi is grateful for the assist and returns to his people. Kal tries to coax the truth out of Kara’s uncomfortableness. She remains mum. The quake rattles them to their senses [natch!] Kara makes a connection between the events experienced by them. Kal assures her they will investigate and fight their captor.
Out-of-synch: The last caption states “To be continued in CONVERGENCE #6” which was released the previous week. Interestingly enough, the New 52 versions were predominant.
What nightmares may come: “My fate is sealed. His still isn’t which means even if I don’t live, he must.” – Superman is a main fixture of his reality, and Kara’s. “Images from a possible future revealed during a weakening in the dimensional fabric.” – Supergirl
Blink, and you’ll definitely miss it! The classic image that graced the cover of CRISIS on INFINITE EARTHS #7 is somewhere in this book. Can’t find it? Need help? Page 16, panel 1.
Blooper? The narrative caption on page 15 features the New 52 shield for Supergirl.
Youthful exuberance: Kamandi as a guest-star was a real smart move.
–2nd serving– DIVERGENCE: MARTIAN MANHUNTER [8 pages]
CONVERGENCE: BATMAN and the OUTSIDERS #2 (of 2)
“The New Normal, pt. 2” (22 pages) by Marc Andreyko, Carlos D’Anda, Gabe Eltaeb, Steve Wands
OMAC attacks!! Tell me another one. He is being controlled by Godmother. The Outsiders retaliate. Geo-Force heats him up, followed by Metamorpho’s delivery of liquid nitrogen. Victory is declared. Black Lightning, Geo-Force, and Halo expel OMAC. He reverts back to Buddy Blank and wonders about Brother Eye’s presence. The Eye is with him but predicts their imminent inexistence. Metamorpho laments his ‘back-to-normal’ status. Batman knows that this was one minor battle. War will break out.
Tender to the touch: Rex inadvertently burns his pureheart Sapphire when he reverts to his multi-elemental form.
Pardon the pun: Black Lightning tells Halo: “Gaby! Time for a light show!” UGH.
Throwback: The Bat-Copter, just like the Hot Wheels® model!!
Requiem for Rex Mason: Metamorpho is a freak once more. He should commiserate with Ben Grimm, cursed in his Thing form as poignantly told in “This Man…This Monster!”
–2nd serving– DIVERGENCE: BATMAN BEYOND [8 pages]
CONVERGENCE: FLASH #2 (of 2)
“Race to the Finish” (22 pages) by by Dan Abnett, Federico Dallocchio, Veronica Gandini, Tom Napolitano
From the many pickings this particular week, this is THE BOOK to read and re-read and once more!! So much trippy stuff! Science vs. Super-science!!! This issue packs a wallop @_@ Make sure your head is fastened securely cuz away we go!
Mind over Speed Force. Is there really any contention? The Tangent Superman delivers an eight-page treatise on analyzing the enemy, timestreams, parallels of the Hypertime multiverse, ethos, and philosophy. Luckily for us readers, it’s really not that wordy. The Flash takes it all in stride when he refers to STAR TREK. Classic nerd. Gudonya! Superman refuses to engage in combat. He pulls a fast one (HAH) when he blurts Barry’s true identity. He then continues to present facts about his superior intellect and gushes over Barry’s heroic qualities. Flash is itching for a fight. The next seven pages showing him piling it on as only a speedster can. Unfortunately, Supes wasn’t bragging about his mental faculties. He brain-blasts Barry. The Flash is more of an elusive quarry than Supes realized. He is literally in the wrong place at the wrong time, to put it in layman terms. Flash must live to preserve the timestream. Superman forfeits. Barry has a lot to process with the startling revelations. First and foremost, he must make a life for himself without his beloved Iris. His future isn’t guaranteed but he must face it head on.
Live long and prosper: Words to live by. The classic sci-fi series is mentioned twice.
Time(Clock of the Heart): Hypertime is brought up!! This concept lost traction once INFINITE CRISIS rolled around as almost all the fictitious individuals forgot about it. Huh. I’m one of them. How many of you readers remembered this? “Our realities are tangential alternates, co-existing in Hypertime.”
•Eugenics – the study of improving the qualities of the human species.
•Neo-Malthusianism – advocates of population control due to reduced resources.
•Misanthropy – the hatred, dislike, and distrust of humankind.
Unpleasant subjects all around!
Barry Allen is the only Flash that matters!
Superman from Earth-9 presents an array of arguments in favour of this Scarlet Speedster. He has my eternal gratitude. I can begin my thesis, borrowing from his ideas.
1. “You are Barry Allen. The Flash of Earth-Prime.” “You are a proven hero. Brave, determined, gifted, selfless. You have saved worlds in your lifetime.” You tell him!!
2. “You are disconnected from ALL multiversal timelines.” What more can be accomplished by Barry? He is a man out of sorts.
3. Barry is a complex speed machine: “Consider the anachronisms in your thoughts.”
4. Spoiler!! “You think of the Speed Force, but it is a concept known only to your successors, and…” HHMM, that sure got Barry’s attention! Plus, he ponders his ‘dislocation’ status.
5. Images of the Cosmic Treadmill, Iris, the Anti-Monitor, and Flash dying all materialize from Barry’s mind. Barry is only cognizant of the first two. Obviously, the other images are foreign to him but portend an ominous end.
6. “You are bound in some Hypertime crisis. A crisis beyond the one we find ourselves in now.” Despite this, Barry returned to the land of the living 🙂
7. “You are the only being capable…You must live…you can stop the use of an antimatter weapon.” This alludes to the Anti-Monitor’s upcoming appearance for Barry’s unfinished future.
8. “But you must live so that you may die.” A matter-of-fact statement that applies to everyone’s ‘normal’ lifespan but it’s quite the paradox for Barry, doncha think?!?
9. “Your sacrifice will preserve causality. It will save Hypertime. If I stop you now, if I…eliminate you…I will destroy all continuity.” Barry is the central connection for all timelines and realities!!
10. “I will prevent you from saving the eternal timestream. I yield, Barry.” T = D/S [time equals distance divided by speed]
11. “One city for all creation? For the multiverse? It is only a matter of scale. But the scale matters.” Earth-9 must vanish for good given Supes’ sacrifice. Barry must return to his proper time and place to let a priori events inevitably unfold.
Mind-blown?? I sure am!! One thought just invaded my mindspace: how will everything reset itself with CONVERGENCE #8 being the final issue with only so many pages to address this predicament? This particular story is over and done.
–2nd serving– DIVERGENCE: NEW SUICIDE SQUAD [8 pages]
CONVERGENCE: GREEN LANTERN CORPS #2 (of 2)
“Underdogs & Anti-Gods” (22 pages) by David Gallaher & Steve Ellis, Ande Parks, Hi-Fi, Dave Sharpe
Hal Jordan and John Stewart are working up a sweat against the Anti-God. Guy Gardner, Road Warrior is zooming his way to his pals. He sets up camp in the Wasteland and begins to drift away. He has recurring nightmares of his two torturers: Zod and Sinestro. When he awakens he is in the presence of Hercules, Jennifer Monroe and her pet wolf Basil. They all hail from Earth-86 [same place as the Atomic Knights]. Guy arm-wrestles Herc for his protective armour. Brain beats brawn and he heads off to Durvale. He retrieves his bosom buddies just as the tremors begin. The Three
Amigos Lanterns ride again!! They present a united front and slay the Anti-God. Male bonding cannot be complete without a punch to the face. Guy clocks one on Hal who agrees that it was deserving. They fly off for further adventures.
Imitation game: Guy emulating Ghost Rider? or Mad Max?
Carrying a tune: Guy has way too much GLEE when he belts out Mighty Mouse’s call: “Heeeeeeerrrreee I come to save the daaaaayyy!”
–2nd serving– DIVERGENCE: GOTHAM ACADEMY [8 pages]
CONVERGENCE: HAWKMAN #2 (of 2)
“Revelations II” (22 pages) by Jeff Parker, Tim Truman, Enrique Alacatena, John Kalisz, Dave Sharpe
The Hawks engage in aerial combat with the Bat-Men of Earth-AD. Dodging, gun firing, maces charging, flapping, and good old fashioned fists lead to the Hawks being downed. The flying rodents have uneasy allies: they are none other than the Rat-Men!! When the Thanagarian twosome regain consciousness, they are chained to a missile. The colossal projectile is carrying Cortexin, a chemical mixture that merged the human race with the animal kingdom thus creating anthropomorphic beings. Shayera has loosened one of her arms to break free. They plow through the hordes. Rescue comes from their Thanagarian deserters. The Animal-Men are defeated. The Captain dies redeemed and with purpose. She hands the Absorbascon to Katar and Shayera. They are tempted to glimpse into what lies ahead. They observe events not meant for their eyes. A quake snaps them out of their rêverie. Curious, they decide to pursue the unknown. Hands joined, the couple soar, awash in light.
Animal Kingdom: Bats and rats are related, right? Well, they certainly don’t get along here. It’s a common misconception to identify bats as winged vermin. My claims are contradicted when one of the Bat-Men exclaims: “Rodents of the air and land finally unite.”
Taxonomy: The Rat-Men have every reason to detest mankind. One of them mocks the Hawks on their ‘inferiority’: “I do not blame you for trying to mimic higher forms of life.” Aside from that, he raves about their resourcefulness: “Only the rats knew this dark truth, for we root and seek and unearth until we find…everything.”
Reincarnated, and it feels so good! No matter where the Hawks end up, we all know they can never truly die.
Love knows no bounds: “My mate, are you…? Are you well…?” – Shayera “No, love, I’m not. I failed our second home.” – Katar “Shayera, I’m sorry. I’ve let you down.” “That is not something you could ever do.” – Shayera
–2nd serving– DIVERGENCE: GRAYSON [8 pages]
CONVERGENCE: JUSTICE LEAGUE of AMERICA #2 (of 2)
“Heroes Interrupted, pt. 2” (22 pages) by Fabian Nicieza, ChrisCross, Snakebite Cortez, Rob Leigh
The JL Detroit are faring worse than Rodney Dangerfield — no respect!! They are not taken seriously at all. Plus, they’re sneered at by Vicky Vale, intrepid reporter! Things were grim when last we left our heroes. The top three: Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, and Zatanna have been conveniently and craftily contained. Gypsy pulls some stealth moves releasing concussion grenades. The Secret Six are just too ruthless for the JLA. They have their hides handed to them. Ralph wisely calls for a retreat. Vibe and Vixen find Ralph’s stretching ability repulsive. Rudeness!! EM gives the team words of encouragement but they fall on uninterested ears. One of the GCPD is intelligent enough to devise a way to free the captives – freeze the cage between phases. Sue Dibny grabs Renee Montoya and decides to take action. The unexpected tremor reveals the hiding place (one of Mr. Freeze’s abandoned warehouses). The SS are ready for round two. JL still losing. Sue’s plan succeeds. The other three are now free and put out their powers to the fullest. Vicki Vale has gained a new perspective – the JLA are true blue heroes and she acknowledges Elongated Man as their courageous leader!!
Choose your opponent: EM vs. Spectre & Plastic Man; Vixen vs. Manhunter; Steel vs. Joker; Vibe vs. Atom (first fight). Spectre takes out Vibe; Joker pummels Vixen; Steel almost hurts Atom (rematch)
Ain’t it punny: “*sigh* I love him but even for Ralph Dibny, the Elongated Man, this may be a bit too much of a stretch.” – Sue Dibny, full of faith
“One of Mr. Freeze’s old hideouts. Seemed like the perfect place for us to chill out.” – Really, Ralph?!? Don’t quit your day job!
Lucky guess: “Clearly, they’re heroes, even if it is from some sort of tangent universe.” – Vicki Vale deducing the Secret Six’s true nature.
–2nd serving– DIVERGENCE: BATMAN/SUPERMAN [8 pages]
CONVERGENCE: NEW TEEN TITANS #2 (of 2)
“Game of Heroes” (22 pages) by Marv Wolfman, Nicola Scott, Marc Deering, Jeromy Cox, Carlos M. Mangual
Nightwing and Firehawk meet face-to-face and converse rationally. After a chilly introduction, they get to the matter at hand. Dick becomes angry when he receives a communiqué that the Doom Patrol have raided the Tower and ambushed the Titans, all to capture Cyborg. In the ensuing mêlée, Starfire cuts loose like never before!! She’s a walking firebomb! The DP were successful because Kory hesitates to finish them permanently. Dick reminds her of the never-killing rule. Vic emits enough Promethium to be traced. The Titans enter in hot pursuit. Vic comes up with a solution so that both cities are spared. The tremor separates the groups and the Titans seem to be transported back to their Earth. Happy endings for all.
Bigger stick: “Firehawk? Nightwing. The Titans and I are from Earth-One.” “Really? Earth-One? Isn’t that a little presumptuous?” “Blame the Flash.”
Open secret? Is Jericho gay?!? He flat out rebuffed Kole’s advances yet she still fawns over him. Plus, he breaks out his artistic side. Relax, I’m not stereotyping.
Patch: Kory and Dick get over their major differences. They kiss and make up.
–2nd serving– DIVERGENCE: ROBIN: SON of BATMAN [8 pages]
CONVERGENCE: SUPERBOY and the LEGION #2 (of 2)
“Down in the Bunker” (22 pages) by Stuart Moore, Peter Gross, Mark Farmer, John Rauch, Pat Brosseau
The focus shifts to the Atomic Knights, specifically their leader Gardner Grayle. He’s been shaken up by current events and has a radical solution in mind. Superboy has a flashback to his days a really young Clark watching his father decapitate a hen. That’s his first time experiencing death. Gardner is losing it. He addresses the Legion menacingly and means every word. He’s clearly suffering from PTSD. Meanwhile, the Knight named Bryndon Smith manages to ‘break in’ to Legion HQ. He realizes that Brainy has allowed him access and they begin to collaborate on making everyone happy. The AK have the upper hand until Wildfire reappears. Gardner completely snaps!! He threatens to unleash Morticoccus, the ultimate bio-weapon!! Superboy manages to talk him down. Brainiac and Bryndon arrive and inform all that the planet is about to shift into another space continuum. Tremors occur. The LOSH and the AK are stuck together for the time being. Superboy tells Grayle that he really wants to visit Durvale since it reminds him of home.
Candid camera: “Gim, that’s a grown man dressed like a Monty Python holo-sketch Riding a dog.” – Sun-Boy
Viral fear: Morticoccus isn’t real in our world but the threat of bio warfare is. Diseases are running rampant and immunity systems are breaking down. In the DCU, Morticoccus is a strain of the OMAC Virus, which in the far future is the most lethal to humankind.
–2nd serving– DIVERGENCE: TEEN TITANS [8 pages]
CONVERGENCE: SWAMP THING #2 (of 2)
“The Night Has a Thousand Eyes!” (22 pages) by Len Wein, Kelley Jones, Michelle Madsen, Rob Leigh
Red Rain Batman wants Swampy’s assistance in killing the vampires that plague his world and finding their Queen. There is mistrust at first, followed by showboating and chest-thumping, eventually leading to team-up!! The shakedown takes place. Abby fends for herself due to a giant garlic necklace. Swampy emits garlic gas to subdue his attackers. Batman makes his way to the Queen and slices off her head. Alas, his fate is unlike the others. He remains a vampire because he was bitten by Dracula, the First Vampire. He has a heroic alignment but has struggled to keep it every day of his existence. He opts to watch the sunrise. He eventually turns to ash. Swampy and Abby are transported back home. Tremors catch their attention. The quest isn’t over just yet.
• page 2, panel 5 – Swampy looks freakishly frightening!
• page 3 – Batman is all his splendor & glory!
• page 5, panel 1 – Swamp Thing pulling a Wolverine. Alright!
–2nd serving– DIVERGENCE: CATWOMAN [8 pages]
CONVERGENCE: WONDER WOMAN #2 (of 2)
“A Fellow of Infinite Jest” (22 pages) by Larry Hama, Aaron Lopresti, Matt Banning, Tanya & Richard Horie, Tom Napolitano
Joker is a most tiresome foe. Not only is he physically challenging to fight (non-vampire) but the guy just never shuts up!! Chatty Cathy’s got nothing on him! After what seems like endless blathering, Diana snaps. His neck that is!!! Steve holds his own against the converted cultists (get it?) Ivy and Selina slink about and pun away. Wondy is highly brutal in combat but she has to use lethal force for a permanent solution. Joker is caught off guard by a bothersome giggle. It’s Etta, Diana’s former BFF. She bemuses at his head-turning situation. While WW valiantly restrains herself, Ivy and Selina bring Steve to their master. Athena gives Diana a pep talk and much needed encouragement to kill. She’s the goddess of war, which most people tend to overlook. Diana drives a stake through Poison Ivy and a cross through Catwoman. Too little, too late. Steve Trevor has been turned 🙁 The pesky tremor comes at the most inopportune time. The two closest people in her life lunge at her but Steve grabs Etta and falls into the abyss. Clownface can never go down easy. Diana grabs a giant piece of lumber and tosses it right through his undead body. Good riddance. This is a pyrrhic victory for the Amazing Amazon.
Oh, snap! Diana of New Earth did the same to Maxwell Lord. ‘Member??
Expand your vocabulary: benighted
Cross-breeding: Selina is too excited at the prospect of a vampire werecat Amazon Princess.
Laugh last: “Eh? What’s that insane giggling?” – Joker is taken aback by Etta’s arrival.
You only hurt the ones you love: Steve’s sacrifice should lessen Diana’s pain.
Cold comfort: “A battle lost is only half so melancholy as a battle won.” – Duke of Wellington
–2nd serving– DIVERGENCE: SECRET SIX [8 pages]
Tags: Convergence, Converse Convergence, DC Comics