Convergence #4

convergence #4

Written by: Jeff King 

Art by: Stephen Segovia 

Released: April 29 

It would be nice if DC was content to allow Convergence to serve as a celebration of the company’s past and leave it at that. It’s great to see so much pre-New 52 material in play, but this event isn’t putting it to good use. The core mini-series has become little more than a haphazardly executed sequel to Earth 2: World’s End, and as such doesn’t have enough to offer either Earth 2 fans or general DC lovers.

To be fair, Convergence #4 is the strongest chapter of the series so far in terms of the script. That’s not to say it isn’t burdened by the same familiar slate of problems. The dialogue is too often clunky and unwieldy. The narration tends to be excessive at best and completely unnecessary at worst. But certain elements have improved. For one thing, the pace has picked up considerably since the early issues and their setup-obsessed approach. The Earth 2 heroes participate in plenty of action scenes as they escort Deimos and make their way into the hidden city of Skartaris. Finally, these heroes are becoming more active participants in the conflict.

Convergence isn’t seeing much in the way of net gain as it reaches the halfway mark. This issue picks up the pace and fleshes out the lead villain, but the series is still mired in poor dialogue and characterization. Meanwhile, the visual quality only worsens with so many inkers handling one issue. Things aren’t looking bright for the series in Month 2. In all I would rate this issue a 6/10

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Convergence: Green Lantern Parallax #1

convergence: Green Lantern Parallax 

Written by: Tony Bedard 

Art by: Ron Wagner 

Cover by: Steven Leiber 

Released: April 15, 2015 

There’s so much that’s interesting about the initial pages of this book thanks to addition of the Telos-dome. In the original timeline, Kyle Rayner tried and failed to reach out to the Parallax-influenced Hal Jordan. However, with their powers removed, Bedard seizes the opportunity to delve into some gut-wrenching pathos. There are moments of horrifying clarity from one character and unadulterated compassion from another. These opening pages are enthralling as it’s fascinating to see what could have been if things had worked out differently prior to the events of Zero Hour. Really though, what makes these scenes work so well is how Bedard manages to capture these characters so effectively. Of course, Bedard is no stranger to the Green Lantern universe, but it’s nice to see him take on these characters in this particular era.

The opening pages end up being quite emotional, but utilitarian as well. One of the things that’s made some of the Convergence books potentially difficult to enjoy is that some readers may not be familiar with the various histories of the many characters involved. While it’s not impossible to enjoy these books without this particular context, readers intimately familiar with these characters and their histories may get much more out of these revisitations than those not in the know. Fortunately, Bedard manages to give readers a brief summary of Hal’s troubles with Parallax in an emotional and organic way. In all I would rate this issue a 8/10 that’s all for this issue 

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Convergence: Aquaman #1

Convergence Aquaman #1

Written by: Tony Bedard 

Art by: Cliff Richards 

Cover by: Becky Cloonan 

Released: April 15, 2015 

The characters of Convergence may be trapped in a bubble, but at least it’s a bubble they find familiar. Unfortunately for Aquaman that’s not quite the case, as the Sea King finds himself stranded in Metropolis when the dome comes down. Tony Bedard and Cliff Richards tackle this literal fish out of water tale, offering a slow yet interesting chapter of loss and isolation. It’s not the most complete of the Convergence titles, but it does serve in offering a unique look at a unique character.

While every super powered hero and their mom find themselves powerless in the wake of the dome’s appearance, Aquaman maintains many of his gifts courtesy of his Atlantean ancestry. Knowing that, Bedard instead focuses his first chapter on the things he did lose, namely his connection with the sea and its countless inhabitants. Hook Hand Aquaman is pretty well known for being on the more crotchety side, but here his aggression and general surliness makes sense. It would have been nice to have seen this struggle more internally rather than through copious blurbs of exposition, but Bedard nevertheless succeeds in giving Aquaman a plight beyond the usual “you fight now!” tendencies of the event. In all I would rate this issue a 8/10 that’s all for today and as always keep on marveling. 

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Convergence #2

convergence #2

Written by: Jeff King, Scott Lobdell

Art by: Carlo Pagulayan 

Cover by: Joe Prado, Ivan Reis 

Released: April 15, 2015

To bar fair, Convergence #2 does improve on the previous two issues somewhat. The series isn’t quite so burdened by the compulsive need to recap previous events and set the stage for Telos’ forced war of 40 cities. There is a fair amount of rehashing in the early pages as writer Jeff King flashes back to the climax of Earth 2: World’s End and how that world’s Dick Grayson factors into this conflict. It’s redundant to an extent, but it at least paints Dick in a better and more capable light. He seems positioned as the central protagonist of Convergence. If nothing else, King establishes his tragic past and what separates him from the traditional Dick Grayson.

It’s also nice to see the plot actually move forward. The battle between the Earth 2 heroes and Telos is dull, doing little but taking up page space as the characters punch and wrestle with an opponent who clearly can’t be harmed by such conventional means. But after that point, the characters split up and the script focuses on the odd couple team-up between Batman (an aging, grizzled, drug-addicted bruiser) and Dick Grayson (a widower, a pacifist and a journalist) as they venture into one of Telos’ captive cities. The script takes on a more epic tone as the carnage of the war begins erupting around them.

In all I would rate this issue a 8/10 that’s all for this issue and as always keep on marveling. 

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Convergence #1

convergence #1

Written by: Jeff King 

Art by: Carlo Pagulayan 

Cover by: Joe Prado 

Released: April 8, 2015 

On that note, this issue starts out well enough for those readers interested in learning what befell the Earth 2 heroes and how they factor into the Convergence conflict. Their inclusion helps make this story feel more relevant than it might otherwise. Convergence is inherently divorced from DC’s ongoing storylines, and without this bridge to their usual publishing catalog it could become too isolated and insular for its own good. After reading these early pages it becomes clear that the relationship between Earth 2 Batman and his planet’s very different Dick Grayson will be a focal point of the mini-series. It’s a solid foundation to build from.

Also intriguing is the brief glimpse of the Injustice: Gods Among Us universe. This issue is the first to explore what transpires after the video game, as Injustice’s Gotham City becomes one of 40 realms dragged into Telos’ grand design. As a fan of the Injustice prequel comic, I’m eager to see where this plot element is leading and whether DC is setting the stage for some sort of comic book continuation. It’s certainly doesn’t look as though WB Games is in a hurry to continue the franchise.

This first issue was a little hard to understand what was going on but it was still a good issue. The artwork in the other hand was amazing. In all I would rate this issue a 8/10 that’s all for this issue and as always keep on marveling. 

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Convergence: Speed Force #1

Convergence: Speed Force #1

Written by: Tony Bedard 

Art by: Tom Grummet 

Cover by: Bret Booth 

Released: April 8, 2015 

The first thing that’s noticeable, beyond the smile-inducing opening lines, is that Tom Grummett’s art brings old school sensibilities to the world of Convergence. By the way, “old-school” does not refer to the 1990s sensibilities that have populated a large percentage of DC’s comics for the past several years. Think older, like from the 1960s and 1970s. Grummett’s art seems to be channeling classic Flash artists such as Carmine Infantino and Irv Novick. For a more contemporary example, Howard Porter’s work during the back-half of Geoff Johns’ run springs to mind. Regardless of who it reminds you of, Grummett’s art brings readers into a time when reading DC was a very fun time.

The fun of this issue is aided by Bedard’s handling of one of the more polarizing additions to Wally’s canon – his kids Jai and Irey. Before Flashpoint erased the Wests from continuity, fans were either apathetic or incensed by the inclusion the super-powered juveniles. Here, Bedard manages to write them in a manner that allows the reader to connect with them regardless of age. The emotional journey that Wally and his children have been put through is one similar to the many others featured in Convergence, the difference being that it feels genuine. The theme of “family” was once heavily prominent in the Flash title. The resurgence of that theme here enhances that genuineness.

This issue was great and intertaining. The artworks was good as well. In all I would rate this issue a 7.5/10 that’s all for this issue and as always keep on marveling. 

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Convergence: Superman #1

Convergence Superman #1

Written by: Dan Jurgens 

Art by: Lee Weeks 

Cover by: Brad Anderson, Lee Weeks 

Released: April 8, 2015

The set up is different cities from different universes have been taken. The citizens have been living under a dome for a year. Those with superpowers have been living without them. Thankfully for Superman, he had Lois Lane by his side. You can imagine the two wouldn’t simply sit around and do nothing, especially when stuck in Gotham City. It’s just another reminder of who these characters are. Of course all this makes sense since it’s Dan Jurgens writing the familiar version.

Things soon start moving towards the main set up, seen in CONVERGENCE #1. As with the other Convergence titles, Superman will find himself up against other versions of his friends and enemies. With the Flashpoint versions showing up, things are going to get a little messy. I’ve only read one Superman Issue besides this one and I can tell you that I like the Pre-New 52 version of Suprman better than the Post-New 52 Superman. In all I would rate this issue a 8.5/10 that’s all for this issue and as always keep on marveling. 

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Convergence #3

convergence #3

Written by: Jeff King 

Pencils: Stephen Segovia 

Inks: Jason Paz 

Released: April 22, 2015 

We are 4 issues in and things are starting to drag for me.  As we get closer to the finale, the momentum should increase.  We should be presented with fresh material that makes us eager to see the outcome and engages us in the present.  Instead, we are treated to a rehashing similar to what every preceding issue has delivered thus far.  Our heroes are in a waste land, they fight something, they give it their all, they succeed (or think they do), and then journey on to the next challenge.  To be honest, I’m getting tired of seeing meaningless battles in the middle of nowhere.  The fighting that occurred in this issue felt like it was generated just to give us something to look at.

Along with the “pretty-looking” fights, we are given a hero’s sacrifice that ends up feeling completely hollow and utterly avoidable.  One of our heroes decides to stay behind to give the rest of the party time to escape.  It’s the classic: go on without me/I’ll only slow you down/I’ll buy you time to get away.  While I felt that the sentiment was in the right place, it just felt overly cliche.  I also had a problem with the fact that the threat was not significant enough to warrant a loss of one of the heroes.  Flash alone could have easily dealt with the entirety of the threat.  It’s almost as if it was decided that someone had to die because we are halfway through the story and this is when something like this is supposed to happen according to the user’s guide to writing an epic. In all I would rate this issue a 7.5/10 that’s all for this issue. 

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Convergence #0

convergence #0

Written by: Dan Jurgens 

Art by: Ethan Van Sciver

Cover by: Marcelo Maiolo, Ethan Van Sciver 

Released: April 1, 2015 

Though Convergence itself looks to largely ignore the main New 52 universe, this issue focuses on New 52 Superman as he finds himself prisoner of Brainiac. As he fights to escape his predicament Superman (and by extension, the reader) learns more about the strange world where Brainiac has gathered 40 bottle cities culled from different universes. The decision to use Superman as the “man on the ground” makes sense, though the execution falls a little flat. 

With the way he stumbles about and makes idle threats to the various incarnations of Brainiac he encounters, he doesn’t come across as especially Superman-ish. And with the way he’s unceremoniously written out of the conflict, it’s enough to wonder why this Superman even appeared in this issue. At the very least, his dialogue needed some fine-tuning. Let’s hope that’s not an indication of what’s to come with the rest of Convergence.

This issue was ok it wasn’t a very exciting issue but a good prologue into the actual convergence event. In all I would rate this issue a 7.5/10 that’s all for today and as always keep on marveling. 

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