Front Lines - Convergence Week 3 - (Part 1 of 2)

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DC Comics Convergence Critical Blast Review Front Lines

Convergence Week 3 by Mike Maillaro and Mike Weaver

This week, we have Pre-Crisis Gotham City, New York City (Kamandi), Gotham City (Red Rain), Central City (Tangent), Durale (OMAC), and Pre-Crisis Legion Metropolis as our combatants...though I will say up front, you don’t get to see much of these characters in many of the tie-ins.

Convergence #3 by Jeff King and Stephen Segovia

Summary: The Earth-2 heroes and Deimos are attacked by more of Telos’ drones.  The drones seem to be able to adapt to any superhero’s powers, including being able to snatch up Superman. Earth-2 Batman and Dick Grayson arrive to make the save with technology they got last issue.

Meanwhile, Telos visits the Bottle City of Kandor, which seems to have been the first city that Brainiac ever snatched up and put under Telos’ care.  Telos seems to suggest that his plans are bigger than Brainiac.  One of the Kandorians urges the others to try and fight back.  The other Kandorians open fire on Telos, and he ends up killing them all.

Deimos says that he found the knowledge and power to stop Telos and Brainiac, but the heroes need to trust him and follow him into the underground.,  They are hesitant to trust him, but they understand their options are limited.  Batman decides to hang back to cover their back. Grayson stays with him.  

Deimos and the other heroes end up in Skartaris (SQUEE!).  Inside Deimos’ former castle, Shakira (SQUEE!) is working for a mysterious master to capture and contain any superpowered being who can manipulate time.

Batman reveals that he has run out of Miraclo.  They are attacked by several of Gotham’s villains.  Batman sacrifices himself to save Grayson.  But, before Grayson can capitalize, he is shot and paralyzed by the Joker.  And then Telos kills the Joker, and demands Grayson tell him where the others went.

Short Review:  I thought his was much better than the first few issues.  The story is finally starting to come together a little.  Telos is a real bastard.  

I also love all the Skartaris references.  I am hoping before this ends, we get to see Warlord and MACHISTE, THE KING OF KIRO!  In fact, Machiste was my handle on the DC Message Boards back in the day.  I miss those boards…

My biggest problem with this book (and Convergence on a whole) is that it seems to lack any real imagination.  We have barely seen any “other” cities or characters, just quick glimpses here and there.  It definitely takes away from what I was hoping to see in Convergence, epic battles between various alternate realities.  Plus, the characterizations of the “other” universes has been fleeting at best, and often just not accurate.  

One last thing before we talk about the other Week 3 books, there was a major printing mistake in this issue.  There is one massive double-page spread where they used the wrong art (reusing a double page spread from later in the book), though all the lettering on the page seemed right.    You’d think DC would take extra attention to prevent these kinds of mistakes in a major flagship book like this.

As I said earlier, this was a decent step in the right direction, but still not quite as BIG as this book can be.

Score:  4/5

Convergence: Adventures of Superman #1 by Marv Wolfman & Roberto Viacova

Summary: Superman and Supergirl are working with Lucius Fox to build a Phantom Zone Projector.  They are going to try to slip through the Phantom Zone to escape the dome that has surrounded Metropolis for the last year.   They should have their powers in the Phantom Zone, but at the same time, they also know that they will encounter several Kryptonian criminals put there by their parents.  They manage to make it into the Phantom Zone (though the dome comes down minutes later).  They are ambushed by the Evil Kryptonians.  Supergirl gets hit with a strange gas that gives her a vision of her future, including dying in Crisis.   She knows that returning to Earth is a death sentence, but she decides to go out like a hero.  Superman and Supergirl are surrounded by Kryptonians as the issue ends.  Back on Telos’ world, an army of apes has taken over Gotham.

Short Review:  There was a lot of really powerful stuff here revolving around Supergirl.  I really liked the way they swapped the format here, with Superman and Supergirl trying to escape the dome only to find even worse danger waiting for them.  I did think it was strange that Kamandi’s world got to send a whole army to Gotham.  It was suggested in earlier issues that the different domed cities would get to send champions for one on one or small group battles.  Instead, they got an army.  There are a lot of little inconsistencies like that throughout Convergence.

Score: 4.5/5

Convergence: Batman and the Outsiders #1 by Marc Andreyko & Carlos D’Anda

Summary: Batman and his Outsiders team have been making due in their time under the dome.  Metamorpho has been especially happy being human again.  The dome falls and OMAC leads an army into town.

Short Review: I know it sounds like I didn’t have a lot to say in the summary, but most of this issue was dealing with the personal ramifications of how the Outsiders were handling being trapped in the dome.  There wasn’t a lot of story or action, but I thought it worked really well.  A lot of the Convergence tie ins have felt very superficial, but I thought this really got into the heart of how this situation would affect people.  Definitely my favorite of the Week 3 titles.

Score: 5/5

Convergence: Green Lantern Corps #1 by  Ande Parks & Steve Ellis

Summary: This issue starts with the students of Gotham Elementary playing superheroes about a year after the dome appeared.  Two kids start fighting over who gets to play Green Lantern.  Their coach, Guy Gardner, suggest that one of the kids should play a bad guy. When the kid suggest Sinestro, Guy has a panic attack.   We find out that Sinestro had put Guy in a coma after his one mission as Green Lantern.  During that time, Hal stole Guy’s woman...and then ended up dumping her to get engaged to Carol Ferris.  Guy woke up in the dome, feeling helpless.   Guy decides to go track down Hal.  He finds out that Carol and Hal were unable to keep their relationship together.  Losing his powers drove Hal a little batty.  Guy finally manages to track down Hal and starts to smash all his stuff.  The dome drops.  Hal knocks out Guy, recharging his own ring and declaring that Guy is unnecessary.  Hal goes to find John Stewart to charge his ring.  Guy decides he doesn’t need a charge ring, he can still be a hero.  And he sets off to do exactly that, looking like Casey Jones….

Short Review: There was a lot going on in this one.  They don’t even get around to introducing any other cities.  I like that this was a great window into a time in Green Lantern history I didn’t know much about.  But, it didn’t really feel like a Convergence tie-in at all.  More of a massive therapy session for Hal, Guy, and John Stewart…  All in all, it was a cool issue, but definitely felt pretty strange.  

Score: 4/5

Convergence: The Flash #1 by Dan Abnett & Federico Dallocchio

Summary:  Barry Allen and Iris West were living their happily ever after in the future.  Barry would pop back into our time every now and then to see friends or do charity functions.  During one of those trips, Barry gets stranded in the dome, losing his powers.  Barry works as a police scientist for the Gotham City Police Department, and he’s feeling lonely and depressed.  He’s even contemplating an affair with his assistant just as a way to say that his old life is completely gone.  Bruce Wayne (of all people) tries to cheer him up.   The dome comes down, and Flash is targeted by Tangent Superman.

Short Review: One of the biggest problems with Convergence is that so many of the tie ins are formulaic.  This was the 28th one that I have read, and so many of them were:

  1. Hero gets stranded in dome and loses powers.

  2. Hero is bummed out and struggling to maintain some of their old life even without powers.

  3. Dome comes down

  4. Before hero can enjoy that, a character show up from another “city” looking for a fight.

  5. To Be continued…

Honestly, there was nothing wrong with this book.  I thought the insights into Barry’s character and his desperation to figure out his role in this new world were real well done. BUT, at this point, it’s a story I’ve read 15 or 20 times in the last three weeks.  

Score: 3.5/5 - I will admit freely that this score is mostly because I am feeling very worn out by the formula here.  It just felt like this issue had nothing new to add...

More to come!