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SDCC 2015: DC Announces Three Convergence Spin-Offs

During San Diego Comic-Con 2015, DC Comics announced that October 2015 will debut three new series spinning out of April’s Convergence event. The three are:

SUPERMAN: LOIS & CLARK #1

Written by Dan Jurgens
Art by Lee Weeks
On-sale October 14

Following the epic events of CONVERGENCE, here are the adventures of the last son and daughter of Krypton and Earth as they try to survive in a world not their own. But can they keep this world from suffering the same fate as their own? Can this Superman stop the villains he once fought before they are created on this world? What is Intergang, and why does Lois’s discovery of it place everyone she loves in jeopardy? And what will happen when their nine-year-old son learns the true identity of his parents?

SUPERMAN LOIS & CLARK #1

TELOS #1

Written by Jeff King
Art by Carlo Pagulayan and Jason Paz
On-sale October 7

The villain of the world-shattering CONVERGENCE event stars in his own new series! Set loose from his planetary tether at the end of the best-selling CONVERGENCE, Telos finds himself free and able to traverse space and time via a sliver of Brainiac’s powers. As this epic begins, he embarks on an odyssey, journeying across time and space in search of his past.

TELOS #1

TITANS HUNT #1

Written by Dan Abnett
Art by Paulo Siqueira
On-sale October 21

CONVERGENCE is over, but the ripples are still being felt, especially by a young precog named

Lilith. What are these visions she’s having of a Teen Titans team the world never knew? And why

does she feel compelled to seek out Dick Grayson, Roy Harper, Donna Troy and an Atlantean named Garth and warn them that something dark and sinister is coming after them? Who are Mal, Gnarrk, Hank Hall and Dawn Granger, and what is their connection to the others—and to the fate of every soul on Earth? This is the Secret History of the TEEN TITANS!

TitansHunt_Promo_Final

TitansHunt_Promo_Final

Review: Convergence #8

Convergence-8-coverAll the heroes of the DC Universe unite to face a crisis of infinite proportions – but when all is done, there can be only one reality. But will even that survive the battle?

Convergence #8 is on shelves, ending two months of mediocre storytelling, and giving us a clearer direction of the DC Universe to come. Written by Scott Lobdell and Jeff King, the issue continues much of what’s plagued previous issues, choppy storytelling and leaving out key moments and facts.

With Deimos defeated, the chronal energy is loose threatening to destroy the multiverse. What will the heroes do? Well somehow it involves Brainiac absorbing the energy, and sending folks back, expect none of this is really explained and just is kind of presented. But, there’s a problem, the original Crisis on Infinite Earths stands in the way!

And here’s the issue, as is the problem with much of this event. If you don’t know your DC Comics history, you’d have no idea what’s being referenced, and why it’s important. I haven’t read Crisis on Infinite Earths in decades, so the specifics aren’t exactly fresh in my mind, and I have WAY too much to read to go back and reread it all. So, some of the specifics as to what’s said went over my head, and I shrugged my shoulders for most. And even in the “correction” there’s lots of things that can be debated as far as the impact and how it mucks with DC Comic history.

But here’s the cool, the results, and this is a spoiler, but one that’s all over, it now opens up all of DC history for future stories. Everything is game, and that’s represented by a few double page spreads by Stephen Segovia and Carlo Pagulayan. It’s a who’s who of DC comic history, which is neat to see in its own way. Overall though, the art isn’t quite up to the standard we’ve seen elsewhere and even in other spin-offs.

Really, in the end, the comic is a read mainly due to its importance in shaping what’s to come, not due to actual quality. There’s some things spinning out of it, like Earth 2: Society, that I’m now even more excited about. But, the real good is DC has opened the vault, and the future is wide open.

Story: Scott Lobdell, Jeff King Art: Stephen Segovia, Carlo Pagulayan
Story: 6 Art: 6.75 Overall: 6.25 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Convergence Action Comics #2

cac002If there is one single issue which can be said to encapsulate the problems which have befallen Convergence then this issue could rightfully be said to be it.  Convergence has had many problems, but perhaps key among them have been the ripping off of previous standalone and standout Elseworlds titles as well as not taking the time nor the effort to ensure that these characters are treated correctly.  Though this issue is best read in sequence by following into an issue which came out two weeks ago (another strange out of continuity reading experience) it is also made worse by the reading of Convergence #8 in this same week.

As introduced in the last issue, a team of heroes, something like the pre-Crisis version of Superman and Power Girl are forced to fight against the Red Son version of Superman and Wonder Woman.  This has been a problem elsewhere during Convergence as characters which exist in other universes as analogies or allegories to what they mean as heroes, are thereafter reduced to alternate versions of themselves in slugfests in Convergence.  This issue has the same overall problem as the two heroes venture to the Elseworld where Superman is an agent of the Soviet Union, and where we learn that it is not wise to listen to either Lex Luthor or Joseph Stalin (which has to be one of the strangest lessons ever.)

In the end there are a host of problems with the entire series, and this part of Convergence is worse off for having been associated with it.   In a certain context it is interest to see all of these characters together, but especially when read with other Convergence titles and also when considering the plan for the future releases of DC Comics this summer, then we learn that this short two month interlude has really mostly meant nothing.  It never excelled and only acted as a distraction from the regular titles from DC.  This issue captures that, and it is too bad that it couldn’t have captured something better.

Story: Justin Gray Art: Claude St. Aubin
Story: 5.8 Art: 5.8 Overall: 5.8 Recommendation: Pass

Review: Convergence: The Flash #2

Convergence-Flash-2 coverStarring heroes from Crisis on Infinite Earths! Barry Allen lashes out against the heroes of the Tangent Universe as he tries to protect Gotham City from Convergence!

The Convergence event to me has been interesting, in that the main series has stumbled, but many of the tie-in series have actually shined. This is one of the better series. The first issue’s focus was primarily on Barry Allen, and how being whisked away for Convergence affected individual’s lives. In Allen’s case he’s been away from his love for a year. Does he try to move on with his life? Does he hold out hope? It’s a touching first part.

Convergence: The Flash #2 moves beyond that and takes us into the battle portion of the event. But, here’s the problem. The loser of the Convergence battle is destroyed, along with their city. But, Barry is key in the classic DC event Crisis on Infinite Earths. If he and his city is destroyed, what does that mean for that iconic event? That’s the quandary that writer Dan Abnett tackles head on. And that’s what makes the issue stand out from the pack.

Abnett slides to the side the battle portion of the event. There’s fighting, but in the end, the victory is achieved through logic, not fists. And in doing so, Abnett gets at the heart of what makes many of the classic DC characters great, that they’re truly heroes who will sacrifice themselves to save the world. It’s an almost pure story in that way, and so refreshing from the at times dark and violent heroes that have become the norm.

Abnett’s helped by artist Federico Dallocchio who does a fine job on art, some of the best of the event. His style is very clean, and is modern, but also has a classic sensibility about it. I’d love to see most of his work after this event is through.

Overall, the two issues are a solid one with a clear vision, voice, and purpose in each issue. This isn’t just some boring battle like some of the tie-ins are. Abnett is a fantastic writer, and these two issues show off how solid he is.

Story: Dan Abnett Art: Federico Dallocchio
Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Convergence #7

CONV_Cv7_55410d7b0e3fd1.85141484Worlds live. Worlds die. And nothing will ever be the same.

The largest battle in the history of the Multiverse is here! Who will win and who will lose when Deimos battles the combined might of the Earth 2 survivors, the heroes from Kingdom Come, the Titans and Parallax? All this and more, as the heroes of The New 52 join the fight!

I feel like I missed something between the last issue of Convergence and this one. The heroes of the New 52 last I remember were staring at a planet making its way through a rift. There’s some being that clearly Superman knows, but I have no idea who he is, and Superman is rescuing members of Stormwatch? What happened between issues!? I’ll also overlook the switch of Guy Gardner back to a Green Lantern from Red.

The rest of the issue is pretty much a giant fight scene as forces battle each other to survive and eventually everyone then focuses on Deimos, just like the whole good guys fight each other when meeting before teaming up storyline trope.

While all of that is pretty blah, the one thing I did like of who deals the killing blow to Deimos. There’s an interesting aspect of redemption in it, and as this character’s storyline is one I grew up with, it was something I particularly liked. There’s also the interesting argument and aspect of heroes killing.

Next week sees the conclusion of this event, which puts everything back on the table for the DC Universe. We know the series that will be coming out, but how the DC Universe/Multiverse will fit together is the bigger question I just don’t quite know the answer to.

The issue, like the previous ones, is just ok. This event is a rarity in that the tie-ins are much stronger than the main series, the opposite of the usual. The big thing though is how DC sticks the landing with the next issue, and what comes next. That in the end is how this event will be judged for the better or worse.

Story: Jeff King, Scott Lobdel Art: Aaron Lopresti
Story: 6.5 Art: 6.75 Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Convergence Wonder Woman #2

cww02Part of the underlying problem with Convergence is its relevance to the modern comic reader.  Though some fans are well read in terms of comics from years gone by, most aren’t, at least not to the degree required to make all of the connections.  In the case of the Convergence Wonder Woman, the series is tying together two separate pieces of DC Comic history.  One is the short lives period in the 1960s when Wonder Woman lost her powers and became a white-clad kung fu expert, and the other is the Red Rain version of Gotham City, an Elseworlds reality where Batman’s villains have become vampires and werewolves.

The action in this second issue follows that of the same format as the other Convergence stories.  With the cities released from their year under the dome, the heroes regain their powers but are immediately thrown into battle with champions from other cities.  Previously Wonder Woman was shown to be dealing with a cult-like group at a church who believed that angels would return to free them from the dome, but they met there at the same time that Red Rain’s champions came to fight Wonder Woman.  This results in a second issue in this Convergence tie-in which is mostly Wonder Woman against a cast of creatures.  Ostensibly these creatures might resemble the Joker, Poison Ivy and Catwoman, but there is little to distinguish them aside from their names.

This goes with the rushed nature of this series, that there is no time to establish these versions of the characters outside of the regular DC continuity, and thus the characters are more like caricatures of the regular versions as opposed to the interesting twists which took place in the alternate realities.  This doesn’t help as the problem on the whole with Convergence has been the mismatch of characters from different eras and inspirations and such is the case again here.   In the history of Wonder Woman, at least since the 1980s, the Joker actually shows up fairly often as an enemy of Wonder Woman, but he is not an arch-enemy, and his presence here feels artificial, especially for what is supposed to be such a huge crossover.  Once again this is a misfire for DC and Convergence, as its big crossover of the summer seems to be going nowhere.

Story: Lary Hama Art: Aaron Lopresti
Story: 6.7 Art: 6.7 Overall: 6.7 Recommendation: Pass

Review: Convergence Supergirl Matrix #2

consup002There may be no comic book writer who needs to not only be in his exact element of genre, but also to have the exact right characters to make his stories happen as Keith Giffen.  Giffen is perhaps best known for his work in the late 1980s and early 1990s when his humor infused comic book writing acted as a counterpoint to the super-serious and dark approaches used for other heroes.  The problem with Giffen then as now was that he needed the right characters to work with in order to make his sometimes serious and sometimes comedic stories work.  For instance, when writing Justice League he used Booster Gold and the Blue Beetle as main characters to focus the comedy around through some odd hijinks.  The problem was that the pair did not really work well together most of the time instead resulting in some awkward situations.  The same could be said for the first issue of this two-parter where Gifffen tried to play the humor of Lady Quark and Lord Volt against one another.  For the most part this failed and the first issue did not bode well for the second issue.

That is until the arrival of the Ambush Bug.  Put together with the titular hero in this story, the two play off each other well in this story.  There are still some groan-worthy moments, but mostly the action and banter keeps itself going pretty well throughout this issue.  And while other parts of Convergence have introduced the Extremists who are rip-offs of Marvel characters, this has perhaps the strangest pseudo-appearance of another character, with Convergence’s version of Spider-Man showing up.

This issue ends up being what is perhaps one of the better indicators of the impact of Convergence.  While this follows along with the overall story line, it doesn’t dwell on it, and instead focuses on the fun dynamic between Supergirl and Ambush Bug.  It doesn’t always work, but it works a lot better than the plot has so far in most of the Convergence tie-ins as well as the overall story.  This is maybe a forgettable entry into a sub-par crossover, but it is also one of the more entertaining thus far, even if the story is far surpassed by the interaction of the characters.

Story:  Keith Giffen Art:  Timothy Green II  
Story: 7.7 Art:  7.7 Overall: 7.7  Recommendation:  Read

 

Review: Convergence Catwoman #2

concatThe unlikely battle between Catwoman and the Kingdom Come version of Batman continues in this second of two Convergence related titles.  Generally speaking Convergence has been a bit of a misfire on all counts, not really drawing in the interest that it could have with a slightly more tied-together concept.  As it stands though, this combination of characters is one of the best in comics (maybe even the best?), even if it is pre-new 52 Catwoman with an elseworlds version of Batman.  What is interesting about this entry is the relationship between the two.  In alternate reality scenarios, writers often answer the “will they or won’t they?” question that has been played at since her first appearance in Batman #1 in 1940, and it usually ends with a “they will.”

Alternately here and as seen in the previous issue, the Kingdom Come Batman thinks of Catwoman as nothing more than a thief and a criminal, and aims to treat her accordingly, especially that the fate of his city is on the line as well as hers.  As this is the two iconic Gothamites this doesn’t play out exactly as a battle between them, or at least not for long, and while this turn of events is expected, the eventual direction taken with this issue is a little bit surprising for other reasons.

Convergence has on the whole mostly been a disappointment, and unfortunately the same mostly carries over here.  The pairing of these two characters together usually results in some electricity, but here in the rushed and convoluted setup from Convergence, it is more about the crossover and less about the characters.  At the same time, the fundamental attraction of the two characters to each other almost keeps this moving, but it ends up being a a bit too flawed overall.  The story doesn’t finish here, but rather will continue in the pages of the main Convergence title, but for the time being this two part tie-in doesn’t merit the attention.

Story: Justin Gray Art: Ron Randall
Story: 6.8 Art: 6.8 Overall: 6.8 Recommendation: Pass

Review: Convergence Titans #2

convergence-titans002One of the common themes among Convergence is to give back little pieces to comic fans of what they lost with the onset of the new 52.  Some of these are unfinished stories, and some are characters who have not yet reappeared.  Among the most prominent of these is Lian, the daughter of Roy Harper, who had a fan following during her brief tenure in comics.  Among one of the more controversial decisions by writers in recent years was to kill her off, leading to insanity of her father, but she nonetheless remained at the top of most lists of characters that fans wanted back.

The Titans of the Convergence world are squared off against the Extremists, a group of Villains who had for a time been the main enemies of Justice League Europe, all of whom were facsimiles of major Marvel villains.  The world of Convergence is one which seems to be poorly conceived, with the pre-new 52 heroes being spared beneath a series of domes controlled by Brainiac.  With only a select group capable of surviving heroes must face heroes in order to battle for their own existence, even though the exact mechanics of this system is not yet understood.  The previous issue saw the return of the Titans, or at least a part thereof which featured Donna Troy, Starfire and Roy Harper.  The latter two have seen some success in the pages of Red Hood and the Outlaws, although this series is being rebooted post-Convergence.  Donna Troy only recently reappeared in the pages of Wonder Woman, and her reception there has raised only more controversy.  Here as they battle the Extremists the true battle is underway for the fate of Lian, far from a certainty as even in this continuity she has died.

This issue ends up being an ode to the love of a father for his daughter, and the extent to which he will go to get her back from the dead.  The remainder of the issue is a relatively humdrum effort with a lot of what we have seen before in comics.  The Extremists are out of the 1980s, and the storytelling and action seems to follow along accordingly.  For those that have wanted to see a return of Lian, this might be as good as they are going to get for a while, though with the end of Convergence still up in the air, it remains to be seen exactly how that will play out.  This short two issue Convergence series existed primarily for that purpose and if this comic is to have any value, then it will be to determine the exact fate of this prematurely killed character.

Story: Fabian Nicieza  Art: Ron Wagner 
Story: 7.5  Art: 7.5   Overall: 7.5  Recommendation: Read

Review: Convergence Action Comics #1

convergence-action001By this point it would seem that Convergence is a bit of a misfire.  Though it is still only setting up the battles between the various saved universes/cities in their own continuities, there has been very little to grab the attention of the readers save for a somewhat flawed trip down memory lane.  As Convergence looks to grab the best of the past and put it into DC’s future, it is not entirely clear if this is even a good idea, as so far the crossover is convoluted and mostly pretty boring.

Although the Action Comics version of the crossover is maybe not much different, it is still indicative of bigger problems which the crossover faces.  The first of these problems can be generally classified as a lack of interest in the characters.  Though they are mostly DC characters, they are also ones who are from a time and place which is already lost thanks to the continued evolution of the characters in their own mainstream titles.  While we might get a chance to see other heroes here such as Power Girl in a presumably pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths setting, it is arguable that her best moments even came before the original crossover.  The other problem is the selection of the cities which are being used to compete against the highlighted cities.  In other cases the other cities have been boring or non-engaging, but in this case the city actually works to debase a great Elseworld tale, Red Son.  This works against the Convergence - Action Comics001series as well because it takes what was an allegory of the hero genre, especially as it relates to the American identity, and turns it into any other superhero story.  The lone spot of interest in this issue was with Power Girl, as she has to learn to deal with a non-Kryptonian physiology in the depowered Metropolis.

The entirety of Convergence to this point seems like it has missed the mark, and it is no different in the Action Comics version of the crossover.  Although fans often clamour for the return of beloved characters that have gone away over controversial creative or editorial choices, if DC promises to do something like Convergence to bring back these characters, then the fans might just prefer that they stay gone.  The Action Comics is not either really good nor bad compared to the other titles thus far, but that most of the others have been misfires is not good for this particular issue to be considered average among them.  A lot more could have been done here, both with this individual series and with the crossover as a whole, but it is mostly forgettable, somewhat as most of the characters involved should have been.

Story: Justin Gray Art: Claude St. Aubin
Story: 6.0 Art: 6.0 Overall: 6.0 Recommendation: Pass

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