Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Review: Convergence #6

I have not been reviewing the main Convergence book on this site. It isn't a great story. I'm not particularly engrossed with the premise. And I don't know if I am feeling invested in the main characters here - the displaced heroes of Earth 2.

I thought Convergence #6 was worth taking a closer look at because it prominently features 2 Supergirls, the current Kara and the pre-Crisis Supergirl as well. But I also felt that I needed to also show just how sloppy these books can somehow get when writers and editors don't seem to know the continuities they are writing. There are parts of this book that make no sense.

There are a lot of artists on this issue but Ed Benes is the primary penciller with Eduardo Pansica pitching in as well. I think Benes' art looks the best it has in some time. This is the best I have seen him render Supergirl in a while.

But the muddled plot, dominated by Warlord  and Earth 2 characters, is something of a drag. I don't care for Deimos. I don't care for Telos. I don't understand how/why Brainiac is trapped in a force bubble. And I am not feeling just how special this particular Dick Grayson is.

On to the highlights, mostly Supergirl stuff.

This the first the first time we have seen Supergirl since the last issue of her own series. That issue ended on a cliffhanger. Supergirl had lost her powers. I guess I was supposed to forget that.

Assuming I move away from her continuity, I suppose I should be happy that she is helping Superman. The Convergence planet is coming into our universe. And the cousins are thereto investigate it together.

Supergirl acting like a hero in a Scott Lobdell book is something novel!

Unfortunately, the continuity mistakes pile up.

The Red Lanterns show up to investigate as well.

Kara seems afraid of them, or upset at seeing them, needing to be emotionally supported by Superman.

Except ... Kara loved the Lanterns. They acted like her family more than Superman did. She hugged Guy. They had nicknames for each other. She helped them even after she had shed the ring. She'd probably fly up and hug them. She definitely wouldn't be uncomfortable around them.

Also, Zilius Zox died in Red Lanterns! How is he here?

And in Red Lanterns #40, Guy gave up the Red Ring. 

That is a lot of gaffes for one scene.

And to make matters worse, Lobdell makes his Watcher clone, The Oracle, also show up.

One thing this while Convergence thing has done has made me realize how much I miss the pre-Crisis Supergirl. And she is featured nicely in this issue. Too bad the colorist doesn't make her shoulders red, like they should be in this costume. I blame the predilection for piping on current costumes.  Peter Steigerwald, the colorist, must not have realized the lines on her shoulders demarcated a change in color.

In the book, Telos has been replaced as master of the world by Deimos, a lair error from the a Warlord comic. And Deimos has a new proposition for the trapped cities. Those who will serve him will be spared.

A set of detainees decide to unite and fight rather than bow to Deimos' will. Great to see the old school Superman, red trunks and all, leading the team.

As I said earlier, the Earth 2 characters take center stage here. That includes Dick Grayson who somehow felt to be the most important person n the planet. Even Superman says so. Grayson's perspective is paramount.

But I don't know if I have ever understood why people think Grayson is the keystone here.

And the heroes think that Telos is the key. Last issue, Telos was able to recall that at some point he was a denizen of this planet, a man with a wife and family. It was Brainiac who stripped him of that mortality, that normalcy, and set him up as caretaker of this zoo-like world.

That knowledge seemed to shake Telos' resolve. He fled the world allowing Deimos to take over.

Now Grayson plays that key role, telling Telos that he needs to rejoin the fight, to wrest control from Deimos, to shrug off the slavery of Brainiac. Now is the time for Telos to make amends for past misdeeds.

I don't know. I can think of dozens of characters who could give that speech. Perhaps it is my lack of Earth 2 knowledge that makes me not grasp why Grayson is the one, called out by Superman, and thrust into this role.

Telos thinks that Deimos might be able to tell reveal his true name. And somehow that knowledge will make him free. As one of my daughter's once said after watching one of the many Hiyao Miyazaki movies - "If it's one thing I've learned, never reveal your true name or have it taken from you."

The time has come. The time for battle. Let then the armies form.

Agsin, nice that the pre-Crisis Supergirl gets a nod, along with the pre-Flashpoint Superman and Parallax. Quite a trio.

Great shot of Kara. If only the shoulders were red!

And so we see the 'good guy' army, the troops united to fight against Deimos and for a shared reality. I see among the troops two Superman, Donna Troy, old school captain Atom, and Supergirl.

I absolutely love that shot of Supergirl, very apt for this period in her life. At this point she was confident, independent, defending Chicago. She was a hero in her own right, not just 'Superman's cousin.' She would be there, arms crossed, defiant in the face of the enemy, sure of herself.

But then we see the army that has been mobilized on the side of Deimos. It's one thing to see the Flashpoint 'heroes' there. They have always been on the dark side of things. And I can see why the Extremists and the Crime Syndicate would join in.

But the Kingdom Come Superman? And while it isn't in my scan, the Huntress is there too! Why would she join Deimos?

It all sets up a classic brawl of a next issue.

Overall, I think Convergence has been something of a mixed bag. Some things have been good. Others missteps. And this main story has been up and down.

Still, how great to see that original Supergirl again.

Overall grade: C+


Wayne Allen Sallee said...

I don't understand why they portray the Kingdom Come characters as bad guys at the end. Having never read RED LANTERNS, I'm glad you pointed that stuff out.

EARTH 2: WORLD'S END ran eight issues less than the two other weeklies, so it is kind of stupid that CONVERGENCE is really just the remaining issues and center on Earth 2 heroes. I don't even know if Earth 2 is destroyed now.

Last week's CONVERGENCE seemed to be the best issue, but I don't know why Grayson is so important. The character was only introduced in Convergence#0. In all the multiverse, he is the only one who was never a Robin or a Nightwing, don't know why that makes him special.

Anonymous said...

Earth 2 went down the toilet when World's End started. The characters became interchangeable and it was just a lot of people getting killed in a confusing, not well plotted weekly series.

As for Earth-2 Grayson, I have no idea why he's special. He's something of an idiot. He was married to Barbara Gordon who was a cop and they had a son. Barbara gets killed and, when it looks like the city Dick and his son are in is going to be destroyed Dick hands his son off to strangers who are fleeing because he wants to stay behind for, as far as I could tell, no reason whatsoever. He then seems resigned to die before being saved by Ted Grant who also teaches him how to fight. Dick then searches for his son but makes it sound like his son was kidnapped instead of being willingly given away. When he finds his son again, he basically turns around and gives his son to strangers once again. It was completely moronic.

Kara's reaction to the Red Lanterns made me sad. I agree that she would have hugged the Reds and been glad to see them.

While I like seeing these old characters again, Convergence has been a mess. I don't know if it was rushed to cover the moving period or if plans changed at the last minute but the series has not gelled well. Deimos is a bland villain and while I always enjoy a large superhero vs. super villain brawl some of the people on Deimos's side are head scratchers. I'll be glad when this event is over.

Anonymous said...

I miss the Bronze Age Supergirl too, maybe her core feature was indifferently written & drawn but all her guest appearances rocked!