Monday, May 11, 2015

Review: Convergence Superman #2

Convergence Superman #2 came out last week and was a wonderful issue, a love letter to the pre-Flashpoint Superman and a more classic take on the Man of Steel and his mythos. Lois is right there in the center of this story, the center of Superman's life. And for me, that's the way it should be.

Dan Jurgens, who was such a leader on the Superman books in the 90's, gets to write and pencil this book. And my guess is he was smiling throughout the process. Because this was just a great look back at a wonderful time in Superman's history. When I first heard about Convergence, I thought I would be getting books like this, sort of homage stories looking back at key characters and times. I don't know if it has always succeeded in doing that.

Unlike many of the other books which have descended into the 'battle' aspect of this Convergence world bringing a level of violence that has become standard for DC these days, this book concentrates more on the characters. Jurgens even made me like the Flashpoint Thomas Wayne for a couple of moments ... no easy task!

The art is wonderful with Dan Jurgens inked by Norm Rapmund. I loved Lee Weeks's work on the first issue. But this issue being drawn by Jurgens seemed so appropriate. I was happy to see this art here.

Last issue we saw the Flashpoint 'heroes' go on the offensive and bring the fight to the pre-Flashpoint Superman. Captain Marvel, Cyborg, and Abin Sur all decide to fight Superman in hopes of sparing their world.

Back on the Flashpoint Gotham, Batman wonders who this Superman is. He also why he even exists. In Flashpoint, the Flash promised him that he would rewrite the universe to one where Bruce lived.

It is rather existential. I don't remember much of Flashpoint to be honest (they just don't make them like Crisis anymore) but I do remember this sort of noble moment. Batman was willing to have his timeline erased so that Bruce would live. That had some gravitas.

Now to hear him bemoan that he still lives and Bruce is still dead. Fascinating.

In the desert between cities, Superman (with a slight assist by Jimmy in the super-car) faces off against the Flashpoint League.

Despite the initial attack against him, Superman still tries to take the high road, asking them to stand down and hoping they'll unite to fight the bigger threat. That would be, after all, 'reasonable'.

That sort of ethical high ground is what I want in my Superman. He'll fight when pushed but will always extend a hand in friendship first.

Meanwhile, Project Superman has kidnapped the Earth-1 Lois. He is in love with her, infatuated, obsessed. This isn't exactly a Superman thing to do. The Project Superman is such a tortured individual, abused and isolated. It is sad to see. And his gaunt appearance only adds to that backstory.

He brought Lois to the Batcave because she is in early labor and needs medical attention. And bringing her to the only doctor he knows seemed like the most sensible thing to do.

In the desert, Superman heard Lois call for him. He wastes little time throttling the Flashpoint League into submission and flies off to be with her. Unfortunately, when he heads back to his apartment, she isn't there.

Amazingly, Abin Sur shows up to help him find Lois. Sur could tell that this Superman was a good man. It again shows the power of that sort of inspirational Superman. In a short meeting, a physical altercation, Sur still saw someone in Superman that he could aspire to be like.

Luckily, Lois held on to her communicator. When her Superman arrives in the Flashpoint Gotham, he is able to find her. So much for the secret Batcave.

This is such a great sequence, a sort of moment of levity in this otherwise serious book.

Superman streaks into the cave and grabs Project Superman, leaving at superspeed. It goes unnoticed by Lois and Batman. We have to assume that Superman decides to beat up Project Superman to eliminate him as a possible threat. We don't get to see the fight but we hear it. Thunder? Bombs? It must be quite a slugfest to make that much noise. I assume most of those blows are being thrown by Superman and absorbed by his emaciated doppelganger.

But time is up on the pregnancy. The baby is coming.

In a wonderful moment of humanity for Batman, he removes his mask, saying he can't do it. He hasn't been a healer in a long time. He isn't up for it. But there is sadness in his face. Maybe this was a moment of clarity? A moment where he realizes just how far this road of darkness he has gone down?

So Clark has to help out with the delivery. I love that middle panel.

We have a bouncing baby boy!

And boy o boy, was there a lot for me to love about these last few pages.

First off, it is just so fitting for this baby to be wrapped in Superman's cape for swaddling clothes. After all, in many versions of the Superman origin, the cape is made from the blankets he was wrapped in when he was sent from Krypton to Earth.

When discussing names, Superman says he thinks of himself as human. For me, my Superman does considers himself human. He was raised here. He has embraced this planet. So hearing him say it outright was great.

And as a result, the boy is named after Pa Kent. Welcome to the world Jonathan Samuel Kent!

I don't think I need to talk to much about this panel, the closing splash page of the book.

But the dialogue is worth repeating.
"I love you Lois."
"Forever and always."

We sure have moved far away from that sort of sentiment in the comic world today. So seeing it again, hearing it again, reading it again made me very happy.

As I said in the opening part of this review, I was looking forward to these Convergence minis as a way to revisit the corners of the DC history that I miss and love. This book delivered that 100%.

Thanks to Dan Jurgens and Norm Rapmund and colorist Brad Anderson for giving me this."So shines a good deed in a weary world."

Overall grade: A+


Martin Gray said...

Great review of a fine comic. I wish this had come out of the shower one morning...

Anj said...


This was a love letter to fans of that Superman, no doubt.

I wonder how many folks get your Dallas reference though!

Anonymous said...

Just what I wanted to hear from this issue. I'll miss Weeks' art but I guess Jurgens is equally suited to drawing Pre New 52 Superman. From what I've glimpsed, this is exactly what I've wanted to read in my Superman for such a long time. Wisdom, compassion, friendliness, humility and a genuinely good guy. These qualities are sorely missed in New 52 Superman, which is certainly going to raise some eyebrows when the two meet.

A very nice review indeed Anj, the commentary on the subtler and character moments of the issue are intriguing details. Can't wait to read this myself and remember the Superman I grew up with.


Wayne Allen Sallee said...

Thinking back, I can't remember much of FLASHPOINT the series at all. In the end it didn't matter, because Pandora changed the timeline. I'm still waiting for why she had to do it--maybe "The Darkseid War"--but I think it has more to do with how badly the Wildstorm properties flopped.

I get the Dallas reference. I can see DC screwing up that awful bit of TV continuity, too. I will be interested if we see various timelines remain on Telos. If you are not reading all of them, they've killed off the Justice Riders and the Stan Lee characters, so I wonder if the future timelines will go, as well.

Jay said...

Probably one of the better Convergence tie-ins. Now, for me that's not saying a whole lot because I think the main series and the tie-ins have been pretty bad. But this has been decent. My only gripe with this is I didn't like the way Flashpoint Kal just disappears. Superman humorously takes him out and that's the last of him. I was hoping we'd at least get a scene of contriteness from him, you know?

In the end though I'm quite satisfied with this being how we leave post-Crisis Superman and Lois, if this is indeed how we leave them (I think the opportunity to see them again from time to time will exist after Convergence but that's another topic).