12 July 2017

Faster than a DC Bullet: Project Crisis!, Part LXVII: Convergence: Crisis, Book 2

Comic trade paperback, n.pag.
Published 2015 (contents: 2015)
Borrowed from the library
Read May 2017
Convergence: Crisis, Book 2

Writers: Larry Hama, Len Wein, Fabian Nicieza, Marv Wolfman, and Dan Abnett
Art: Joshua Middleton, Aaron Lopresti & Matt Banning, Kelley Jones, ChrisCross, Nicola Scott & Marc Deering, and Federico Dallocchio
Color: Joshua Middleton, Tanya & Richard Horie, Michelle Madsen, Jeromy Cox, and Veronica Gandini
Lettering: Sal Cipriano, Tom Napolitano, Rob Leigh, and Carlos M. Mangual

This volume of Convergence mostly concerns more pre-Crisis Earth-1 heroes, none of them being characters I particularly care about. Well, with the exception of the greatest DC character of them all, Elongated Man.

The continuity doesn't always add up, and I suspect that the format for Convergence sometimes works against the ideas here. For example, the Wonder Woman of this era was (as far as I know) pretty undistinctive; my guess is that they wanted the 1968-73 powerless version of the character, but since all these characters come from the time of the Crisis on Infinite Earths, that version of the character was long gone and can only be approximated. It does seem a bit contrived that there's a point where all the characters from the first two volumes of this series would be chilling in Gotham. Most of the writers don't even bother to explain it, but when Len Wein does explain it in the Swamp Thing story, it's even more out of place, because he explains that Swamp Thing came to Gotham to ask Batman about the mysterious red skies, meaning these characters weren't just plucked out of time near the original Crisis, but during it-- yet no one other than Swamp Thing brings this up. There are also a lot of differences on how the interurban conflicts start; in some stories people are told who to fight, in some they are teleported to the fight, and in some they just fly to another city and start breaking stuff. For a series that's by design only going to appeal to continuity nerds, there's a weird lack of continuity.

Hang on, does this mean all the cities are going to get put back? Otherwise how could these characters go on to participate in Crisis on Infinite Earths?
from Convergence: Swamp Thing #1 (script by Len Wein, art by Kelley Jones)

Also isn't it kind of weird that in nine stories about something bad happening to Gotham, Batman never does anything of significance? The most he gets up to is having a lunch date with the Flash.

No one draws pretty people (of either gender) quite like Nicola Scott.
from Convergence: New Teen Titans #1 (script by Marv Wolfman, art by Nicola Scott & Marc Deering)

Nothing here is as good as the Legion or Green Lantern stories from book 1. Kelley Jones on Swamp Thing is of course a match made in heaven, and the return of Len Wein to the character he originated is nice too, but the story itself (Swamp Thing vs. vampires) is merely okay. If I had any nostalgia for the New Teen Titans, I'm sure it'd be nice to see Marv Wolfman write for them one last time, but I don't, and so it's not, though Nicola Scott's heroic stylings are a good artistic fit for Wolfman's classic scripting. I feel like she hasn't been up to much post-Birds of Prey, so it's good to see her here. I did like how Dan Abnett wrong-footed me in the Flash story with a seeming anachronistic reference by Barry Allen to the Speed Force.

Maybe the reason this story didn't do it for me is the creepy facial expressions.
from Convergence: Justice League of America #1 (script by Fabian Nicieza, art by ChrisCross)

I wanted to be more excited by the Justice League Detroit tale. Ralph and Sue Dibny have been favorite characters of mine ever since Justice League Europe, but this is only an okay showing for them-- probably because Fabian Nicieza is an okay writer on his best days. There's nothing wrong with it, and it tries to have heart concerning a Justice League team for whom very few people are nostalgic, but this story ultimately didn't do much for me, leaning a little bit too hard on the perception that this version of the League was made up of losers. Just tell a good tale about them, don't tell a story about how you're telling a good tale about them, it comes across as defensive and undermines your point.

Next Week: Power Girl, the Huntress, the Justice Society of America, Infinity Inc., and the Seven Soldiers of Victory battle for their lives in Convergence: Infinite Earths, Book 1!

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