I think it really says something about the new direction of Doctor Fate that writer Paul Levitz and artist Sonny Liew are credited simply as “Storytellers”. The new series’ debut as part of DC’s post-Convergence “story over continuity” editorial move seems to take that notion to heart, calling back to the looser continuity of oral traditions and classical mythologies; essentially, to storytelling.
A new title for a comic book mythology is like a new beginning. The characters may be familiar, but their adventures and their trajectory are unaccounted for, leaving the door open to new possibilities. And for the heroes and civilians of Earth 2, a new beginning is more than earned. After years of war with Apokolips, of a brief, paranoid fear, and then a final cataclysmic defeat at the hands of Darkseid, Earth 2 saw the literal end of their world, and though two million survivors made it off-planet before the end, the generation ships were left floating in space with nowhere to go.
I’m going to kill the suspense right away: I loved this issue. In the first official chapter to Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok’s “The Darkseid War”, the pair throw everything they’ve got at the reader. At a special extra-sized story, Justice League #41 establishes that, contrary to its relatively simple pitch – Darkseid vs. the Anti-Monitor – this arc is going to plumb the depths of several major characters.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of Crisis on Inifinite Earths, the first major company-wide crossover in mainstream comic books. The cosmic catastrophe destroyed nearly every one of the infinite worlds of the Multiverse and merged the remaining five into a single continuity, forever changing the trajectory of the DCU. It was a landmark event in both narrative and publication, and Convergence – while also a stop-gap event as DC moves offices – is designed to pay tribute to the lasting legacy of Crisis.
“Nothing except a battle lost can be half so melancholy as a battle won.” The famous words of the Duke of Wellington echo loudly through Larry Hama’s concluding chapter of Convergence: Wonder Woman, even going so far as to paraphrase the quote at the story’s conclusion. As Wonder Woman and the vampire Joker square off, Steve Trevor has to fight off a horde of newly turned vampires, as well as Red Rain’s Poison Ivy and Catwoman.
What can be said about Convergence that hasn’t already been said about many other maxi-series events? The main title is proving to be quite interesting and is driving forward at a great pace, but when it comes to the two-issue tie-ins, despite some relatively strong characterization and art, the books all suffer from a feeling of being inconsequential. Convergence: Justice League International #2 is no different. That being said, there are some very interesting elements that deserve to be highlighted.
SPOILERS AHEAD. This is true to some extent with all reviews, but for real… SPOILERS AHEAD. Less than a month ago, Batman Eternal concluded a fantastic year-long run. As its central question, the title explored the nature of Batman’s legacy. Despite being a mortal man, was Bruce Wayne ultimately successful in making Batman immortal and everlasting? The answer was an unequivocal “yes”, because Batman lives within each and every life he has touched, and more overtly within the missions and symbols of his extended Bat-family.