We are now three weeks into Convergence and things are starting to come together. The main title is picking up speed and seems to have a decent pace, and a number of the tie-in issues have been enjoyable reminiscences of continuities long since passed. And yet, despite the obvious nostalgic pleasure of this event, something which has plagued the first issues of nearly every tie-in title has been the sense that none of it matters. That same message of existential dread is woven throughout Jeff Parker’s script in Convergence: Hawkman #1, as Katar and Shayera try to maintain some normalcy in to their lives in the domed pre-Crisis Gotham City.
Convergence: Green Lantern/Parallax opens in the domed city of pre-Zero Hour Metropolis, where a depowered Kyle Rayner arrives at the 8th Police Precinct for his nearly daily visits to one of the inmates. The inmate, of course, is Hal Jordan, formerly the greatest member of the Green Lantern Corps before the destruction of Coast City made him the power-mad supervillain Parallax. Since the dome went up, Hal has been cut off from Parallax’s massive powers, snapping back to normal while retaining all of his memories.
Gotham City is used to being cut off from the rest of the world. “No Man’s Land” is still relatively fresh in the minds of readers and residents alike as the pre-Flashpoint Gotham is once again isolated, this time in the form of a Brainiac dome. But where Convergence: Nightwing/Oracle shone a light on the resilience of the city and her citizens, Convergence: The Question reminds us that this is still Gotham, and that when the chips are down, the people can become animals.
After all the twists and turns and reveals that this series has thrown at readers, Batman Eternal #52 delivers one of the most anticipated and most necessary final standoffs in recent memory. With the Cluemaster dead and the city in flames, Batman’s ultimate enemy is Lincoln March, the Owlman of Earth-0, otherwise (and supposedly) known as Thomas Wayne Jr. The opening pages of the book reveal the beginning of the partnership between March and the Cluemaster, stretching all the way back to the Night of the Owls, just after March assassinated the then Court of Owls.
I am not a spiritual man. I don’t believe in souls or the afterlife. I certainly don’t believe in God. And yet, I find few things as fascinating as stories and mythologies that centre around the spiritual. That includes Wonder Woman’s focus on Greek mythology, Thor’s exploration of the Norse pantheon, and of course the “Dark” corners of the DC Universe. Gotham by Midnight has been exploring one of my favourite characters in this context, the Spectre, a deeply complicated and intriguing character that serves as one of the few windows into the true spiritual framework of the DC Universe.
When this weekly was announced, its central conceit had me hooked: time-displaced Batman Beyond trying to prevent the Brother Eye apocalypse five years too late. It took one of my favourite childhood characters (Terry McGinnis), my favourite fictional world (the DC Universe), and basically the plot of Terminator – of course I was excited. And when New 52: Futures End #0 debuted during last year’s Free Comic Book Day, it delivered all the promised robot monsters and desperate time-travel and terrifying apocalypse. This book was going to be my favourite.
Comic book writing sure has changed from the Silver Age. In the 50s and 60s, nearly every comic book published was a one-and-done or a two-shot story. There were no sweeping arcs over five, six, seven, or more issues. There was no expectation of collecting issues into trade paperback and hardcovers to be sold as complete stories. Of course, this meant that Silver Age superhero stories seldom had the complexity and depth of their modern-day counterparts, but there is something much more liberating in writing quick, concise adventures. This is why Action Comics #40 is such a breath of fresh air.