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.
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.