I’m a sucker for big crossover events. I’m not sure why. Maybe they appeal to the collector/OCD/completist side of me. I have to have check lists of all the tie-ins and make sure I read every single one. As such, I have read A LOT of crap over the years. Nothing worse than picking up a branded crossover issue and it having little or nothing to do with the main event. But I never learn. I’ve even tried the “I’ll just read the main story and not bother with the tie-ins” schtick…and I always fell like I’m missing something and end up getting all the tie-ins anyway. I’ve also tried the “I’m not going to read this crossover” approach…with minimal success. I wasn’t going to read Forever Evil…totally did. Avengers and X-Men: Axis…I have no interest in that…read the whole thing. You get the picture. (Side note: one of my few success stories of recent years is not reading The Black Vortex Guardians/X-Men crossover…don’t tell Jenny!)
With all that said, I am gearing up in an attempt to read all of DC’s Convergence as they are released. May is going to be real tough as I’m also going to attempt to read all of Marvel’s Secret Wars and if I can manage to lift the keys to my cell from Watson’s belt, I might escape for a weeks vacation in there as well. I’m sure there will be hits and lots of misses in both events. But it seems hypocritical if I don’t read them, seeing as they are what 80% (Editor’s note: 90%) of what my Gabbing Geek posts so far have been about.
So let’s get to it. Spoilers throughout for Convergence #0, New 52 Future’s End #48 and Earth 2: World’s End #26.
New 52 Future’s End 48
The first time I saw Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings, I hated it. Over three hours long and no ending? I was so frustrated (and my bladder was not happy). I’ve since come to enjoy Fellowship, but I never watch it on it’s own. It is always watched in conjunction with the other films in the trilogy.
What does all this have to do with Future’s End? I feel pretty much the same way (though my bladder is happier) as it has no ending. (Which is ironic as “end” is right there in the title!) After 48 weeks of mostly high quality story and enjoyable comics, we have…blah. Back full circle. The story ends pretty much back at the point where Future’s End #0 started, and next to nothing has changed. Batman Beyond’s travels to the past (5 years into the DC future) have been a failure.
Sure, there is some attempted time travel mumbo jumbo to say that things are different and with new Batman Beyond Tim Drake there instead of Terry McGinnis, and a few other time stream wrinkles, maybe they have a chance against Brother Eye.
I was shocked and hugely disappointed when I turned the page and found the familiar double page spread that finished each issue, but without an “Up next…” section. I flipped back and forth a couple of times. Had I missed something? Was there an issue 49 I wasn’t aware of? No. Ok, where is the “To be continued in Convergence” ad copy? Non-existent.
The only thing I could think of then was that this was going to be continued in the new Batman Beyond book launching in June after Convergence. The information coming so far about that book is somewhat conflicting. The cover doesn’t seem to imply we are looking at a Brother Eye destroyed future. But an interview with Jurgens says that this will be the story of 35 years in the future where Future’s End finishes up. But he also says that Bruce Wayne will be there…didn’t Bruce get grafted together with Joker and sent back in time and killed by the original Batman Beyond? (Maybe he survived, but did he spend 35 years waiting for Tim to show back up to give him advice?) Ugh.
Needless to say, this was a major disappointment as I’ve really been enjoying this book. And while it seemed to be so ingrained with Earth 2 and Convergence, there is nothing here to tie them all together at all.
Earth 2 World’s End 26
While not a particularly strong ending here either, at least it did end with a “Find out what happens next in the pages of Convergence“. There was no tie-in to Future’s End. And I thought we might be in for some set up of the upcoming Darkseid War back in the regular DCU, but maybe Convergence will set that up. But given the track record of what I’ve read so far today, probably not.
As for the issue itself, it is much more enjoyable than Futures End. It also has a very Convergence feel to it as Green Lantern Alan Scott has become the avatar of The Green, but can draw on the power of all Earth’s across the multiverse, not just his own. But in the end it isn’t enough to save Earth-2 from virtual destruction at the hands of Darkseid and Apokolips.
I really thought these two projects were going to dovetail nicely together and set up an epic finale/lead into Convergence. But no, instead we get two series that are all tease and leave your mind addled with muddled timelines and confusion.
This issue picks up where the conclusion of last years surprising finale of the Superman Doomed storyline left off. The last page of that story showed the New 52 Brainiac being “retrieved” to an unspecified location that appeared to contain shards of realities from not just across the multiverse, but across destroyed timelines like the pre-Flashpoint DC universe.
This issue is mostly told from Superman’s perspective as he first encounters the Brainiac that we have been introduced to in Future’s End. They talk of infinite Earths and Brainiac informs him that he now knows of the New 52 Earth and he is off to collect a city from it. He leaves Superman chained to a machine on some unknown planet.
So above I said that the finale of Future’s End was disappointing partly because it didn’t tie into Convergence, which is true. However, events from earlier issues of Future’s End are actually the catalyst for the backbone of the Convergence storyline. For it is the disappearance of Brainiac after his defeat in Future’s End that allows new villain Telos to rise up and allow the mash up of all these timelines.
But Jimmy, doesn’t Future’s End take place five years in the DC Universes future? How could he have disappeared while current New 52 Superman was still held captive…and Superman actually helped defeat Brainiac?!?!
The answer my friend is simple. Comics. But really, Telos explains to Superman that where they are, they are outside of time. And it’s ebbs and flows don’t affect them. Hence Superman can be there and 5 years in the future “at the same time”.
The issue concludes with a trick just used in Spider-Verse when they send Spider-Man/Doc Ock back in time. Basically some mumbo jumbo to say that since we are essentially sending you back to the past the voyage will erase your memory because we can’t have you spoiling all our plans to sell comic books.
The issue is also padded with several pages of “Who’s Who in Convergence?” which outlines the
zones on Battleworld timelines that will play a roll in the core mini-series and the 40 2 issues mini-series. Which I will attempt to review in their entirety beginning next week. So be sure to come back and slowly watch my brain melt.