Do you like Kingdom Come? The pre-Zero Hour DC universe? Epic crossovers designed to take all your money and
probably not maybe leave you satisfied? Then cart yer arse on in here and read more about Convergence Week Two!
Be sure to catch up on all the Convergence happenings with coverage of:
Week Two: Part One
Read on for spoilers after break for Aquaman #1, Superman The Man Of Steel #1, Catwoman #1, Green Arrow #1, Justice League International #1 and Suicide Squad #1.
Convergence Aquaman #1
DC just can’t resist, and this issue opens with a joke about beard-slinging, harpoon hand Aquaman talking to fish.
We then learn via an extensive news report that the citizens of Metropolis feel that Aquaman is slowly going mad. He is growing weaker because he is cut off from the ocean. The dome had gone up shortly after Aquaman had lost his hand and he replaced it with a makeshift spike, and later a retractable harpoon. Aquaman had been living in the harbor until he defeated the villain Chemo there, but the harbor was poisoned in the process. So he took over the city aquarium and claimed that as his home. These days he stays hydrated with tap water and has lost the much mocked ability to talk to fish.
When the dome goes down, Aquaman sees a vision of
The Punisher Deathblow from the Wildstorm universe and knows that is who he is meant to fight. Also his “marine telepathy” returns though there is “not a lot here to commune with”. (He should head on over to the Pre-Flashpoint Gotham. Flashpoint Aquaman is there and seems to have lots of water and fish.)
The rest of the issue features Deathblow as he shows up at the DEO: Department of Extranormal Operations and kills everyone in sight. He’s there to use their resources to track down and kill Aquaman. Why didn’t he just use whatever resources told him about the DEO from another universe? I’m sure if they knew of DEO’s existence and location, they might have been able to point him towards a high profile target like Aquaman.
Convergence Superman The Man Of Steel #1
A year under the dome and John Henry Irons aka Steel is still a defender against evil for pre-Zero Hour Metropolis. Since he has no powers, his armor was not affect by the appearance of the dome. (Again I question why Arsenal’s robotic arm stopped working in Titans #1?) He’s immediately thrust into action against 20 armored foes.
As he finishes them off, the dome drops and Gen 13 from the Wildstorm universe appear out of nowhere. They been transported there by Telos (one would assume) to fight Steel and his team. But since Steel doesn’t have a team, they gang up on him instead. It’s interesting which characters immediately chose kill or be kill, or attempt a peaceful resolution and team up. Gen 13 are definitely in the kill or be kill group.
Steel’s niece Natasha is watching the action and though she’s been told to stay out of it, feels it is unfair with five against one. And having an iron suit of her own, joins the fight. She is quickly more of a hindrance and as three of the Geners are about to take her out, Steel jumps in the way to save her. They hit him with all they’ve got, and it doesn’t look good. Let’s just say that if you are a fan of Mr. Irons you will not be happy with the conclusion of this issue.
Convergence Catwoman #1
First of all, how can they NOT have Jim Balent doing the art for this book?!? I mean, c’mon DC. I know he is busy with other work, but he has to draw this? And no offense to Ron Randall who does a good job, but Balent is the definite artist for this era of Catwoman.
Our story begins in the true pre-Zero Hour Metropolis before the dome. Catwoman is in town doing Catwoman things, attempting to steal a forty-million dollar necklace and matching earrings. She runs into a small bump in the road as a gang of rollar skate wearing, half face painted as skulls women have beaten her to the punch. Their goal though is to kidnap the “princess” wearing said necklace and earrings. Catwoman rescues her from her would be kidnappers, but security arrives before she can claim her prize.
As Catwoman takes a breather on the rooftops we see the dome appear. It is one of the more violent appearances as it cuts through and destroys several buildings, leaving even Catwoman to exclaim, “Oh my God…those people!”
Jumping forward a year, we find Catwoman much like Mr. Freeze in last weeks books. She has grown tired of stealing the same jewels or valuables over and over again since nothing new comes in or out of the dome. However, instead of falling into a depression over it, Catwoman has become a crime fighter.
Meanwhile, Intergang has taken advantage of the new status quo in Metropolis by kidnapping doctors and pharmacists and anyone who knew how to manufacturer every day things. Making these people work for them and then selling the goods at a premium price.
One of the people that are kidnapped is a friend of Catwoman’s that cooked affordable meds for the slums. On this night, Catwoman decides to get her back.
After a daring multi-page breakout, as soon as they are free the dome comes down and Catwoman gets a visitor from Kingdom Come.
“Of course, it had to be Batman.”
Convergence Green Arrow #1
In regular DC history, Oliver Queen’s son Conner Hawke was introduced in Green Arrow #0, the first issue after Zero Hour. Since we’re now living in a pre-Zero Hour world, DC has a second chance to make a first impression.
There is some side story about white supremacists, but it’s all just an excuse to have the current and future Green Arrows bump into each other along the way.
Just as the two team up, the dome drops and Conner and Oliver are transported to the Metropolis of Kingdom Come. They immediately run into that universes version of Dinah Queen (Dinah and Oliver were married in Kingdom Come, but would not be married post-Zero Hours for many years) and their daughter Olivia Queen. Needless to say, the Queen/Hawke families are a little confused.
Convergence Justice League International #1
This is a fun issue. As previously admitted, the acclaimed DeMatteis/Giffen/Maguire JLI run is one of my blindspots that I hope to remedy soon. (Probably won’t be anytime soon as I am slated to read the rest of Convergence, all of Secret Wars and now apparently the first trade paperback of Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing. But it’s on the list after that!)
When Metallo attacks (after a year off building his robotic army), the Justice League International (or as Blue Beetle jokes, the JLM, Justice League Metropolis) arrive to save the day. Things are a bit trickier for the JLI these days as they have all lost their powers. Outside of Blue Beetle who never had any, and Red Tornado who is a robot and is unaffected by the domes dampening abilities. (Arsenal, take notes.)
After Metallo’s defeat, the bulk of this issue is spent showing us the interactions of the JLI back at their headquarters. How they are dealing with life under the dome and powerless. What relationships have formed, etc.
Us per usual, this is interrupted by the fall of the dome. Martian Manhunter, Captain Atom, Fire and Ice immediately get their powers back. And they’re going to need it.
Nearby atop the Daily Planet building there is a gathering of Kingdom Come heroes preparing to fight the JLI. They include heavy hitters Wonder Woman and Shazam (yes, he’s called Shazam here and not Captain Marvel) and Kingdom Come’s own version of Blue Beetle. Is this a new Blue Beetle, as the Ted Kord Blue Beetle died during the Kingdom Come storyline. I’m sure all will be fully and clearly explained next issue!
Convergence Suicide Squad #1
This story begins not under the dome, but after the dome has fallen and the Suicide Squad has already attacked the Kingdom Come Metroplois. Kingdom Come Green Lantern looks on as Amanda Waller lies dying. Betrayed by one of her own. Who arrives in shadow and finishes the job.
Flashback 48 hours and under the pre-Zero Hour domed Metropolis. Toyman is attempting to recruit Boomerang and Deadshot to find and kill Superman. (I guess Toyman hasn’t read the other nine issues this week that tell us Superman is not there.) As they are negotiating terms and Toyman shows that he has a briefcase with a million dollars in it, the dome drops. A nearby Atomic Skull gets his powers back. With that, Deadshot and Boomerang realize that they are no longer the top of the totem pole if the powers have returned and they kill Toyman instead and take his million dollars.
Cut to pre-Zero Hour Amanda Waller and Oracle listening to Telos’ message as the dome drops. Of course they just happened (especially Oracle) to be in Metropolis at the time the dome appeared. That fine, fine Telos communication grid is in full effect as Oracle immediately starts receiving surveillance footage of the other cities outside the dome on a bank of monitors.
Walker gets a visit from General Lane to inform her that he’s getting the band back together. She agrees to lead them. He explains that their opponent is the Alan Scott Green Lantern of Kingdom Come. Who has absorbed his lantern into himself and is powerful enough to create a construct called New Oa that floats in the sky above their Metropolis. General Lane decrees that New Oa and thus Green Lantern have to go.
Couple things here. First, I know theses guys are good, but how does Lane get all this intel on a city he never knew existed on a world he never knew he was on within 4 minutes of the dome dropping? Second, it’s mentioned multiple times that there are no stars in the sky, yet there are several issues that show the moon in the background. It can’t be Earth’s moon. Is it just a moon of Telos? Does it look exactly like our moon? If not, where are all the people screaming and pointing at the sky? I’m sure it is just artistic interpretation and editorial oversight.
Waller’s new Squad includes: Bane, Star Sapphire, Black Manta, Deathstroke, Count Vertigo, Poison Ivy, Deadshot, Captain Boomerang, Bronze Tiger and Cyborg Superman. (Again, this seems like minutes after the dome has dropped. General Lane is that good!) Waller’s lapdog Barbara Gordon (as Oracle, and possibly completely out of character) is recruiting the last member of their team, from the Kingdom Come universe. And who else would betray their own world than Lex Luthor!
Phew! And that puts the wraps on week two, just in time for you to pick up week three tomorrow. Not as much fun as week one, but enough here to keep you interested. Since none of this is really tied together so far, I find it hard to recommend reading it all like I have been. Pick and choose the issues based on the characters you like from a given era and go with that for now. See you at the funny book store tomorrow!