The heroes of Earth 2 take matters into their own hands when Telos turns the multiverse into a giant battle arena in Convergence #2.
After watching Stan Lee’s Just Imagine universe get slaughtered by the heroes of the cyborg universe, Val-Zod (Earth 2’s Superman) breaks free of Telos’ restraints and smashes him in the face. Telos fights back, naturally, but Alan Scott (Earth 2’s Green Lantern) taps directly into the planet and uses its power to defeat Telos. The heroes regroup before Telos strikes again, but it takes a pummeling by Val-Zod to send the embodiment of the planet back into the dirt.
Thanks to absorbing some of Telos’ powers, Scott learns what the planet fears — something hidden underground. The group splits up — Thomas Wayne heads to a nearby Gotham to find support while the rest of the team travels to the ruined city guarding Telos’ secret. Parallels cross as Wayne meets his son Bruce, and Earth 2’s Grayson meets a Pre-Flashpoint Oracle. The meeting is an emotional one — both Waynes have lost a version of the other, and Grayson — now a widower — was married to Barbara Gordon. There isn’t much said between Bruce and Thomas, but Carlo Pagulayan’s artwork captures the weight of the moment.
Convergence #2 seems to have lost a bit of momentum from the previous issue, but there are some interesting plot points being built up for the rest of the series. Jeff King gives the keys of the issue to Grayson, the narrator, with an introduction that starts off on a grim note — the rocket carrying Tommy Grayson explodes pre-launch. Lost, without a planet or family, Grayson becomes the eyes and ears for King’s story to develop, and since he’s less Flying Grayson and more of an everyman journalist, the point of view is easy to relate to.
Unfortunately, as we travel with Dick to a Pre-Flashpoint Gotham City, we’re powerless to keep the story there. Even with Grayson filling in the blanks with narration, the meeting of Waynes feels sparse, managing a mere scratch on the surface for what could have been an incredibly dramatic meeting of two men who have obsessed over each others’ deaths. It’s a shame, especially in light of the fact that the main storyline is moving at too slow a pace.
It could be that King, a newcomer to comics, might need more than just a primer or some quick character bios. What readers want from the Convergence series is a chance to revisit characters that have been sorely missed or to explore what happens when counterparts and parallel figures meet. A face to face between Thomas and Bruce warrants much more than a few encouraging words from father to son, and if there was a reason to shove the main storyline to the background to make way for a satisfying subplot — this would have been that issue.
Instead, we get to watch our heroes of Earth 2 traveling to the ruined city, trying to avoid any danger and witnessing the aftermath of other battles and assassinations. In other words — we’re led around and away from anything really compelling until the last page of the book, a cliffhanger that might go over the heads of many casual readers.
While the story lacks, the art remains fantastic. Pagulayan’s pencils are crisp and clean — thanks in part to inker Jason Paz’s steady hand. Pagulayan’s style looks perfectly suited for a series that recalls the classic Crisis tales and the rich history of DC comics. I just wish he had more to draw than a bunch of heroes walking an empty landscape. Imagine a book with every page as action-packed as Pagulayan’s double-page spread of the Just Imagine and cyborg universes colliding.
On colors, John Starr and Peter Steigerwald provide Convergence #2 with beautiful and rich hues. The deep blues of the Batcave suited both the environment and atmosphere of the story, and the earthy shades of the plain desert landscape create a contrasting backdrop for the characters. The colors are bright where they need to be without turning into a fluorescent mess, and the eyes are drawn to the fire-reds and lighting effects.
Convergence #2 is a book that will be known more for what it lacked than what it did right in terms of story. The series thus far has been a disappointment with a plot that has meandered around the important details and action sequences. Even with a premise as strong as this one, King has managed to deny readers the goods, opting instead to tell readers what they’re missing. With art hungry for action, Convergence #2 feels more like a digression.
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