Convergence hit the DC Multiverse this past comics week!
Three of the spin-off titles involves characters from “pre-Flashpoint” Gotham a.k.a. the Dick!Bats era during which Dick Grayson and Damian Wayne were Batman & Robin, Stephanie Brown was Batgirl, Tim Drake was Red Robin, etc. It’s one of my favourite periods of modern era comics, so of course I had to check them out!
Convergence: Batman & Robin #1
Halfway through this comic, I got angry. Because I realised that this Batman, despite the pre-Flashpoint setting, was not Dick Grayson–but Bruce Wayne. It makes no sense at all. Look at the panel below, and you’ll see Grant Morrison’s take on Red Hood, as well as the “sidekick” he gave Red Hood–Scarlet. They appeared in his incredibly popular & ground-breaking Batman & Robin run (starring Dick as Batman) and left a huge impression on audiences.
So using Bruce here is just wrong, wrong, wrong. Especially because they have him quipping, which we all know is Dick Grayson’s forte. Batman doesn’t make jokes, yo.
But seriously, beyond that, this issue wasn’t horrible. But they key emotional conflict is Damian being all “boohoo do you love me best biological father?” and Bruce being “yes of course I do”. BECAUSE THIS HASN’T BEEN DONE BEFORE, CLEARLY. [/sarcasm]
I mean, Pete Tomasi’s entire run on the New 52 (post-Flashpoint) Batman & Robin was almost entirely, exclusively about this exact conflict/scenario! That’s almost 40 issues and 4 years of comics! It’s also the focus of the animated films, Son of Batman & Batman vs Robin! Why are we going through this yet again! OMG!
Convergence: Batgirl #1
I had high hopes for this issue, so perhaps my disappointment with it is my fault. The narrative felt haphazard and the art… well, Rick Leonardi is a seasoned artist, but I don’t know what happened here. Perhaps there were re-writes, or he just mis-managed his time… but the complete lack of detail on some of the panels is appalling. I hate saying “this art is bad”, because that is so subjective, but it seems here that he just gave up at certain points, and that doesn’t help the comic at all. It’s exacerbated partly by the panels where he is true to form, like the middle one below.
This comic also features a highly anticipated appearance by Cassandra Cain, but she was just… there, and I’m not sure what else there is to say about it.
Convergence: Nightwing/Oracle #1
This was a surprise. I don’t usually care for the pairing of Dick Grayson/Barbara Gordon, mostly because it’s weirdly ubiquitous for a couple that was only together for like 5 seconds in the comics. But when written well, Dick and Barbara have a sizzling chemistry that is given depth and poignancy by their lengthy history and friendship.
But in any case, regardless of how their relationship ends up, romantic or platonic, there’s no doubt that they very important to each other.
This issue, written by comics legend Gail Simone, was a true return to form for Oracle, and for Dick as Nightwing. Simone’s years of experience scripting comics (and writing Oracle) also comes through very strongly here, as the overall story is just crafted very well. And Jan Duursema’s artwork is just beautiful and perfect for the slightly pensive tone of the script.
I wasn’t planning on reading this, and ended up doing so anyway. It sort of follows from the end of the recent weekly comic, Earth-2: Worlds’ End. Superhero remnants/refugees from that Earth (which has been annihilated by Darkseid & the forces of Apokolips) end up in Braniac’s construct. For some reason, the group includes Dick Grayson not as Robin, Nightwing, or Batman, but… a civilian journalist. Who punches Earth-2 Batman (Dr. Thomas Wayne) and is generally a whiny, useless S.O.B. I have to wonder why he’s even there with the group. I do like “Dr. Wayne Batman”, though, and Val-Zod Superman is wonderful. Jay Garrick Flash is also hilarious, and that’s just how the Flash should be!
There’s also cameo by Injustice!Superman, who is his usual genocidal megalomaniac self.
I realise this panel below has nothing to do with any of the things I mentioned above, but I just liked the composition of it very much.
I’ve already got a review of this up here, so I won’t talk about this in detail. I’m just terribly happy we’ve got ongoing series like this one; completely re-inventing one of the most popular Greek myths in an incredibly fresh, exciting, and unique way.