Front Lines - Convergence Week 4 (Part 2), Secret Wars 0, Divergence

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By Mike Maillaro and Mike Weaver

Convergence:  Infinity Inc #1 by Jerry Ordway and Ben Caldwell

Worlds Featured: Metropolis (Pre-Crisis Earth 2) and Atlanta (Hex)

Summary: Under the dome, the children of the JSA are all at Jade’s performance of The Tempest.  Oddly enough, none of the JSA have showed up, even though they are supposedly all in town.  Infinity Inc seem to be relatively unknown.  Obsidian seem determined to change that once the dome comes down and their powers are restored.  He sees the JSA as the past. The dome comes down.  Powers are restored.  Infinity Inc sees a Mad Max-like city near by and decides to check it out.  They are attacked by that world’s champions led by Hex.

Short Review:  This issue was a little more in line with the formula established over the first three weeks, but since it was used a little more sparingly here, it didn’t bother me as much.  They probably could have done a better job explaining who the Infinity Inc characters specifically, but there was enough here to get a good sense of what was going on.  

Score: 3.5/5

Convergence:  Plastic Man and the Freedom Fighters #1 by Simon Oliver & John McCrea

Worlds Featured: New York City (Earth X) and New York City (Future’s End)

Summary: Earth X is a world where the Nazis won WW2.  About a year ago, in New York City, The Freedom Fighters (Plastic Man, Uncle Sam, Human Bomb, Phantom Lady, The Day, Black Condor, and Doll Man) helped keep a resistance movement fighting against German control.  The Freedom Fighters come up with a plan to capture the German secret weapon, a superhuman called the Silver Ghost.  But, during their battle with the Silver Ghost, a dome appears over the city, taking their powers away.  The Germans are able to take advantage of the chaos, and take complete control over New York City.  

The Germans are able to hunt the Freedom Fighters down, and arrest them, scheduling them to be executed.  Dome comes down.  Issue ends with a tease for next issue promising a three-way battle between OMACs from Future’s End, the Freedom Fighters, and Nazis.

Short Review:  This was another great issue from Week 4.  We didn’t get to see Future’s End at all, but the story about the Freedom Fighters and their fight to take back New York was great. There was also some solid political commentary here about what fear can do to people.   It was also great to see Plastic Man in a slightly more serious light.  I love goofy Plaz, but some of my favorite stories are when we see there is a lot more to the character.  

Score: 4.5/5

Convergence:  Shazam! #1 by Jeff Parker and Evan Shaner

Worlds Featured: Fawcett City and Gotham City (Gotham by Gaslight)

Summary: A speech by the mayor and Billy Batson attempting to keep people’s spirits up is interrupted by a suicide bomber.  Thankfully, Bulletman and Bulletgirl are still powered up and handle the situation, but the whole city misses the Marvels.  Billy, Mary, and Freddie are suspicious of strange meetings between Mr. Morris and their uncle Dudley, so they track them to find out that they’re really Dr. Sivana and Ibac of the Monster Society of Evil!  The rest of the Monster Society was hiding underground preparing to launch a diabolical plan in the Marvels’ absence.  Mr. Tawny shows up to try to save the kids.  During the ensuing fight, everyone’s powers return and the Marvels and Mr. Tawny manage to defeat the Monster Society...only to be confronted by giant cyberpunk zeppelins attacking the city.

Short Review:  This was a fun read, very evocative of old Captain Marvel stories.  The art deco design of Fawcett City was spot on.  The only problem I had with it is that Convergence seemed very much an afterthought to it, and the story would function just as well without it.

Score: 4/5

Convergence:  Crime Syndicate #1 by Brian Buccellato & Phil Winslade

Worlds Featured: Metropolis (Earth 3) Vs Metropolis (DC One Million)

Summary: Superwoman reflects on her life as she awaits execution on death row.  Meanwhile, in the DC One Million universe, Batman accuses Superman of causing the death of Owlwoman and advocates taking a harder line approach against the Luthorians.  They are ambushed, and Atom is killed.  Back on Earth-3, Owlman and the rest of the Crime Syndicate make a plan to spring her, but without any of their powers, they are handily defeated by the Rogue Hunters (a heroic version of Flash’s Rogues).  Superwoman is executed.  Then, in One Million, Batman tries to make an end run past the attacking Luthorians to get to Lincoln Luthor himself, but Superman prevents him.  At this point, the dome comes down.  On Earth-3, the captive Crime Syndicate regains their powers and escapes, and on DC One Million Superman and Batman decide to temporarily shelve their disagreement.  The Crime Syndicate is transported to the One Million world, with Owlman off his game due to guilt.  However, Ultraman manages to kind of convincingly take out Superman, which is the cliffhanger ending.

Short Review:  The opening sequences with Lois “Superwoman” Lane reflecting on her life are really great.  Most of the Earth-3 stuff is.  I liked the Rogue Hunters a lot too.  However, if you never read DC One I have not...the One Million stuff might seem pretty unintelligible.  I had a hard time keeping up with it. I do give points to the writer for actually making both worlds sympathetic...and even moreso because the Crime Syndicate was sympathetic.  All in all, it was an issue with some really high high points, and mostly forgettable negatives.

Score: 3.5/5

Convergence:  Worlds Finest #1 by Paul Levitz & Jim Fern

Worlds Featured: Metropolis (Pre-Crisis Earth 2)

Summary: This comic starts in the 1940.  A young man named Jibbet sees the emergence of the first superheroes when Superman shows up.   The issue jumps to 1980.  Tibbets is now a cartoonist drawing the Seven Soldiers of Victory and also works as a reporter for the Metropolis News.  Metropolis has a lot more heroes now.  The Justice Society, Superman, Power Girl, the Justice Society, Infinity Inc, and The Seven Soldiers.  

Five years later, the skies turn red during Crisis on Infinite Earths.  Vigilate is chasing down a rampaging rhino.  Jibbet gets taken by a pterodactyl, though Green Arrow, Speedy, and Shining Knight arrive to rescue him.  An earthquake starts to tear up Metropolis, killing Arrow and Speedy.  Shining Knight decides to save Jibbet because he’s a civilian.  The dome appears, causing Shining Knight’s horse to lose his wings and Shining Knight to start to show his age.  During the year under the dome, Stripesy dies of pneumonia.  Jibbet continues to draw and report on everything going on. The dome finally comes down.  Telos personally addresses Shining Knight, saying he’s the oldest champion in this contest.  He is tasked with facing off against another Metropolis,  Jibbet decides to join him in his fight.  To Be Continued.

Short Review:  There were a lot of great ideas in this issue.  I was real sad seeing what happened to the various Seven Soldiers who died because of the dome.  I also thought that telling the story from Jibbet’s perspective worked pretty well.  But, something just felt like it was missing from this issue.  A little too much setup and a very abrupt ending.  There really wasn't anything particularly bad about this comic, it just felt like it never quite lived up to its potential.  

Score: 3.5/5

Convergence Week 4 Final Thoughts:

Maillaro:  I was actually bothered by how much of an improvement we got this week.  It almost seems like it took three weeks for DC to realize “Yeah...this is kind of dull and repetitive...let’s mix it up a bit.”   They would have been far better off if they did all four weeks with this more variety and attention to detail.  There were good book each week, but with very few exceptions, I pretty much loved all the Convergence books that came out this week.  

Weaver: It was a really fantastic slate of books this week.  You’d think that DC would have peppered a few really good books into each week, but I guess that would change the dynamics of this world versus that world taking center stage.  I’m not bothered, I’m filled with a renewed sense of hope in this crossover.

Maillaro:  Don’t forget, the next three weeks are going to basically be “back to the repetitive grind” as we get the second issues of the more formulaic books.  I think that is what annoys me more than anything…

Weaver: Yeah, I’ll agree.  That is annoying.  Hopefully...the second issue will be better than the first on many of those.

Maillaro:  And just think, we also got Secret Wars going on too.  Groan....THANKS, RJ, FOR THIS UNFORGIVING ASSIGNMENT!  

Maillaro: It was actually a bit of a hassle for me to find the two Free Comic Book Day comics that I wanted to cover for this comic.  Secret Wars 0 and Divergence.  But, we do it all for you, faithful reader!

Secret Wars 0 by Jonathan Hickman & Paul Renaud

Summary: Secret Wars 0 serves as quick recap of how we got to where we are now.  Incursions are happening.  Heroes did horrible things to try and save Earth, but things continued to get worse and worse.  The final two worlds left are 616 and the Ultimate Universe and they are heading in a collision course.  Future Foundation builds an escape ship, but as they are about to launch it, the Ultimate Universe starts a massive attack on 616 Earth.  Secret Wars has begun!

Short Review:  There was literally nothing here.  In a ten page story, we find out that Future Foundation were responsible for building a ship for 60 people to survive the incursion that was about to destroy the 616 universe.   I can’t help but think it’s kind of sad with all the big brains in the Marvel universe, this was all they could manage to save.  World’s End at least managed to build ships for a few million survivors.  I know it was a free comic...but it didn’t do anything to get me hyped for Secret Wars.  I still have a lot of skepticism about if that book is worth reading.

Score: 2/5


Divergence is three separate stand alone stories that all set up the new status quo for Batman, Superman, and the Justice League after Convergence ends.

Batman- The Rookie by Scott Snyder & Greg Capullo

Summary: This story is set two months after the events of Batman 40.  Batman and Joker seemed to have died at each other’s hands.  Gotham is without a Batman and struggling to find their identity without him.  Powers International has bought up Wayne Enterprises.  They announce that they will be honoring Batman’s name.  Former Commissioner Gordon suits up in a massive armor as the new Batman.  Though even he seems to realize this is an awful idea.

Short Review:  The stories in Divergence are all real short, but I think they did a great job teasing us on what’s next in DC.  I hated Gordon’s mohawk, but him taking over as a government sanctioned Batman should be a great change to the status quo until the real Batman makes it back.  

Score: 4/5

Superman: Exposed by Gene Luen Yang & John Romita Jr.

Summary: Clark Kent is having breakfast with Jimmy Olsen, though he is wearing a hood and trying to keep a low profile.  A big guys approaches them and asks if he’s Clark Kent.  Then he throws a food truck at them.  This guy knows that Clark is Superman!  He has a grudge from Superman arresting him years ago.  Superman is easily able to defeat him, and then runs off.  We find out that Lois Lane had revealed his secret identity in one of her stories.  Lois tracks down Clark and tries to apologize, but he turns her away.

Short Review:  I am real sorry that this story got spoiled to me about a week ago.  I think it would have been far more impactful if I didn’t already know why the big brute knew who Clark Kent was.  But this was still a very good read.  I have heard a lot of people say that Lois is a bitch for revealing this, but I have a lot of mixed feelings on that.  She’s a reporter, and this is a huge news story.  I can’t see her sitting on it.  It’s not like New-52 Lois Lane has the same connections to Superman she did in the old universe.  And it’s not like Superman has a lot of friends or family who are put in danger from this reveal.

Score: 4.5/5

Justice League - Darkseid War Prologue Two - The Other Amazon

Summary: We find out that at the same time Wonder Woman was being born, another Amazon was giving birth.  Myrina, an Amazon assassin gives birth in secret.  The other Amazons in attendance freak out, saying the gods have cursed them.  The baby is grey and has glowing red oracle says:


The dark god is Darkseid, and he is about to war with Anti-Monitor.  Myrina seems to want this war to happen, knowing it will cause some serious damage to the universe.  She names the baby Grail, Darkseid’s daughter.  We are given a bunch of teases about Darkseid War:

  • Hal Jordan will make a horrific sacrifice.
  • Batman will become a god.
  • Superman will abandon Earth.
  • Aquaman will drown.
  • Magic and science (represented by Shazam and Cyborg) will both die.
  • Miracle Man will finally be caught in a trap even he can’t escape.
  • Wonder Woman will be at the heart of all this.

Short Review:  Ever since we saw the “52” chalkboard, DC seems to love doing these big prophecy teases about what’s to come.  I have to admit, I am getting a little sick of them.  I did like this story, and I am real hyped about Darkseid War...but I definitely think we know way too much about what’s to come.  Hell, we even know that Batman seems to be coming back real soon. But Grail does look pretty cool...and at least she doesn't have a buzzcut mohawk...

Score: 3.5/5