Review by Frank Plowright
This second dose of Convergence: Flashpoint follows the pattern of the first, looking at cities housing DC’s superheroes as they were in the 21st century’s first decade, here trapped under domes, the superheroes without powers as the story begins. They’re subsequently told they’ll have to fight the heroes of another dome to the death. Each hero, or team, stars in a two chapter story.
The plain wackiest Convergence tie-in is found in Convergence: Zero Hour, but running it a close second is Tom Peyer and Steve Yeowell’s opening Atom story featuring a severely unstable Ray Palmer hearing a voice in his head, unable to shrink, yet capable of generating a giant hand on a stretchy arm. Peyer disguises the core of the plot well, constantly fools readers and makes sense of everything by the end. Yeowell is Yeowell. He’s always good.
Tony Bedard also does what no-one else does, and has Flash take a tour of the assorted cities trapped in Convergence, as seen in Tom Grummett’s sample art. Due to the nature of who eventually helps Flash, Grummett needs to be extremely adaptable, and as ridiculous as the concept is, Grummett makes it credible. This is a solid piece.
It seems as if the Teen Titans spotlight is going to pass by as ordinary and ordinary looking until Fabian Nicieza drops one hell of an ethical temptation, Roy’s Choice, if you will. The way that plays out sustains the tension, but a more empathic artist than Ron Wagner would have improved it.
Assorted versions of the Extremists feature throughout, relatively obscure choices of villains to feature so often, but in all but Nicieza’s case they’re basically cannon fodder while other issues are sorted out. In Gotham that’s Damian Wayne, now Robin, taking the huff at the reappearance of Jason Todd, formerly Robin. Ron Marz giving Damian the childish reactions of the child he is would usually make sense, were it not that he’s characterised completely differently everywhere else. Even art from Denys Cowan can’t elevate this beyond ordinary.
This collection ends almost as strangely as it began. If you could have one person fighting to preserve your existence, would you want it to be Harley Quinn? That’s what Steve Pugh supplies, unusually writing and leaving the drawing to Phil Winslade. As with the Flash piece, it’s a wacky mixing of worlds, with Harley already there anyway, and channelling those great Chuck Jones animations. The results don’t quite match Jones’ inventive lunacy, but it’s fast moving and funny.
Two good and funny, two not so good and one in the middle make this an average selection of stories, not matching the first Convergence: Flashpoint collection. Related pairs of graphic novels are titled Convergence: Crisis, Convergence: Infinite Earths, and Convergence: Zero Hour.