Hey, Bulleteers! Welcome to another Four-Color Bullet, one of a thousand comic book review columns trapped in a dome on a far off world, and forced to fight other comic book review columns to see which one survives. Bet on this one.
Anyhoo, let’s get to our first book on the list. Actually, I’ll be reviewing the first two issues of DC’s Convergence and a couple of the ancillary titles I checked out.
As readers of this column know, I am not a fan of DC’s New 52 universe and I am not ashamed of it. DC had a good thing going prior to Flashpoint, and the next day we all woke up and DC had changed. I gave it a year but I couldn’t grab hold of the concept. Things change. That’s true in real life, and in comic book universes. Things get stagnant. But in my humble opinion, the New 52 was not the way. DC was doing great things with their concept of legacy. How the heroes of the past influenced the heroes of the present. How the heroes of the present influenced the heroes of the future. Geoff Johns had single-handedly fixed the Hawkman problem. Fixed the Green Lantern Corps. Brought us Blackest Night and Brightest Day. At that point, DC was my universe. I wasn’t a Marvelite.
Then came the sudden change. Like I said, I gave it a year. I did like a couple of things. I liked what they did with Firestorm, and Batman’s book was pretty good. But criticism came, as much for as against.
Which brings us to Convergence, a two-month, nine issue event that replaces DC’s regular titles while the company moves its offices from New York City to sunny California. DC has promised that the event will not change current continuity.
The premise is this: stemming from Futures’ End, Earth 2, Multiversity, and events in Superman’s book, Brainiac has stolen whole cities across time and space of the multiverse, putting them on a world where they will do battle. The pre-New 52 universe is also alive and well. The last city standing becomes the new, primary universe. Pre-Flashpoint DC is represented, as is Zero Hour, Crisis on Infinite Earths, the Tangent Universe, the Kingdom Come universe, Captain Carrot and the Zoo Crew’s universe, and others.
The story so far centers around a handful of surviving heroes of Earth-2, who are transported to the planet. When they arrive without a city,they are outcast and pretty much left to fend for themselves while the other captive cities are forced to do battle. The Earth 2 heroes have now taken it upon themselves to free everyone from Brainiac’s grip.
All in all, I think this is pretty exciting stuff and I have to say I really enjoyed it. It was good to see characters from other places in DC history where I was a fan. Jeff King and Scott Lobdell have the daunting task of writing this tale, with Carlo Pagulayan on the art, and it’s off to a good start. Yeah, sure, it’s another last-man-standing, fight-to-the-death story, but you knew that coming into it.
In addition to the main story, Convergence will also feature two-part tie-ins starring characters from the other eras of DC history. I read the pre-Flashpoint Batgirl tie-in with Stephanie Brown and Cassandra Cain, and the Justice League International tie-in, and both of those were really good. It was good seeing the return of what I call the “sitcom Justice League”, and one of my favorite incarnations of the team. We can expect a tie-in of the New Teen Titans from the Crisis on Infinite Earths era next week.
One of the things I didn’t like was the fact that the main story so far relies heavily on the Earth-2 heroes from the Earth-2 series. If you’re a fan of that series, it’ll be okay. But if you’re like me and never read it, you’ll be a little lost not knowing the cast, and you may have to do some quick research,
Bottom line on this one: the main story is compelling, if nothing else to see what DC does at the end of it. But the real fun is in the tie-ins, and revisiting all of the characters we thought we’d lost.
I’m a newcomer to the Valiant Universe. Harbinger and X-O Man-O-War are my favorites and I’m still catching up on those and some others. So when a new first issue of a new Bloodshot series came out, I knew I had to read and review it. I had never read Bloodshot before, so when I picked up Bloodshot Reborn #1, I expected to be a little lost. It didn’t happen. Writer Jeff Lemire expertly crafted a tale of the rebirth of a nanite-powered assassin, and got me up to speed without a lot of clunky exposition, while at the same time introducing me to the new status quo of the man called Bloodshot. And Mico Suayan’s art made it visually easy to follow. This is why Valiant is becoming a force to be reckoned with in the comics industry. Well crafted stories and a cohesive universe that isn’t ruled or manipulated by corporate overlords. Will that change when Valiant starts getting some films off the ground? Maybe. But right now, Valiant comics, and Bloodshot Reborn, are too good to be ignored.
And that will do it for 4CB for this week. Thanks for checking in. If you wish to talk comics, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on the Krypton Radio facebook page. Or even my facebook page, Michael Brown, Nerd Newshound. And we’re all on Twitter, too, so you have no excuse to not not get your fill of Krypton Radio. Accept no substitutes.
Until next week, keep those pull lists empty.
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