Convergence: Shazam #1

And now for the final issue of Convergence week 4. It’s ironic that my top three heroes have their Convergence tie-ins in the same week. This issue is brought to us by Jeff Parker with art by Evan Shaner.

This issue takes place in Captain Marvel’s home city of Fawcett City. Billy and the Marvel Family can’t transform so they try to use their radio show to calm the people of the city down. The Marvels also deal with the Monster Society of Evil. Without their powers how will they deal with this threat?

Final Thoughts: This is a great piece of Golden Age nostalgia. The familial ties that I mentioned about Captain Marvel are still here, which is always a highlight. I was a little lost because some of these characters I have never heard of, but a little research helped clear that up. The fight scene against the Monster Society is one of the best in Convergence and I wish it had lasted longer. Also Tawky makes a hero’s arrival and it is amazing.


Convergence: Booster Gold #1

It’s time for my most anticipated issue of the Convergence event. It’s Booster Gold time. Our writer is none other than Booster’s creator, Dan Jurgens. Our artists are Alvaro Martinez and Danny Miki.

We begin where New 52 Booster is being tortured by Brainiac to reveal the location of Vanishing Point. Rip Hunter arrives to save the New 52 Booster so he can help find Pre-52 Booster and his sister. Turns out that all time travelers have been kidnapped by either Telos or Brainiac. Once Pre-52 Booster is freed, many twists and turns come out which I won’t spoil.

Final Thoughts: This is the most densely packed issue I’ve read so far. It feels like important things are happening at all times. It’s nice to see Skeets return and he and Booster keep up their original dynamic that worked. The art is pretty dark and gloomy, but this book sets up that tone. The only downside is a mention of the Kardashians, which means I have to accept the Kardashians exist in the DC Universe.


Convergence: Blue Beetle #1

And now for the final week of Convergence for this month. This week’s theme is Pre-Crisis Multiverse. We begin with Blue Beetle, which takes place on Earth 4. Brought to us by writer Scott Lobdell (Something which almost made me not get this one) and artist Yishan Li.

Despite the title, Blue Beetle shares equal page time with the Question and Captain Atom. Atom is combating an army of Madmen while the Question challenges his use of military force. Ted comes in as he prepares to blast the dome open.

Final Thoughts: I kept the description short, because this is the one I want to spoil the least amount of. A lot happens in this issue including the first time that I’ve seen Telos’s physical body. The actually enemy of the city doesn’t appear but battles still take place in Hub City. A villain named Dr. Spectro even makes a joke that sounds like it was about the Batgirl #40 variant cover with the Joker. Speaking of jokes this issue is very funny which is to be expected of Blue Beetle. I highly recommend this as it doesn’t follow the formula and is enjoyable. The art is also very good.


Convergence: Green Lantern Corps #1

For the final tie-in of this delayed Week 3 review, we have Green Lantern Corps. Brought to us by David Gallaher with art by Ande Parks and Steve Ellis.

This book stars Guy Gardner during the time he was still a Green Lantern. He is at a therapist telling her about a panic attack he had when a kid he was coaching mentioned Sinestro. The therapist recommends meeting with the other Green Lanterns. Guy is hesitant because Hal took Carol from him while he was trapped in the Phantom Zone by Zod and Sinestro. He meets with John who tells him where Hal is. They fight until Telos speaks, but we don’t see who Guy has to fight.

Final Thoughts: This was another great tie-in. Guy is the most interesting Lantern and this takes place during the height of all of the tragedies he has to endure. John’s appearance is welcome, but I wish we got to see him return to being a Green Lantern. The art is cartoonish, like the period this took place in. I would recommend this to all Green Lantern/Guy Gardner fans.


Convergence: Batman and the Outsiders #1

Now for another team book, but this one gets it right. Brought to us by Marc Andreyko with art by Carlos D’anda.This tie-in focuses on Batman and his old team, the Outsiders.

Unlike last time there is no narrator here, just a shift between the different Outsiders and how they are dealing with the year under the dome. The only really happy one is Metamorpho, who’s reverted back to his original appearance and is with his girlfriend. Once the dome falls, the enemy is revealed to be OMAC.

Final Thoughts: This was a really good issue, if predictable. The focus on each character and how they are interacting with other people is the highlight and what sets this apart. D’anda’s art really fits the mood, with bright colors to match the flashy powers. I actually learned about the Outsiders, and am interested in them which the Justice League America didn’t manage to do.


Convergence: Justice League of America #1

A week late, but we’re back. This week’s theme is heroes from Crisis on Infinite Earths.For week three of Convergence I picked up three books like last time. We’ll start with Justice League America by Fabien Nicieza and ChrisCross. From here on out, I will no longer be making reviews with spoilers, especially for these newer books.

This book stars the Detroit Justice League, and follows the same formula as the other Convergence tie-ins. We see what’s going on in the dome, the dome comes down, and the enemy appears. This issue however, is narrated by Sue Dibney who provides colorful commentary. This sadly leaves a lot of character development absent, and we are just told about who the League members are instead of seeing them in action. It is nice to see Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, and Zatanna as the Big 3 in this world. The enemy this time is the Tangent Universe’s Secret Six, who showcase themselves better in a few pages than the heroes do through the whole issue.

Final Thoughts: I’d skip out on this one. There is some tongue-in-check comedy that is characteristic of the period this takes place, but it falls flat to me. Most jokes are about Vibe, but that’s low hanging fruit. The formula has gotten old at this point, and the next 2 comics could benefit from not using it. It is good to see Ralph and Sue together again after all the horrible things that happened to them, but it reminds me that they aren’t in the New 52.


#1. Booster Gold

Let it be known that I am predictable. I just had to go for the gold, though (Thanks for the joke, Harrison.)

Origin: Born in the 25th century, Micheal Carter was a professional football player at Gotham University. His dad convinced him to throw games to pay for Micheal’s mother’s operation. Micheal is caught cheating and becomes a disgrace, having to work as a night watchmen at a superhero museum. He stole a Legion Flight Ring, Brainiac 5’s force field belt, and Skeets a security robot and went back in time in Rip Hunter’s time machine. There he saved Ronald Reagan’s life, and accidentally gained the name Booster Gold, a mix of his nickname “Booster” and Goldstar, his planned hero name.

Life: Booster’s life is defined by the tragedies he suffered. He starts off looking for fame and endorsements, but when his sister comes back and time and is killed, he is humbled. He joins the Justice League International, where he becomes best friends with Blue Beetle. After Ted’s death Booster recruits Jaime to be the new Blue Beetle to shut down Brother Eye. Booster goes on to save the multiverse in 52, and then is in charge of fixing holes in time. During Blackest Night, Booster has to kill a Black Lantern Ted Kord. During Brightest Day, Booster has to deal with a revived Maxwell Lord.

Why he’s on the list: Do I need to even explain at this point? He’s Booster Gold, “The World’s Greatest Hero you’ve never heard of.” He saved the entire multiverse from Mr. Mind and continued on to save Superman, Green Lantern, the Flash and a myriad of other heroes. But he isn’t perfect and still tries to defy the laws of time to bring back Ted, a defining character moment. He has the highest amount of guilt placed on him when bad things happen, such as Ralph blaming him for Sue’s death. In the end, good things still happen to him and he continues to fight crime with his son, Rip Hunter.

Recommended Reading: Booster Gold (Vol. 2), Showcase Presents: Booster Gold, 52


#2. Blue Beetle

We’re almost finished with a character who’s life was sadly finished, Ted Kord.

Origin: Ted Kord was the apprentice of Dan Garrett, the original Blue Beetle. Dan was killed by Ted’s uncle Jarvis, so Ted took it upon himself to carry on his legacy. He however, couldn’t access the same magic scarab that Dan did, and had to use his brain and gadgets to fight crime. He fought crime in his home city of Chicago, where his own company Kord Industries was based.

Life: Ted is most well known for joining the Justice League International, where he met his best friend Booster Gold. They were known as the “Blue and Gold” and were the funny guys of the team. After he left the team he fell into obscurity, being in comics like LAW and Extreme Justice. He made some cameos in the Birds of Prey series where he and Barbara Gordon had crushes on each other. Then Countdown to Infinite Crisis happened. After discovering Maxwell Lord’s plan to take over the world, Ted is shot in the head and killed. His death shocked the world, mostly Booster Gold who couldn’t even speak at his funeral.

Why he’s on the list: If you’ve noticed a trend here it is that I enjoy the lighter side to comics. People like Ted are the reason why. His genius level intellect and quips make him the perfect answer to Marvel’s Spider-Man. Even after his death, Ted still makes appearances in Booster Gold. Carrying on his legacy is Jaime Reyes, who actually can use the Blue Beetle scarab. His crowning moments are the “One punch” meme and stealing Martian Manhunter’s Oreos.

Recommended Reading: Blue Beetle (Vol. 2), Justice League International, Countdown to Infinite Crisis.


#3. Shazam/Captain Marvel

Ugh, the name change makes writing this one a little bit of a problem. I’ll just stick with Captain Marvel for the rest of it.

Origin: Young Billy Batson was chosen by the wizard Shazam to be his champion for his pure heart. By saying the name “Shazam” Billy transforms into the adult superhero Captain Marvel. The word Shazam represents the six gods that he derives power from. Billy’s friend Freddy also gains the powers of Shazam becoming Captain Marvel Jr. Freddy’s sister Mary also gains the powers, calling herself Mary Marvel.

Life: Being one of the oldest comic characters, a lot of history and retcons have been made to Captain Marvel. Sometimes he’s been depicted as two different people. At other times it is just Billy’s body growing up. Billy often clashes with Dr. Sivana an insane scientist, making a magic vs technology duel. His biggest rival is Black Adam, the original champion of Shazam. In the New 52, Billy becomes Shazam and his new adopted family can share his powers.

Why he’s on the list: No matter what he’s called, Billy is still one of the strongest superheroes. Going by the name “The World’s Mightiest Mortal,” he frequently is compared to Superman. Him being a magic superhero causes many clashes between the two in Elseworlds. Billy’s cheery attitude is one of the defining traits of his character and series. There’s also a sense of family between him and the other Marvels. One last thing, they have a tiger butler named Tawky.

Recommended Reading: The Trials of Shazam, Superman/Shazam: First Thunder, Shazam (New 52)


#4. Aquaman

I think I’m putting him on here as an apology to his creators (God rest their souls) for all the jokes about Aquaman. The following is his New 52 origin, as it is much clearer to me.

Origin: Arthur Curry is the half-human, half-Atlantean son of Tom Curry and Atlanna, queen of Atlantis. His Atlantean origins give him super powers like enhanced senses and strength, and telepathy with marine life. He ruled Alantis for some time, but the Atlanteans never treated him with respect. Him and his love Mera go to the surface to live free from Atlantis. There they struggle with the Earth’s customs and ways. And both of their shady pasts come to life to try and tear them apart.

Life: Early in his life Aquaman led a team called “The Others” who all used Atlantean artifacts. Aquaman’s dad is killed soon after Aquaman is discovered by scientists looking to get his DNA. The killer turned out to be Black Manta, who Aquaman goes to kill in revenge. He goes out to a boat and strangles the first black man he sees, but it turns out it was Manta’s dad. From then on, they were seeking each other out. When a member of the Others is killed, Aquaman gets the team back together to fight back against Manta.

Why he’s on the list: I hope by now everyone has realized Aquaman is no joke. He was a founding member of the Justice League, who displayed his strength by commanding sharks to eat Parademons. He has enough strength to break a tree with his bare hands. He carries an Atlantean trident which further enhances his strength. He wears scale armor, and has enough durability to bounce bullets off of his body. He is also a key element to the Brightest Day, becoming a water elemental.

Recommended Reading: Aquaman (Vol, 1), Aquaman (Vol. 2), Justice League (Vol. 3)