Convergence: Green Lantern/Parallax #2

Now for the final issue of this week. I thought this one was the best issue of Week 2 last month, so I have high hope for it.

Last time, Parallax attacked the city of Electropolis after they assaulted Kyle Rayner. Kyle wakes up in this issue and naturally tries to stop Parallax. Sadly, Princess Fern is an idiot and keeps trying to attack Kyle and Hal, when Kyle almost gets Hal back from Parallax. Now this issue shows what a good guy will do when they are pushed too far. Parallax still wants to help Kyle, which is a good motivation that I’ve never gotten from him. The art in this one is still very bright and colorful, which really highlights the darkness lying beneath the characters. Not to spoil the ending, but it sets up one of the characters as important to the main Convergence story. This issue lives up to the last one and actually shows the strength of Parallax, and why he was such a big threat back then.

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Convergence: Justice League International #2

Now for the next issue, the Justice League International finale. They should have renamed this one to “Convergence; Blue Beetle” because he’s the only one to get any focus. That was my main problem with last issue, and they upped that this time.

Last time the Kingdom Come heroes arrived and prepared to fight. Now it’s a fight between the underdogs and the combat hardened heroes. I wish I could say that but there is no fight in this issue. The two teams charge at each other, then we cut to Ted and the Kingdom Come Blue Beetle meeting up. Neither want to fight, so they run off to find Telos. This is a great sequence, where both Beetles try to make jokes but the other already knows the punchline. They fail to find Telos and return to the battleground, where the JLI have all been defeated. Yeah, they are all defeated off panel which makes the scene where they get their powers back useless. Also the solicit mentioned how we might never see Martian Manhunter or Ted again but I don’t think Martian Manhunter even speaks in this issue. I only give points to this issue for it’s ending, but even that feels like pandering by Ron Marz. I’d skip over these two, which is sad because the cover art is some of the best of the event.

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Convergence: Aquaman #2

Now that Convergence is winding down, let’s finish these tie-ins. I thought the last month’s issues were pretty good and I hope that these continue the trend.

Last time we learned about why Aquaman is stuck in Metropolis and who his opponent is, Deathblow. Deathblow had acquired some classified info on Aquaman and they’re fighting in S.T.A.R Labs. This entire issue is spent on their fight, and it is better for it. Aquaman shows his tactical genius, while Deathblow just shoots at him and everyone in the area. There’s not much in the way of twists or surprises, but the way the battle plays out is fun to read. The art has improved from last time so everything isn’t stiff or unnatural looking. It’s a marked improvement over last time, which was a good issue but mostly just set up this battle. The best part of last issue was Deathblow’s short appearance and he carries this on throughout this comic, making quips and being a genuine threat to Aquaman. I recommend these two issues as they show what match ups we can see in Convergence.

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Justice

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“Justice” is a 2005-2007, 12-issue series written and drawn by Alex Ross, with help by Jim Krueger and Doug Braithwaite. Justice is basically a return of the “Super Friends” cartoon in comic book form. It stars the Justice League of America in a modern take on their Silver Age incarnations. Making appearances are other Silver Age teams like the Doom Patrol, the Teen Titans, and the Metal Men. The book also takes place outside of the DC canon, but is not listed as an Elseworld story.

The plot begins with a group of DC villains sharing a dream of nuclear destruction that was not prevented by the JLA. These villains start to do good deeds, Poison Ivy solves world hunger, Captain Cold creates oases out of deserts, to discredit the JLA. The villains’s true natures are revealed when they kidnap Aquaman, steal his son, and operate on him. Some heroes are attacked including Red Tornado, Green Arrow, and The Atom while others are mind controlled by Brainiac and Gorilla Grodd. From here out it’s a great story of the heroes fighting against their greatest enemies, but with a huge disadvantage on their side thanks to the enemy team up and their new knowledge of the heroes.

This is one the greatest Justice League stories I’ve ever read. This book raises the bar and shows how much the villains of the DCU can actually do if they team up. To that end the JLA has to team up with the world’s other great heroes to combat this threat. The art is beautiful, which is standard in an Alex Ross book, but Ross proves that he can also write smart and witty dialogue. Plastic Man steals the show, with him transforming into things like a lawnmower, a blimp, a chair, and even Captain Marvel while he is also arguing with Elongated Man over who gets to be the strechy guy of the team. So for showcasing an amazing story of evil vs good and for looking amazing while doing it (for keeping this going for 2 years that is quite an accomplishment) this book gets the “Vintage” rating.

Rating: Vintage

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April Comics Ranking

Time for part two of April’s comic rankings.

#10-9

#10- “Convergence: Justice League of America #1”

Pros:  Nice to see Ralph and Sue together again, best villain introduction of the event

Cons: Spends too long introducing characters, basically nothing happens until the end, muddy art

#9. “Green Lantern 23.4”

Pros: Great origin story, Sinestro is still a great villain

Cons: Hard to read with the layout, doesn’t explain why Sinestro has so much will

#8-7

#8. “Convergence: Aquaman #1”

Pros: When he arrives Deathblow is cool, Aquaman has the respect he deserves

Cons: Stilted art, spends too long introducing the villain

#7. “Convergence: Justice League International #1”

Pros: Good fight scene, Ted is a funny guy, nice setup for the next issue

Cons: Doesn’t focus on the other members much

#6-5.1

#6. “Convergence: Shazam #1”

Pros: Replicates Golden Age art, the battle against the Monster Society is really good

Cons: The dome doesn’t come down

#5. “Convergence: Batman and the Outsiders #1”

Pros: Gives equal focus to the team, colorful and bright art, very emotional scenes

Cons: I have a hard time buying that Batman can’t bring down the dome in a year

#4-3.1

#4. “Convergence: Green Lantern/Parallax #1”

Pros: Bright art, delivers exposition very well, the fight kicks off quickly

Cons: Princess Fern is such a ridiculous villain even Parallax makes fun of the idea

#3. “Convergence: Green Lantern Corps #1”

Pros: Goes deep into Guy’s psyche, unique art style, great to see John and Guy interact

Cons: Ending scene doesn’t make much sense

2.2

#2. “Convergence: Booster Gold #1”

Pros: Very quick moving story, explains a lot about the event, they recognize all the things Booster has done for the DCU

Cons: There’s a lot of dialogue, but it is well written

And the winner is…

Winner

#1. “Convergence: Blue Beetle #1”

Pros: Focuses equally on the three heroes, funny jokes throughout, first glimpse of Telos, explores more about the dome

Cons: The other city isn’t shown

And that’s the end for April. Hopefully the second issue of these are better or just as great in some cases.

April Graphic Novel Ranking

This was a busy month what with the Convergence event going on. Because of the amount of single issues I reviewed, I will be splitting up the Graphic Novels and the single issues. This will be carrying on into the future, as it is unfair to compare novels to a single comic. With that out of the way, let’s begin the April ratings.

#6-5

#6- “Marvel Zombies 5”

Rating: Rubbish

Pros: Machine Man is still great, The War of the World’s setting

Cons: Bad art, horrible ending, boring throughout

#5- “Marvel Zombies 2”

Rating: Buy for a bargain

Pros; Good jokes, more character development, great art

Cons: Wasted new characters, unsatisfying ending, retreads the first one too much

#4-3

#4. “Marvel Zombies 4”

Rating: Buy for a bargain

Pros: Deadpool is funny, more original story, Man-Thing’s appearance

Cons: Dormammu comes out of nowhere, art is nothing special, leads to Marvel Zombies 5

#3. “Batman and Robin: Batman Reborn”

Rating: Full Price

Pros: Alfred and Dick’s great dialogue, funny scenes, creepy villains

Cons: Jason Todd is lame, art is spotty at points

#2

#2. “Marvel Zombies 3”

Rating: Vintage

Pros: Machine Man is hilarious, great action scenes, Aaron and Jocasta’s relationship and struggle throughout

Cons: Kind of gory for my taste

And the winner is….

#1

#1. “The Sinestro Corps War”

Rating: Vintage

Pros: Return of an amazing villain, the best fight scene I’ve ever seen, every time the oath is said it is cool, the character’s are all top notch and well rounded

Cons: The art shifts are a little distracting

And that’s the end for the Graphic Novels. Next time I’ll be covering the single issues.