Convergence: Batgirl #2 “The Love Song of Stephanie Brown” Part 2
Written by Alisa Kwitney
Pencils by Rick Leonardi
Inks by Mark Pennington
Colors by Steve Buccellato
Well this was a step down compared to the previous issue… I literally started reading this issue, stopped in the middle of it, and pulled up my last article to see if the creative team had changed because it looked and felt so different… That’s typically not a good sign…
We’re back on Telos with Stephanie, Tim, and Cassandra. Last month, Stephanie was chosen as the champion to fight for the survival of her world, but thankfully, Tim and Cassie were transported with her. During the year that they were under the dome, Stephanie had given up the mantle of Batgirl and started living a normal life – a decision she’s proud of and stands behind. But now that decision is the very thing that’s fueling her with doubt, especially after learning that her opponent, Catman, has inadvertently brought an unwanted guest with him to the fight – Gorilla Grodd.
The entire first issue was mostly exposition and set-up: what life has been like under the dome, a reintroduction to our characters, and an introduction into the conflict. Because the first issue set up so much of what was to come, I had hoped that this issue would jump right into the confrontation and cover a fast, furious battle until the winner was declared… And although the book attempts to do this, it falls drastically short.
A chunk of the book focuses on Catman, his time under the dome, and an explanation as to how Gorilla Grodd came to be with the group for their battle. I don’t want to say that this plot was bad, but it wasn’t great. And despite the fact that this information is relevant, it wasn’t needed. Since this is just a two issue arc, I don’t want more narrative added to the story at/past the halfway point, I want the story to wrap up… Unfortunately, the creative team does a terrible job of doing this, and to be frank, the ending is whack! Yes, I said “whack.”
We’re treated to an interesting conflict involving a nice mix of characters, with a slight twist involved at the realization that their biggest threat for either world isn’t found either of the champions, but another character altogether. As enticing as that may sound, everything about this issue feels wrong. The characters feel off, their motivations are misguided, and the resolve to the conflict is so unbelievable that it made me irritable. Nearly everything in this issue felt forced, contrived, and completely uninspired.
The saving grace of the previous issue (the characters and their characterizations) is mostly void here as well. There were attempts bring these people we know and love to life, but the execution wasn’t there. The characters felt like imposters. And on top of it, Tim and Steph would talk about their relationship at awkward times, but it was weird instead of funny. I’m sure every one of you has that friend that’s in a relationship, and every time you spend time with them as a couple, you wonder why you put yourself through that misery… That’s essentially how this issue came across.
Once you start mixing the battle that’s taking place, Catman’s exposition, the relationship drama, poor characterization, and terrible art (which I’ll get to in a minute), you’re left with one mess of a book! And to top it off, the execution itself is terrible. This issue really is like that relationship I just referenced! Rushed and messy.
Be warned, there are spoilers beyond this point.
The Art: I wasn’t crazy about the art last month, but Mr. Leonardi’s work looks even worse this time around! I joked about this book being “rushed and messy,” but I’m beginning to feel like that was actually the case. I didn’t expect anything from the art, and I still found myself disappointed. No bueno!
Check out the spoiler tag for a sample of some of the internal art.
The Good: Red Rum Timmy. I appreciated that the creative team attempted to make an interesting twist by having Grodd take control of Tim and turn him against his friends, but it was so bogged down by randomness that it was lost in the melting pot of issues. Don’t get me wrong, I totally saw this coming, but it was still one of the better aspects of the book.
The Bad: Catman. If you know me, then you know I’m a fan of Catman. That being said, he pretty much ruined everything about this issue. He was written poorly. The focus on his backstory killed the momentum of the fight. And the way he just gave up to let Stephanie win the fight was cheap.
Tim & Steph. I’ve had my fair share of weird relationships thanks to Kate Kane and Nocturna, so I could’ve done without this teen love/hate fest. And then the fact that this issue ended with the two of them all lovey-dovey together… I mean, come on! I’m not anti-love. If anything, I’m a hopeless romantic at heart, just give me something realistic.
- You’re determined to read all of Convergence and it’s tie-ins.
- You’ve missed seeing Cassandra on a regular basis.
Overall: Convergence Batgirl #2 loses a lot of the aspects that made its first half enjoyable and pleasant. What we’re left with is a shallow story that felt rushed, uninspired, and a waste of time.