Woo! Goodbye, Convergence, you sweaty, gross mess of a final chapter. Want to cleanse your palette of the book that made the Wonders of Earth 2 utterly useless during their moment to shine? (As the resident Earth 2 reviewer, this whole cross-over event has left me just a little sour) Or for those of you, like me, who just wrapped up finals week, need to get the unnecessary mountain of stress and looming student debt off your mind? Detective Comics #2 might just be the thing to do it.
Last month we met Robin and Huntress of Earth-2. Not the Earth 2 that was, you know, eaten by Apokolips, but the first Earth-2 from way back when. Trapped under the dome they continued to battle the villains of Gotham, unaffected by the barrier’s power-sapping abilities. There was also the Red Sun Superman, trying to keep his beloved Moscow calm after losing his powers. Forced to fight each other, Soviet Superman rallied for peaceful talks to end the conflict while Helena, well…shot rockets at him and tried to kill herself and the Kryptonian by blowing up the Batmobile. Yeah. Not an easy day for Dick Grayson. All of this is explained, helpfully, by a two-page recap of the previous issue’s events, allowing those who didn’t read last month’s book the ability to just dive into the action.
By the way, that cover is awesome! I’d pin that up any day of the week. It’s not even a spoiler by looking at that cover, but before Superman can corner Dick and Helena, the pair are rescued by Soviet Batman, who is as resourceful and skilled as any of his multiversal counterparts. He brings them to his compound in the Russian slums and there is a very poignant moment when Dick asks him why he fights. “If you mean taunting the Superman, I do it because someone has to. The world needs a Batman to balance the overwhelming threat of an all-powerful being ruling the world.” There must always be a human champion to stand a chance against the unending line of gods, aliens, and monsters that come to Earth. Also, that word choice: “taunting.” As if he knows that he is not able to do any real harm to Superman, but that his mere existence is a complication that Superman cannot just simply fix. It is a reminder that there are humans out there who will always rise up against the immortals and provide victories, regardless of how insignificant they may seem.
If there is one thing this issue does well, it’s show off the sheer dominance of Superman and just how ineffectual everything the Earth-2 duo are in combat against him. Tactically, they are smarter and would probably win easily were it not for that whole superpower thing. He barely blinks as Dick and Helena unleash their entire arsenal of weapons on him. It’s not often we see Superman fight against humans that aren’t using some kind of cheat code like Luthor’s battle suit, but it’s both humorous and terrifying.
It’s been a good few weeks for artwork with the Convergence titles. The grainy penciling and heavy shading that filled the Moscow undercity were done exceptionally well by Bill Sienkiewicz, Denys Cowan, and Felix Serrano. All throughout the fireside scene with Batman I felt immersed and connected with the setting in a way that most books never manage to do. Many of the close-up facial expressions were well done, if not monochromatic, and the tense moments of action felt alive as the pair from Earth-2 tried to face their clearly superior opponent. This ranks up there with other titles like Shazam and Crime Syndicate that managed to capture both the atmosphere of the moment and of the characters themselves.
Like a number of Convergence titles I’ve picked up over the last two months, Detective Comics ends with a rather vague and unexplained ending. There is a definite winner, with one timeline being supposedly erased, but the details about why that particular world lost was left up in the air. If there’s one thing that’s troubled me about the resolutions in these Convergence titles, it would be that many seem completely arbitrary. There are some titles, like Batman & the Outsiders, where there is a clear winner and loser. Then there are those that are in the vein of The Question, where one side wins, but no one really knows why. And as much as I loved it, Nightwing/Oracle had one of the weirdest resolutions of any of them. Dick and Babs initiate the peace talks, presumably saving the Thanagarians, but we see in other books that those worlds that break the rules and make peace are destroyed. It was as if no consistent rules had been established, but seeing as how this Convergence thing has been quite the dud, I’m not surprised.
- So Red Sun Superman continues to press Dick and Helena to make peace, but following Soviet Batman’s counsel, they use the Kryptonite to weaken their enemy. As Superman is dying – having never been exposed to Kryptonite before – Dick throws it away, unable to kill him. After this, they agree to the peace that Superman had been lobbying for. But before they can go much further, the world starts breaking down and Dick and Helena are sent back to the Earth-2 Gotham. It is presumed that Moscow has been destroyed, but there is no voice in the sky to explain why. If I had to guess, it would be that Superman failed to live up to Telos’ expectations of fighting and “broke the rules” by searching for peace.
- In cooler news, Dick takes up the mantle of Batman, and he really should have done it sooner. The Earth-2 Batsuit looks pretty awesome with the stylized chest emblem. It’s way better than that Frankenstein outfit Dick had been wearing. Good for him.
Favorite Quote: “For defying the state, I have been the country’s most wanted fugitive for as long as I can remember. And of that, I could not be more proud.” – Red Sun Batman
- You’re a fan of the Red Sun
- You want to see more of the Robin/Huntress team-up.
- You want a surprisingly deep book with solid artwork.
Overall: This book was certainly a surprise. After an otherwise stellarentry into the Convergence catalogue, this issue comes packed with action, emotion, and some of the few moments I will remember from this whole event. While the ending is lackluster and vague in its execution, I would still recommend this book to anyone following the Convergence story.