Saturday, February 18, 2017

Convergence: Superman #1 (2015)

Convergence: Superman #1 (June, 2015)
"Superman Again"
Writer - Dan Jurgens
Art - Lee Weeks
Colorist - Brad Anderson
Lettering - Sal Cipriano
Assistant Editors - Brittany Holzherr & Michael Kraiger
Editor - Marie Javins
Cover Price: $3.99

Decided to spend another weekend in Convergence-land.  Had a pretty good time checking in with Batman and HIS Outsiders last week... figure I should revisit my absolute favorite Convergence tie-in.  I'm guessing this's anything but an unpopular opinion... but the return of the Real-Steel-Deal, was an absolute highlight of the whole endeavor.  I'd say it made the entire thing worthwhile... but what do I know?

Like I mentioned last weekend, I accidentally ordered my bundle with the lame-o Chip Kidd variants... so the cover above ain't mine.  The cover below... is.


We're in Gotham City, and a masked vigilante stalks the night.  He watches a drug transaction from atop a building overlooking an alley.  I wonder how much drugs cost "under the dome"... gotta figure demand would go up as the supply goes down, right?  Anyhoo, our man checks in with his radio-mate, Lois Lane who reminds him that he's "not him".  He tells her he's "got this" and hops down to break up the deal.  As he does, we hear a single line from THE SPEECH.

The fight gets pretty ugly quick... one of the baddies pulls out a flamethrower and nails him... luckily, we've heard THE SPEECH... which means the dome is no more, and the super-set get their powers back, because... ya see, this vigilante is Superman.  Okay, not a huge shock... but there ya go.

He makes quick work of the would-be drug lords.  He then grabs a conveniently "in Gotham" Jimmy Olsen so we can get some exposition about "dome life" out of the way before returning "home" to his... very pregnant wife, Lois Lane.  They're both happy that their baby can be born in Metropolis.

After a minute of basking in the possibility that their lives will return to normal after a powerless year in "bat town", Lois plays Clark the recording she made of THE SPEECH.  They realize that they are no longer on Earth... and it looks as though Superman might just be in for a fight before long.  He leaves Gotham and flies into the unknown.

We shift scenes to Gotham City... well, another Gotham City, can't have too many, right?  This is the Gotham from Flashpoint... and we observe as Batman (Thomas Wayne) addresses Cyborg, El (from Project: Superman), Green Lantern (Abin Sur) and Captain Thunder (Captain Marvel/Shazam).  Batman spots a "flier" heading their way, and instructs his team to "take him out".

Jimmy Olsen is meeting with Emil Hamilton, who was also, as luck would have it, in Gotham City when the dome went up.  They are at S.T.A.R. Labs, which is designed very much like the S.T.A.R. in Metropolis.  The Prof gives Jimmy a transportation device... more on that in a bit.

Superman continues his flight, but is knocked out of the sky by a blue blur... a very chatty blue blur, who rattles on about knowing that "she's alive".

Before Superman can compose himself, he is tackled by Captain Thunder.  The two enter into battle with Superman quickly getting the upper hand.  His celebration is short-lived, however, as (a conflicted) Abin Sur and Cyborg arrive on the scene.  Batman is watching, and comments that this Meta resembles Subject-1 (El).

The Flashpointers unload on Superman... all the while, Lois is in Clark's ear encouraging him to try reasoning with his attackers.  Superman promises the crew he's not there to hurt them... and they stand down, willing to hear him out.  Unfortunately, it is at this point that Jimmy Olsen arrives with his new whip... the Whiz Wagon, armed to the teeth with ballistics.

Well, the Flashpointers don't dig that... and so the fight starts up again.  We shift to Subject-1 who has arrived in the pre-Flashpoint Gotham... following the voice of the one person who was ever nice to him... Lois Lane.  Uh oh.

We rejoin Batman who is researching the "other" Gotham.  It isn't long before he realizes that this Gotham might just be the one from Barry Allen's world... the world where his son Bruce is still alive.

We wrap up at Lois and Clark's apartment... where Lois finds herself with a surprise guest... Subject-1.  I'm tellin' ya, this is one heckuva creepy scene... it's really quite excellent.

He just keeps approaching... saying he's there to take care of her... really creepy!  While this is going down, Superman is being beaten soundly by the Flashpoint heroes.


Manoman... how nice was it to read this Superman again?  Such a bittersweet book.  I mean, back in the Spring-Summer of 2015, we never would have thought that the real-steel-deal would ever come back in a permanent kinda way.  I think many of us figured that this was where we would leave him.  We'll talk more about that tomorrow...

Here we sorta kinda sidestep the SPEECH, which is a good thing.  We do get to hear it, but it's not nearly as intrusive and interrupty as it usually is.  I'm cool with devoting a few panels, rather than having our hero stare blankly at the helix dome for a few pages while Telos delivers his spiel.  It was a nice touch that the issue basically opens with a powered-Superman.

I remember when this hit, one of the common complaints was the fact that Brainiac seems to need a countless amount of Gotham Cities... it really stinks that this Superman issue didn't get to take place in Metropolis.  Instead, we needed to excuse Lois, Jimmy, and even Emil Hamilton all being in Gotham during Dome Day... and somehow Batman not also being there.  Seems silly... I mean, I get it... Gotham's "cool", but c'mon.  Also, I didn't realize that the S.T.A.R. Labs building in Gotham is identical to the one in Metropolis... oh well.

The Flashpoint League, from yet another Gotham... eh, I can take them or leave them.  I think I associate them too much with the end of my DCU, that I have a real hard time accepting or caring about them.  That being said, I did like Thomas Wayne's callback to being visited by the Flash during the Flashpoint event proper.  I wasn't expecting that.  

Also, El from Project: Superman... that's a scary dude.  He was used perfectly here, and really brings with him a true sense of danger.  It can't be stated enough... the ending scene here was extremely creepy and very well done.  This was one of the very few Convergence tie-ins where I was actually engaged and looking forward to the conclusion.  Most of the rest were, sadly, just time-wasting fight scenes... this, however, was pretty damn riveting.  Especially with the idea that we were "saying goodbye" to these heroes... nothing was really off the table.  Not saying Lois would die... but, we had to wonder just how far Superman would go in order to protect his wife and unborn child.  Great stuff.

Overall... this is my favorite Convergence tie-in, and I'd bet many longtime DC Comics fans feel the same way.  If you're currently reading the Superman books, and you haven't read this yet... you should.  This two-part tale takes us into Superman: Lois and Clark... which takes us right into the current Rebirth landscape.  The story of Jon starts here... well, actually next issue... but you may as well read this one first.


(Instead of the) Letters Page:


Variant Cover:


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