Sunday, February 26, 2017

Convergence: Titans #2 (2015)


Convergence: Titans #2 (July, 2015)
"Try for Justice, Part Two"
Writer - Fabian Nicieza
Penciller - Ron Wagner
Inker - Jose Marzan, Jr.
Colorist - Chris Sotomayor
Letterer - Carlos M. Mangual
Assistant Editors - Brittany Holzherr & Michael Kraiger
Editor - Marie Javins
Cover Price: $3.99

Fans of professional wrestling know all about "the swerve".  It's when something goes the way it shouldn't... ya know, they "pull a fast one" on the audience.  If done sparingly, it works great insofar as building drama... or paying off on it.  When it's done with regularity... it kinda loses it's oomph.  You're no longer surprised when friends turn on each other, or foes decide to team up... it's just something that happens, you groan and move on.

Why in the world am I saying this?  Well, read on...

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Picking up where we left off... Roy Harper just murdered his two teammates.  Oh wait, no he didn't... he shot two structural support beams on either side of him.  This kinda makes the wincing "I'm making the hardest decision of my life" look on his face from last issue seem a bit silly, don't it?  The beams topple over as he fires an arrow past Dreamslayer.  Now, here's where we get one of my most irksome comics writing chestnuts... Roy's shot clearly misses Dreamslayer... and so the baddie thumbs his nose and say "nyah nyah, ya missed me!", but ah-ha... he wasn't the target after all!  Roy snags Lian and swings away.


At this point "the cavalry" arrive, in the form of Beast Boy and Cyborg.  Up til now, Cyborg was a prisoner in his own cybernetic shell and Beast Boy was stuck in the form of a green pigeon... which begs the question, what would prompt Gar Logan to take the form of a damn pigeon?  I mean, of all the birds... a pigeon?


The Titans and the Extremists continue their struggle while Roy slinks away to his bunker to keep Lian for safe-keeping.  Of course, as soon as he enters they are joined by Dreamslayer... who causes Lian to vanish.  He then gives Roy the "devil on the shoulder" speech... tells him he must kill the Titans, because right now Lian is stranded in a hazy limbo.  This causes Roy to reveal a hidden button... that Dreamslayer already knew about... which would trigger his Gotham arsenal to deploy.  This begs the question... and I'm beggin' a lot of questions today... if Dreamslayer knew about it, why not push the button himself?


Anyhoo... several barrels take aim at the battlefield, and in their targets... the Titans!  The first blast nails Starfire... and Lian reappears in the bunker.  Roy can't have her yet, however...


He then aims a barrel each in the direction of Donna, Vic and Gar.  At this point, Dreamslayer... being an idiot, let's Roy take Lian.  But oh-oh-ohhh, the targeting reticles change from Titans... to Extremists!  Ol' Roy's pulled a fast one...


He then triggers an EMP wave sweep... which, somehow messes up Dreamslayers teleportation portal... causing him to be swept... somewhere, unknown to Roy... until the next page, when our main baddie shows back up on the battlefield.


The Extremists flee... or vanish... or both.


As the Titans regroup, there is an explosion some distance away at Robinson Park... I suppose we can assume the Extremists are behind it?  Maybe?  I dunno... anyhoo, Donna tells Roy he's gotta stay in Gotham with Lian... because, ya know... exploding parks and rogue Extremists with chips on their shoulders surely aren't gonna be a threat.


The remaining Titans all head off to fight whatever it is that's behind the Convergence event... and, well... that's it.


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Oof.  Can't say I liked this.

Hey, Roy's turned bad!  Oh, no he didn't... it was a trick... oh wait, now he's really turned bad... oh, duh... that was a trick too.  Felt like I was watching something Vince Russo booked here for a minute... just so much silliness, and no pay off... because this is the last time we'll see this version of the character.  

Toward the end there... and not to use yet another analogy... it felt like when you were a kid, and you'd have make-believe fights with your friends... you'd point your finger like a gun, and go bang... and they'd say "I'm wearing a bullet-proof vest"... then you'd use your make-believe flamethrower... only to find out they're wearing their flame-retardant underwear... the stakes just keep raising, you're getting more and more annoyed... and at the end of the day nothing comes of it.  Here, the stakes keep raising and Roy just... wins.  Okay?  While we're at it... how dumb is this Dreamslayer, anyway?  Hey... maybe this time Roy won't screw me!  Whatta jerk.

I suppose we do sort of get a "send off" for Roy and Lian... but it isn't a satisfying one.  It feels cheap to have her plucked out of the past... because, really... couldn't Dreamslayer just start yanking people out of the past to fix any problem he might be having?  I dunno... I didn't like it.

The art is still not my cup of tea... but it's serviceable.  A bit too angular, maybe.  Really just didn't have a good time with this one.  This is the type of disposable story that pops into my head when I think of Convergence.  Easily skippable... and I say that with a heavy heart... not only is it Titans, it's Nicieza... two of my favorite things in comics.

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Variant Cover:



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