Convergence: Batman and the Outsiders #2 (July, 2015)
“The New Normal, Part 2”
Writer – Marc Andreyko
Artist – Carlos D’Anda
Colors – Gabe Eltaeb
Letters – Steve Wands
Assistant Editors – Brittany Holzherr & Michael Kraiger
Editor – Marie Javins
Cover Price: $3.99
I was quite high on the first issue of this two-parter… let’s see if that holds true after this.
Remember how last issue ended with OMAC (and a bunch of mutants) storming the newly-domeless Gotham? Well, let’s take a moment to see how he got there. We open with Buddy Blank drifting through static-y space searching for OMAC until he runs into Godmother. She is from the Great Disaster Earth-AD DC stories… if my research is correct. I have precious little knowledge of this corner of the DCU… but for the purposes of this discussion, we’ll just roll on. Just after “Dome Day”, OMAC was mentally enslaved (?) by Godmother… and so, he fights for her… alongside the mutant horde. In Gotham, Geo-Force looks on as the mutants begin storming the streets of the city he called home for the past year. He doesn’t take too kindly to this, and so… engages them in combat.
Elsewhere, Jefferson Pierce’s powers have returned… Halo is back among the awake… and poor Rex has burned Sapphire’s arm. Batman signals that they are all needed… and so, Outsiders Assemble!
We check in with Godmother, and it is made fairly plain that she is controlling OMAC… and having a heckuva lot of fun doing it. Geo-Force fights back the hordes for a bit, until the reinforcements arrive.
Godmother ain’t too pleased to see Batman and Company… what’s worse, it would appear that our man Buddy Blank is resisting her control. She decides to crank up the juice to keep her man in check.
And from here… well, we get several pages of fighting. Outsiders vs. mutants… Outsiders vs. OMAC… it’s all very… fighty. We get some teases of characterization… Halo wonders how she was out for so long, Metamorpho is doing his part, but he’s downtrodden being back to his elemental-self. What character bits there are, are very well done… it’s just too bad they don’t get nearly enough screen/panel time. Halo and Black Lightning team up and deliver one helluva blast to OMAC, causing him to reel a bit.
The Outsiders clearly have the edge at this point… and Batman calls upon Metamorpho to nail’em with liquid nitrogen. He does so, even though it causes him great pain. Rex is very “needs of the many” right now, which all things considered, is fitting.
Telos comes over the PA system to inform us that Batman and
the his Outsiders have won. “His” Outsiders, harrumph! Well, THE Outsiders unceremoniously dump OMAC’s body outside the city limits.
We catch up with Buddy Blank in static-y space… We’ve got a good news/bad news situation here. He’s finally found OMAC, but… their time is over. It’s been swell, pals.
We wrap up with the Outsiders assembling all dramatic pose like as they stare out into their unknown futures. I wish I had better news… but we know how this ends.
Well… that was a fight issue. Can’t be too upset, that’s pretty much what every Convergence #2 was. Still though, after such a strong opening chapter, it’s hard not to be a bit disappointed here. The strength of the Outsiders, at least to me, was in their characterization… this is just a moderately chatty fight. What’s worse… there isn’t even all that much for us to discuss here. It’s a fight… it did look nice, and the dialogue was good… which only makes the fact that this was just a fight issue more irritating. I suppose if I were to detach myself a bit I’d say that, given what creative had to work with here… they did as good a job as could be expected.
Reattaching myself here… I think part of the problem with the #2’s was that we got the feeling that this was the swan song for our beloved anachronistic properties… and for the most part, it kinda was. We’ve got OMAC returning to Brother Eye… and that’s it. We’ve got Batman and HIS (ugh) Outsiders just standing in formation… and that’s it. I know I’ve complained here and elsewhere about the abruptness of Flashpoint… we had zero closure on our old favorites, in August we had Action Comics #904, then in September Action Comics #1, bada-bing bada-boom, take it or leave it. This, even as an exercise in closure, isn’t all that much better.
This wasn’t an opportunity for us to “tie a bow” or for the heroes to “take a bow” (whoa!)… it was just another adventure… but this was an inorganic adventure. There is a difference between field experiments and controlled experiments… this is very much the latter. The parameters and limitations set by the event made it so Halo was comatose, powers were gone, and Rex was “normal”. That’s all fine, I gushed about how well that worked last issue… but for an Abyssinia Outsiders episode, it feels pretty forced and shallow. All of DC’s classic characters deserved a far better send off than what they were given in the poor man’s Contest of Champions that was Convergence.
DCYOU (remember that?):