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Thursday, April 09, 2015 

Convergence features ideas plenty hated about the DiDio era

Polygon sugarcoats DC's Convergence crossover, which picks up on some of the worst results of Dan DiDio's tenure as EIC. It begins with:
...if your breaking point with DC Comics was when it rebooted for the New 52 and left your favorite character behind, you definitely want to be paying attention.
I don't see any signs of Elongated Man, Sue Dibny, Jean Loring, Yolanda Montez, Beth Chapel, Lilith Clay and Ted Kord's fates being reversed, so I don't know what they're talking about.
There's only one thing that keeps comics fans coming back for more after decades of reboots, retcons, and artist changeovers and that is the characters. This first full week of Convergence reveals the real meat of the two-month cosmic crossover: a host of short, character-focused stories featuring fan-favorite heroes, many of which were overlooked or significantly changed in DC's controversial reboot.
But with such awful people writing and editing behind the scenes, why must we put money into their pockets, especially when there's such pretensions lurking in the background? Despite what they say, whatever character-based stories they're offering appear to be pretty phony already, and built off of bad setups that remained in place long after Identity Crisis and Infinite Crisis. Cast members alone aren't the reason to read a specific book; not when the writing could be awful. Besides:
[...] Next week is based in Zero Hour, a 1994 attempt by DC to consolidate and simplify a number of parallel timelines. Zero Hour was in many ways a sequel to Crisis on Infinite Earths, the original reboot of all reboots.
Not really, because it didn't involve quite as many reboots as COIE did, although it most certainly was an embarrassment based on its use of Hank Hall from the Hawk & Dove duo as Extant, and the continuation of Hal Jordan as a homicidal madman called Parallax. If this is what Convergence is going to be about, that's just why buying into the first week would be just as much a mistake as the next.

Now, here's a few synopses giving telling hints the stories don't draw from the best of setups or intentions. From the Batgirl special:
After a year living under the confinement of the dome, Stephanie Brown isn't sure she wants to be Batgirl again. But when she's attacked by Catman and Gorilla Grodd from the world of Flashpoint, she's forced to put on the cape and cowl to fight alongside Red Robin and Cassandra Cain!
Some might think it's great Cassandra's turning up again, ditto Stephanie. But if this draws from Flashpoint, then no. Also note Tim Drake's still kept in the status of "Red" Robin, and isn't the regular Robin he'd been in the 1990s. From the Nightwing/Oracle special:
Just as they've finally been reunited, the romance between Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon is sentenced to execution by Flashpoint Hawkman and Hawkwoman!
I guess that tells us what the publishers really think of the Hawks too. Then, from the Question special, where Renee Montoya is still in that role:
Two-Face is fighting another world's Harvey Dent, and it's up to Renee Montoya as The Question to help him beat the odds.
Even heroes teaming up with villains is getting way out of hand, and this is another example of sci-fi influence taking up too much room, even in the DCU.
Greg Rucka wasn't just one of the major architects of DC's Batman books in the early '00s and a major contributor to titles as formative for the company as 52, he's also the writer responsible for creating DC Comics' highest-profile lesbian superheroes, Batwoman and Renee Montoya's the Question.
But he didn't create Montoya. She was originally created back in 1992 for the Batman cartoon, and during the same year was introduced into the Batbooks proper. However, he was responsible for turning her into a lesbian all for the sake of it a decade later, instead of conceiving a new protagonist, if it was really that important. For all we know, Rucka was probably an early example of writers lazily exploiting past creations to suit their own agendas yet not showing the courage to create new characters to serve the same purpose. Next, there's the Superman special, which says:
A powerless Superman is called upon to protect Gotham City.
Why specifically Gotham, but not Metropolis? If the idea is to put Clark Kent in Bruce Wayne's shoes, that sounds like a joke too.
One of the most mourned losses in the New 52 were the stable, married relationships of some of its most famous characters, most notably, Superman and Lois Lane.
From what I've read to date, it's pretty apparent they don't intend to change that back, and they're already going with another uninspired outfit for Superman too. And even Polygon doesn't seem intent on lobbying for a repair job, so I don't see what their points are. Then, from the Atom special:
There's a mysterious voice in Ray Palmer's head! Does that mean The Atom is going mad? To find out what's really going on, he'll have to go down a road that will pit him against the ever deadly Deathstroke!

[...] you can bet dollars to doughnuts that that voice has something to do with the promised return of Ryan Choi, another man to have been the Atom
Interesting no mention is made of Jean Loring, or whether they're at least willing to write up a storyline exonerating her of killing Sue Dibny, and we can't expect them to do that either. But it does look like they're keeping on with the abruptly one-dimensional depiction of Slade Wilson that ignored all development with him since he'd reformed. Besides, a battle with a notable costumed criminal alone is not reason enough to read a certain book, and there are stories like that out there that were badly written. Even way back in the Golden Age, there could be tales featuring specific villains that were disappointing. Next, from the Harley Quinn special, here's something that won't make Scott Shaw happy:
Life for Harley Quinn has become downright normal over the last year. Will she be ready to go nuts when Catwoman and Poison Ivy draft her to fight - Captain Carrot?!

Okay, so in 1982, Superman was investigating some harmful rays coming out of Pluto and wound up smashing into an alternate dimension where everyone was an anthropomorphic animal living in a punilliy named city like "Follywood, Califurnia." While there, he teamed up with a bunch of animal-people who had just gotten superpowers, and by the time he left to come back to our universe he had inspired them to form their own superhero team, the Zoo Crew, led by an anthropomorphic rabbit named Captain Carrot.

And now that rabbit is apparently fighting Harley Quinn, the Joker's girlfriend.
But I guess we're supposed to care more about Quinn and Ivy? I don't like how Catwoman is being dragged into this mess either, because there's every chance their rendition will be just as insulting as we could expect. A big problem with the crossover is the overabundance of sci-fi elements, and it's hard to buy this'll be character-based when you have fantasy overshadowing the cast members involved. That's just all the more reason why not to be taken in by this newest mishmash.

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Seems like another right idea, wrong execution scenario.

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