Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Convergence: Detective Comics #1 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

This issue starts out better than its siblings, but it collapses into inanity at the end.  Plus, it suffers the original sin of all the "Convergene" books, since the rules of the "game" at the heart of the event are neither clear nor consistent.

Initially, Wein does a solid job of delving into the impact that the "dome" has had on the two worlds that he examines here:  the pre-"Flashpoint" Earth 2 and the "Red Son" Moscow.  His exploration of the Red Son's world is the best, as a powerless Superman becomes increasingly desperate to hide his weakness from the people that he rules.  (I keep forgetting that the domes magically rob metahumans of their powers.)  His Earth 2 is a little weaker, with Dick oddly indifferent to the presence of the dome in way that Wein doesn't explore as fully as it probably merits.  (He seems to want us to think that Dick has a reason not to be affected, but it isn't really all that clear.)

But, the wheels fall off the bus when the dome is removed and the two sides come into conflict.  Wein portrays Helena as a hysterical woman jeopardizing the attempt by Robin and Superman to work out a deal.  (Dick even calls her "impulsive" at one point.)  It's not just the passive sexism of this portrayal that I found problematic.  Helena is also uncharacteristically dumb.  Her "plan," such as it is, is just to fire larger and larger explosives at Superman, despite the fact that she surely knows that anything without kryptonite isn't going to be effective.  Plus, she's not just "impulsive," but also inconsistent.  Just after Telos' speech, she expresses disbelief that he wants them to casually commit murder, but then she pretty easily embraces exactly that position when they confront Superman.

I have no idea why I'm still reading any of these stories.

** (two of five stars)

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