“Where am I? How did I get here?”

Those are Superman’s first thoughts from the beginning of Convergence #0. Those thoughts pretty much echo my own regarding the post-Flashpoint DCU. I’ve been left cold by crossovers before, but never have I been so completely turned off by a direction than I have by DC’s “New 52” (or “DCnU” if you prefer). At the end of the “zero” issue I was mildly surprised to discover there are a few universes I’m wholly unfamiliar. But I’ve been reading the advance solicitations, and while I find myself interested in a few of the “Pre-Flashpoint” and “Zero Hour” crossovers, I am interested in virtually all of the “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossovers. (Of course, at least some effort (doomed as it may be) will have to be made to make them look like 1980s-era comics.)

Convergence proper starts today.

Let’s use this thread to discuss the main series and all the crossovers, shall we?

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What exactly is the idea? Brainiac somehow exists outside of time and space and was able to grab characters from Crisis, Zero Hour, etc., just before the events rebooted/killed/whatever them? Like the Original Torch killed Iron Man but Immortus just happened to have another Iron Man from minutes before he got killed in Limbo? (The most likely time Immortus could have made Iron Man evil, really. He gave them a Skrull/Dire Wraith/whatever and the real Iron Man is still in Limbo. Which would explain later behaviour like in Civil War. Maybe a heroic Tony Stark will turn up in Secret Wars.)

I'm picking up JSA and Marvel Family but I'm not expecting much.

I'm not familiar with the circumstances of your Marvel analogy, but yes, that seems to be the idea. He grabbed cities, like always, but those characters happened to be in the cities. The Braniacs we've been seeing have basically been his avatars in their respective realities.

The Avengers re-read that started with #101 on this site should get to that story fairly soon. It's just before Mantis goes away.

That would mean a lot of characters wouldn't be there since everybody wouldn't be in the same city. Pre-Crisis Green Lantern should find the Corps. and the Guardians are all gone or at least not be able to contact any of them and wonder why.

Supergirl finds out she's going to die soon in Crisis and will have to pay a heavy price if she wants to save herself? Don't really see how that would work. If she gets out of the bottle or turns against Brainiac she gets booted into Crisis?

Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:

I'm not familiar with the circumstances of your Marvel analogy, but yes, that seems to be the idea. He grabbed cities, like always, but those characters happened to be in the cities. The Braniacs we've been seeing have basically been his avatars in their respective realities.

It sounds a bit similar to Avengers Forever in which Kurt Busiek pulled Avengers from various eras to form a team.

A little bit, maybe, but this seems less focused than that. It looks like, aside from the shared premise, most of the 2-part tie-ins will be self-contained. 

To me, this looks a bit like Countdown: Arena, where different characters from different realities fought, but, I hope and assume, better. (I haven't read Countdown: Arena, but there's a similarity to the premise of a competition between realities -- but the stories involved in this are hopefully more interesting than a bunch of desperate fight scenes.)

I have to admit, some of the previews look interesting, but i'm afraid I would be hopelessly lost having not read Flashpoint or the New 52 or really anything since Final Crisis.

Detective 445 said:

I have to admit, some of the previews look interesting, but i'm afraid I would be hopelessly lost having not read Flashpoint or the New 52 or really anything since Final Crisis.

I'm not really sure how much knowledge you need.  They do provide a little sum up of how the character got there at the end of the issue, but from the couple I read, it wasn't really necessary to understand the story.

Rob Staeger said:

To me, this looks a bit like Countdown: Arena, where different characters from different realities fought, but, I hope and assume, better. (I haven't read Countdown: Arena, but there's a similarity to the premise of a competition between realities -- but the stories involved in this are hopefully more interesting than a bunch of desperate fight scenes.)

I think it's going to vary depending on the comic.  In Speed Force, it was more of a general "champion your city thing", but in the Harley Quinn issue, "the dome" specifically wants Harley Quinn to fight Captain Carrot.  

In general, the idea of "you and you, fight" seems a little underwhelming, but the idea of the Zoo Crew mixing it up with Harley sounds like great fun.

I actually picked up a few of the tie-ins yesterday at my LCS on a whim (I don't plan on buying the main series). Now I just have to find some time to read some comics. I haven't read any in almost 2 months.

I've read all the "Convergence" books for Week 1, so I'll try to recap/review/annotate them as well as I can, so you can decide if you want to buy them. I'm including the solicitations (with type in bold) so I don't have to do a synopsis. Sorry it's so late. I'll try to be faster with Week 2!




Foldout cover by IVAN REIS and JOE PRADO

Variant cover by TONY S. DANIEL and MARK MORALES

1:25 Variant cover by BRIAN BOLLAND

1:100 BATMAN sketch variant cover by GREG CAPULLO

Blank variant cover

40 pg, FC, 1 of 8, $4.99 US • RATED T

This issue will ship with five covers.

This is it! The entire DC Universe, from the dawn of time through The New 52, must fight to survive against a threat that bends the Multiverse to its will. Your favorite characters from every era and every forgotten series are all here! But are you going to say hello again just to say goodbye forever? The stakes have never been higher as the heroes of Crisis, Zero Hour, Elseworlds, and more are brought together for Convergence!

In the first issue of this weekly series, Brainiac has collected cities of doomed and forgotten worlds, who must battle each other – and the losers will be destroyed! But why is he forcing this conflict? Join the refugees from Earth-2 as they unlock the truth behind this world that exists outside time and space and is very much alive! Is Brainiac really in control – or is this planet named Telos an unparalleled force of evil?

This extra-sized issue is packed with twists and turns and appearances you NEVER thought you’d see – including the heroes from the hit series INJUSTICE!

Captain's Comments:

Given the description above, I was expecting that every "reality" that has appeared in DC Comics continued to exist somewhere -- hypertime, if you will -- and would have a chance of being featured in this series. But that's not the deal at all. Instead, what we have is one city from various DC realities all collected by a guy named Telos, who is apparently also the planet Telos. (Telos is Greek for "purpose" or "goal." It is the root word of the philosophy of teleology, a description or account of a given thing's purpose. Read into that what you will.)

Telos works for Brainiac, only it appears that he hasn't been given complete instructions, and seems to be guessing what he's supposed to do next. Anyway, the cities are collected under Domes that remove super-powers, and are thematically much like the bottles of previous incarnations of Brainiac. Those incarnations have been revealed to be aspects or a larger Brainiac entity that exists outside space and time, where the planet Telos is located as well. Brainiac has accrued a few other names in recent years, including "He Who Will Judge," "The Ultimate God Machine" and "The Collector of Worlds."

We learn in the course of this issue, or perhaps in some of the others, that everyone in the Domes has been living there for one year, regardless of what era they came from. As noted, the Dome -- composed of sexagonal segments -- removes all super-powers. And the citizens are unaware that the rest of their planets -- indeed, the rest of their universes --  no longer exist. Tragically, they all want to escape to re-unite with loved ones who are no longer alive. Little is made of that in this first week, but it could come into play.

The book opens with the Superman of Injustice (videogame and related comic book series) facing off against Batman, Cyborg and Harley Quinn (with a really big gun) as their Gotham City is being destroyed. Telos arrives to say this was a failed experiment and (Spoiler) kills them and Gotham City. This is apparently one of Telos' purposes: to cull failed realities.

Elsewhere, the heroes seemingly destroyed by Darkseid's Omega beams in the final issue of Earth 2: World's End arrive. They are Superman (Val-Zod), Green Lantern (Alan Scott), Flash (Jay Garrick), Batman (Thomas Wayne), Dick Grayson and Yolanda Montez (avatar of The Red). A Dome starts to go up around them, but Superman stops it before it's finished, so they retain their super-powers.

Evidently Telos meant to bring a city from Earth-2 before it was destroyed, but only got these six instead. A group arriving without a city is "unacceptable," and Telos decides that this is the sign he's been waiting for to end the experiment. Now he will set all the cities against each other, with only one surviving.

While he's chatting, a sexagonal arrangement appears behind him, with different realities depicted in each. Here are the ones I can identify, starting at the top, left to right:

* A Batgirl with blonde hair, likely Stephanie Brown. Pre-Flashpoint DCU.

* Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), an Aquaman with a hook, Steel and Batman (Jean-Paul Valley). Pre-Flashpoint DCU.

* A Blue Beetle (Ted Kord) chin. Reality unknown.

* Flash (Alan Scott), Power Girl (Karen Starr), Jade (Jennifer-Lynn Hayden), Green Lantern (Alan Scott), Obsidian (Todd Rice). This could be from almost any period from Jade's introduction in 1983 through to her death in Infinite Crisis, except those times when Alan Scott isn't wearing his original uniform.

* A Batman. Reality unknown.

* Power Ring, Johnny Quick Ultraman, Superwoman, Owl Man. Pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths Earth-3.

* Blue Beetle (Ted Kord), Question (Vic Sage), Captain Atom. Pre-CoIE Earth-4.

* A Shazam (wizard). Reality unknown.

* Human Bomb, The Ray, Plastic Man, Phantom Lady, Uncle Sam. Pre-CoIE Earth-X.

* Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad, Superboy. Pre-CoIE 30th century.

* Red Robin, Superman. Kingdom Come.

* Wonder Woman, Captain Cold, Reverse Flash, Aquaman. Flashpoint.

* Random civilians. Reality unknown.

* Vampire Penguin, Batman, Two-Face, Poison Ivy. Red Rain.

* Grunge, Deathblow, Caitlin Fairchild, Rainmaker. Pre-Infinite Crisis.

* Captain Marvel, Captain Marvel Jr., Mary Marvel. Probably Pre-CoIE Earth-S.

* More random civilians.

* Superman with Brother Eye symbol, robot arm. Future's End reality.

* Wonder Woman, Hawkman, Kid Flash, Blue Beetle of the Justice Riders. Justice Riders (Wild West) reality.

* Man with glasses, not enough information to guess.

* Superman, Flash, Atom and Green Lantern of Tangent Comics. Tangent reality.

* Hourman, Superman, unknown guy, robot Robin, Batman of 853rd century. DC One Million reality.

* Yankee Poodle, Fastback, Pig Iron, Captain Carrot. Pre-CoIE Earth-C.

* Random civilians.

The final page shows a bunch of Supermen, most of whom are generic, but we also see the Superman of Red Son, the Superman of DC One Million and the Superman of Kingdom Come.

So, this is an issue with a lot of information, which is a pleasant change from Convergence #0, which had none. But, of course, it's such a huge information dump that most characters are spouting exposition instead of dialogue, so it's not exactly Shakespeare. The art is sorta generic DC -- Jim Lee Lite -- but clear enough that I can tell, say, one Superman from another, which in this sort of book is pretty important.

Did I enjoy it? Well, that's not nearly as important as the fact that it's sort of necessary to understand what's going on in two months' worth of books! Presumably the Earth-2 heroes will continue to be the protagonists in issues to come, which will be welcome. (Any Justice Society is better than no Justice Society.)


Written by TOM PEYER



Variant cover designed by CHIP KIDD

32 pg, FC, 1 of 2, $3.99 US • RATED T

This issue will ship with two covers.

STARRING HEROES FROM THE PRE-FLASHPOINT DCU! 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!

Not having any sort of order prescribed by DC, I read this week's "Convergence" books in alphabetical order, so this is the first one I read. Therefore I got a lot of information here that is in all the books, and I will share that here.

For example, the inside front cover of all this week's 10 books tells us that these 10 titles will restrict  themselves to telling the story of five cities in conflict: Pre-Flashpoint Gotham City, El Inferno (Justice Riders), New York of Angor (The Extremists prior to their deaths, or maybe Dreamslayer's re-creations), Flashpoint Gotham City and Follywood, Calif. (Earth-C). If that sounds like a lot, don't worry: Most books take place in the pre-Flashpoint Gotham City, and you don't really have to learn much about the others.

However, as others have noted, it's too soon to have much nostalgia for this version of the DCU, nor is it (to me) especially memorable. All the books have a two-page spread at the end giving the back story to the main character in this particular reality, which even this reader -- who read all those pre-Flashpoint books, I swear -- found useful as a memory jog. Even so, sometimes I found myself not remembering what a given character's status quo was in this period, which we used to call DCnU.

As to the issue itself, it was a lot more entertaining than I'd have guessed.

We're introduced to Ray Palmer, who is The Atom. (Ray's uniform doesn't disappear when he's full size -- was that the case in DCnU? I can't remember.) He's homeless, and talks to a voice in his head that only he can hear. Everyone thinks he's schizophrenic, but as he's fighting crime and helping keep order during this ordeal, everyone pretty much leaves him alone.

Why was Ray in Gotham City when the Dome went up a year ago? You know, I don't believe they told us. In fact, all the characters in this set of 10 books had to be in Gotham City when the Dome went up, and sometimes the story gives us a reason, and sometimes it doesn't. It doesn't matter, though -- whatever reasons they might offer, it's preposterous that Atom, Superman, Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, Starfire, Wonder Girl, Arsenal, Flash, The Question and maybe a dozen more super-characters just happened to be in Gotham City the day the Dome went up. So I, for one, am just ignoring that. Those characters needed to be in Gotham to make the story work, so they are. Let's just say that Telos arranged it, because why not? It's not like that's the MOST preposterous thing about Convergence!

Anyway, Ray is the only person under the Dome with a super-power: He can make his right hand -- and ONLY his right hand -- grow to gigantic size. What's even weirder is that he can use it, instead of just toppling over, so apparently its weight doesn't increase with its mass. (See "preposterous," above.) Ray doesn't know why this is, nor does the story get around to telling us (although it probably will next month).

Anyway, Deathstroke pops up (yes, he happened to be in Gotham that magical day also) and Barracuda of the Extremists (based on Marvel's Tiger Shark) shows up for a fight as well. I'll not spoil any of this, except to say, as I said above, it was a lot more fun than I expected. (Maybe all heroes should be schizophrenic. It sure livens up the dialogue!)

Also, Telos gives a Speech to all the cities simultaneously as a Big Voice in the Sky, giving the exposition about how all the cities have to fight each other, which we see in full here. (Not all the books show The Speech -- some begin after it's over, and some end before The Speech is given. But most books include it.) After The Speech, the Domes come down and all super-powers return.

That's close to where this book ends. But first there's Barracuda, and then an eye-popping final-page reveal that should make a lot of people happy.

So: Good story. The art was OK -- kinda mid-1980s generic. All in all a fun little book, for a fun little hero.





Variant cover designed by CHIP KIDD

32 pg, FC, 1 of 2, $3.99 US • RATED T

This issue will ship with two covers.

STARRING HEROES FROM THE PRE-FLASHPOINT DCU! 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!

One main theme of this book is that somehow Telos selects Champions from various cities and Stephanie "Batgirl" Brown has been selected as one of Gotham's champions, whereas the much better trained and much more efficient Red Robin (Tim Drake) and Black Bat (Cassandra Cain) were not selected. There's much discussion about this, but Cass seems to have the right idea when she opines about Stephanie, "She's not predictable."

The issue, which begins after The Speech, tends to prove this true. We open with Steph, Tim and Cass standing guard outside Gotham (how they got there, and why Tim and Cass are tagging along, is explained in flashback, but it's not important). First, we have the discussion about why Steph is picked. Then Cat-Man and Gorilla Grodd from Flashpoint show up for a fight.

But before we get to the big fight -- which will be next issue -- Steph flashes back to the year under the Dome, when she had given up being Batgirl. (So, yeah, she's really out of practice.) And this is actually really entertaining. We see how various Gothamites, not just our heroes, have adjusted to life under the Dome. Some have given in to depression, others take extra risk, others are in denial, and so forth. It's insightful writing, and good reading.

As to the art, I have always loved Leonardi's fluid work, and he's in fine form here.

Another good issue.


Written by RON MARZ

Art and cover by DENYS COWAN and KLAUS JANSON

Variant cover designed by CHIP KIDD

32 pg, FC, 1 of 2, $3.99 US • RATED T

This issue will ship with two covers.

STARRING HEROES FROM THE PRE-FLASHPOINT DCU! Being trapped in a domed city makes for a tense, inescapable family reunion as Batman struggles to keep the friction between Damian Wayne and Jason Todd from exploding!

This issue opens with various Gotham criminals (Black Mask, Killer Croc, Man-Bat, Mr. Freeze, Penguin) threatening Poison Ivy, who -- we learn here -- has been feeding Gotham City with gardens she's grown in the GC equivalent of Central Park. (Robinson Park? I've forgotten.)

Brief digression: Since Poison Ivy doesn't have her powers any more, we must assume she grew these gardens the old-fashioned way, which is a lot of work! Let's hope she had some help. But speaking of no powers, Man-Bat, Mr. Freeze and Killer Croc remain as they were pre-Dome. I guess we're to assume those are now their natural forms ...?

Anyway, the attempted takeover of Gotham's food source is interrupted by Batman and Robin (Damien Wayne). They are aided mid-battle by Red Hood (Jason Todd) and his sidekick Miss Scarlet (from Professor Pyg's crew, long story), setting up the central tension of the issue: Robin's resentment of a former sidekick throwing shadow on him, and Batman not sending Todd packing.

The interpersonal conflict is the heart and meat of the story, which ends with The Speech, and some super-powered bad guys arriving for a fight (to be found in the next issue). I hope that doesn't constitute a spoiler; since you're not going to get the fight in this issue, I thought you should know.

Did I enjoy it? Yes, mostly. I've actually grown quite fond of Damien; he's a kid who masks his kid emotions and kid behavior with an obnoxious, pretend-adult irascibility, and since we know what's in his heart (now) it's kinda charming. And watching the grim-n-gritty Batman try to soften up to be a father is a welcome respite from the almost insane Batman presented in the DCnU. (That has not been a problem in The New 52, but memories linger.)

The downside, however, is the art. I usually enjoy Denys Cowan, but it looks here that he didn't take much time with this job, or he's trying out a new, even-more-scratchier style than usual. I found a lot of the faces distracting, and not in a good way.


Written by STEVE PUGH



Variant cover designed by CHIP KIDD

32 pg, FC, 1 of 2, $3.99 US • RATED T

This issue will ship with two covers.

STARRING HEROES FROM THE PRE-FLASHPOINT DCU! 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?!

This issue focuses on Harley Quinn's year without powers -- and without insanity.

I've always been a little unclear on Harley's "super-powers," but evidently there was a story in the long ago time where Poison Ivy bolstered Harley's system to superhuman level to save her life, which has remained the status quo. That's how she can use a gigantic hammer -- in fact, when the Dome goes up on page five she can no longer lift it. That does help explain some of her more outrageous adventures.

But somehow that's tied to her insanity, too. Or maybe it's just coincidence. But when the Dome goes up, Harley becomes sane. We see what Harley Quinzel would have become had she never met The Joker  ... until the end of the issue, when we again hear The Speech and Harley's powers enter as her sanity exits.

It's interesting to see this versions of Harley, although truth be told I find Harley Quinzel a little boring, and I'm ready for Harley Quinn to return when she does. Fortunately, Catwoman and Ivy (they shared a title in the DCnU, IIRC) hang around to liven things up.

The art's adequate.


Written by FRANK TIERI



Variant cover designed by CHIP KIDD

32 pg, FC, 1 of 2, $3.99 US • RATED T

This issue will ship with two covers.

STARRING HEROES FROM THE PRE-FLASHPOINT DCU! The Justice League story you never expected to see begins when Supergirl, Zatanna, Vixen and Jade attend Jesse Quick’s baby shower, which quickly turns into a life-and-death struggle with Flashpoint Aquaman!

So, it just so happens that Jade, Mera, Supergirl, Vixen, Zatanna are giving Jesse Quick a baby shower in Gotham City when the Dome goes up. What a coincidence, since I don't recall any of those characters having much of a connection to Gotham in the DCnU. Whatever, go with it.

The first half of the book is about the de-powered girls running a nightclub (given Zatanna's expertise as a nightclub entertainer). The chief thing here is how unhappy Mera is, the only married one of the bunch, who is sans Aquaman.

Then, right in the middle of the book, we get The Speech. And as the girls' powers return, Gotham is invaded by a Flashpoint "hero." And not just any superhero, but Aquaman -- whose Mera, you Flashpoint readers may remember, was killed by Wonder Woman. Do I need to say what happens next?

I rather enjoyed the first half of the book, seeing all these women getting along so well. That's not possible any more, as several of these characters have taken turns in The New 52 that make them unlikely to even meet each other, and even less likely to get along. (I'm looking at you, Supergirl.)

The second half ... well, I'm not much of a fan of the Flashpoint characters. They were an interesting novelty for their short half-life, but as ongoing characters they're rather thin. (And kinda repellant.) YMMV.


Written by GAIL SIMONE



Variant cover designed by CHIP KIDD

32 pg, FC, 1 of 2, $3.99 US • RATED T

This issue will ship with two covers.

STARRING HEROES FROM THE PRE-FLASHPOINT DCU! Just as they’ve finally been reunited, the romance between Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon is sentenced to execution by Flashpoint Hawkman and Hawkwoman!

The star of this issue isn't Nightwing or Oracle, but Gail Simone. She picks up writing the Dick Grayson/Barbara Gordon star-crossed romance as if she never left. That's the bulk of the issue, so if you're into that -- and I discovered I am -- this issue will satisfy.

We also get the Flashpoint Hawkman and Hawkwoman, who really aren't all that different from any other version we've seen since Hawkworld. That is to say, they're ruthless, violent jerks. And there's a brief appearance of El Inferno, whose 1800s technology makes it woefully inadequate for this contest.


Written by GREG RUCKA

Art and cover by CULLY HAMNER

Variant cover designed by CHIP KIDD

32 pg, FC, 1 of 2, $3.99 US • RATED T

This issue will ship with two covers.

STARRING HEROES FROM THE PRE-FLASHPOINT DCU! 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.

The solicitation above must be about issue #2, because there's only one Two-Face in this issue. He's part of a weird triangle with Renee Montoya and her alter ego The Question, which isn't sexual but is weird and fascinating and more than a little unhealthy. Exploring that relationship -- one of the more interesting of the DCnU -- is the bulk of the issue. If you like that, you'll like this issue.

We also get Huntress and (briefly) Batwoman, and evidently next issue we'll get another Two-Face!



Written by TONY BEDARD



Variant cover designed by CHIP KIDD

32 pg, FC, 1 of 2, $3.99 US • RATED T

This issue will ship with two covers.

STARRING HEROES FROM THE PRE-FLASHPOINT DCU! The fastest family alive loses its powers as Wally West and his kids face an uncertain future while trapped away from home. Will they be able to outrun the chaos that follows the arrival of Flashpoint Wonder Woman? Plus, don’t miss the most unexpected Zoo Crew character of all!

In this issue, Wally "Flash" West with his super-powered kids in a Speed Force tether, is investigating a "chronal disturbance" in Gotham, which is, of course, the Dome, which then, of course, goes up -- trapping the trio in Gotham. Of course!

We don't see much of Wally and the kids during the power-free year, because midway through we get The Speech, during which we see a little bit of the other four cities in the sexagons behind Telos. Among them is El Inferno being attacked by the Hawks (as we learned about in Nightwing/Oracle) and Wally resolves to help the old West heroes. However, he gets turned around in the wastelands between cities, as he looks for home, we get a brief tour. We see Bizarros, Earth X, old Krypton (or Kandor?) and Follywood, Califurnia, among others.

It is in the last that we get a "team-up" of sorts between Wally and the Zoo Crew's speedster, the anthropomorphic turtle Fastback. The interchange between these two is worth the price of admission, believe me.

And, as much as I'm more a Barry Allen fan than a Wally West fan (go ahead, start throwing the rotten tomatoes), I admit it was good to see Wally and the kids again, not only in a way most of us really liked, but in a way we'll never see again.

Oh, and the issue ends on a cliff-hanger. Fights to come, and I can't wait!


Written by DAN JURGENS

Art and cover by LEE WEEKS

Variant cover designed by CHIP KIDD

32 pg, FC, 1 of 2, $3.99 US • RATED T

This issue will ship with two covers.

STARRING HEROES FROM THE PRE-FLASHPOINT DCU! A powerless Superman is called upon to protect Gotham City … and his pregnant wife Lois Lane!

Let's get this out of the way: Superman, Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen were in Gotham when the Dome went up for a "journalism convention." Suuuuuuurre. But, OK.

Naturally, the de-powered Clark still fights crime in black leotards, because he always did in all those Silver Age stories where he lost his powers, so yeah. Also, Lois is pregnant. Lots of down time when you're not Superman, it seems.

But before we have time to get bored with all this domestic bliss, the Dome comes down and Superman flies off to the nearest city to recruit help to fight Brainiac. I don't recall if he knows Brainiac is behind this, but it's not important, because he immediately runs into the big guns of the Flashpoint Gotham: Captain Marvel, Green Lantern (John Stewart), Cyborg, "S-1" (Superboy) and Batman (Thomas Wayne). They are more than a match for our biggest gun, and things are not looking so good. But then Thomas realizes that if there's another Superman, there's probably another Batman ... who is probably his dead son, Bruce. Hmmmm ...

I won't spoil any further, but Mman, Jurgens hasn't missed a beat writing the Super-cast. The Lee Weeks art is a little scritchy-scratchy for my taste, but it's adequate.






Variant cover designed by CHIP KIDD

32 pg, FC, 1 of 2, $3.99 US • RATED T

This issue will ship with two covers.

STARRING HEROES FROM THE PRE-FLASHPOINT DCU! Starfire and Donna Troy track down Arsenal, who had retreated after the loss of his arm and the death of his daughter – but what they find is more terrifying than they ever could have expected!

Hey, remember that version of Roy Harper that nobody liked? The one with the prosthetic arm, drug habit and tendency to kill crooks with dead cats? Yeah, well, this issue is devoted to him, so I can't really recommend it.

Sure, under the Dome he becomes a nice guy for a year. (That seems to be a trend: See Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, Two-Face, etc.) Which is not only unlikely, but boring.

And, of course, there's no explanation for why he (and Wonder Girl and Starfire) are under the Dome, or why the other Titans aren't, but whatever.

But when the Dome goes back up, our dead-cat-swinging basket case returns, just as the Extremists attack. Ugh.

All in all, I'd rather be in Philadelphia.

As a long-time Doctor Who fan, the use of the name "Telos" amuses me, as it was the name of the adopted home planet of the Cybermen (First seen in the 1967 story "The Tomb of the Cybermen").

The premise is kind of morbid. Random people grabbed while everybody they know not only dies but never existed. And from the "but is it for the last time" statements sounds like they'll get killed as well in the last issue. (What else can you do with characters in a universe they don't belong in?) So Earth-2 Superman couldn't be there since we know he escaped Crisis only to get killed by an insane Superboy and turned into a zombie lantern.

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