By: Richard Graves aka DJ Black Adam of House 17, NFP
Now, back to what’s really important in life. COMICS. Recently Marvel and DC both decided to reboot their universes. It is the first time Marvel has actually done this, whereas DC started this trend back in the 1985 Crisis of Infinite Earths. COIE is a classic, it did tick off a few of the old golden age fans, and some silver age fans too, but it was a genuine attempt to get some serious continuity in the DC Universe, it took a few more years, but ultimately DC ended up with a pretty good order, that they kinda screwed up with “Infinite Crisis” but that is another rant for a different post.
To the subjects at hand, Marvel Comic’s new “Secret Wars” and DC Comic’s “Convergence.” Let’s talk Marvel first.
I have been reading the three Avengers titles that led directly to this change. I knew ultimately it would be the 616 (Regular) Marvel Universe verse the 1610 (Ultimate) Marvel Universe. Marvel systematically had their multiverse destroyed by the Beyonders (parents and such of the Beyonder from the original Secret Wars series of 1984.) While it seems quite implausible that these “Beyonders” could kill Galactus, the Celestials, Lord Order and Master Chaos, Eternity and most unbelievably the Living Tribunal. It is fascinating that of all the heroes fighting against this end, it is Doctor Doom who really brought the thunder to the Beyonders, albeit unsuccessfully, but Doom was the last man standing in a sense.
Warning, metaphysical / theological rant: Here is something I found interesting. It is as if the Beyonders represent the creators or elders of Marvel; Stan Lee, Steve Ditko, Jack Kirby, Jim Shooter, etc all the way up to the new editorial and creative teams. The whole Avengers storyline was like a lead up to the creative decision to reboot the Marvel universe as it manifested in the comics themselves. Who else could kill off the Living Tribunal but the people who created him? And who else in their creation, the Marvel Universe would dare stand against them, but Doom? (OK, yeah Hyperion and Thor did too, but with Thor that is to be expected, he wouldn’t be going out like no punk.)That would make the kid Beyonder in the original series more akin to the fans, playing with the Marvel Universe. But I digress, just speculating.
To the review of Issue 2 of Secret Wars. Issue 1 was somewhat uneventful. We knew it was wrap, but seeing Doom’s final stand and Ultimate Stark and Shield against the 616 was entertaining, albeit went by too fast and could have been expanded a tad bit. The first thing Stark recognized, that in the Superhero department, the 1610 was well outclassed, but the tech of the 1610 gave them some sort of chance.
Issue 2 is about the Thor Corps, and I mean A LOT of Thors, this is more than Beta Ray Bill, Dargo and Thunderstrike. We see some Thors from some “What Ifs” and other alternate timeline stories and some regular 616 stories on the cover. For example, we see Thor girl (Tarene), Storm as a Thor with her hammer Stormbringer, Beta Ray Bill and the female Thor as well as old King Thor. But when we get into the book, we see that this might not actually be the case.
It is sorta like a Green Lantern Corps thing with all kinds of folks from different realms being chosen worthy for a Hammer (i.e. ring) and Doom kinda like a Oan Guardian, but on this world, Doom is God (and apparently married to Sue Storm.) The most recent one to acquire a hammer is some elf kid from what was Avalon (yeah home of the Captain Britain Corps.)
We find out that Doom runs this world, Doctor Strange is the Sheriff, Valeria Richards is some sort of Science council leader. We see Apocalypse, Madelyn Pryor, Mr. Sinister and others, all with lands but subject to Doom (I am actually glad to see this, because of all those damn X men stories like Age of Apocalypse, House of M, etc. where their baddies always punk Doom and all other non mutants.)
Ultimately this chapter ends with the Cabal and the 1610 maker/Reed Richards getting off a life raft (as they apparently survived the implosion of creation in issue one) and effectively the Cabal led by Thanos kill one of the Thors. They then are told they are on Battleworld and we get a map of all the lands on it. I might stick the series out.
Convergence 6. OK, I bought the first 4 issues of this series and was sorely disappointed. Got a couple of companions I appreciated, particularly the one with Captain Marvel and the Marvel family and the Flash one, both were entertaining. I skipped issue 5, because it was in my opinion just stupid and looked like the series was gonna fizzle out just like the “Forever Evil” did. But just like Forever Evil, looks like it was just a lull. Now, I am miffed at DC because of the 52 re-launch, while the reboots of Superman and the Justice League were interesting, Earth 2 was the best thing that came from it. To me they seemed to just destroy that planet without utilizing the characters more and just telling some good stories instead of everything being a “cosmic” level event. But, alas, it was not to be.
While issue one was decent, we find that Brainiac has gathered many of the heroes and villains of the various stages of DC’s history, from alternate earths and timelines, placed them on a world in different cities and for some odd reason want to see them fight to the death. At first I assumed that this included the New 52 universe, so of course my first question was where the hell was the Spectre, the Guardians, the New gods, etc., anyone who would have kicked a hole into Braniac’s head. But alas, no show. We see that the Earth 2 heroes have survived (some of them, no Powergirl, Huntress Mr. Terrific or Dr. Fate) and are fighting who we think the bad guy is, Telos. Telos is the planet, created by Brainiac (or terraformed) and as the issues go we find that inside the world of Telos is Warlord’s home Skataris. Deimos ultimately supplants Brainiac as the “Villain” in the next few issues, after snatching all the time travelers (i.e. Degaton, Monarch, etc.) Telos eventually retreats and the game now becomes who supports Deimos (and those who don’t.)
Now to issue 6, why the Spectre or the Guardians or anyone else hasn’t intervened is shown, as we see the new 52 Justice League and Red Lanterns, looking at the Telos world as it starts pushing into their universe. You see the last Monitor, the Oan Guardians and Darksied for various reasons deciding not to intervene, Darksied saying that he really isn’t concerned about these events.
We see Deimos then repeating his offer “serve me and survive” to all the people kidnapped from across the history of DC Multiverses, they show the Earth 2 Crew (with Val Zod Superman, who I am liking more and more), Earth 3 Crime syndicate (looks like the 80’s version) Pre Crisis Supergirl and for some odd reason Deimos hasn’t realized that there is a Parallax style Hal Jordan (who obviously has enough juice to stomp Deimos or at least make him have a bad day.)
Obviously Deimos has stepped up his game, since he is keeping even Parallax Jordan from beating him down at the moment, not to mention it appears that there is a Kingdom Come Superman and perhaps a Silver age Superman on this planet.
Earth 2 heroes meet some pre new 52 Teen Titans (minus Nightwing, since we have Earth 2 Dick Grayson playing “Batman” around, no need for Nightwing to be around.) They help them fight the Extremists who run when another Superman, Flash and Red Arrow show up. This Superman is not pre 52 Superman as he says he has a wife and son, so I am not sure what version he is. The Flashes talk (The new young earth 2 Jay and a Flash that may be Wally) and they decide to round up everyone who will fight against Deimos.
So we get a powerful crew, You got a Superman (who I hope is Silver Age Superman, not the John Byrne reboot "I am not so powerful Superman", you will see why later.) We have a Supergirl that looks pre Crisis, which they will need and Val Zod Superman who could be gangsta if he ever just Zods up for a minute. You got a Batman in grey and blue, a few Flashes including Barry, Earth 2 Green Lantern (no not the Starheart, the new Earth 2 Green Lantern), Donna Troy, Ultra Boy, Starfire, Batgirl, Fastback (Yes from the Zoo Crew) and a few others. Then Deimos shows HIS crew, and it don’t look good for the heroes.
For some odd reason they are led by a Captain Marvel (SHAZAM) who seems to have the juvenile attitude of New 52 Billy Batson (which I can’t stand, DC just cannot seem to respect Billy, I really wish Marvel comics had gotten this license back in the day.) Why this Cap is evil, I speculate he is Kingdom Come Cap before the brainwashing of Lex Luthor was broken, but he definitely is not from Earth S, that’s for sure. To make it worse, you have a Black Adam (judging by his belt, from yet another universe). Flashpoint Wonder Woman, Superwoman from Earth 3 and looks like a Kingdom Come Wonder Woman. Bad enough huh? Nope. Damn Ultraman and Kingdom Come Superman (who we all know is powerful as hell by himself, which is why I hope that the Superman they have is a Silver Age one, pre Crisis Supergirl may not have enough power to roll on KC Supes.) Besides that you have Grodd, Jade for some odd reason a version of Huntress and Deathstroke and a version of Lex Luthor in the green and purple armor.
And we are left with a cliff hanger for the next issue.