Recon:Vergence Week Three: Pre-Crisis Earth Vs Tangent Universe Vs Kamandi Vs Vampire People
Welcome to Recon:Vergence, a weekly look at what’s going on throughout DC’s new reality-smooshing event storyline, Convergence.
Every week until the end of the event, every comic DC publishes will be a part of this giant storyline – and it’s a little confusing, especially for new readers. To help out, we’re going to provide a timeline of events, let you know which Universes are still in the fight, and try and keep everything on track.
Main Event! Convergence #3
Earth 2 continue to be the odds-on favorite to win this event, seeing as they're basically the only characters anywhere to be seen in the main title. This week they flee with Deimos to some underground castle where time-travellers are being hurtled together into some kind of blue stasis field by Shakira (not the singer). Match fixing!? What is this, the Bundesliga?
Batman and Dick Grayson have decided not to follow their friends underground, and are set upon by a flurry of villains created across the Grant Morrison/Frank Quitely-led run of Batman & Robin. Professor Pyg, Dr Hurt, Flamingo, the Absence and White Knight are all there to gang up on and surround Batman, who decides to blow them --- and himself --- up. Athletes always talk about making big sacrifices for the rest of the team, but I haven't seen such dedication since Manteo Mitchell ran the US relay on a broken leg.
Meanwhile Telos continues to interfere in the matches, heading across to the Bottled City of Kandor to, well, kill them all. This is the second time he's directly killed off one of the competing teams because he doesn't like them very much --- is there any chance he could find the Identity Crisis-era of characters next?
Convergence Group C
Every Convergence tie-in issue of the week is part of the same overall narrative, so you only get the whole story if you know what happened in every single issue last Wednesday. Group C sees five worlds go up against one another for the right to move into the next round:
Gotham, Pre-Crisis Earth-One: The original home of DC’s characters. The Golden and Silver Age of DC were established here, before being merged together and clattered about as a result of Crisis on Infinite Earths.
Central City, Tangent Universe: Created from ideas by Dan Jurgens, the Tangent Universe re-imagines several DC characters in different forms. They retain the same names, but the characters are radically different --- this is a universe where the existence of superheroes has totally affected everything, from economy to politics to Florida (which, uh, got exploded).
New York City, Earth A.D.: Better known as the home of Kamandi, OMAC, and several other beloved Jack Kirby creations. After an event known as ‘The Great Disaster’, humans and animals have swapped places – humans are savage and wild, while the animals, having grown into high intelligence, rule the land.
Durvale: Home to the Atomic Knights, who wear irradiated suits of armor and ride about on giant Dalmatians for reasons best known to themselves.
There's some lovely joined-up play from The Tangent Universe as the matches start up, as they send their Secret Six to deal with the Justice League of Detroit. Nutmegging the team beautifully, they nudge Zatanna into a hand
ball button that takes out the three heaviest-hitters of the JLD in one go. A late surge from the reserves bench may help Detroit's team from total defeat, but things are looking iffy for their team so far.
While Barry Allen is met by the Tangent Superman, the Tangent version of the Doom Patrol mix things up with the New Teen Titans. In a close contest, things appear to be mainly a draw --- although Cyborg is left close to death by the encounter. Extra-time is now being played, as Firehawk and Nightwing seem like they may be on the verge of a shock truce. We'll find out more in May.
The vampires of Red Rain prove that the age-old technique of "biting the opposition in the face" still works, which will please Mike Tyson. Their Joker, Catwoman and Poison Ivy head over to deal with Wonder Woman, and find great success in their goal of eating her two best friends. Their second attack, however, is on the vein-free Swamp Thing of pre-Crisis, which may not go quite so well for them. Given his strong leadership, the fans decided that vampire Joker is this week's Man of the Match.
The main fight takes place between Kamandi's Universe and the pre-Crisis Universe, although Kamandi himself is nowhere to be seen. Neither the Green Lantern Corps nor Hawkman and Hawkwoman quite get round to taking on their enemy team this week, either, though so we'll have to wait and see how they acquit themselves on the field.
With Superman and Supergirl lost in the Phantom Zone, however, the conquering monkeys are able to race straight through the streets of Metropolis, on a whole "kill the humans" streak. Blessed with huge numbers and the ability to somehow ride horses, the monkeys pick up an early lead against the pre-Crisis team. At the other end of the city, Batman and the Outsiders are caught offside by an attack from OMAC and his mutants.
So! that wraps up this week's... wait...
What’s this now? Is it Jigglypuff? No! it's Convergence: Superboy and the Legion of Superheroes, which introduces a new team into Group C at the last minute, in the form of:
Metropolis, Pre-Crisis 30th Century: Far into the future, the Legion of Superheroes is led by one of Clark Kent’s direct descendants, and include a few somewhat familiar names including Lightning Lass and Brainiac 5 amongst the team.
It looks as though they'll be the team taking on Durvale, who invade the 30th Century right at the end of their issue. This is certainly a turn-up for the books! I'm rooting for them, because Durvale have started using muzzles on their Dalmatians and that seems cruel.
So! After this week's matches, let's head over to the Convergence League Table!
Week Three Standings:
1: Tangent Universe
3: Red Rain
4: Future’s End
8: Pre-Crisis Metropolis
9: Angor (eliminations: Barracuda)
10: Earth 2 (Batman)
11: Kingdom Come (eliminations: Flash, Robin)
12: Electropolis (eliminations: Lady Quark, Lord Volt)
13: Pre-Zero Hour Metropolis (eliminations: Amanda Waller, Steel)
14: Pre-52 Gotham (eliminations: Donna Troy and Starfire)
15: Pre-Crisis Gotham (eliminations: Steve Trevor, Etta Candy, Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, Zatanna, Cyborg)
17: Stan Lee’s Just Imagine
18: El Inferno
19: Injustice: Gods Among Us
A tough week for Pre-Crisis Earth, who immediately find themselves down six players. With vampires eliminating most of the defensive team, their offence has been demolished by a Zatanna own-goal. Due to their tactical play against Zatanna, the Tangent Universe therefore races straight up to the top of the league for the time being, knocking Wildstorm off the top spot.
It certainly appears that "being African-American" is a considerable handicap in this event, given the defeats of Steel, Amanda Waller and now Cyborg in recent weeks. Kandor has also felt the pinch --- and, I suppose, the giant explosion --- after Telos decided to relegate them for timewasting.
Elsewhere, a cadre of Batman & Robin villains put some new pressure on Earth 2's team, forcing their Batman to take an early (blood?)bath. It was also looking tough for their Dick Grayson --- but after a foul from the Joker, the referee decided to step in and issue a red card. A snap decision on his part, but one which could help Earth 2 in the long-run.
That means after three rounds, we currently have fifteen teams actively in the competition, and four have been relegated. There are hints of other teams around --- like Superman Red and Blue --- but it seems as though we're going to get the majority of them showing up next in Group D: the much-feared 'Group of Death'. Because....
Next Week: It's Crisis on Infinite Earths Vs Qward Vs Gotham By Gaslight Vs Charlton Comics Vs DC One Million Vs Superman: Red Son Vs a Post-Apocalyptic Jonah Hex!