Recon:Vergence Week Four: Shazam Vs Red Son Vs DC One Million Vs… Oh, There’s Loads of Them
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 #4
As we reach half-time, this week the players all decided to skip off for an early bath. Nothing whatsoever happens in this issue, other than the arrival of what could be a substitute referee for the game. After a first half filled with barely anything at any point, my recommendation would now be to skip out on the game to go pick up a Pukka Pie instead.
Convergence Group D
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 D sees four worlds go up against one another for the right to move into the next round:
Pre-Crisis Earth Two Metropolis: Earth Two is home to the Golden Age of DC heroes: Alan Scott is Green Lantern, Jay Garrick is the Flash, and Superman has these little white strips in his hair that makes him look like Reed Richards.
Moscow, Russia: The world of Red Son, Mark Millar and Dave Johnson’s three-issue Elseworlds miniseries, which saw Superman’s rocket crib land in Communist Russia rather than America. As a result, the Cold War… goes in quite a different direction.
Atlanta, Georgia: So… cowboy Jonah Hex once travelled into a post-apocalyptic future and joined a team called The Dogs of War. Last seen in the 80s, it look as though the Dogs of War are returned!
Qward, Anti-Matter Universe: An alternate Universe to the DC Universe, Qward is the anti-matter universe’s equivalent of Oa, home of the Green Lanterns. It’s where the Yellow Lanterns live, and was once ruled by the Anti-Monitor.
Infinity Inc get into trouble early on in the round, as they have to come up against Post-Apocalyptic Jonah Hex and The Dogs of War (which features a ninja, a Roman Centurion, and what appears to be a cross between a human and a stingray. I don't mean to betray my bias, but how is anybody supposed to want Infinity Inc to win when their rivals are clearly amazing? Team Captain Hex scores an early lead as a poorly told sequence on the last two pages leads to Infinity Inc's plane getting blown out of the air. #TeamHex!
The main fight was thought to be between Red Son's Moscow and Earth Two, but the teams are actually spread far more equally than might be expected. Huntress and Dick Grayson tackle Red Superman, while Power Girl, Clark Kent and Lois Lane seem set to take on Red Wonder Woman, Lex Luthor and, uh, Stalin. Lane fails a random drug test for white wine, and is sent home for an early bath by the referee, which leaves Power Girl to take on Wonder Woman herself.
In the incredibly weird battle on the other side of Moscow, Red Superman attempts to form a truce with Grayson. However Huntress, in line with Superman's Communist ideals, decides to help redistribute him equally to all the people of Moscow... by blowing him up. It looks as though Grayson may be the lone survivor in this scenario!
The other lone survivor of Group D is Sir Justin of the Seven Soldiers --- otherwise known as Shining Knight. The rest of the team fell foul to a series of deaths (Green Arrow and Speedy lost their balance and pirouetted off a skyscraper, which was poor form and will see them docked points by the judges for agility) and now there's only the one hero left to take on Qward.
Or is there? Because some last-minute abuse of magic means a fresh team suddenly appear during extra time, looking to score some golden goals --- that's right! The Action Grandpas of Carter Hall, Jay Garrick, Alan Scott and Kent Nelson dust off their outfits, in tried and tested Michael Jordan style, and get back on the field for one more go!
Which completes the round for Group... wait. Someone's... invading the pitch?
Convergence Group E
Fawcett City, Earth-S: Home to Shazam! And the Marvel Family. Originally published by Fawcett Comics, the characters were eventually picked up by DC Comics in the 70s and bought outright in the 90s.
Gotham City, Gaslight Universe: This is the home to DC’s first-ever Elseworlds story, Gotham by Gaslight, which was basically a steampunk Batman comic with art from Mike Mignola.
Having managed to defeat a deadly cadre of their most fiendish villains, the Marvel Family now have to face a new, far more aesthetically gear-orientated set of opponents: the universe of Gotham by Gaslight. Being a steampunk universe this means, of course, that they’re facing malicious blimps.
Convergence Group F
Metropolis, Earth 3: Home to the Crime Syndicate of America, everything is backwards on this world. The Justice League are all criminals, and Batman is actually called Owlman, for reasons best known to himself.
853rd Century Metropolis: Home to DC One Million, this is the world where the Justice Legion are active. Batman is the leader, with Superman, Wonder Woman and Aquaman also all featuring in the team.
A fight which actually gets going! After a failed rescue mission by the Crime Syndicate means that Superwoman meets her end in the electric chair (yeesh), the two teams are teleported to a battleground in the 853rd century where Ultraman wastes little time in taking out Superman One Million. That makes it four-on-four!
Convergence Group G
New York City, Earth X: A world where the Nazis won World War II and took over America, with only a group of guerrilla heroes called the Freedom Fighters left to oppose their Nazi ways.
New York City, Future’s End: 25 years into the future, Brother Eye has turned everybody into cyborg robots. Frankenstein has Black Canary’s face implanted on his chest – remember that?
Distracted by in-fighting, both the Nazis and the Freedom Fighters are caught out by a sneak attack from the robots of Future’s End, although the effectiveness of this assault won’t be decided until next month.
Convergence Group H
Hub City, Earth Four: The home of Charlton Comics, discovered during Crisis on Infinite Earth and home to heroes like Blue Beetle, Captain Atom and The Question.
31st Century Metropolis: Home to a Legion of Super-Heroes, who showed up late for the match due to a flat tire.
Group E are too busy blowing up protesters to bother with the Convergence game. Come back in a month and maybe something will happen.
Wow. Well that was a lot of new entrants wasn’t- -
WILDCARD: Booster Gold
Getting a bye straight into the semi-finals, Booster Gold jumps straight through most of Convergence (and, well, time) along with Rip Hunter. Skipping round Telos and everywhere else at random, one of him (long story) ends up adding two vital new members to his team: Skeets and Blue Beetle. Everything’s coming up Booster!
So after this week’s matches, let’s take a look at the standings in the Convergence League Table!
Week Four Standings:
1: Booster Gold
2: Tangent Universe
4: Red Rain
5: Moscow, Russia
6: Future’s End
7: Atlanta, Georgia
10: Gotham by Gaslight
11: Fawcett City
14: Hub City
15: Pre-Crisis Metropolis
16: Earth X
17: Metropolis, Earth 3 (eliminations: Superwoman)
18: Metropolis, 853rd Century (eliminations: Superman)
19: Angor (eliminations: Barracuda)
20: Earth 2 (Batman)
21: Kingdom Come (eliminations: Flash, Robin)
22: Electropolis (eliminations: Lady Quark, Lord Volt)
23: Pre-Zero Hour Metropolis (eliminations: Amanda Waller, Steel)
24: Pre-52 Gotham (eliminations: Donna Troy and Starfire)
25: Pre-Crisis Earth 2 Metropolis (eliminations: Huntress, Star Spangled Kid, Green Arrow, Speedy, Stripesy)
26: Pre-Crisis Gotham (eliminations: Steve Trevor, Etta Candy, Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, Zatanna, Cyborg)
28: Stan Lee’s Just Imagine
29: El Inferno
30: Injustice: Gods Among Us
A huge week, as due to scheduling issues Groups D through H were all sent out to play through their matches this week. It's a bit like Wimbledon! The big shocker here is the wildcard entry of Booster Gold, who launches straight to the top of the league as his team added Skeets, Rip Hunter, his sister Michelle and, uh, a second himself.
Most of the teams did not get round to do anything yet, but Gotham by Gaslight made a strong showing, as did post-Apocalyptic Jonah Hex which is a character description I will never not delight in getting to type. Earth 3 and DC One Million both seem set to take part in gladiatorial combat, after Earth 3 experienced a slight setback with one of their teammates being electrocuted in prison. Somewhat unprecedented and altogether unsporting, that.
Pre-Crisis Earth 2 suffered some losses this week, as the Seven Soldiers appear to be whittled down to only Shining Knight, whilst Huntress made a poor decision (classic Huntress!) and apparently blew herself up. They have, on the other hand, gained a bunch of Action Grandpas, which could prove a huge benefit in the long-run.
With the main Convergence proving to be a bit of a damp squib so far, the event organizers are looking at the prospect of bringing in a new match referee. As a half-time show, in lieu of a performance from the Music Meister the organizers have also released a free comic called Divergence, which may or not feature Batman in a bunny rabbit suit.
Next Week: We return to finish off the Group A matches! Can Pre-52 Gotham make a comeback against Flashpoint? And will anything interesting happen in Convergence itself?