‘Convergence’ Week Three: Wolfman’s ‘Teen Titans’, Wein’s ‘Swamp Thing’, Tangents, Detroit, And Much More You’ll Only Get To Enjoy For Two Issues
The Tangent universe is a recurring feature in the third week of titles for DC's spring 2015 Convergence event, cropping up by name in the solcitations for the Flash, Justice League of America, and New Teen Titans two-part minis -- and "tangent" seems like an apt term to describe DC's impenetrable two-month event that offers all the confusion and frustration of a reboot with none of the narrative consequence.
Besides the Tangent universe, the other unifying theme of the third wave of books is that dig into DC's pre-Crisis On Infinite Earths past, with writer Marv Wolfman returning to the New Teen Titans, Len Wein taking another swing at his own creation, Swamp Thing, Diana Prince back in her modish 1968 white jumpsuit, and the return of the mid-80s Detroit Justice League.
While the previous two waves of Convergence titles had plenty for recent fans to get excited about, including Renee Montoya as The Question, Stephanie Brown as Batgirl, the classic Justice League International, and a reappearance by the fuller-figured Amanda Waller of yore, this week's announcements may have more to offer the... more veteran fans. We won't be surprised if next week's announcements take on a distinctly Golden Age hue.
None of this week's books have any nostalgic resonance for me, so I can say with relative objectivity that I find this event perplexing. I know Convergence is a stopgap while DC relocates to its new Burbank offices, but I feel like there may have been less head-scratching ways to deal with those logistics than to suspend all the ongoing stories -- including some very new and risky titles that are still trying to establish their audiences -- and replace them with a sort of in-house Amalgam Universe.
What's the best outcome here? That readers don't give up on the books that went missing for two months? If these titles sell really well, what does that translate to? Where do those readers go next? If a book is a runaway hit, does DC plan to fold that continuity into the New 52 quagmire? Will that make anyone happy?
The New 52 reboot was always a strange beast, grounded in the decision to narrowly focus its tone and style towards a core fan base, while giving that same base versions of the characters that are out of sync with the ones they love. Some recent titles -- notably in the Batman line -- have shown a willingness to engage with new audiences and new styles, which feels like a much smarter departure from the past. But with Convergence the entire line is placed on pause while DC takes a temporary step backwards, and the whole thing seems designed to be unsatisfying to absolutely everyone.
There's a certain irony in the fact that this week's announcements hark back to the pre-Crisis DC Universe. The one thing Convergence really serves to accomplish is to remind readers that much of what they love about the DC universe was jettisoned in the current continuity. Take one last look at your favorites, readers; we now return you to your regularly scheduled sadness.
BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS
(Writer: Marc Andreyko, Artist: Carlos D’Anda, Colorist: Gabe Eltaeb)
After a year under the dome, the Outsiders have gone their separate ways, but when OMAC attacks, Batman must find out if they have what it takes to still be a team.
ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN
(Writer: Marv Wolfman, Artists: Roberto Viacava and Andy Owens, Colorist: Sotocolor)
Superman and Supergirl try to escape the city through the Phantom Zone, but they enter a portion they’ve never seen before and learn that Supergirl is destined to die if they return to their proper time and dimension. True story.
(Writer: Larry Hama, Art and Color: Josh Middleton)
White-jumpsuit-clad Diana Prince is in the grips of a Domesday cult when her lover Steve Trevor leaps into the fray to save Etta Candy from vampires of Red Rain.
(Writer: Dan Abnett, Artist: Federico Dallocchio, Colorist: Veronica Gandini)
Trapped in Gotham, Barry Allen has nowhere to run. He fights on, seeking justice as well as a way to save the city. But he faces a Tangent Universe foe that thinks faster than the Flash could ever move.
SUPERBOY AND THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES
(Writer: Stuart Moore, Artists: Gus Storms and Mark Farmer, Colorist: John Rauch)
While Brainiac 5 struggles to break through the dome, Superboy tries to keep the Legion of Super-Heroes spirits up — but then the Atomic Knights ride into town.
GREEN LANTERN CORPS
(Writer: David Gallaher, Artists: Steve Ellis and Ande Parks, Colorist: Hi-Fi)
Say the Oath, save the world! If only being the Green Lantern Corps was that easy. Hal has resigned, John is busy, and Guy is pissed. Together for the first time—they’ll save Gotham or die trying.
(Writer: Len Wein, Artist: Kelley Jones, Colorist: Michelle Madsen)
Swamp Thing struggles to survive when the dome cuts off his contact with the Green.
JUSTICE LEAGUE AMERICA
(Writer: Fabian Nicieza, Artist: ChrisCross, Colorist: Snakebite Cortez)
With their heavy hitters sidelined, Elongated Man must lead the much-maligned “Detroit Justice League” against the overwhelming power of the heroes from the Tangent Universe!
(Writer: Jeff Parker, Artists: Tim Truman and Enrique Alcatena, Colorist: John Kalisz)
Hawkman and Hawkgirl put their Shadow War on hold as they face the anthropomorphic might of rat-men and bat-men in the deadly land of Kamandi!
NEW TEEN TITANS
(Writer: Marv Wolfman, Artists: Nicola Scott and Marc Deering, Colorist: Jeromy Cox)
Titans Together! Fighting against the might of the Tangent Universe’s Doom Patrol, we are reminded why this is the greatest Titans team of all.