Convergence Batman: Shadow of the Bat #2 (DC)



Rating: 2.5/5 – Failed to Capture what Makes these Characters Unique.
by ComicSpectrum senior reviewer Shawn Hoklas.

The second and concluding issues of all the Convergence tie-ins are hitting the stands. Each title was only a two issue mini-series that spun out of the main Convergence event. All the first issues of Convergence had a very formulaic set up. Introduce two heroes or teams from some time in DC’s past and by the end of the issue, set up a fight to save their city or their timeline from main villain Telos who forced the two cities to fight in the first place. I’ve liked quite a few of these tie-in as it allows the heroes of the pre-New 52 to get their time in the spotlight again, but unfortunately this issue failed to deliver on making these character’s appearances worthwhile.

Azrael and Batman are attempting to stop Wetworks from killing them aboard an old aircraft carrier that’s being used as a shelter for many of those that lost their homes when the dome trapped the city. The Wetworks team comes off as their 1990’s selves, but you always get the sense that this could have been something more especially when you have them going up against Azrael during his time in the armored Bat-suit. This story could have been a violent and over the top 90’s exploitation-like story, instead it all feels like just another tale that could have had other characters take their place without you knowing the difference. There’s a few moments where writer Larry Hama lets us know that Wetworks aren’t the most caring of heroes, but later pages negate that perception and in doing so, makes them less interesting. Not only that, but the dialogue never feels real. Again, if they embraced a story that was more of its time the dialogue may have worked, instead it’s cheesy at times and ends on a line that’s just eye-rolling.

Rick Leonardi handles the art and although the character work is fine, his backgrounds and settings feel rushed. You knew the action was taking place on an aircraft carrier, but the details of the ship were mostly left behind. There’s a particular panel that shows the survivors and Batman in what looks to be an eating area, and the pipe that runs overhead has “steam pipe” written on it in almost the same font as the word balloons. It just showed a lack of time and effort that unfortunately carried on throughout the majority of this issue.

If you picked up the first issue of this series and were waiting to see what happened, this issue will most certainly be a let down. So much more could have been done when you take a team of characters like Wetworks and Azrael and pit them against each other. It could have been a violent, dark and action packed story that is of it’s time. Instead, it reads like any other superhero book with some heavy handed dialogue. The idea behind Convergence is a good one, taking a version of heroes and villains throughout DC’s rich history and have them face off. This issue does that, but does so without embracing what made these characters so popular at the time.

Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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