Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Convergence: Blue Beetle #1

I’m reading these things totally out of order now. I was going to try and review these by week, but all the Convergence books just ended up in a big pile, so now my reviews will be in whatever order I happen to read them in!

Blue Beetle is one of the more mundane entries in the Convergence mythos. Scott Lobdell’s plot checks the necessary boxes, and features the necessary characters, but at no point did I feel particularly connected to anyone in the book. Blue Beetle is one of my all-time favorites, but in this version of the character, he’s pretty dull. He could be any tech-based hero at all. Nothing he does really screams out “Blue Beetle.”

And it goes on from there. Nathaniel Adam/Captain Atom is a pretty generic government thug, only his few moments of introspection save him from actually being a bad guy. And the Question clearly has his more interesting tendencies, but we hear about them from other characters rather than from the Question himself. It’s an odd choice.

In the end, the plot is minimal too. The heroes want out, but can’t do it. And eventually the dome comes down. It goes on for more pages than in some of the other books, but there isn’t much more to it. I did enjoy the chance to see how desperate things could get for normal folks in a dome. The way people scavenged the fallen Madmen so quickly was a neat touch.

Things get repetitive when we have to sit through Tellos’ exposition once again. As in most of these Convergence titles, the worst part of the story is the actual Convergence storyline. The battles between the different domed cities holds absolutely no interest for me. There aren’t enough pages to do justice to the antagonists, and in almost every case we have to just blindly accept that the heroes involved would give up and fight for Tellos’ amusement. I’m not buying it. Worst of all, I’m tired of reading the same dialogue over and over again!

Yishan Li does a decent job with the art, but doesn’t bail out the sort of bland storytelling I described above. This may be a Charlton-centric version of these heroes, but I vastly prefer the ones with more personality and more visual identity that I got from the JLI era of DC comics.

This is an AVERAGE comic, and one of the few Convergence titles that I won’t be pining for come June. 

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