It was strange to hear how many goddam allusions to movies and TV shows the characters used in this, and I have a very hard time imagining Jughead Jones watching I Spit On Your Grave, but then I suppose this series is all about the characters acting in ways that were never more than roughly suggested in the original Archie Comics. Like what happened between the Blossom siblings, for example, which was apparently so awful that writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa doesn't explicitly tell us, leaving it to our imagination. Not that you can't figure it out, of course, it's just too ugly to dramatize, I guess.
Near the end, there's a neat little bit of meta-commentary about the safe, unchanging nature of Riverdale and the Archie Comics line, followed immediately by a big, weird plot development (I thought the words Jughead was referring to were "I love you," not the ones Archie actually utters).
Deimos proves to be a much bigger villain than one might have guessed at the outset, taking out both Telos and Brainiac (at least temporarily) and assuming control over
It's nice to see Kubert's art here, although he's relegated to drawing the Earth-2 characters, who are the stars of Convergence (It would have been nice if DC gave us fair warning and entitled this series Earth 2: Convergence, but then I suppose no one would read it). Kubert does some really weird stuff with the human body though in the two gory deaths of Warlord supporting cast members.
When Tara gets impaled from behind, her skin around the blade pokes out as if she were made out of plastic...
Also, he gives Gorilla Grodd human-shaped feet, rather than gorilla-feet, so that he looks more like a Bigfoot than a gorilla.
That was probably beyond writer Alisa Kwitney's control, as there doesn't seem to be any consensus among the various books regarding how elements of Convergence work, but we can call her out for having Cassandra Cain be the only one of the four caped humans to be taken out by Grodd. I mean, he roughs them all up, but Cass is the first one he grabs, and he knocks her unconscious. I have no idea how you grab a person who can predict your movements, or how the best fighter among the four–by a factor of, like, 50–is the only one who gets taken down, but whatever (It probably would have made more sense to have Grodd use his telepathy on Cassandra to paralyze her first or something, as he later briefly takes over Robin's mind).
Also, I have no idea why Stephanie decided to punch Tim in the face when he tried talking to her about their relationship; maybe he said some dumb and/or insulting things, but that's a pretty extreme reaction, isn't it?
Regardless, Kwitney includes a few cute moments, like Cass's ability to read people's intentions grossing her out when she seek Tim and Steph together, or the pair of young lovers trying to hook up later, but both being so injured and beat up that they can barely cuddle without hurting.
All in all, Convergence: Batgirl was a weird, messy series, but it had its charms, and it was nice to see Tim and Steph get their happy ending. Of course, it did make me miss these characters, and the fact that a few of them exist in The New 52-iverse doesn't make me miss them any less, as those are simply characters with their names, rather than the actual characters as they existed before the reboot.
Anyway, it's Nightwing vs. Flashpoint Hawkman and Hawkwoman, with Oracle working behind the scenes and calling in some extra muscle to turn the tide in the battle. The title characters win, of course, but rather than killing the Hawks, they let them live–Barbara even offers to take them in to their Gotham, suggesting Hawkwoman curate a museum of her Thanagar's dead culture.
The greatest pleasure of this issue was probably Jan Duursema's artwork. She did a fairly incredible job on the Hawks, who, in this incarnation, are both scantily clad warriors, both showing off plenty of flesh, and Duursema draws it all, as well as their imposing physicality, quite well. And both contrast nicely to the slimmer, sleeker, quicker Nightwing.
Duursema also draws a fantastic image of Black Canary letting loose a canary cry which I really liked.
Hey, look at this!
I suppose the bridesmaids could be Black Canary, The Huntress and Lady Blackhawk (i.e., The Birds of Prey), and that would make the girls on the right Stephanie Brown and Cassandra Cain, although the black haired girl doesn't look Asian.
Or are Steph and Cass the two bridesmaids who aren't Black Canary, which would make the two on the right Huntress and Lady Blackhawk? Or is the dark-haired lady Donna Troy, and the blonde, um...someone else? Hey, someone go ask Gail Simone and report back, huh? Simone's on the social media all the time, right?
Also, where is Barbara's dad? And Tim? And Damian? And Starfire?
As much as I liked this last page, it, like that in Batgirl, just kinda made me wish I could read about these two characters more. I suppose it's impossible now, as I can't imagine DC wanting to do different books set on different timelines or with different continuities or whatever, but I sure would like to read more Simone/Duursema Nightwing/Oracle comics...
the opening theme, so it felt sort of off to see these characters without first seeing a swooping, screeching pterodactyl, or a robot eyeball spider laser-beaming a tank or an alligator crawling into a river. But they do get the mummy in there right away! Writer Sholly Fisch and artist Dario Brizuela do their by now expected pitch perfect cover version of the two cartoon franchises, blending them together perfectly. These particular Hanna-Barbera characters fit much more seamlessly with Scooby and the gang, and there's no hint of the sort of design clash that punctuated a handful of previous issues, particularly those guest=starring The Flintstones and The Jetsons.
Needed more Bandit, though.
I got bored rather quickly with the first story, to be honest, and so set the book aside to read the second story and other materiallater. It's 60 pages of comics, followed by a full-page image of Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman (Say, you know who'd make an pretty okay Wonder Woman in the Carter tradition? Katy Perry), and a five-page essay heavily illustrated by photos of Carter, and some back matter consisting of sketches. The first story was okay, and I probably could have made it through the rest of the book were it not the last in a stack of comics I was reading in one sitting, but the fact that the art changed so often and so much in terms of style was extremely off-putting.