By Jarrod Jones. Just a quick aside… Does anyone know why Gotham is the preferred city of Convergence? Is there a deliberate reason as to why, of all the cities in almost every DC Comics reality visited by that cosmic nimrod, Telos, Gotham City is the one burg he continuously decides to snatch up?
And can any of you take time out of your important lives to inform me as to how it is — amid all this cosmic and temporal snatching — that crucial superheroes, who have no reason to be in Gotham City whatsoever, end up in Gotham City exactly at the moment when this happens?
Am I crazy, or is this nuts? And not in an adorable, Unbeatable Squirrel Girl sorta way, either.
Thankfully, Larry Hama and Joshua Middleton’s Convergence: Wonder Woman #1 doesn’t burden itself with such questions. With a mere two issues allotted to the creative team, they can afford only so many trivialities. And even though Diana of Themyscira (and of Washington, DC; and of Boston; and of New York) has somehow found her powerless, Pre-Crisis self shacked up in a domed Gotham City alongside Steve Trevor and Etta Candy (yeah, I know!), Hama and Middleton aren’t bothering with the particulars. And that shuts an inquisitive dork like me the hell up.
Because the important thing to focus on here isn’t the insanity of Convergence‘s overall storyline. Writer Larry Hama, a comics veteran of over forty years, knows how to write around any narrative quirk or editorial mandate tossed his way, and Wonder Woman #1 is a beautiful example of that: Even when all this continuity-blurring hullabaloo threatens to undo every Convergence mini-series before they have a chance to be sold, Hama crafts a compellingly simple tale in spite of it. This is a comic book tale told richly and efficiently.
And that’s a fine thing, because Convergence: Wonder Woman, in all its simplicity, might just be the most entertaining Wonder Woman story I’ve read all year. You guys can keep your Azrael-Diana; if DC decided to toss out a certain creative duo in favor of Hama and Middleton’s assertive take on the Amazonian warrior, I wouldn’t be mad. (Even though it is rather strange that Hama would choose to bring out an adversarially skeptical bent to this Diana, what with her being sculpted from clay and animated by the Gods, or being caught within an impenetrable dome, and all that.) This Diana displays an agency that has all but left her in recent issues of Wonder Woman, and it’s refreshing to see that men are at the mercy of her considerable strength even if she’s without her Gods-given gifts. (“Darling, you don’t have to do anything except stand around and look dashing in your uniform,” she says to a blushing Steve Trevor. Ha!)
But Hama is only half the reason Convergence: Wonder Woman #1 is such a good book. Joshua Middleton’s aggressively stylistic artwork gives this brief yarn just the right amount of foreboding: A crossover between Pre-Crisis Gotham City and a, um, “Red Rain Universe” (I guess DC meant Earth-43?) would have every justifiable reason to look ridiculous, but Middleton’s moody shadows provide more depth and atmosphere than anything we’ve seen in Convergence thus far. Also, his vision of Diana has more character and realistic proportion than what we’ve been forced to perceive these last several months. With her broad shoulders and stringy, PJ Harvey-esque hair, Middleton’s Wonder Woman is a titan born of true nobility and strength.
With only one issue left to Hama and Middleton’s interpretation of Wonder Woman, I’ve found myself in a position to look forward to another installment of the outright lunacy that is Convergence. Like this Diana, I can’t walk away from a good fight. Now, if one of you could explain it all to me…
Written by Larry Hama.
Art by Joshua Middleton.
8 out of 10