Legendary writer Marv Wolfman and superstar artist hit a home run with the first issue of Convergence: New Teen Titans. Were they able to keep up the momentum for 80’s team in Issue Two?

Convergence: New Teen Titans #2 by Marv Wolfman and Nicola Scott

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The second issue of Convergence: New Teen Titans kicks off with Nightwing and the Tangent Universe Doom Patrol member Firehawk having the clandestine meeting that was alluded to at the end of the first. While not entirely trusting of each other, the two characters both agree that their two teams fighting each other does no good for either of them. However, before the two can start formulating any kind of plan, Nightwing gets an SOS from the Titans telling him they’re under attack by the Doom Patrol. He accuses Firehawk of lying and leaves, leaving her to stammer that she had no idea what her teammates were going to do.

The attack is occurring at Cyborg’s hospital room, who the Doom Patrol aim to capture with the goal of using his power cells to fuel a ship home. The two teams brutally battle, leaving members on both sides injured. Eventually the Doom Patrol escape with Cyborg after Starfire refuses to kill DP member Doomsday. By the time Nightwing arrives, the Titans are licking their wounds, and the stress of recent events begin to fracture the team. Starfire blames Nightwing’s desire for her to hold back when fighting her enemies for their failure, while Beast Boy fears he’s lost his best friend Cyborg for good. Donna Troy once again puts her listening skills to good use, getting Dick and Kory to speak to each other. However, before the two can work through their issues, Beast Boy rushes in saying he’s located Cyborg. It turns out that Cyborg has been encouraging the Doom Patrol to torture him, knowing that if enough promethium is released from his body it would set off an alarm his teammates could track. For her part, Firehawk attempts to convince her teammates to work with the Titans to no avail.

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The Titans arrive to free Cyborg, and begin to battle the Doom Patrol. In the midst of the fight, Beast Boy is able to free a weakened Cyborg. Meanwhile, Nightwing takes a huge blast of energy from Doomsday meant for Starfire, infuriating her. She brutally attacks Doomsday, but refuses to kill because she never wants to be like her. Seeing this, Nightwing professes his love for her. Cyborg puts an end to the fight by letting both teams know that he’s rigged the Doom Patrol’s headquarters to explode, and will do so if the two teams don’t start working together. However, as the two teams are about to begrudgingly put their differences aside, the Doom Patrol disappear and an earthquake (a running theme throughout the Convergence books this week, seemingly symbolizing the planet tearing through the fabric of space and entering the normal DC universe) strikes. The Titans are confused by these developments, but vow to figure out what’s going on as they always have, together.

Convergence: New Teen Titans #2 is brought down for me by the weight of expectations. Being a huge fan of Marv Wolfman’s classic run, this was the Convergence series I was most looking forward to, and the first issue didn’t disappoint. Wolfman’s perfectly on-point writing and Nicola Scott’s beautiful George Perez-influenced pencils made #1 one of the standout books of Convergence’s first month, and left me salivating over the prospect of the second issue. Sadly it doesn’t live up to those lofty expectations.

From a writing standpoint, the issue never seems to fire on all cylinders. The story is still driven by the character interactions, but there aren’t many standout moments like there were in the first issue, the exception being Donna Troy, whose role as team therapist is reinforced.  The interactions between the Titans and the Doom Patrol also fail to take off, as most of the issue is dedicated to the idea that the two teams should work together, but they never actually do. Instead the issue ends with the rushed earthquake twist, though it’s hard to put that at Wolfman’s feet since it’s part of the whole of the Convergence event.

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There is one interesting character moment in the book, dealing with the character Jericho. Created as Deathstroke’s mute super-powered son, Joseph “Jericho” Wilson has almost always been portrayed as effeminate, leading to questions about his sexuality. Various writers, including Wolfman himself, have sidestepped the issue most of the time, even occasionally showing Joey as a ladies’ man (such as 2011’s New Teen Titans: Games graphic novel). However this issue seems to strongly imply that Jericho is in fact homosexual. During the initial battle with the Doom Patrol he’s injured, leading to Kole confessing her love for him. Jericho responds with sign language that leaves Kole shocked. Later dialogue between the two has her telling him how on some level she always knew, and that she accepts him no matter what. While the scene doesn’t offer anything definitive, it’s hard to read it any other way knowing the character’s history.

Artistically, the issue also falls below the standards of the first. While Scott’s pencils still look good on most pages, a change in inkers seems to have had a negative effect on the art, espeically the character’s faces.  Though Scott’s Starfire is still stunning, perhaps the closest has come to the legendary Perez take.

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Convergence: New Teen Titans #2 isn’t a bad comic book, however it falls below the lofty standards set by the creative team and their work on the first issue. Due to that, I’m hoping this isn’t Wolfman’s swan-song with the characters.

Convergence: New Teen Titans #2: B

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