Convergence: Titans #2

Anyone who kept up with the various Teen Titans characters from a few years ago certainly knew what a mess Arsenal had become. Between his daughter dying, losing an arm, going crazy and thinking a dead cat was his daughter and his starring role in the hideously bad revamp of "Titans" featuring Deathstroke, it was not a good time for the character. So it's understandable and even somewhat reasonable that the sole purpose of "Convergence: Titans" is to give the character a happier ending. Even with that in mind, "Convergence: Titans" #2's contents from Fabian Nicieza, Ron Wagner and Jose Marzan Jr. comes across as more than a little trite and predictable.

Last month's cliffhanger centered around the question of whether or not Arsenal would do awful things to his teammates in order to save his daughter Lian. After we get the resolution to that question (the answer being no, of course, since this is supposed to redeem Arsenal), the book quickly loses any sort of drive. Instead, it's an incredibly generic fight between the Titans and the Extremists, with a second time for the "will Arsenal betray his teammates?" question to pop up. Needless to say, even if you might have fallen for it the first time, a second time around within the same issue really shouldn't trick anyone. The end result is a comic with no drama or gravitas to its proceedings. The book quietly limps to a conclusion that ends up being surprisingly unsatisfying. The defeat of the Extremists feels unexciting and perfunctory, and Arsenal's struggles are almost trivial. I'm not saying Arsenal didn't deserve some sort of happy ending but, rather, that this is a comic that solely exists to deliver that happy ending. With no other real drive in its storytelling, it's hollow and limp.

Wagner and Marzan's art is very generic and feels better suited to a comic from the mid-to-late '80s. The characters are recognizable but simple, and expressions seem confined to either dumbfounded or teeth-gritting. The art is easy to follow but it's unfortunately also unmemorable. They get the job done, but neither the pencils and inks nor the colors stand out in any way, shape or form. This comes across more like a fill-in artist's work, where the job is done competently but that's about it.

"Convergence: Titans" #2 is ultimately a skippable comic. There's nothing that makes this required reading, not even if you were a big fan of Arsenal. It's nice that someone felt that a better ending was needed (and, to be fair, being in the "Titans: Villains for Hire" era that closed down the series pre-"Flashpoint" was about the worst ending possible for any character to have), but that's not enough to make this comic work.

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