I said in my review for Convergence: Batman and Robin#1 that it doesn’t pay to think too deeply about the premise of this series.  Particularly, it doesn’t do to consider that these characters were supposedly plucked from a timeline just before Flashpoint. Several of the characterizations and relationships, particularly those of Jason and Damian, simply don’t ring true to that era.  They seem more drawn from Batman Incorporated than the pre-Flashpoint Batman and Robin.  At most, the truest relationship seems that of Bruce and Damian, and that echoes the Batman and Robin of Peter Tomasi from after the reboot.

However, if you take this as a pure elseworlds story, a riff on characters not meant to fit into any particular continuity but merely to explore possibilities, most of the problems recede.  This still is not a particularly interesting issue.  It is simply one extended fight scene punctuated by quips and highly conventional story beats.  There are some stories, usually not excellent ones, that seem to be written by chess masters.  It is as if they started out with a particular opening and moved the characters through an expected set of events and reactions, exactly as if faced with a standard chess scenario featuring the Sicilian Gambit and its standard variations.  The results are mildly entertaining, even slightly satisfying, but neither memorable nor especially insightful.

This time the art does not rise above Ron Marz’s story.  Denys Cowan’s pinched, angular figures were superb in the first issue at conveying the sense of trapped constriction, of intense physical and emotional pressure than these people suffered under the dome.  Now that the dome has opened and they have begun to act, they seem out-of-place, almost caricatures.  Klaus Janson and Joe Rubinstein’s delicate lines are well-suited to convey action, but their shadows are too heavy, weighing the character’s down in leaden darkness.  Chris Sotomayor’s colors don’t give a sense of vibrancy and action, but oppressed weariness, not the tone one needs for an extended and complicated battle sequence.

Grade

B-

Conclusion

This is a by-the-numbers exercise in which nothing really goes wrong. The problem is nothing really goes very right, either. It is a solid elseworlds story that does not damage to the characters and their relationships, but says nothing very interesting, either. In the end, it will anger no one, please many, but be forgotten quickly by all. There are worse things to say about a story with some of the most popular characters in comics. But oh my, there are better things to say. There are much better things.