writer: Alisa Kwitney / artist: Rick Leonardi, Mark Pennington/ DC Comics
You ever really build your hopes up about something because maybe, finally, this time it will work out and be perfect and everything you dreamed, only to have them dashed? Enter Convergence: Batgirl #2, The Love Song of Stephanie Brown.
Right off the bat (no pun intended) this issue has some strange art inconsistencies within panels, with Red Robin’s mask appearing with eye holes then not, Blackbat’s gloves turning into magically repairable fingerless versions of themselves, and her hair looking more like someone splattered some ink blots near her head than hair. Then there come the flashbacks. One page we see Cass, Tim, and Steph about to fight Grodd, the next we flashback to the previous day where we basically rehash parts of issue #1. Flash-forward, Catman explains why he and Grodd entered the portal together (some cobbled together story about Grodd massacring Cape Town before Catman escaped to Gotham of all places for weapons). Flashback just to tell this side story. Flash-forward because Grodd is beating up Cassandra Cain (which may actually be the most infuriating part of this comic for me because it chooses to ignore that canonically Cassandra has fought metahumanoids before and held her own, if not won). It’s a bit of a mess.
It only gets worse when you throw in an earthquake so Tim has to conveniently catch Steph, leading to some forced romantic plot about how they supposedly still have feelings for one another. This, too, seems inconsistent with canon since Stephanie’s growth as a person stems from the fact that she realized she no longer needed to depend on Tim and could actually be a decent superhero without him protecting her or involving herself in his life. Yes, they may have had residual attraction but Stephanie should be far too mature at this point to seriously consider getting back with her ex. I think Cass sums up my feelings on this best:
Even though I originally bought this comic as a Cass fan (and a Tim fan, to be fair), I don’t see this comic being worth it even to the diehard Steph fans. There’s way too many characters, the plot is unfocused and pivots more than a weather vane in a hurricane, and there’s barely any action in what’s supposed to be a superhero comic. It’s not awful, but it’s enough to make you roll your eyes one time too many. Word of advice: save your cash for some decent back issues featuring any of the characters in this comic.