What questions does The Question have about Convergence? Witness Renee Montoya’s return as the blank-faced vigilante in the pages of Convergence: The Question #1.
DO YOU UNDERSTAND THE QUESTION?
The average reader’s enjoyment of Convergence: The Question #1 will largely hinge on their familiarity with Greg Rucka’s work on Detective Comics a half-decade ago. The first part of a two issue miniseries, it reintroduces Renee Montoya as The Question, and focuses on her strange relationship with Two-Face. The first few pages introduce a Gotham walled off from the outside world, making reference to the “No Man’s Land” event that brought Two-Face and Montoya into contact in the first place. Montoya is trying to spread some good in the trapped city, balancing that against a sick father and her worry about the Mark of Cain she once bore. But the centerpiece of the issue is Montoya as The Question dealing with Two-Face and his reaction to their current situation. Two-Face is playing his own version of Russian Roulette, but with his coin always coming up heads, it seems something is altering probability. When the competition between captive cities is introduced near the end of the issue, something like a plot finally kicks into gear in what was a fairly decompressed bit of storytelling.
There isn’t much that happens in the issue, aside from an action sequence early on. Most the pages are spent deep in conversations that reference earlier, non-Convergence-related topics. But Greg Rucka is a good writer, and makes all of this interesting even for an unfamiliar reader, although it does lack some punch without a historical grounding in the two characters’ interactions. It’s a bit of an odd duck though – it’s unclear how anything in this issue will affect anything else in Convergence as Convergence is barely touched on, or what even needs to be resolved in the second issue.
THE SHADOWS KNOW
Cully Hamner and Dave McCaig work well together. The use of shadows, from giving The Question’s blank visage some expressiveness to illustrating the isolated nature of Gotham, is masterful. Hamner’s Two-Face is a fantastic take on the character, with an almost reptilian scarring. When allowed to play with some action, they do a fine job, lining Two-Face up as a brutal threat. The script doesn’t allow Montoya a chance to really stretch her legs, but the emotion coming through in her expressions helps drive the character-based drama. Hamner and McCaig are well-suited todrawing a grimy, decrepit Gotham.
BOTTOM LINE: IF YOU MISS RENEE MONTOYA, THIS IS A WELCOME REUNION
Convergence: The Question #1 is an interesting read, but with little connection to Convergence, it seems the appeal is limited to Renee Montoya fans. If you don’t have the grounding from Montoya’s appearances in Detective Comics and 52, there isn’t much to latch onto. DC does provide a two page back-up summary of Renee Montoya’s history as The Question (my question being, why not put that at the front?), but Rucka’s exploration of the Montoya/Two-Face relationship lacked resonance for me without a history of reading those previous two titles. And without much in the way of a link to the wider world of Convergence, Convergence: The Question #1 comes off feeling inessential in the larger picture. But if you’ve been missing Gotham’s blank-faced fedora enthusiast, you’ll probably enjoy this issue.