After spending a year under the dome, and without powers, the JLI are back in action...pitted against a League from the "Kingdom Come" universe by Telos, Brainiac's living planet. How does it play out? Let's look at "Convergence: Justice League International" #2, written by Ron Marz with art by Mike Manley, and inks by Joe Rubinstein and Bret Blevins, to find out.
The issue picks up shortly after the events of the last issue. The "Kingdom Come" League has arrived in Metropolis, ready to take on the JLI, led by Blue Beetle. Shazam and Wonder Woman discuss their plan of attack. Shazam, like Blue Beetle last issue, believes there is a way to do this without fighting. Wonder Woman...not so much. When she meets with Blue Beetle to discuss their pending battle, she reminds him several times that she is NOT the Wonder Woman he knows. She spouts off some doom and gloom about the dark future she is from, and says she'll do whatever it takes to avoid anything like that happening again. Ted asks her to work with him and his League to find another way...she responds with a request for his surrender.
With no chance for a peaceful team-up, they agree to meet on the outskirts of the city...Ted, having defended Metropolis for the last year, doesn't want to see any more devastation come to the city.
With that, both teams prepare for battle. In a setting reminiscent of the desert where Capt. Kirk fought the Gorn, the two Leagues meet head to head.
As the heroes face off Blue Beetle remarks that he "half-recognizes about half" of the Kingdom League and would like to think under other circumstances they could have been friends. That said...if its a fight they want, it's a fight they'll get. Which is exactly when Wonder Woman tosses him aside. As he shakes it off he realizes he's not alone...
The Beetles are discussing how they should be looking for a way to take down Telos, not each other, when they're attacked by security robots. Apparently Telos has plans in place to make sure the fights happen the way he wants. As Ted and Ted, battle the bots they crack jokes.
Kingdom Come Ted is a little surprised at first, but seems to understand when JLI Ted reminds him that this day is special. The laughs slow down though when a sudden earthquake traps KC Ted under a boulder. JLI Ted is not the kind of hero to leave a man behind though, and using some dead robot parts, moves the rock and saves his counterpart.
The downside? When they stumble back they find that the "Kingdom" League has taken out the JLI! Wonder Woman assures Ted that his team was only subdued, not harmed. KC Ted has a parting message as well, before Shazam calls down the lightning to transport his team away.
Back at the JLI HQ the team agrees they're not done fighting. They'll find a way to stop Telos, they're not giving up. Ted tells the team he needs some time alone, to come up with a plan. He's a little down...no one remembered what this day was...until...
He walks right into a bucket of water, blue and gold balloons and streamers, and a note. "Dear Ted, Sorry I couldn't be there today" it begins. It's from Booster, Ted's best friend. It seems the time travelling Booster Gold didn't forget Blue Beetle's birthday!
Two months in a row with two new Blue Beetle stories...I feel spoiled! How about you? Unless Ted returns, though I haven't seen or heard anything even hinting at that in DC's recent solicitations, things are going to be a little sad next month. But after reading this...I have to say, I would buy a monthly book that was nothing but Ted Kord interacting with alternate versions of himself! My recap, and the few pictures I included could not do that part of the story nearly enough justice! I grinned while reading it. Seriously...a Cheshire Cat grin! And that ending? A very nice touch! Now it really feels like Justice League International...and of course, sadly, its the last issue...but still, this felt right. Like I said, I haven't seen much in the way of Blue Beetle news, but here's hoping if nothing else, we get a little more Blue & Gold in our future especially with Booster's message "I'm sure we'll see each other again soon" Oh...and my questions about the art last month...ignore them! I liked this book...a lot!