With Brainiac missing, his second-in-command, Telos, takes matters into his own hands by bringing the heroes and villains of the multiple Earths into one giant arena to determine who will survive and who will be lost to the ages.
It’s a bit like Secret Wars except on a more massive scale. Instead of Superman battling his friends and foes, Convergence will feature various and familiar versions of the character from Kingdom Come, Injustice, Flashpoint, etc. Each “city,” or universe, will live or die on the backs of its heroes, and non-compliance will lead to disqualification or a total wipe of the entire multiverse.
The issue gets good marks for having a much stronger narrative that sets the stage for what’s to come by building the foundation for what’s happening now. Convergence #1 begins with the Injustice universe being wiped out after Superman denies Gotham City. Telos cleans the slate and starts over, bringing in the heroes of Earth 2 in the nick of time — the heroes were just about to see Earth fall as they took on Darkseid. Green Lantern’s powers are gone, signaling that their Earth has been totally destroyed. When Telos arrives, he questions the absence of the heroes’ “city,” and then he launches the convergence — a royal rumble that will determine the universe to come.
I would much rather this was the #0 issue and for several reasons. Convergence #1 rewrites its preceding issue by giving Telos the motivation and idea for his worlds at war with much better plotting and scripting. All issue #0 really did was connect the dots to the Doomed storyline — something that could have been done in a later issue. Credit goes to Jeff King and Scott Lobdell for approaching the story with more explication, though it gets a little heavy-handed at times. In other areas, it seems a bit vague, and Telos doesn’t come across as someone (or something) who knows what he’s doing. His idea for the convergence is basically an attempt to find meaning in the absence of his master, and while the idea seems great and exciting on paper, I couldn’t help but feel it was a little wonky on the execution.
Carlo Pagulayan’s pencils have a classic look to them akin to the stylings of Bryan Hitch and Ethan Van Sciver. Pagulayan does incredible work on Jay Garrick, Earth 2’s Flash, with a brilliant range of motion for the character packed into the panels. Overall, the pages are stuffed with action and big-picture landscapes that hint at Convergence’s story unfolding on a massive scale. When Telos begins to outline his plans, Pagulayan seizes the opportunity and gives readers much to look forward to with a double-page spread of the characters looking to make an appearance in future issues.
The inks by Jason Paz are tight and precise. The finishing touches have a confidence about them, and I’d be interested in seeing a proof version without the colors. Not that the colors are bad. John Starr and Peter Steigerwald do a good job providing Convergence #1 with bold saturated hues. There’s an emphasis on lighting — most of the issue is rather dark until Telos begins to shine a light on the story at hand — and there’s some nice shading. I think the colors could have been brighter with some better separation on tones, but the finished product is still solid.
Convergence is a weekly series, and by the end May, we’ll have a new DCU without the New52 stamp. DC won’t be renumbering, but the status quo will change as it’s very possible older and more classic characters will replace their present counterparts. Imagine a DCU with Kingdom Come Superman, Flashpoint Batman, and the Flash from Li’l League. That might excite some and dismay others, and I hope the next issues in this series has a compelling narrative that ends up being less a two-month distraction and something a little more like Crisis on Infinite Earths — something that’s still remembered by fans today.
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