Jeff King & Scott Lobdell – Writers
Carlo Pagulayan – Pencils
Jason Paz – Inks
John Starr w/ Peter Steigerwald – Colors
Travis Lanham – Letters
Review by Joey Braccino
“ONLY ONE CITY WILL SURVIVE THIS DAY—ALL OTHER WORLDS WILL FINALLY KNOW THE DARK EMBRACE OF OBLIVION”
Convergence has begun**!!! Under the guidance of his all-mighty master Brainiac, Telos has gathered representatives from some of the most revered (and some reviled!) corners of the DC Multiverse all together for one purpose: AN ALL-OUT FIGHT TO THE DEATH!!! Injustice meets Kingdom Come meets Nu52 meets Infinite Crisis meets Identity Crisis meets Final Crisis meets a whole bunch else as heroes from all these different iterations of the DC Universe hurtle toward each other!!!
And that’s where Convergence #1 ends. Right before the good stuff!!!
[**Or did it already begin last week with Convergence #0? Now that’s not fair…]
The first 25 pages of Convergence #1, from main writer Jeff King and comics legend Scott Lobdell, are split between two seemingly separate stories—the first set in the Injustice universe and the other featuring our Earth 2 heroes as they’re ripped into Telos. King and Lobdell go all in media res here with both stories, dropping us into the lingering feud between Injustice Superman and the rest of the Justice League on the first page. With the Earth 2 thread, at least we see them in a situation immediately relevant to the conflict of Convergence. The first set-piece in Injustice-Gotham is jarring and provides little forward momentum in terms of the story at hand; at the very least, watching Val-Zod and Thomas “Batman” Wayne attempt to figure out what the strange land of Telos is and why they were pulled there parallels our own desire to know just what the heck is going on. This middle section is also where we’re treated to the mandatory action sequence and the obligatory “SHOCKING REVEAL!!!” It isn’t until the final few pages that Telos actually reveals himself and explains the parameters of the Convergence (Brainiac has pulled cities from the multiverse and the heroes of said cities will fight to save their own. No survivors).
I suppose the impact of the shocking reveals and the novelty of seeing the Injustice and Earth 2 characters will depend almost entirely on your familiarity and investment in DC Comics. A character “returns from the dead” about half way through the book that I’m sure most readers (besides perhaps the most diehard DC enthusiasts) will have to look up. On a strictly storytelling level, Convergence #1 is a serviceable event-starter for the last half the issue and almost entirely inconsequential for the first half. I’ll always find the concept of multiverse battles interesting—there is something fun about seeing characters that never meet… meet—and the premise here is at the very least interesting. But special? Dynamic? Fresh and original? Earth-shattering? Not exactly. Even the artwork from Carlo Pagulayan and Jason Pazz is our standard DC house style of dynamic realism. It’s solid and vibrant, yes, but again, nothing particularly daring.
Part of me hopes that as the various universes collide, the artwork styles shift and collide as well. Could you imagine seeing Finch’s Nu52 Wonder Woman come face to face with Darwyn Cooke’s New Frontier Wonder Woman? Like aesthetically, I’d be like “Whaaaaaaaaaaa—“
Meh. I mean, I think Convergence could end up being a fun, engaging series of fisticuffs between some of the most iconic characters in DC history… or it could end up being a self-indulgent, all-too-serious meditation on violence. Neither Convergence #0 or #1 really shed light on where this thing is going to go. Perhaps, as was originally intended, we as readers will get more from the individual Convergence tie-ins, where the tone of each book might befit the respective subjects. Here, however, Convergence #1 really falls short of establishing anything significant as the main series. Skip, and pick up one of the minis. Maybe Batgirl, starring the illustrious Stephanie Brown!!!!???