This week’s installment of Convergence is mediocre at best. The biggest problem I found was, despite everything that happens in this issue, nothing really happens.
We get to see the New52 characters become aware of a planet trying to enter the universe through some kind of portal, Deimos mentions that he can create a new universe using death magic, a bunch of characters from the 2-part Convergence stories make an appearance in a meaningless battle, and then everybody teams up to take on Deimos. This issue doesn’t give us any surprises, no groundbreaking revelations into the pasts of the characters or the roles they may yet come to play, and no real progression in the story. The only new piece of information that made me raise an eyebrow was the mention of Death Magic. I’m assuming that it works like sacrificial magic and that if enough people die it will give Deimos’ spell the energy it needs to activate and bring forth his new universe into existence.
The intro that brings the New52 characters into the fold doesn’t really even do that. Sure we see everyone contemplating the arrival of the planet and a couple of them actually bring up possible courses of action but nobody does anything. They all just sit around and stare. For all we know, they may very well never lift a finger to determine the outcome of the story. I’m guessing they remain spectators in the overall scheme of things and that the inhabitants of the planet will ultimately be the ones who decide its fate. Personally, I’d prefer it that way. Having the New52 characters swoop in and save the day would ultimately make the “outdated” characters seem less powerful and incapable of handling their own battles without the help of the superior forces that comprise the New52. (You can’t tell me the Parallax version of Hal Jordan would need help taking out Deimos)
This issue does have plenty of character interactions, funny moments, and homages…but ultimately I feel like most of them are going to be lost on an audience that just won’t get the references that are being made. There is also something about them that feels like someone somewhere is just checking a moment off a list that they wanted to see included. Especially that brief cameo by Superboy. It was cute, and I understood what they were going for, but it felt shoehorned in and ultimately unnecessary. In that sense, a lot of this issue ends up feeling like filler. Carefully selected filler, like jokes from past series revisited or the ever popular inclusion of parallel versions of characters interacting with one another, but filler none the less.
Maybe part of my disappointment stems from the fact that several of the major plot points that unfolded during this issue felt given. There is a scene where Grayson has to convince Telos to help them, and I swear I feel like this already happened. Hadn’t Grayson already convinced Telos to join them? Maybe it wasn’t definitive yet, but I don’t think there was any doubt or suspense in anyone’s mind that he might actually decline. The heroes banding together was also a given, but it could have been carried out in an interesting way. There could have been some suspense about who may or may not show, or some conflict to overcome in order for them to join the fray, but no. There isn’t anything they have to overcome to get together, they just do. Everyone ran off and when they came back they had hordes of other heroes with them. I get that they only have so many issue to tell this story in, but it wouldn’t hurt to make it interesting. Especially when it feels like they spread out a bunch of nothing when they could have tightened things up and given us more content and less flair. A little character motivation would have been nice too. Something other than we are heroes and the world is about to end.
The story displayed here could have been easily told in 10 pages leaving plenty of space to tell a more elaborate tale. The creative team stretched what they had to fill the 28 pages they had to work with. Most of this is accomplished by an excessive use of two-page spreads. In fact, only 4 pages in the whole book don’t factor into that, and of those, two of them are full splash pages. Basically, every effort was made to get as little an amount of story to fit into as many pages as possible. Keep in mind that this is not meant to imply that the art in the issue should be viewed as a negative. Merely that it is primarily flair with little substance to it.
Ed Benes and Eduardo Pansica handled art duties for this issue. Of the two, I’m definitely feeling Benes’ pencils more. There is a sharpness to his work that makes it feel grittier and less cartoony in nature. There is also something about Ed Bennes’ work that I find vaguely similar to another artist whom I also have an affinity for, which puts me in a nostalgic mood towards him.
-sorry, no “interesting facts” this week. If I went there, it would be ridiculously long. Like pages and pages long. Those 2 pictures up above of the heroes and villains alone would warrant 50 paragraphs worth of info. I would not even know where to begin, so I’m choosing not to.-
- You like reading a comic that references plenty of moments from DC history.
- You like playing “name that character” as a test of your DC knowledge.
- You’re a fan of Ed Benes. He only handles a few pages, but it’s still Ed Benes.
Nothing much happens in this issue. I did find it entertaining, but it probably had more to do with the nostalgia and homages than the story itself. It’s also pretty to look at, but features very little in the way of content. Seeing as how as many deaths as possible is Deimos’ ultimate goal, I’m assuming the next issue should be a blood bath. Especially when you consider that the characters present are “old” and “expendable”.
SCORE: 5 / 10