While we got a tease of what Convergence was about with last week’s release of Convergence #0, everything kicks into high gear this week as DC Comics’ Convergence begins! We grabbed the first issue, and share the big review, after the jump!
Previously in Convergence: Superman is not where he is supposed to be, and the Brainiacs don’t like it. When Brainiac Prime is gone, Telos emerges with a plan of his own.
IT BEGINS… again…
Here’s one way to tell a story – survivors wake up on a deserted island and find that in order to survive they must work together. As the story progresses, it becomes clear that a lot of people are going to die and only the strongest will survive. No matter what the heroes of this tale do, no matter how hard they fight, no matter how smart, fast, or powerful they are, only one group is going to emerge from the hell. We’ve seen this in disaster movies (Poseidon Adventure, Towering Inferno, Titanic, and so on) and the character stories that emerge are filled with emotion and impact that brings a tear to the eye, and makes us miss That One Person when they finally bite it in the second act.
In Crisis on Infinite Earths, we didn’t want to see the heroes die, everyone fought to keep their world in tact, and when the end of everything occurred you felt sorry for those that were wiped from existence.
Sadly, Convergence is not that kind of a disaster story. Or at least that is not what we are getting in this first issue.
With the end of Earth-2, Batman, Dick Grayson, Flash, Val-Zod (Superman), and The Red Avatar of Earth find themselves on a strange planet without a city under the protection of the combined Brainiac entities now know as Telos. Telos believes an error has occurred, so instead of finding a new city for these misplaced heroes to live out their lives, instead of heroes working together, the solution is to have an “infinite” number of cities fight each other to the death until one emerges victorious.
While DC may surprise us as the series progresses, the story set up in this issue leads me to believe it is going to showcase the worst in everyone. Chaos run amuck. Hero vs. hero. Every man, woman, and child for themselves. Telos has thrown down the gauntlet, and while I like to believe in the best of people, I can see the next issue opening with throngs of people from one city carrying pipes and bricks killing everyone from another city.
I remember the last event that had heroes fighting heroes to the death – Countdown: Arena.
From the first page, it is clear that Convergence #1 is not for new readers. If you haven’t been reading the core books of the New 52, you are going to be confused and lost. Who is Val-Zod? What Earth is this? Why isn’t Dick Grayson suited up and ready to fight? All of those questions are answered in the Earth-2 Endgame series. Of course there is nothing that tells you that these characters are from Earth-2, so if you aren’t going to do the research, the door to this event is closed.
DC editorial doesn’t like “Previously In…” pages in their books, and editorial boxes have gone the way of the Dodo, but these two elements would greatly improve the overall experience with this first issue. While no one likes to be compared to its major competitor, a method that helps new readers instead of pushing them away should be used regardless if the company is selling Chicken Nuggets or Chicken McNuggets. Get over it, swallow the bitter pill, and encourage new readers instead of creating an exclusive club.
On the plus side, Convergence #1 does set up the big conflict that will spill across the entirety of the DCU for next two months. I may not be a fan of the direction of the story, but Scott Lobdell and Jeff King have set up the story and conflict well. The exchanges between the characters seem natural, and the writers have given the heroes a reason to restrain themselves instead of punching the unknown in the face on the first meeting.
BEAUTY IN DEATH
The art of Convergence #1 is really good. Even amid the destruction and desolation of worlds, the art is wonderful. Carlo Pagulayan has a great eye for composition and Jason Paz’s inks makes the page look clean distinct. The double page spread where Telos tells the cities that they have to fight had to have been a joy to draw as the duo get the chance to draw so many different versions of heroes that we have seen throughout the years. The sequence reveal of the multiple cities and how Telos reveals his plans is well thought out and flows from page to page. Be aware that while the sequence works so well, the three panel sequence is spread through three double page spreads, eating up six pages of the 22-page story.
BOTTOM LINE: Oh… it is exactly what I thought it would be…
I was hoping Convergence wouldn’t turn into the story I feared it would turn into, but reading this issue my excitement quickly turned into one of those, “oh, no… this is what they are doing… ” moments. I’m not saying this event can’t be turned around or that the end of the series won’t have us all cheering wildly, but from this first issue the direction seems to be one we’ve seen before. Convergence #1 is not new reader friendly unfortunately, but then again most major event comics aren’t. There are easy remedies to this, but I don’t believe they will be employed to explain what is going on. The story as presented is solid and the art is incredible, but if you aren’t ready to jump off the cliff and dive headfirst into the Convergence event, you may find this issue lacking. I’ve made the commitment to read the entire series because I am interested to see what remains and how DC will spin this for the next couple of years.
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