We at the DC3 have been through a lot together – we’ve seen villains take over our beloved books, we read a month’s worth of “Five Years Later” stories, and we’ve tackled a year of weekly titles, and we’ve come through it all stronger. But here we are, at our most challenging time as a unit: “Convergence.” Calling ourselves the DC3 just wouldn’t cut it anymore. We needed a new name, one that transforms us from boys into men, from civilians into soldiers, from sidekicks into superheroes. For the next two months, the DC3 are no more: long live the Convergents!
Written by Scott Lobdell and Jeff King
Illustrated by Stephen Segovia, Carlo Pagulayan, Eduardo Pansica, and Ethan Van Sciver
Reviewed by Zach Wilkerson
The stakes are high! Worlds will live, worlds will die, and nothing will ever be the same again! Everything teeters on the edge of ruin, with all time and space on the verge of collapse, only to be saved by a group of intrepid heroes…off panel.
That’s “Convergence” #8 in a nutshell; huge stakes, awesome build up, and a story that quite nearly rises to the occasion of adequately celebrating the 30th anniversary of “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” only to squander it all in a deus ex machina that goes over like a fart in the wind.
And yet, in spite of this, “Convergence” manages to have perhaps the most lasting and important impact on the DC universe of any event in the company’s publishing history. Lobdell and King make good on the promise that every story matters, throwing open doors to vast vaults of untapped story potential. While it’s not entirely fair to judge a comic based on its more metatextual/real world implications, the sheer excitement elicited from this issue surely covers many of its sins.
These sins, such as the off panel climax and peculiar pacing, prevent the issue from standing as truly satisfying conclusion to this miniseries. Characters pop in an out of frame as needed to progress the plot to its next point. Booster Gold and Waverider, for instance, glide in basically just to say hello to everyone.
However, certain characters, such as the pre-Flashpoint Superman and Lois, or the Zero Hour-era Parallax, get some particularly strong moments. “Convergence” sets these characters, along with the pre-Crisis Flash and Supergirl, on a pedestal akin to that of Superman, Superboy Prime, and Alexander Luthor in “Crisis on Infinite Earths.” It’s one of but a few terrific nods and parallels made to that classic tale, lending some much needed emotional depth to the proceedings.
Artistically, the issue is surprisingly sound considering the large number of creators working on the title. Stephen Segovia and Carlo Pagulayan, artists who have done the lion’s share of the work on “Convergence,” continue to deliver solid and at times even remarkable illustrations. Sadly, it’s the contribution of Ethan Van Sciver, a typically top-tier artist, which most apparently disappoints. His back-to-back double page spreads showcasing the climactic rebirth of the multiverse, features some rather horrifying depictions of human anatomy. The artist’s usual level of detail is sorely lacking, even when considering the scope of the images. There’s a noticeable difference in quality between this work and similar pieces in Van Sciver’s career, such as the iconic splash page of “Green Lantern” #25.
“Convergence” faced several unenviable tasks. It was not only the culmination of its own story, but that of a year’s worth of stories from two weekly series, as well as 30 years of DC history. It formed the backbone of a two-month publishing initiate that completely replaced the company’s normal lineup. It’s a story whose concept required it to be everything to everyone. Under that sort of strain, it’s no surprise that the book slipped and stumbled along the way. In spite of its faults, it succeeded in telling a succinct and fairly complete story that managed to subvert expectations in surprising ways.
Final Verdict: 6.5 – A truly mixed bag of an event, but one with truly exciting implications
Written by Justin Gray
Illustrated by Claude St. Aubin
Review by Vince J Ostrowski
“Convergence: Action Comics” was a strange book in that it attempted some of the same things that the “Detective Comics” tie-in did (see my review of that, below), but didn’t quite stick the landing. By that, I mean, it tried to have its cake and eat it too when it comes to featuring a variety of historic versions of its characters and how they all interact, while making big thematic statements about their very natures as characters and packing it all in to sweeping action set pieces. It’s a laudable attempt, and by no means is it not worth reading, but it stumbles when trying to tie everything in with the ‘Red Son’ plot point. I mentioned last month that this version of the ‘Red Son’ characters feels entirely different than the one we see in “Detective Comics.” That’s still true here, but the bigger crime is that “Detective Comics” weaves those characters in with such thematic weight and richness that they become a boon to the story – a significant part of a greater whole. In the “Action Comics” tie-in, they feel tangential to the plot – an inconvenience that the heroes must deal with rather than a mirror image that the heroes see some of themselves in. On its own, “Action Comics” was a fun read. It’s action-packed and creates a fun rivalry between Power Girl and this version of Wonder Woman that acts as a breezy and enjoyable read, but (perhaps unfairly) reading it right alongside “Detective Comics” makes its lesser ambitions crystal clear.
Claude St. Aubin (an artist whose work I am very familiar with) showed tremendous growth on these two issues, so much so that I can easily make favorable comparisons to the work of Bruce Timm or Darwyn Cooke. When his characters are set in the middle or background of a scene, they drop out details selectively and share the same sort of economic linework of Timm’s animated universe design work. Closer up, the faces can be overly detailed and look a bit wonky, but for the most part, St. Aubin’s work has evolved to a point where no line is wasted, and fewer lines create a stronger, starker image. I would point to a scene near the middle of the comic, where Wonder Woman stands in the middle while swinging Power Girl around on her lasso. The sense of motion and the intentional minimization of detail, makes for one of the strongest panels in the book, and an example of the suggestion of detail doing the book greater service than actual detail. That panel is all about propulsion, and it delivers beautifully.
Final Verdict: 7.5 – The “Action Comics” tie-in was a fun diversion that I’m glad exists, but didn’t reach the heights of other, similar issues.
Convergence: Blue Beetle #2
Written by Scott Lobdell
Illustrated by Yishan Li
Reviewed by Brian Salvatore
Well, DC, you’ve done it: you managed to make me like a Scott Lobdell comic.
This issue was head and shoulders above #1, and managed to tell an entertaining story that took another approach to the ‘how do we have heroes who don’t want to fight’ fight each other story. Lobdell captures Ted Kord’s goofy, but brilliant, nature quite well. My question for older readers, who read the character in the Charlton books, is whether or not Lobdell is writing the era-appropriate Blue Beetle, or if he’s just doing the Justice League ‘Bwahahaha’ era character, set in the Charlton era. I’ve been reading comics for almost 30 years, and I honestly don’t know the answer, so perhaps it doesn’t matter, as long as the story is entertaining.
And entertaining it is – the issue has a few great moments for both Blue Beetle and the Question, and Lobdell manages to, in broad strokes at least, capture the feeling of the Legionnaires enough to make them recognizable. Li’s work remains crisp and hopeful, and finds a nice mix between the youthful exuberance of the Legion and the more grizzled Hub City heroes. Captain Atom’s face never quite gets drawn the same panel to panel, but it is also much more noticeable than Beetle or the Question because his entire face is visible at all times, unlike the other two.Continued below
Final Verdict: 7.7 – A really fun take on these two groups of – more or less – forgotten characters.
Convergence: Booster Gold #2
Written by Dan Jurgens
Illustrated by Alvaro Martinez
Reviewed by Zach Wilkerson
“Convergence: Booster Gold” is a particularly special comic, as it is essentially a love letter to the character penned by his own creator. It provides a definitive ending to a long running era, but like all good comic endings, it also presents a new beginning for more than one version of this unexpected hero.
Wrapping up story threads dating all the way back to “52,” Jurgens manages to give the pre-Flashpoint Booster Gold a true hero’s send off. This issue works almost as a sort of accelerated “Greatest Hits,” featuring a classic “Blue and Gold” team-up, a trip to Vanishing Point, and the same irreverent humor that has long defined the character. Again, Martinez does an admirable job of rendering Jurgens’ script, delivering work that exhibits both care and character.
When viewed as a single mini-series, “Convergence: Booster Gold” is quite alienating. This issue features an editors note referencing a “Futures End” tie-in from 8 months ago, if that even begins to explain how inaccessible. However, as the latest chapter in a years long meta-saga, this issue is both satisfying and rewarding.
Also, I just love that the domes never actually dropped, and we never had to hear that absurd Telos speech.
Final Verdict: 8.3 – Now seriously, where’s my “Booster Gold” ongoing?
Convergence: Crime Syndicate #2
Written by Brian Buccellato
Illustrated by Phil Winslade
Reviewed by Zach Wilkerson
While the villainous Justice League analogues of Earth 3 are most often pitted against their Earth-0, 1, or 2 counterparts, this issue finds them clashing with the futuristic Justice Legion of the 853rd Century. How much of a difference does that make from a plot perspective? Not terribly much.
Still, while “Convergence: Crime Syndicate” #2 doesn’t say anything new or particularly interesting about these characters, it’s a serviceable comic through and through. Winslade’s art continues to be the major draw, a cold, realistic realization of the Silver Age aesthetic. The artist is given several pages to stretch his artistic muscle, particularly in the disastrous earthquake scenes.
While most of the character interactions are disposable, the triangle formed between Owlman, Superwoman, and the future Wonder Woman is actually fairly engaging; a truncated tale of love, loss, and twisted redemption. Unfortunately, as with several other “Convergence” tie-ins, “Crime Syndicate” wraps with several loose threads dangling, robbing the story of any significant resolution.
Final Verdict: 6.8 – Buccellato and Winslade come close to delivering a winner, but fall just short of the goal.
Written by Len Wein
Illustrated by Denys Cowan & Bill Sienkiewicz
Review by Vince J Ostrowski
“Convergence: Detective Comics” turned out to be a wonderful mess of a tie-in comic. Once I bought into the moments where it went over the top, I found it to be one of the top 5 most enjoyable tie-ins of the “Convergence” event. I feel like Weekend Update correspondent Stefon. This. Issue. Has. Everything. Chiefly, it has the weight of the history between all of its principal characters, and it applies them in an authentic way to multiversal versions of the characters that technically don’t have a thing to do with one another. Dick and Helena act out their roles as legacy characters to logical and satisfying conclusions. The Mother Russia editions of Superman and Batman have a history too, as well as a manufactured history with Dick and Helena, given what they know of their own versions of these characters. Helena, in particular, has a wonderfully quiet moment with Batman that manages to hit the exact notes it’s looking for. Other “Convergence” tie-ins attempted similar connections with facsimile heroes between worlds, but they either rushed the attempt at a thematic link or tried to oversell the idea that these characters mean something to one another. “Detective Comics” succeeds by acknowledging that this version of “Helena” and “Bruce” are not technically related, but that a deep glance into their persona can create a twinge of recognition that runs parallel to the reality of their situation. It’s not oversold, but just tender enough. “Convergence: Detective Comics” doesn’t reinvent the wheel of superhero comics (I guess I don’t really believe Superman and Batman comics really even can be reinvented anymore), but it hits emotional highs and celebrates the core aspects of these characters on just about every page, while not even technically being about the characters we know so well. That’s the mark of a good elseworlds comic.Continued below
But “Detective Comics” also embraces the ridiculous, giving Batman an ushanka hat as part of his cowl, making purposeful scripting nods to media icons such as the Terminator films and The Steed and Peel Avengers, and making such a scene out of the classic trope of using kryptonite against Superman that Len Wein has to be having fun with the whole concept. And Denys Cowan is having fun with it too. At first glance, Cowan’s art hits the dark and gritty notes that a comic bearing the title “Detective Comics” should, but he’s doing a lot more than that. This isn’t a dark comic, when all is said and done. It’s actually pretty hopeful and triumphant. Where Cowan (joined here by Sienkiewicz) leads Dick and Helena is to a place of self-realization, where this story may end, but their adventures do not. And that’s possibly the most poignant aspect of “Convergence: Detective Comics” – it leaves its heroes in a place where a future is possible, and it winks at us on its way out the door.
Final Verdict: 9.0 – “Convergence: Detective Comics” is about as good as event tie-ins get
Convergence: Infinity Inc. #2
Written by Jerry Ordway
Illustrated by Ben Caldwell and June Brigman
Reviewed by Zach Wilkerson
Well, that took a turn for the worse.
Last month I gushed over “Convergence: Infinity Inc.” #1, much to Brian’s displeasure. Well Brian, you got your comeuppance, because this second issue is devoid of any of the qualities that I previously praised.
Gone is the distinctive visual flair of artist Ben Caldwell, replaced by the more workman-like (though arguably, truer to the Golden-Age world) pencils of June Brigman. Also gone are any hints of interesting character dynamics and development, replaced by generic super hero fisticuffs and equally generic banter. While the issue’s epilogue seems to hint at a future for “JSA Infinity,” one that’s certainly possible in the beautiful aftermath of “Convergence,” I can only hope that this issue isn’t indicative of the form it might take.
Final Verdict: 3.5 – A stark disappointment after last month’s strong showing for these legacy heroes.
Convergence: Justice Society of America #2
Written by Dan Abnett
Illustrated by Tom Derenick
Reviewed by Brian Salvatore
One of the core conceits of “Convergence,” as outlineed by Zach in his main series review, is that every story matters – all these characters will live to fight again, somewhere (probably in a big event book) and no door is really left closed. That seems to fly in the face of what this issue does which is, essentially, retire the pre-Crisis Earth 2 JSA. In the last issue, Hawkman, Green Lantern, the Flash and Dr. Fate were all given “one last time” to don their costumes and use their powers, to attempt to save their city from ruin.
The good news is that they do that; the bad news is that Abnett has written this as the end of their tales in a rather definitive way. The book ends with the team, essentially, announcing to Infinity Inc. that the hero job is now theirs, and they’re going to be over here, drinking coffee. While that is a nice visual that we almost never see – a true retirement – it seems to fly in the face of what the rest of the event is attempting.
Now, of course, I can see Alan Scott, in not quite a Danny Glover voice, putting on the cape and saying “I’m too old for this shit,” but the state in which they were left works nicely – so who knows?
Derenick does a nice job on interiors, but his pages feel a little less reverential to the era than they did last issue; the layouts, in particular, felt a bit out of place in the pre-Crisis Earth 2 setting, but the story, visually, worked in just about all other ways. The sequence where the four heroes plot out, and then execute, their plan to take down the killing machine was a particularly beautiful sequence.Continued below
Final Verdict: 6.2 – A retirement that, even thirty years later, seems premature
Convergence: Plastic Man and the Freedom Fighters #2
Written by Simon Oliver
Illustrated by John McCrea
Review by Vince J Ostrowski
Last month, “Plastic Man” impressed by telling a sprawling story of the rise and fall of the Freedom Fighters vs. the Nazis against the backdrop of the fall of the Convergence dome. This month, it felt more like a Plastic Man solo issue, which in some ways made it feel more intimate, but less consequential and less tied in with anything to do with the “Convergence” event. This made for some really strong character moments for Eel O’Brien. I wouldn’t call him a “complex” hero, but Simon Oliver plays around with the idea that Plastic Man will have good and bad moments as a hero and human being. I thought it was interesting that they didn’t frame this as a rise or redemption story of Plastic Man, but rather explored the idea that he has positive and negative traits as a character that are all in play at the same time. He might never be completely redeemed, and that’s okay. It made for a well-written human moment where Plastic Man and the Silver Ghost show a respectful understanding for one another (although I’m not sure I’m crazy about the actual concept of Eel sympathizing with a Nazi, of all people, but I suppose that’s just another one of his character flaws – regardless, it was well done on the page). But while the tie-in to “Convergence” felt a little limp and obligatory, and the rest of the Freedom Fighters took a backseat ride, this was a nice re-introduction to the Plastic Man character, and the most well-realized take on him since the DC Reboot. John McCrea was the perfect artistic choice for this tie-in too, as his depcitions of alternate historymake the world feel like an analogue of the WWII time period, even if it’s a fanastical version. Also well-realized are his visual takes on Plastic Man and Silver Ghost, both of which are striking. Especially good were the opening pages, which put a twisted spin on Plastic Man’s origin that’s just what you would expect from McCrea and his penchant for visual absurdity.
Final Verdict: 7.9 – “Convergence: Plastic Man and the Freedom Fighters” finishes smaller than it began, but that doesn’t make it a bad comic. In fact, it was a very good tie-in that felt more like a #0 issue for Plastic Man than anything else.
Convergence: Shazam #2
Written by Jeff Parker
Illustrated by Evan “Doc” Shaner
Reviewed by Brian Salvatore
Look, we’ve spent a lot of time talking about these tie ins and, while many of them have been great, I think we can all agree that – unless we are really stretching here – they are more or less inessential.
Except “Convergence: Shazam.”
And, I get it, this book is no more important, storyline wise, than any other over these past two months. But this mini is one of the most gorgeous books I’ve read all year, and features the perfect pairing of eras that I never thought I’d want to read (Whiz Comics-era Captain Marvel and “Gotham by Gaslight”). Every page turn had me legitimately excited to see what was around the corner, and no page turn disappointed.
Doc Shaner has never done better work than he did here, and I say that as a huge fan of his work. There are a number of panels in the first half of this book that are negative/reverse panels, where black is the dominant tone, and the electricity of Cap brightens the panel, and each of those was a revelation. Then we saw Shaner tackle Batman’s villains in the Victorian era, and my heart grew three sizes. Then, Mr. Mind got in on the action, and I lost my shit. Parker’s story and Jordie Bellaire’s colors, both of which are exceptional, just work here to enhance the love letter to Whiz Comics that Shaner drew.Continued below
Can we please, please, get this team on a Shazam book set in this era, now that the Multiverse is open for business again?
Final Verdict: 9.7 – A near perfect comic book.
Convergence: Worlds Finest #2
Written by Paul Levitz
Illustrated by Jim Fern, Ron Wagner, and Joe Rubenstein
Review by Vince J Ostrowski
In a strange, but not entirely unwelcome move, the two issues of “Worlds Finest” have acted more as a stealth version of “Civil War: Frontline” for “Convergence.” That is to say, they are not only comics about Shining Knight (of the Seven Soldiers of Victory) battling for a historical version of Metropolis, but also very much about a “reporter’s” eye on the event. I think other books (like “Convergence: Batgirl”) did a better job of showing what regular folks are going through during the “Convergence” dome year while weaving it in to a story about the principal characters. “Worlds Finest”, especially in its 2nd issue, feels like it’s trying to accomplish too many things at once, with not enough space to do so. On the other hand, “Worlds Finest” also celebrates some characters that we rarely get to spend any time with (and are sorely missing since “Demon Knights” ended). It would have been easy for DC to do yet another Superman/Batman book under the “Worlds Finest” banner, but instead they did something that has more of a cult classic feel. Not only that, but Levitz turned the entire thing into a loving tribute to the cartoonist (and pre-DC artist Sheldon Mayer in particular – note the “Scribbly” doodle at the end of the comic). That tribute is perhaps the neatest easter egg that any of the “Convergence” issues have sported. The love and reverence for early comic booking (and DC’s history in particular) comes through in Jim Fern and Ron Wagner’s art. “Worlds Finest” looks somewhere between the art of the classic Seven Soldiers of Victory stories and modern comics – using classic techniques but modern visual design sensibilities. In that way, “Worlds Finest” is extremely readable as a visual tribute. Something like this would have worked better if it were afforded its own ongoing series (or longform miniseries), unimpeded by the “Convergence” event. DC Comics fans will enjoy the tribute to days past, but there’s too much obligation to other aspects of the event getting in the way.
Final Verdict: 7.5 – What began as a living tribute to overlooked superheroes ends with a relatively routine fight-heavy issue and a strange focus on the human perspective to an event like “Convergence.” It wasn’t entirely successful, but it was something different.
Not to toot my own horn, but “Convergence” mercifully leaves the DCU exactly as I expected it to – where I’ve been rooting for it to end in this very column for the last two months – as a place where all DC stories (no matter how obscure) still matter. It’s the right move for the fans and it’s the right move for DC Comics as a publisher. Whether it feel naive to do so or not, we should have believed Dan DiDio months ago when he first rolled out the key tagline for “Convergence”: “Every story matters.” Despite what you or I thought of the New 52 after it launched, Dan DiDio and Jim Lee never lied to us. They thought a reboot with a fresh start was what the industry needed and that’s exactly what they did. And with a few bumps in the road, it was a success for a while. They really believed in what they were trying to sell us, just as they do today.
If you look at the post-“Convergence” landscape, it’s really not all that different, conceptually, from the ‘New 52’. Replace books like “Static Shock”, “Justice League Dark”, and “OMAC” with books like “Cyborg”, “Mystic U”, “Martian Manhunter”, and “Prez” and how much has really changed? Wait, stop. I know how that sounds. But really, DC’s aim hasn’t changed. With the ’New 52’, they always aimed for a healthy mix of Batman-related titles, status quo toeing Justice League books, and eccentric/diverse series that may or may not last much longer than 8-12 issues. The slate of titles that will start debuting next month all sound like they could have launched with the ‘New 52’ 4 years ago.Continued below
Hopefully it’s DC Comics as a publisher that has changed since then. After all, the art is getting a little looser among these titles. A little more varied. The comics are pushing diversity a little further. The DC brass is promising more editorial leeway, with hopefully less creative dustups.
DiDio recently admitted that getting to tied up in numbering and meticulously cataloguing all the worlds of the multiverse is folly when what really matters are good stories that readers want. Turning an optimistic eye to his comments, I would hope that it means that everything is on the table going forward. The Multiverse is back, everything that has ever happened matters in some way, and there’s a lot to be excited about going forward. It’s often said that DC Comics reboots their line roughly every 5 years, whether they call it that or not. Maybe that’s true, but here’s hoping that DC gave their editorial process the reboot this time, and the books are just following suit.
Zach’s Final Thoughts:
I think I’m the anomaly of the DC3. I honestly enjoyed the main “Convergence” series as much as, if not more than, the various tie-ins. I chalk that up to a number of things:
1.) The pre-Flashpoint era, the one I’m most closely tied to, had what I would consider to be one of the weakest showings across the various tie-ins.
2.) Regardless of how good a given tie-in was, each fought an uphill battle presented by the required formula of the dome falling. Certainly, some of my favorite issues were the ones that subverted this requirement entirely.
3.) By featuring only a few of the creators associated with their respective characters/titles, the tie-ins lost a lot of the “nostalgia” factor that so thoroughly drives interest. Again, many of the books that instantly grabbed me were things like “Swamp Thing,” which featured two creators returning to properties with which they are closely associated, or things like “Shazam,” which so perfectly managed to capture the spirit of the time.
While there are certainly a few standouts for me, “Superman,” “Booster Gold,” “Shazam” and “Parallax” for instance, few of the tie-ins really gripped me as much as the main “Convergence” series did. Just as with “Futures End,” “Convergence” kept me engaged in the mysteries and unpredictability inherent in the story. King kept me on my toes, throwing in a number of twists and turns in the form of Skartaris and the captured time-travellers. Perhaps it was the fast paced, weekly nature of the event, but “Convergence” rarely became stale of overdrawn in the way that traditional monthly events often do. Not only does releasing the event over 8 weeks, rather than over 8 months stave off event fatigue, but it also delivers the massive status quo change in a more timely and efficient manner.
To this end, “Convergence” exceeded my wildest expectations, making good on the promise that ‘Every Story Matters ™’. My fanboy mind was left reeling with theories and conjecture, imagining just what it all means in the grand cosmic structure. Of course, I didn’t have to imagine long, thanks to the spectacular “Justice League United” Divergence Sneak Peak that arrived the very same day.
Which leads me to my final praise for “Convergence,” the “Divergence” previews that ran in the back of this month’s tie-ins. The previews certainly give added value to these books, though they could have presented a very troubling “gotta catch ‘em all,” mentality among readers. Thankfully, DC chose to release the previews for free digitally, forgoing a potential sales boost to their line. To me, this demonstrates a surprising level of dedication by DC toward renewing interest in their line. The fact that the vast majority of the sneak peaks were genuinely entertaining and exciting is icing on the cake.
As “Convergence” closes, so ends the 14 month endeavor we, the DC3, set upon ourselves to chronicle DC’s great weekly experiment. From “Batman Eternal,” to “Futures End,” “World’s End,” and finally “Convergence,” I’ve run a huge gamut of emotions ranging from excitement, disenchantment, surprise, disgust, apathy and joy. Through it all, I’ve had a fantastic time working with Vince and Brian, as well as interacting with you all in the Multiversity Comics community. While this is the end of an era for the DC3, like all good comic stories, it’s to be continued. I hope that you will continue to follow the DC3 as we experiment with new formats and new ideas, just as we hope DC Comics does in the coming months and years. Thanks again to Vince and Brian, and to any of you who have ever read one of my long, rambling thoughts masquerading as a paragraph.Continued below
Brian’s Final Thoughts:
“Convergence” is done; long live “Convergence” as a concept.
Look, let’s be real folks – this event was conceived as a measure to ensure that, while editorial moved across the country, books didn’t get delayed and creators had time to fine tune their comics. The fact that, from that practical need, we now have 75 years worth of sandboxes to play in, is unbelievably. Totally fucking unbelievable.
The real question is going to be, five or ten years down the road, how many of those sandboxes have been touched? As a fan of the multiverse, I am thrilled that stories from these various eras can, once again, be told, but as a realist, I can’t imagine DC conceding too much of their shelf space to these stories, either. Sure, you might get one or two monthlies (at most) out of it, but that’s going to be it until one of two things happens: 1) another huge event occurs, and the strength of pre-Crisis Superman and the guile of the Crime Syndicate need to team up to stop some sort of threat, or 2) DC really embraces their digital platform and lets these worlds carry on in digital stories.
And as much as I would plunk down money for more “Speed Force” or “Shazam,” a big part of my comics fandom is dying with this event as well. I’m no “Crisis on Infinite Earths” purist – nor do I count “Zero Hour” or “Infinite Crisis” among my favorite comics – but something about undoing all the work that those series did feels a bit cheap to me. Sure, “Infinite Crisis” sort of undid “CoIE,” and “Flashpoint” sort of undid them all, but with those stories I got the sense that the creators were building off of those huge events. This, instead, was literally a statement that removed those events from ever happening but, in a weird way, also locking them in amber, and making it so that we can never not have them. I know that sounds confusing, but by saying that the destruction of the Multiverse was a mistake, “CoIE” can now be a cautionary tale that, much like all the worlds of “Convergence,” sits in the DC history books, even if it is inaccessible.
The main series didn’t live up to the standards, and many of the tie-ins were junk, but DC got enough of this right – and more importantly, had the right mission statement – that the event has to be considered a success. Unlike “Flashpoint,” which was a flawed concept that occasionally had moments of brilliance, this was a brilliant idea that consistently produced flawed work. I haven’t gone back and read “Flashpoint,” mainly because I don’t have to – the lingering effects of that work are felt in every current comic DC publishes. Hopefully, I’ll be able to say the same thing about “Convergence” – that the spirit of inclusion and ever expanding reality touches the comics DC publishes for years to come.
As Zach did, I’d like to pause for a moment and thank my two compadres in this crazy thing we call the DC3. Sure, we’ve done month-long projects together, and had a semi-regular column, but this past 15 months was essentially a comics bootcamp. I don’t think any of us have read much else other than DC books since this started, if only because our workload didn’t allow for much else. And, in a moment of true honesty, I couldn’t have done this without these guys. Whether it is Zach’s unflinching optimism, or Vince’s Mad Men gifs, these guys made even the most dull pages of “Earth 2: World’s End” readable, because I knew one of them would make me laugh, or reconsider, or be hopeful about what I was reading.
We aren’t quite done yet – Monday, we will be reviewing the final batch of 8-page previews, but after that, the DC3 as a column is going away – maybe for good, but definitely for awhile. But fear not! Much like the phoenix, we will rise from the ashes in just a few weeks as a new, monthly podcast. We have some doozies lined up for guests, and we will bring you more of the same nonsense that you’ve come to expect from us on a weekly basis for the last 60+ weeks.Continued below
Thanks for reading, and we’ll be invading your ears shortly.