Con­ver­gence

Cri­sis Of In­fi­nite Nos­tal­gia

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Comics -

Re­lease Date: OUT NOW!

Pub­lisher: DC Comics Writ­ers: Jeff King, Scott Lob­dell Artists: Carlo Pag­u­layan, Steven Se­govia, Ethan Van Sciver

Typ­i­cal – you wait

ages for a comic fea­tur­ing mul­ti­ple main­stream su­per­hero con­ti­nu­ities bat­tling each other for sur­vival, and then two turn up at once. Both DC and Marvel are bet­ting big on nos­tal­gia this year with con­cep­tu­ally iden­ti­cal event se­ries, but while we’ve yet to see how Marvel’s block­buster Se­cret Wars turns out, it won’t have to try hard to be a bet­ter read than DC’s Con­ver­gence.

A saga that’s been brew­ing for a while in var­i­ous DC ti­tles, the con­cept underpinning Con­ver­gence is that Su­per­man vil­lain Brainiac has been hi­jack­ing cities from across time and space, bring­ing them to­gether un­der domed habi­tats on a dis­tant alien world. Multidimensional bad guy Te­los, the living em­bod­i­ment of the alien planet, has de­cided to pitch all 40 hi­jacked cities ( in­clud­ing mul­ti­ple al­ter­nates of Me­trop­o­lis and Gotham) against each other in a con­flict that can have only one sur­vivor.

Much of this con­flict takes place in dozens of two- is­sue cross­over minis­eries, which have re­placed the en­tire DC line for two months and fea­ture a host of dif­fer­ent past DC eras, from the pre- Cri­sis On In­fi­nite Earth days to the more re­cent event comics like In­fi­nite Cri­sis. Al­ter­nate uni­verse sto­ries like King­dom Come, Flash­point and Red Son also fea­ture, but while there are oc­ca­sional high­lights – most no­tably, an ex­cel­lent re­turn for the Re­nee Mon­toya ver­sion of the Ques­tion ( writ­ten by Greg Rucka) – the over­all suc­cess rate is very low.

A strong cen­tral story could have bound this kind of sprawl­ing event to­gether, but in­stead the main Con­ver­gence eight- is­sue minis­eries has turned out to be a hope­less mess. Four is­sues in, it’s al­ready borderline in­com­pre­hen­si­ble to new read­ers thanks to the bizarre de­ci­sion to make it a di­rect se­quel to DC’s lack­lus­tre weekly saga Earth 2: World’s End.

Thanks to this, the main cast is made up of al­ter­nate world ver­sions of he­roes like Su­per­man, Dick Grayson and Bat­man, and the scripts from Scott Lob­dell and TV vet­eran Jeff King fail to make us care about any of them. In­stead, Con­ver­gence is a ram­bling col­lec­tion of overblown fights, clumsy in­fo­dumps and melo­dra­matic speeches that show­cases the worst ex­cesses of su­per­hero event comics.

About the only thing it has on its side is im­pres­sive vi­su­als, as artists like Car­los Pag­u­layan and Steven Se­govia try their best to in­ject en­ergy and punch into the flac­cid story. Their work gives the ti­tle a slick edge but ul­ti­mately can’t com­pen­sate for the empty- headed script or the over­all dearth of gen­uine fun. DC’s up­com­ing slate of new ti­tles and re­launches still holds gen­uine prom­ise – it’s just a pity that they’ve pre­ceded it with an ex­am­ple of how all that prom­ise can eas­ily go wrong. Saxon Bul­lock

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