OK, so DC’s Convergence has wrapped up and next week it’s back to the regularly scheduled comic book programming with a bunch of continuing titles and a lot of new ones. So how was this latest event from DC? Where does it stack up against other DC events? And how does it affect everything going forward? Glad you asked all those questions. I’ll get into that and some more stuff right here, right now. SPOILER ALERT!
So what are the effects?
The best way to sum it up would be to say that it changed everything and nothing at all. The New 52 Universe/Continuity remains intact, much to the chagrin of some. Several rumor sites tried to float the idea that the New 52 was coming to an end by way of this event, based on it involving all the timelines ever, several current series coming to an end right before Convergence started, and that the company isn’t putting ‘The New 52!’ on the front of the books anymore starting in June. They were wrong, as usual. All one had to do was check the actual press releases from DC and the June solicits once they came out and you could see that the continuing series were picking up where they left off in April. Don’t let these sites get you all worked up over things that are easily refuted. If it’s not in an official company release (or studio release if we’re talking movies or TV) then disregard it.
But there were some major developments to come out of it. For one, the entire DC print history is now canon. How so? Well, at the end all the different characters were sent back to their respective timelines and universes and the first Crisis, which resulted in the multiverse being folded into one universe, was undone. So every universe and timeline that was ended in Crisis on Infinite Earths now exists again. So in theory DC can do stories on Pre-Crisis Earth 1 or Earth 2 that fall in line with those universes’ continuity and are no longer ‘what-if?’ stories. Which means they can do those stories now and sell them as regular comics. My guess is that we’ll see some of that down the line.
The other big things involve the Earth 2 characters. Thomas Wayne died, and the Dick Grayson of Earth 2 will likely be taking on the mantle of Batman on that world. The gang and the surviving population of that Earth also has a new home in the world that was once controlled by Brainiac. Brainiac is now once again on the loose, set free in the last issue of the series, so it’s only a matter of time before he returns to wreak havoc like he always does. Being the Batman of Earth 2 is a pretty risky gig; since the New 52 started they’re already on their third one. Grayson better be careful out there.
What worked for me:
The artwork in the main series was excellent. It made each issue easy to pick back up and read several times. I didn’t get all the tie-in issues but the ones I got I mostly enjoyed. The way they were set up is you got a nostalgia trip of sorts in the first issue of each one then a confrontation in the second. If you’ve read many of the different What-If stories from DC (like Kingdom Come or Red Son) it was cool to get a return trip to those worlds. Putting the Earth 2 at the forefront avoided the usual Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman focus that so many DC events end up having. I didn’t like the ultimate resolution of it all the first time I read it but after the second read I thought it was well done. The Bruce Wayne of Pre-Flashpoint Earth 1 meeting with Thomas Wayne of Earth 2 was a seminal moment, as was Thomas Wayne’s sacrifice to save Dick Grayson.
What didn’t work
The middle of the story got kind of off kilter. They introduced Deimos and Warlord for the first time in New 52-land, and built up Deimos over the course of several issues as a Big Bad (even displacing the initial antagonist Telos) only to dispatch him entirely at the end of the next to last issue. What was the point really? Deimos death at the hands of Parallax/Hal Jordan unleashed the energy that kept the planet they were all on together, so for all intents and purposes he was a plot device dropped in the story to set up the events of the final issue. In the grand scheme of things that’s not a big deal but they built him up in such a way that it was looking like we’d have a new major villain on the block for the future, but now he’s gone already along his main adversary (Warlord). A big waste if you ask me.
Overall, I’d call this one just ok. If you’re not a longtime DC reader, the significance of all the different universes and timelines might be lost on you. The final results didn’t really affect the current continuity much; compared to how Marvel is actually redoing everything with Secret Wars right now Convergence looks very small bore next to it. But it didn’t leave me with the bad taste in my mouth that some other events from both companies have at times (Yes I’m still mad about Marvel’s Infinity). The event was basically a placeholder while DC moved it’s offices to the West Coast, and they never really pitched it as more than that. It’s not their fault if people ran with what they saw on rumor sites and heard in chat rooms. And for what it was, it was a sufficient way to pass the time. I’d give it a B-.