DC Comics: Convergence

Perpetual Man

Tim James
Jun 13, 2006
It must be quite frustrating to be one of the big comic companies, to set out your epic plans for a major crossover event only to find that not only are your main rivals planning a major event around the same time, but that there are remarkable similarities between the stories. Plagiarism one way or another or just coincidence?

Either way as Marvel prepares for Secret Wars, DC steals a march and this week saw Convergence hit the stores.

To be fair to DC there are more practical reasons for their event this time around, locating from the East to West coast is more than just a slight move, so it makes sense to have a series that runs over two months with short one or two part tie-ins, while all regular titles go on a two month hiatus.

The titles that appear are set outside of continuity, so can be prepared well in advance allowing the editors and office staff to move without encroaching deadlines.

If the series can be made a bit of fun while they are at it then even better.

convergence 0.jpg
convergence 1.jpg
What is Convergence though?

Well the DC universe is something that has been through many changes over the years, where the creators of the time have tried to streamline things, control continuity, retrofit the stories to suit the time in which they were written. Arguably the first, and biggest of these was the Crisis on the Infinite Earths, the most recent Flashpoint.

The new reality always seems to overlay the old... but...

Classic villain Braniac has found his way outside of time, and has been looking over the countless different realities and timestreams of the DC Universe. Having constructed a planet there he has been following a reality to it's point of collapse and at the last moment scooped parts of it from oblivion placing them under domed cities on the new planet. (So at the point where the DC universe is born new at the end of Flashpoint and the start of the New 52) the old reality is rescued at the last minute and kept in existence outside of time... and the same is true of all other existences and versions of Earth, including all those created in Elseworld novels like a Pirate Batman or Cowboy Batman or Vampire Batman, not to mention other realities that have been absorbed into the DC Universe like the Charlton Heroes or Captain Marvel (Shazam) and co.

But when Braniac disappears the sentient 'soul' of the planet takes on a physical form and tries to carry out it's creators wishes, without really understanding what those wishes are. Extrapolating that the realities are both weak and strong, it decides that Braniac must have wanted to know which were the strongest and issues an Ultimatum: In order to survive the various cities must fight each other and the winners will be allowed to survive.
I'm a little behind with the old comic reading again.

Convergence started about a month ago and apart from the first issue above I've not caught up enough to read any thing else until this weekend.

What can I say?

Missed opportunity? Weak? Frustrating? Poor execution of a great idea?

All of the above?


When you have 75 years of comic history to draw upon you could have come up with something spectacular, and this, this is lacklustre, almost on the verge of boring.

The premise is still great, from all the different realities and alternate histories of the DC Universe available there are some truly wonderful ideas that could be drawn upon. The idea that even though some of these have been closed off, they are being reexamined again is rife with potential, but it is not being tapped.

It feels as though the DC team thought 'Hey we're moving to the West Coast. We need something to help the transition go smoothly so we don't have to worry with the monthly books. Hey, let's do a crossover event to fill the gap.'

Instead of the much hyped realities coming together we have single cities from those realities. These cities are home to various DC heroes from different realities. Some of the heroes are in the wrong cities (The Titans are in Gotham) and regular heroes of said cities aren't (apparently) there - no Batman.

After being trapped under barriers with no powers for a few months the barriers disappear and the heroes regain their powers and are told to fight. Only one city can survive. And that's it.

On one level there is a sense of fun at seeing characters that have changed, or been discarded again. There is a thrill at having Wally West as the Flash, but it is just a momentary glory. Next up you see him getting involved with the fighting and that is that.

It would have been more fun with whole realities...

Of course this is only the first week and things may improve.

We'll see.
I must say the writing of the core "Convergence" book has been utterly appalling, some of the worst comic-book dialogue I've ever read, bar none. I was shocked at how bad it was; it was like the worst cheesy retro-style comic book writing of the "Golden Age" era but without any irony whatsoever.

A few of the tie-ins have been better, but only a few.

It's an event that has made me question - yet again - why I buy so many Marvel and DC books when so many of them are...well, bloody awful.
Convergence is rapidly approaching its end.

For a series that is really designed to cover DC while they move across America it was impossible to think of anything too spectacular.

I disagree about the writing, the series is written by Jeff King who has just made the move into comics after being a successful television writer, so there might be a little adapting going on.

The series has improved and I find myself enjoying the core titles more than most of the tie-ins. It has been fun seeing classic interpretations of some of the characters again. That being said I still feel that DC has missed a massive opportunity with the story and that we have got the weakest possible interpretation of the idea.

There is also the matter of similarity: the basic core of Convergence is that classic versions of the DC characters, Elseworlds and others are taken to a planet outside of time where they are forced to fight against each other to survive - basically a patchwork world made up of different versions of DC realities.

The same summation with a few tweaks sums up Marvels Secret Wars as well.

Following Convergence the slightly restructured DC Universe comes with the umbrella title of Divergence it remains to be seen exactly how it is going to change but.... from the few things we have been shown so far in backup strips there seems to be little difference in the core characters.
It's been nice seeing some old faces, but ive only gone for one of the Convergence titles. Opted for The Question, because 1. Greg Rucka and 2. Batwoman, and as she should be, not the poor, abused, shadow of her former self thing they turned her into recently.

Not all that interested in any of the new titles coming from this, apart from maybe Black Canary.
Last week Convergence ended and I've just caught up enough to read it.

The whole thing has, in truth, been an exercise in filling two months and little more. The two issue limited series might have been an attempt to allow the readers to see popular versions of characters back for a month or two, but as a whole they fell flat fettered by the concept of having to fight one another. There were a few that worked well - Swamp Thing really stood out, but ultimately it was a poor event.

The main title itself improved (very slightly) from the start, climaxing with issue 8 where
the entire DC multiverse is restored, giving access to all these characters once again. It also effectively rewrites the events of all previous crossovers from Crisis through to Flashpoint. When the new titles start next week they will be under the umbrella of Divergence, which will - I guess - be featuring characters from right across the multiverse.

All in all disappointing.
A little time has passed and I am now reading fewer DC books than ever.

It seems that the main outcome of the Convergence series has been to reintroduce the idea of accessible multiple realities. This means that DC can effectively tell have numerous comics in their output set in different universes. In principle this gives them a lot more sand in their box, put puts them back where they were before the original Crisis.

Hopefully it will work for them, and from what I have seen there are some interesting ideas out there, just not for me.

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