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Friday, June 05, 2015

My last article on DC Comics' Convergence

Here's my final article on DC Comics' Convergence event.

Some final thoughts on DC Comics’ “Convergence”
By John Pannozzi
Since DC Comics’ multiverse-changing event Convergence has now ended, now is the time to talk about the other issues in the series as well as the tie-ins.
Over the course of Convergence #3-8, Deimos, an evil magician from the DC series Warlord, becomes the new antagonist, and it is revealed that Telos was once a man with a family of his own before Brainac erased his memory.  When Deimos is defeated, because of the power he had absorbed from a group of time travellers, a temporal imbalance is created and it threatens to destroy all of reality.  Brainiac then severs Telos’ link to the planet and intends to send everyone back home to their original universes, but the events of the original Crisis on Infinite Earths prevent him.  Several heroes from other universes also go back to stop the mulitversal collapse that occurred in the original Crisis, and they succeed, thus changing the history of the multiverse.   The remaining Earth 2 heroes remain on the planet, which is transformed by Telos into the new version of their home planet.
In Convergence: Swamp Thing #1-2, the muck monster forms a somewhat uneasy alliance with a vampire version of Batman to rid the latter’s Gotham City from a vampiric plague.  While this story is not particularly special, it does create a suitably creepy atmosphere, and boasts the writing of Swamp Thing co-creator Len Wein.
            Convergence: Shazam! #1-2 involves the classic Captain Marvel and the rest of the Marvel family (no relation to a certain rival comics publisher) fighting their old foes again.  They also team up with the steampunk version of Batman from Gotham by Gaslight.  While this doesn’t rank among the greatest comics of all time, it evokes nostalgia for the more innocent and whimsical days of comics’ Golden Age.
            Convergence: Batman – Shadow of the Bat #1-2 involves not only the Caped Crusader, but also Azarael, who had been Batman’s replacement when his back was broken by Bane in the famous Knightfall storyline.  They are forced to fight WetWorks, a superheroic military unit originally from the WildStorm Universe.  The second issue is perhaps the most interesting, as Batman and Azarael end up fighting WetWorks on a defunct Navy ship in the WildStorm Universe’s San Diego.  The military lingo and tech is quite believable, given writer Larry Hama’s real-life experience during the Vietnam War.  Hama is well known for his work on the G.I. Joe comics, and also edited Marvel’s more serious war comic The ‘Nam.
            The second issues of the Superman: Man of Steel and Aquaman tie-ins continue the heroes’ respective battles against the WildStorm characters Gen 13 and Deathblow respectively.  Again, being a WildStorm fan, seeing the original versions of these characters is a nice treat even if they aren’t given a whole lot to do.
            Convergence: Green Lantern/Parallax #2 continues to follow Kyle Rayner’s attempts to minimize the damage done by a power corrupt version of Hal Jordan.  While there isn’t much to say about the story, the art by penciller Ron Wagner and inker Bill Reinhold intrigues me, as its sharp quality is somewhat reminiscent of the work of Savage Dragon creator Erik Larsen.  Convergence: Speed Force #2 has a intriguing message of compassion overcoming wickedness.  Wally West (the Flash) and his children, along with the cartoon turtle speedster Fastback take on the despotic Flashpoint version of Wonder Woman, showing that those motivated by love and kindness are mightier than the power mad.
            Convergence: Nightwing and Oracle #2 has the titular duo, aided by Black Canary, take on the ruthless Hawkman and Hawkwoman of the El Inferno world.  As another example of good beating evil, the ending of this issue will please many fans of this pair of characters.  In Convergence: The Titans #2, Roy Harper manages not only to get back his daughter Lian, but he and the other Titans also manage to keep the vile and all-powerful Extremists at bay.  This story ends on a happy note, and succeeds in providing closure for those displeased by Lian’s prior death.
            In Convergence: Harley Quinn #2, Harley goes up against both Captain Carrot, and for a brief instance, his fellow Zoo Crew member Pig-Iron.  While not quite as hilarious as the first issue, the carnival setting provides for some fittingly cartoonish mayhem.  Finally we have the masterpiece that is Convergence: Supergirl Matrix #2.  It involves Supergirl and Electropolis’s Lady Quark forming a temporary alliance to get a hold of Ambush Bug, who has something they need.  A chase ensues, as the characters traverse the multiversal cities making up Telos’ planet.  Several unexpected faces show up, and there is a delightful abundance of playfulness throughout.  It manages to be a very enjoyable, and humorous read.

            At the end of the day, Convergence and especially its tie-ins are worth reading if you’re a longtime DC fan.  Many loose ends and unresolved issues from past eras and timelines get sorted out, and even if we never see many of these versions of the DC characters again, Convergence gives them a fond farewell, and helps to clear the slate for the future.