Convergence #0

By | April 2, 2015

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I haven’t been reading much of what DC has been publishing lately, but I thought I’d give Convergence a try. Convergence is DC’s main event for summer of 2015, much like Secret Wars is for Marvel. As I was reading Convergence #0, I couldn’t help but notice some similarities between Convergence and Secret Wars. That aside, I felt that the issue did little to get me excited about the series, and here’s why.

Convergence #0 begins with Superman discovering that he is a prisoner on an unknown planet, and that his captor is “an extension of Brainiac’s consciousness.” After Superman escapes from his prison – in classic Superman fashion – he confronts Brainiac’s consciousness. Brainiac’s consciousness explains to Superman that “the Master” (aka Brainiac) has been uprooting “doomed” cities from different universes and timelines and putting them on the planet that Superman is now on. This is being done so that Brainiac can gain information from the cities, and those that reside in them.

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While all of this was being explained, I immediately thought of Battleworld. Reports surrounding Secret Wars (2015) indicate that different Marvel eras are going to make up the new Battleworld. For example, the 1602 series will be a continent on the new Battleworld alongside the 2099 continent. These are two different timelines that will be on the same planet. Sound familiar? I’m not saying that DC is ripping off Marvel, but the similarities are close, very close. It’s almost like when movie studios release similar movies at the same time – you could go see Touchstone Picture’s Armageddon or Paramount Picture’s Deep Impact.

As expected, the-boy-in-blue is not happy that Brainiac is collecting cities. While in a fistfight with Brainiac’s consciousness, Superman expresses concern over the cities that have already been captured yelling, “You’re running a zoo,” and, “You can’t collect people!” Yes, the dialogue is that cheesy and it gets even cheesier when Superman says things like, “That explains your parlor tricks,” or, “If you’re going through an identity crisis, do it on someone else’s time, okay?” These lines are certainly distracting when you’re trying to wrap your head around all the exposition.

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Superman really gets fumed when he can’t find his version of Metropolis, and the only versions he can find are those from other universes and timelines. Brainiac’s consciousness informs Superman that the Master went to Superman’s Earth to retrieve Superman’s city, but has not returned with it. Since Superman’s city has not been transported to where he is, there is no need for him, and therefore Brainiac’s consciousness sends Superman back to his Earth (conveniently without any memory of what Superman witnessed). The end.

I understand that this is an introductory issue and that these types of issues don’t make for an exciting read. But I didn’t get a sense of why Convergence is important to the DC Universe. Yes, it’s bad *shaking pointer finger* that Brainiac is collecting doomed cities before they become extinct by imprisoning them within a force shield, and transporting them to a planet outside of their timeline. But where is the dread in all of this? Brainiac is basically saving various civilizations from their fate, not destroying them.

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Towards the back of the issue there is a write-up that explains what’s to be expected from the series. Basically, Convergence is allowing DC to resurrect storylines that span the entire history of the company (before and after New 52) that could possibly crossover. After reading the write-up I got the impression that the “cities” that have been saved by Brainiac aren’t all really cities (something that was not explained during the story of the issue), but rather time periods. One city may be the Crisis on Infinite Earths “city” and other might be the New 52 “city.” Imagine, New 52 Batman interacting with Captain Carrot from Earth C Minus – the possibilities are endless. Therefore, DC’s Convergence is a way for stories from the 1960s, 1980s, and other years to be relevant today.

Maybe I’m missing the point, but I’m not sure why DC is bringing back time periods that were disregarded when DC rebooted in 2011 with the New 52. Maybe it’s suppose to give long time readers a nostalgic feeling, which is cool, but it definitely seems like DC is trying to provide a similar alternative to Secret Wars. And who can blame them – a lot of hype has been surrounding Secret Wars.

I’ll probably pick up issue #1 to see if things pick up. I think that most of my criticism is rooted in the execution of how the story was told. The art was good but I would have liked to be given more of a hook to get me interested in the story. Consume. Review. Repeat. gives Convergence #0 six out of ten DC reboots.

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