The changeover from Winter to Fall weather means that Summer is right round the corner – and that Event Season is upon us!  D.C. Comics’ entry into the fray is the vast, multiverse-spanning series Convergence!  Here are the highlights:

What exactly is Convergence?

The storyline of the main Convergence mini-series centers around Superman villain Brainiac collecting various entire cities from throughout the DC multiverse, trapping them in domes, and depositing them on a planet that exists outside the normal flow of space and time. The cities have varied origins from across the publishing history of DC, with pre and post Crisis on Infinite Earths, Zero Hour, Falshpoint, and different Elseworld universes (such as Kingdom Come) represented. Initially these disparate cities are kept separate beneath their domes, however Brainiac opens the domes to allow the cities to battle each other for survival, opening up the opportunity for character interactions between the residents of the various timelines and universes. A new villain named Telos will also be involved in the story, though little is known of him as of this writing,

How many books make up Convergence?

The proper Convergence mini-series, written by Jeff King with art by Ethan Van Sciver, is 8 issues long, with a #0 issue predating number one and is scheduled to ship weekly for the duration of April and May. There are no traditional tie-in issues. Instead, DC is putting it’s entire normal line on hiatus for the duration of the event (not so coincidently timed to correspond with DC’s real-world move of its offices from New York to California) and publishing 40 two-issue miniseries, shipping one issue each in April and May, detailing various multiverse characters’ reactions to being trapped by Brainiac and their encounters with each other instead.

Azrael Convergence

These series are split into waves of ten, with each wave roughly corresponding to a different period in DC history. Those shipping in the first weeks of April and May focus on characters directly pre-Flashpoint/The New 52, the second week books are centered around the Zero Hour period, the third week around Crisis on Infinite Earths, and the fourth in the pre-Crisis DC Universe. The books’ creative teams generally are made up of creators who worked on the characters during the time period specified, such as Gail Simone’s directly Pre-Flashpoint Nightwing and Oracle, or Marv Wolfman’s New Teen Titans.

Is Convergence the end of The New 52?

From marketing standpoint yes, from story standpoint not really. Starting in June, DC is eliminating The New 52 branding that’s been in place since the company’s 2011 reboot and not enforcing the 52-books-a-month quota that’s been standard since. The line will be made up of 49 books, 25 of which are series continuing with the numbering they had going into Convergence, and 24 new series aimed at varied demographics of readers. New 52 Universe continuity seems to be staying intact for the most part, however according to DC head honchos Dan DiDio and Jim Lee, strict continuity won’t be adhered to across the line to allow for more flexibility in character representation and progression.

Is Convergence #0 Issue that was released on April 1st necessary to read?

Zero issues in comics can be a funny thing, especially when they serve as preludes to an mini-series event. Sometimes they’re such a brief snippet that they barely go beyond preview advertising information, other times they have such important story material that they may as well have been Issue #1. Convergence #0 falls somewhere between those two extremes. The main story of the comic, done by the normal Convergence team with the addition of Dan Jurgens as cowriter, features the New 52 version of Superman captured by Brainiac and transported to the planet where the domed cities are being kept.

The story is a bit light on content, mainly comprising of New 52 Supes threatening/punching various version of Brainiac before being sent back to his normal Universe with his memory erased. Van Sciver’s art is the normal quality work one would expect from him, with the highlight being a double-page spread of Brainiac showing Superman various versions oh his death from across the Multiverse.

Convergence spread

The emphasis, of course, is on the famous image of Lois Lane cradling Superman’s body after he was killed by Doomsday in 1992’s Superman #75.

The real meat of the issue comes in its supplemental material, a guidebook of all fifty cities contained on the convergence planet. The guide provides a short description of each city, talking about which corner of the multiverse and era of DC publishing it comes from and provides a first appearance date for each, and would be especially helpful for readers not familiar with the ins and outs of DC’s vast multiverse mythology.

Even with all the information above, it’s a bit hard to predict what lasting changes could come out of Convergence. While the New 52 continuity is staying, it could be otherwise altered, or Convergence era characters could remain a part of it. DC is presenting a first look at the Post-Convergence DCU with its May Free Comic Book Day release Divergent, which is scheduled to include 8 page previews of the new status-quos for Batman, Superman, and The Justice League. Until then, we’re all just along for the ride.

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