Convergence #5 changed the game – but was it enough to redeem the series?

Convergence #6 by Jeff King, Scott Lobdell, Ed Benes, and Eduardo Pansica

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Convergence #6 immediately differentiates itself from it’s predecessors by kicking off in the current New 52 DC Universe; this had been ignored in the event so far, save for that Universe’s Superman appearance in the preview Zero issue.

 

The Brainiac/Telos controlled planet that housed all the abducted cities has begun to literally breach into the New 52 Universe, and a wide range of New 52 characters including Superman, Supergirl, both Justice Leagues, the Red Lantern Corps, the Guardians of the Universe, Darkseid, and the Monitor are all wary of it’s presence.

The issue switches back to the planet, where Deimos begins explaining his master plan to Yolanda Martinez (New 52 Earth 2 Wildcat); he has no intention of ruling any of the super beings on the planet, but rather of destroying them and using their “death magic” to create his own universe. Elsewhere, the New 52 Earth 2 JSA are looking for allies and find some in the Pre-Flashpoint version of Gotham, where they encounter the Pre-Flashpoint Titans, Superman, Batgirl, and Wally West. After the heroes exchange pleasantries, they decide to split-off into two teams. Most of them go to gather more heroes to fight against Deimos, except for the two Flashes who decide to try and locate as many other speedsters as possible, with Jay eventually locating Pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths Barry Allen.

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Before leaving, the Pre-Flashpoint version of Superman tells the New 52 Earth 2 version of Dick Grayson that he must locate Telos and get him to help them. He tells Grayson that’s he’s heard everything said on the planet, and that he believes only Dick can recruit Telos. Grayson summons him, and attempts to convince Telos that he must help them as it’s the only way Telos can learn his true identity, to which Telos agrees.

Meanwhile, the super-powered army led by the JSA and Pre-Flashpoint heroes, and bolstered by such heroes the Zero Hour-era Superboy, Aquaman, and Steel, confront Deimos. However, he has an ace in the hole as he’s built an army made up of characters from Flashpoint, Kingdom Come, and the Crime Syndicate of America. The issue ends with the two sides charging each other to begin an epic battle.

The writing in Convergence #6 is a huge improvement over what’s come before. Plot-wise, the issue moves at a quick pace, but each page feels like a major event. Kicking off the issue by including the New 52 DC Universe is a smart move. It links the Convergence event to the current DCU which finally sheds it of the filler feeling it’s had. The meeting and team-up between the Pre-Flashpoint and New 52 Earth 2 characters fixes another of the series’ main problems, as it finally delivers on Convergence’s promise of mixing super heroes from numerous corners of the DC Multiverse in one cosmic saga. The issue’s end, with the reveal of Deimos’ army, sets up a great hook for the battle that should be coming next issue.

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Perhaps due to the co-writing influence of Steve Lobdell, the dialogue and narration is much improved over King’s solo work in the series’ previous issues. A particular highlight dialogue wise is the scene between Pre-Flashpoint Superman and New 52 Earth 2 Dick Grayson. The two have the perfect balance of trusting the other because of the version they each respectively know, while at the same time not truly knowing each other. The scene it leads to between Grayson and Telos is also strong, with the two realistically bonding over the commonalities in their backgrounds.

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Artistically, the improvement seen last issue continues into this one. While co-pencilers Ed Benes and Eduardo Panseca don’t reach the level of last issue’s penciller Andy Kubert, they produce solid artwork. The double-page spread where Jay Garrick encounters Superboy and Barry Allen is the best in the issue, particularly with it’s homage to the famous Silver Age Flash of Two Worlds cover that launched the concept of the DC Multiverse.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention a structural aspect of the issue that I can’t recall ever seeing in a mainstream comic before. Instead of having the 28 page story broken apart by ads, the story flows nearly uninterrupted (save for one ad at the halfway point), with all the other ads at the back of the book following the story’s completion. It’s an interesting approach, and changes the way the story flows when reading it. If it’s financially viable, I’d love to see that approach taken more often.

Convergence #6 isn’t a perfect comic book by any means. The story still seems a bit haphazard, and one can’t help but feel that there’s still another big reveal/major battle with Brainiac coming in the final two issues. But that said, this is issue is easily the best of the series so far, and hopefully indicates that the mini-series is ending on a high-note.

Convergence #6: B+

The tie-in books for the sixth week of the Convergence event features the concluding second issues of the Zero Hour set 90’s era books, including:

  • Convergence: Aquaman #2 by Tony Bedard and Cliff Richards
  • Convergence: Batman: Shadow of The Bat #2 by Larry Hama and Philip Tan
  • Convergence: Catwoman #2 by Justin Gray and Ron Randall
  • Convergence: Green Arrow by Christy Marx and Rags Morales
  • Convergence: Green Lantern/ParalLax #2 by Tony Bedard and Ron Wagner
  • Convergence: Justice League International #2 by Ron Marz and Mike Manley
  • Convergence: Suicide Squad #2 by Frak Tieri and Tom Mandrake
  • Convergence: Superboy #2 by Fabian Nicieza and Karl Moline
  • Convergence: Supergirl Matrix #2 by Keith Giffen and Ramon Bachs
  • Convergence: Superman: The Man of Steel #2 by Louise Simonson and June Brigman

Convergence #6 continues the upswing seen in Issue #5, finally jump-starting the series into the massive multiverse spanning epic it was promoted as. The onus is now on Convergence #7 to continue that trend. Meanwhile, week seven’s tie-ins will conclude the ten Crisis on Infinite Earths era mini-series, including Convergence: Green Lantern Corps and Convergence: New Teen Titans, the two of the best books the event has produced.

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