Convergence has been a dull ride so far. It does not help that the characters that this big event has centered on over the first five issues are the New 52 Earth-2 characters. Picking characters from a niche title that struggles to sell in the high 20K unit range is an odd choice for a mainstream big event. It certainly has not helped in getting me interested in Convergence. It has been nearly impossible to become invested in the story since the New 52 Earth-2 characters are less than engaging. At no point have I cared about what has been going on in this story. And if the reader is still disengaged from the conflict and has no investment in the characters five issues into an eight issue event then something has terribly gone wrong with the story. Can Convergence #6 finally get me invested in this story and to care about the characters and the threat that they face? Let’s find out!
Words: Jeff King & Scott Lobdell
Pencils: Ed Benes & Eduardo Pansica
Inks: Ed Benes, Trevor Scott, Scott Hanna & Wayne Faucher
Colors: Peter Steigerwald
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: We begin with the Justice League and the Red Lantern Corps responding to a planet being shoved through a dimensional portal into the New 52 DCU. We then cut to Deimos telling all the inhabitants of Braniac’s world that if they do not pledge loyalty to him then they will die. Yolanda (Wildcat 2.0 from the mid to late 1980’s) tells Deimos that he is crazy. Deimos says he is going to lead all the the heroes to their deaths and then through death he will birth a new universe. One that will be all his.
We cut to the Teen Titans (They look like the pre-Infinite Crisis team) battling the Extremists. The New 52 Earth-2 heroes run to help the Teen Titans. Suddenly, Red Arrow, Batgirl (Stephanie Brown flavor), Flash and Superman (With his red underwear on over his blue tights! Yeah!) appear on the scene and join the fight against the Extremists. The Extremists then turn tail and Dreamweaver teleports them away from the scene.
Our assembled heroes decide to go out and gather together as many alternate versions of themselves to help in the fight against Deimos. The heroes rush off leaving Superman (The real pre-Flashpoint one with his red underwear) and Grayson behind. Superman says that Grayson has to go find Telos and convince him to help the heroes. That Grayson has a connection with Telos and that Grayson is the only one who can get through to Telos.
We then cut to New 52 Earth-2 Jay Garrick meeting Barry Allen who reveals that he was just fighting the Psycho Pirate (Crisis on Infinite Earths) right before being teleported to this planet.
We zip over to Grayson meeting up with Telos. Grayson tells Telos that he controls the planet and has the power to help the heroes to defeat Deimos and then return everyone to their homes. Even return Telos to his own home. Telos says that Deimos may have the power to unlock what Telos’ true name is. Telos then says “I will help them all. They were cast aside. Forgotten. But they will live.” (Great meta commentary about how the established DCU characters were treated with the New 52 reboot.) We then see all of the multiple Earths that were flushed down the toilet with the New 52 reboot appear in the sky.
We then slide over to all of our heroes from every multiple Earth and from every version of the DCU all surrounding Diemos. (This is a damn cool geek out moment for long-time DCU fans.) Our heroes tell Deimos that he is outnumbered and to surrender. Deimos says he is not outnumbered. Suddenly, all of the villains from every version of the DCU appear on the scene ready to protect Deimos. (And yet another cool geek out moment for long-time DCU fans.) Deimos says to his assembled villains “Kill them all and this world is yours!” End of issue.
The Good: Finally! Convergence actually grabbed my attention and delivered a good read! Convergence #6 succeed in getting me invested in the heroes’ struggle and interested in what is going to happen next. This issue did a fine job delivering a few scenes guaranteed to get huge pops from the readers and effectively sets the table for a wild finish with the final two issues. For the first time during this big event I am at the edge of my seat eagerly waiting for the next issue.
Reading Convergence #6 was like cracking open a can of Coke Classic for the first time after being forced to drink New Coke. Damn, did it taste good. I loved all of the characters from the real DCU prior to Flashpoint. I cannot put into words how awesome it was to see them in action. Red Arrow, Donna Troy, Superman with his red underwear on the outside, the list goes on and on.
The two splash shots in this issue were pure eye candy. The splash shot of the heroes and then the splash shot of the villains washed over me with a sense of joy. It was the unbridled excitement of seeing all of the beloved characters that DC flushed down the toilet with the New 52. I felt like a little kid again. With the end of Convergence #6 I felt like anything was possible. It was awesome.
I have to give the writers credit that even though they were rolling out plenty of characters from various versions of the DCU that they managed to keep Convergence #6 easy to understand and new reader friendly. This is not a case where a reader has to command a masterful knowledge of DC’s history in order to keep pace. Many big events, like Final Crisis for example, struggle with this challenge. Yes, there are plenty of easter eggs with the various characters and allusions to prior big events in DC’s history but a reader does not need to know them in order to enjoy the story. They are placed there for the enjoyment of longtime DC fans but are not integral to the story itself in this issue. The writers managed to strike an excellent balance of being able to thrill longtime readers while still keeping the issue straight forward and easy to understand for newer readers who only know the New 52.
Convergence #6 was nicely plotted and paced. In fact, this issue offered more plot progression than any of the previous issues. This issue had a nice flow to it. The story built ramped up the tension with each page until it hit a satisfying climax with the final few pages. The reader’s attention is quickly hooked with the beginning of this issue and the story moves quickly with little hesitation or wasted panel space.
There was not a ton of action in this issue. But, the few panels of fighting were satisfying enough for me. The story itself had an urgent pace as our heroes searched for more allies. This gave the issue an energetic vibe so it did not feel like page after page of characters standing around and talking.
The artwork was done by committee, but the artists all did a nice job trying to blend their styles in order to avoid delivering an issue that looked schizophrenic. This issue must have been a blast to draw with all the different characters that appear near the end. For long time DCU fans, it is fun to stare at the two splash shots and identify all of the various versions of our heroes from DC’s glorious history. I must have spent 10 minutes just staring at these splash shots.
The Bad: Convergence #6 has its share of flaws. The story continues to be shallow. This is nothing more than a typical super hero story that feels a bit “paint by numbers” in its delivery. The story does not feel particularly special or unique. There are big moments in this issue with the appearance of all the different characters in DC’s continuity but it is done in such a wrote fashion that it does to feel as special as it should. The story itself does not feel that creative and all of the various characters that we get in this issue feel more like chess pieces that are being moved about by the writers with little passion or soul invested in them.
The dialogue was not bad. But it was not good, either. The dialogue varies from average to a bit clunky and cheesy at times. The character work is pretty much nonexistent. The entire roster of heroes are nothing more than props. They dutifully carry out the roles assigned to them by the writers with very little agency at all.
Action junkies will probably be disappointed with the lack of fighting that we got in this issue. Big events often have big action and Convergence #6 does not deliver in that category.
There were some flawed moments for the artwork. The big splash shot near the beginning showing us New 52 Superman and Supergirl along with the Red Lanterns was off. Superman looks like he is the same age as Supergirl. In fact, I thought this was Superboy at first and not the New 52 Superman. The coloring in this issue was average. Overall, Convergence #6 looked to muted and drab.
Overall: Convergence #6 was a fun read. This was easily the best issue of this big event. Longtime DC readers will enjoy seeing characters that we lost with the New 52 reboot. Newer readers should enjoy the large scale of this issue and the fact that the intensity of this big event cranks up a few notches. It is a shame that it took six issues for Convergence to finally get its legs underneath it, but I guess late is better than never. Thankfully, Convergence is published weekly. Having to wait six months to arrive at this point would have been maddening. Having said that, it does appear that we are in store for one hell of a finish to Convergence with the final two issues.