Over the course of DC Comics’ Convergence event we’ve seen long-lost parallel universes pitted against one another for a Darwinian experiment. We met Deimos, a power hungry tyrant wannabe, who wanted to kill DC’s heroes to harness their collective power. And finally, in Convergence #8, writers Jeff King and Scott Lobdell use Brainiac and a host of DC characters from the past and present to unveil a new standard for the DC continuity.
By now, you’ve probably read the spoilers that lit up the Internet about the continuity altering events in the final chapter of Convergence. If not, then I’ll assume you’re googling it on your phone as you read. We’ll just let that aspect of the issue simmer until a later date.
Overall, the plot of Covergence #8 is mediocre. There is a cyclone of key moments in this issue that beg for adequate development, yet get passed up and forgotten in order to move on to the big reveal.
One such moment occurs as Telos restrains Parallax/Hal Jordan from creating an even bigger mess than the death of Deimos created. Telos tells the masses of DC characters that he can sense the arrival of more people “in the service of the time stream” who may be able to help stop the temporal energy that’s consuming the planet. On cue Booster Gold, Waverider, and Goldstar miraculously appear and jump straight to freeing Brainiac. This is only one example of how the writers treat a plot thread like a speed bump in an airport parking lot.
Another example revolves around several characters who become responsible for the overall conclusion. In a moment that was likely meant to pay homage to Crisis on Infinite Earths, several heroes jump into the time stream to prevent catastrophe. Yet, the pivotal moment after the heroes jump out of view falls flat when victory over the catastrophe is signaled by Brainiac announcing, “In an instant, I can tell. They have done it.” Gee, thanks. While the reasons for not developing that moment are probably numerous, it feels cheap and tawdry to conclude it with only a few lines of dialogue.
How King and Lobdell resolve the fates of the Earth 2’s heroes, however, is a more satisfying development. If you’ve kept up with Earth 2 throughout Convergence and Earth 2: World’s End, the future that is laid before Alan Scott, Jay Garrick, Dick Grayson and Yolanda Montez is logical and fulfilling after everything these characters have been through.
The art of Convergence #8, like the plot, is a roller coaster with peaks and valleys. Segovia, Pagulayan, Pansica and Van Sciver each bring their own style to the issue. The transitions between those styles, though, bring focus to the leaps of faith in the plot.
With that said, however, there are some beautifully crafted visuals throughout the issue, like several two-page spreads towards the end of the issue. These spreads illustrate the rich and vast history of the DC Universe and help remind us where this story has its roots, even if its execution wasn’t as brilliant as everyone hoped.
King and Lobdell had plenty of opportunity to provide a satisfying conclusion to the Convergence event, yet the layers upon layers of dangling plot threads that get glossed over paired with some uneven artwork forces Convergence #8 to teeter towards the mediocre.