Written by: Jeff King and Scott Lobdell
Art by: Carlo Pagulayan and Jason Paz
I know I said in my review of Convergence #0 that it doesn’t get better later on and it really doesn’t. Well, not exactly. I’ll admit, the story in this issue does go at a better pace in some areas, but there are other areas that it doesn’t do well either.
Something that does do well is the artwork. The cover is especially good, with the Injustice versions of Harley Quinn, Cyborg, Flash, Batman, and Superman (though it appears to be the “good” version of him seen in the game, yet he’s not in this story; though he kinda looks like New 52 Supes; I don’t know). Brainiac is in the background, covered in shadow and looking menacing. The interior artwork is good too, even reminds me of Ivan Reis’s artwork. It’s bright and colorful, not looking too murky except in the opening pages where Gotham City is being destroyed.
Here’s the thing: Convergence is supposed to be this big, epic crossover, that will decide the fate of the DC multiverse. It even has the pre-New 52 universe returning, along with a couple others that fans may recognize. The thing of it is, barely any of those universes (or at least the cities of those universes captured by Brainiac) are featured in the main series, rather they’re either in the FORTY TIE-IN 2-ISSUE MINISERIES, or just shown in pictures of the comics they came from at the end of each issue of this series. I understand tie-ins are the norm for epic crossovers, but forty? And each issue is like $4 each! What the heck does DC need all this money for? Oh and I like seeing that this comic is $5 just like the previous issue. Way to go with consistency! I will admit, it was kinda worth it for the Injustice variant cover. Speaking of Injustice…
They’re barely in this story. Yeah, the Injustice universe is only shown for FIVE PAGES. And it takes place after the game, apparently, with Superman out of jail and sporting an S-shaped scar over his right eye. It’s never explained how he got out or how he got that scar. The Injustice version of Gotham city was taken by Brainiac and is now plunged into chaos through unexplained means. Batman, Flash, Harley Quinn, and Cyborg try to get Superman to help, but he flies off as a volcano erupts, Telos’ voice is heard and says to them that they’re “a failed experiment”, and then a giant hand smacks down on Superman. That’s it.
Cut to the surviving characters from the Earth 2 comic, consisting of Thomas Wayne (father of Bruce Wayne and the Earth 2 version of Batman after Bruce’s death), Alan Scott (Earth 2 Green Lantern and Avatar of the Green, plant life on Earth), DIck Grayson (never became Batman’s partner in Earth 2 and is instead a reporter), Jay Garrick (Earth 2 Flash), Val-Zod (Earth 2 Superman after the death of previous Superman) and Yolanda Montez (Earth 2 Avatar of the Red, living things on Earth). I haven’t read Earth 2 for a while, not since the Futures End one-shot, nor have I read either The New 52: Futures End or Earth 2: World’s End, so I was a little lost on what happened to them. Luckily, there’s some flashbacks and allusions to what happened, that being they fought Darkseid and got people to evacuate the planet before it blew up. Huh. No wonder the Earth 2 series got cancelled. Can’t have an Earth 2 comic without…Earth 2 I guess.
Of course, we’re introduced to someone who I bet will be the annoyance of this series: Dick Grayson (at least the Earth 2 version of him anyway). First thing he does is punch Batman and lament about how he lost his wife and everything. Thankfully, Jay Garrick puts him in his place, reminding him he’s not the only one, that he put his mom on one of the ships that escaped the planet, but understands and dreads that he may not see her again nor fully know if she’s alright or not, yet presses on with the situation at hand, which is finding out where they are and what to do. Then Yolanda comes out of the ground, kisses Grayson (only because she’s glad to be alive), and agrees with Jay, because as Avatar of the Red, she felt EVERYTHING die on Earth when it exploded.
After realizing that the powers of GL, Montez, and Superman are in a flux of sorts, Telos shows up and captures them in some kind of liquid metal (is he using the T-1000 as his minion or something?). He exposits what he and his “master”, Brainiac, are doing, which is to hold all the cities of multiple universes captive and have them be put in, as Thomas Wayne puts it, “a perverse tournament”. Telos then tells all the cities that they must fight each other in order to survive and…you know what, I’ll just put it in the words of Highlander: “in the end, there can be only one”. I’ve been hearing other people say this story is like a mix of Highlander, Mortal Kombat, and DC, but yeah, it doesn’t get more apparent than what is shown in this issue. All the heroes and villains of every city must fight so that one may exist.
And everyone in the cities races to fight the nearest opposing one, not really questioning what is happening, just simply going off to fight each other. Seriously? That’s how it ends? Ok, in stories like Crisis on Infinite Earths or Infinite Crisis, the threat isn’t exactly known until a certain point, then everyone unites to stop that threat. The difference here? Telos tells them what’s going on, making it clear that he’s either orchestrating it or just a pawn. Either way, he’s the bad guy, so the other cities should unite somehow and stop him. Instead, they don’t, they’re gonna go fight each other, and those stories are probably told in the tie-ins.
The story in this issue does go at a better pace than in the last, but it still has its problems. The Injustice universe is only briefly shown and for no apparent reason why other than “just cause”. Will this affect whatever followup there will be to the video game? What are the extent of Telos’ powers? Is he one with the planet AND the cities he’s holding captive? What is his endgame?
I guess all of that will be explained next issue. Who knows.