Convergence as an event initially sounded like a two month layover, a way to allow DC to continue to publish comics while the company moved coasts, leaving New York and heading to California.
Somewhere along the way, it became something more. It became another universe redefining event, a way for DC to reset things, a mere 3 years removed from the New 52 upheaval. I have certainly had my issues with the company's approach to their characters in the New 52 DCU but soft rebooting that hard reboot has something of a whiff of desperation.
But I can't have it both ways as a fan, can I? I can't sit back and complain about the New 52 and then complain when DC tries to reshape things away from that harsh new continuity.
And so we get Convergence #8, a book which gives DC readers back a multiverse (which I thought we might already have), folding in some of the Multiversity Earths as being legitimately in canon. But I don't necessarily know if I feel like anything is necessarily different. And I don't know if I 100% understand what happened here. And I wonder of Scott Lobdell had the audacity to rewrite the ending of Crisis on Infinite Earths, the granddaddy of all crossover events and really the gold standard of these sort of books. I know Crisis. I am friends with Crisis. And Convergence, you are no Crisis.
Writers Jeff King and Scott Lobdell do their best to explain things here. Things in the DCU are very different at the end. But I also feel like the first 7 issues were just biding time. Many of the plots and subplots of this series aren't crucial to this ending.
Art is done by a whole stable of artists (Stephen Segovia, Carlo Pagulayan, Eddie Pansica, Ethan Van Sciver, Jason Paz, Scott Hanna, and Trevor Scott). I guess it is too much to ask that a universe-redefining issue gets done by one artist?
Unfortunately, all the time-traveling chronal energy Deimos had absorbed is now being taken into the Convergence planet, making it unstable.
And since the Convergence planet exists outside the space/time continuum of the multiverse, this planetary destruction will destroy everything.
Now I suppose that since there are cities from all continuities on this planet, it has a sort of finger into all those realities. So maybe this makes sense?
Initially there is hope that Booster Gold and Waverider could take it in. But it is too much for them to do alone. In fact, the only one who can take it all in is Brainiac.
When he survived the Flashpoint event, he went beyond the Source, existing outside reality, and witnessing everything. He saw the Crisis and multiple versions of himself, us reading comics, Infinity Crisis, Countdown, and even the birth of the New 52.
In a moment of clarity, he asks for help, hoping to return to his original form and not this 'cancerous' monster warped by all the continuity-changing events he has witnessed.
So Brainiac living outside time and witnessing all these events is an interesting concept. He is, in essence, the stand-in for long time readers who also have lived through all these reboots and has come out angry and deformed. Maybe Brainiac begging to return to somewhere else, somewhen else is Lobdell and King acknowledging the fans?
Remember all the maneuvering of the New 52 heroes outside the Convergence planet the last 2 weeks? Well that also seems completely superfluous. Because once the planet manifests itself in the Earth 0 universe and nears destruction, those characters all turn tail and run, returning home to 'say goodbye'. Only Superman and Supergirl stay behind to watch.
You would think that Superman and Supergirl being there together, holding hands and hoping, would be a good moment. But for me, this was a horrible moment.
First off, how terrible is it that with the universe, heck all reality, about to be snuffed out, the heroes of the New 52 left. Did they really exhaust all their options? Did they try to save everyone? Nope. They left to say goodbye to their loved ones. I would think the heroes would be trying anything to save everyone.
Brainiac absorbs the temporal energy and promises to return the occupants of the cities to whatever universe they desire.
His plan goes awry when the 'First Crisis' is too strong to send everyone back. If that crisis, Crisis on Infinite Earths, is not 'changed' the DCU will become a universe again, rather than a multiverse as where all can exist.
Brainiac sends Supergirl and the Flash back to that Crisis to meet their fates. But then, oddly, Parallax and the Pre-Flashpoint Superman (with Lois and his newborn son in tow) also head there to try to help.
Of course, this Flash and Supergirl are heroes willing to sacrifice themselves to save everyone. But their mission isn't to save the universe. Their mission is to prevent the collapse of the multiverse.
I don't know how to read this. Are they trying to change the ending of Crisis on Infinite Earths? Stop the creation of a Universe? Altering that story?
Or is it that they simply need to relive the ending of the Crisis, create a universe, so that all the subsequent event comics can unfold as they did?
I am sooooo confused.
Because if the Crisis ended differently, did Supergirl live? Is Superman/Lois/Baby Jon out there somewhere? Inside Alex Luthor in Paradise (we know how that goes)?
And who would dare to try to change that book?
And then we get to see that they were 'successful'. There is now a multiverse.
We see multiple Earths again.
But you see how behind each Earth is a 'shadow' of characters. The pre-Crisis/pre-Flashpoint trinity are behind the New 52 characters. We see worlds from the Multiverse sourcebook.
And we hear that each world has evolved.
We don't get an old school Earth 2, we get the New 52 Earth 2. We don't get the pre-Crisis heroes, we get the 'evolved' New 52.
So do we have all the continuities in play? Or not?
Meanwhile, the Convergence planet survives, is reinvigorated by Alan Scott, and becomes the new Earth 2.
Why is Dick Grayson so important? Unknown.
What is Telos' real name and why was that crucial? Unknown.
Is there really anything that different about this DCU now than there was before this? Didn't Multiversity give us these worlds anyways?
And is what about Crisis on Infinite Earths? Undone? Changed? Redone? If it is changed, I have a doozy of a Supergirl prediction.
As for Convergence, it is no Crisis. It is just another event on the pile.
Overall grade: C+