Well, I finally read the last issue in DC’s Convergence storyline, and I have to say I’m glad it’s over. Now, before I start taking my shots at DC, let me say that I’m a fan of the company’s characters. Over the past fifteen years I slowly transitioned away from Marvel Comics with their myriad relaunches, starts and stops, until I was almost exclusively a DC man. DC fandom has been severely tested the past couple of years, so much so that I barely buy anything from them anymore. These days I prefer to get my superhero fix from the indie comics scene, which seem to understand the concept of “story first.”
So after the sales of DC’s New 52 rebooted line started to lag, the company started looking around for the next best way to pump life into their characters, and into their declining sales. Over the years this has been attempted by doing impersonations of the mega event of all time, 1986’s Crisis on Infinite Earths. This time around, though, at least according to DC editorial, they had a new idea. Instead of finding a different way to mess up their new, supposedly streamlined continuity, they would blow it up again by bringing back all the glory that was and is the multiverse. To many this might have seemed unnecessary, because DC had already started letting the multiverse creep slowly back into their mainstream, but this event was supposed to be a huge splash, opening up the whole history of DC Comics for the writers to play with. Okay, I get it. DC wants to play with all of their toys and found that their current continuity was too constrictive for them to do that.
I was not a fan of the 2011 reboot, and I was extremely skeptical about this new attempt to shake things up. It seemed to me to be unnecessary, but I was willing to give it a shot. I was extremely disappointed. The title of this series should have been Convoluted, not Convergence. The plot was thin, and I mean paper-thin. It had characters who stepped in and did godlike things, only to be pushed out of the way by another supposedly godlike character to make the story move along. The whole story, which took eight issues to tell, could have easily been told in three issues. The only good thing to come out of it was the resurrection of Earth-2, but it still remains to be seen if they will do anything with it.
As for all the two-part stories that accompanied Convergence, some were good, but the majority were just bad. With only two issues to put together a story to care about, with the backdrop of the mega-event at the core of each one, the writers were limited. They would have been far better served by being allowed to tell stories featuring the characters they were thinking of bringing back or spotlighting after Convergence in standalone limited series.
I hate to say it, but I feel like there was no real thought put into making this anything worthwhile. DC has a long track record of releasing alternative versions of their mainstream characters, which is great. I enjoy them, and encourage them to keep doing it. Gotham by Gaslight is a great example of it, but that’s a self-contained universe; it’s not intended to be part of the main continuity. So if that’s the case, if entertaining, engaging stories can be told outside the bounds of traditional continuity without the slate needing to be wiped clean every few years, why have this Convergence at all? The only reason to do it is because you now plan on crossing all of these characters from one of the many parallel universes to another. If that’s the case, the confusion that brought about the Crisis on Infinite Earths storyline seems to have been lost on the new generation of editors at DC.
I have a sneaking (and sinking) suspicion that Convergence will not be the end of this trend, and that DC will come to find they will have to either ignore everything that happened here, or try some other grandiose scheme to shake up their universe. I have an idea for them: how about just getting some really good creative teams to write some good stories that are not dependent on some grand crossover or mega-event? I know it sounds crazy, but I actually think the readers might find that refreshing.