Convergence #8 – Comic Review

This review contains spoilers for Convergence #8, and the implications this comic has for the DC universe.

Convergence gives a second chance for the DC Universe. A big one, designed to catch up with all their past stories and characters seemingly wiped away by multiple crisis events over the past 75 years of comic book publishing.

Convergence #8 offers:

  • Striking images of giant, mechanical beings and assembled super heroes.
  • Characters seeking redemption and second chances.
  • A story that explores the DC Universe timeline, and takes a chance on changing that timeline.

Artwork successfully blends the styles of different artists, composing striking images of DC heroes including a giant brainiac, and images of parallel worlds from across the multiverse. Older characters  and stories appear to reside as a foundation to the New 52 reality.

Artwork in the comic gathers contributions from several different artists. The blend of styles works, however. Scenes where a gathered audience of super heroes from DC comics history listen to Dr.Fate speak about the limited time left before they are wiped away entirely, with no way to return to their home Earths, and home universes carries a sense of gravity and weight.

Brainiac is a giant in this comic. Filled with temporal energy and exotic matter from the multiverse, he is a giant midnight blue machine dotted with red, flickering lights. Brainiac asks for a second chance from the assembled, lost DC heroes, reaching out, and making disarmingly gestures with it’s hands.

Later, another image is striking. Depicting different parallel worlds from the DC multiverse, heroes from the past are spirit-like and faded out, but stand strong as a backdrop for the New 52 heroes. The image implies that behind each universe, the history of the older characters resides underneath the New 52.

Hal Jordan as Parallax and Brainiac both show a need for redemption. The combined forces of Brainiac and the assembled heroes take a chance at changing the DC Universe timeline.

Braiac, his assistant Telos, and the forgotten heroes of the DC universe take a chance with changing the DC universe timeline. They can undo Crisis on Infinite Earths. There’s some broad implications.

Supergirl and the Flash from Crisis on Infinite Earths receive some attention. They are willing to step back into the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths, making the ultimate sacrifice, and allowing the DC universe to experience its first contraction – where the multiverse became a single universe for the first time. Later events would modify the multiverse again, but that’s a large scale story. The final result being they are willing to preserve the timeline at all costs if it means everyone returns home.

Superman from before the Flashpoint event and the New 52, combined with Hal Jordan, (empowered to extraordinary levels and using the name Parallax) decide to tip the scales, however, and change the timeline.

This character development shows that Hal Jordan seeks redemption. He is comparable to Brainiac in this comic: both are empowered by exotic matter and sci-fi energy, but want to return to a less god-like life.

The outcome of their action? Stopping the first multiverse contraction allows each forgotten hero to return to their home, apparently untouched by reboots or resets. Each character sequestered safely inside a renewed multiverse. Such a solution is a Deus ex machina: Brainiac is literally a god-like machine creating an answer to the problem. Despite being unoriginal, it’s an ending that continues the redemption and second chance themes.

There’s some interesting thoughts and values on compassion and making a new home, which sit alongside the second chances and redemption theme. History changes in this comic resemble other large scale rewrites in popular culture. Despite not exploring the implications of these changes, Convergence gives lost or forgotten heroes another moment to save the world

The heroes from Earth 2: World’s End also show off an interesting thought: If you can’t go home, make a new one with what you have. Through Brainiac and Parallax, second chances and redemption appear consistently in this comic book.

There’s a critical moment where the assembled, lost heroes decide to give Brainiac a second chance to go back to what he was. In that moment they have the power to grant redemption or not, which is a big deal. Telos urges compassion here. It’s an interesting value statement. The change the timeline continues a trend in science fiction films and television. Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor made a similar rewrite of a significant event within it’s own history, as an example.

Convergence does not clearly delineate the consequences of changing the timeline, and wiping out any collapse and reconstruction of the DC multiverse, but the story gives many lost or forgotten super heroes another shot at saving the world.

Convergence #8 is published by DC Entertainment ($3.99 USD). Jeff King and Scott Lobdell (W.) Stephen Segovia, Carlo Pagulayan, Eduardo Pansica, Ethan Van Sciver (P.) Jason Pax, Scott Hanna, Trevor Scott, Stephen Segovia, Ethan Van Sciver (I.) Peter Steigerwald (C.) Travis Lanham (L.) Cover artwork by Andy Kubert and Brad Anderson.

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