Review: Convergence #0
Written by Dan Jurgens and Jeff King
Art by Ethan Van Sciver and Marcelo Maiolo
It is kind of hard to believe but April is already here and that means DC’s big universe shattering event Convergence is upon us. I know many comic fans, myself included, are very skeptical about this event and for good reason. Does DC really need another Crisis style event so soon after establishing the New 52? I can’t remember the last time I actually read anything from Dan Jurgens that was actually good. Why is a total newcomer like Jeff King writing a major event like this? All of these things really don’t give many readers much confidence going in to this event. Never fear, though. I hashed out the $4.99 this week so I will give you the low down on whether or not this is actually worth your time or whether you should save some money for two months.
First and foremost, you know that any book with Ethan Van Sciver’s name on the cover is going to be gorgeous. The man just does impressive work and really helps to elevate this title. That is not to say that the story here is necessarily bad, but the art is definitely the reason to pick up at least this issue. This issue is chock-full of interesting page layouts and character designs. You see cities from a ton of DC’s other universes and, better yet, every single incarnation of Brainiac. I’m not going to lie. Brainiac isn’t really a villain I personally enjoy that much, but it is really cool to see all of his iterations in a line-up taking on Superman. Just seeing how the character’s design as changed over the decades is some sweet stuff.
As far as the story goes, I can honestly say this is the best thing I have read from Dan Jurgens in recent memory. It isn’t great, mind you, but Convergence is definitely not the train wreck that Future’s End or Aquaman and the Others are. The story is centered around Superman after he pushed himself and Brainiac into a black hole at the end of Superman: Doomed to prevent the collection of the New 52 Earth, and it basically serves as a giant exposition dump leading into Convergence #1. Superman encounters Brainac Prime, learns a ton of stuff about Prime’s evil plan, then gets his memory wiped and sent back to the New 52. All of this is more slightly more exciting than it sounds, but the story does just exist to give readers some background story on what is going on and give a origin for Telos. The best I can say is that the dialogue is not bad and strangely readable considering how boring some of the topics are.
This issue feels too meta to me. By that I mean the writers obviously knew that most of the readers going in to this don’t really have any idea what is going on. Superman is basically the reader and Brainiac is Jurgens and King giving you a very unsubtle massive information dump revealing everything, and then wiping Superman’s memory so he can actually be used in the story proper later this month. This issue would be good for someone to read if they are brand new to DC and comics in general because it does a good job explaining everything, but as a long time reader I just felt like I was being talked down to. It almost feels like this issue is a high school teacher telling me everything I need to know and I better take notes because there is going to be a test on this stuff in two months. I would have just preferred it more if the information here came to us in an organic way as the main Convergence story progressed, slowly revealing its secrets over time to make things more interesting and dramatic, but instead everything is laid out at our feet for us right of the bat. I guess we get to Superman punching things quicker this way.
I’m not going to call Convergence #0 terrible. For a massive exposition dump with a disposable story, it is oddly readable. Ethan Van Sciver does his best to elevate this tale with his amazing art, but unless you are completely new to DC and have absolutely no idea what is going on then you may want to just skip to Convergence #1.