After months of teases and promotion from DC Comics, Convergence #0 hit stands yesterday. The weekly 9-issue series provides a break for DC during its two-month move from New York City to the West Coast. Given my love of Superman, Brainiac, and multiverse-focused stories in general, I hotly anticipated this title. I’ve never followed a weekly before, so this was also my first chance to try out that format.
Did the first issue wow me? Can this miniseries sate DC fans during the two-month hiatus of the main titles?
Superman has been transported to an unknown locale by Brainiac, the hyper intelligent monster that delights in collecting cities. Kal-El escapes his restraints and arrives on a barren planet. Moments later, he comes into conflict with an alternate reality version of Brainiac…or so he thinks. In reality, Superman is fighting against the sentient planet Telos, a realm outside of space and time where Brainiac destroys the remnants of dead timelines. Superman engages Telos in battle as his search for answers begins.
Let me begin by saying Convergence #0 is an artistic gem. Artist Ethan Van Sciver has long been a staple at DC, his style perfect for the Justice League heroes and their adversaries. Van Sciver outdoes himself with this issue, beautifully rendering our Kryptonian hero as he struggles against the monstrous Brainiac. It was great to see multiple forms of Brainiac from previous continuities and Elseworlds tales rendered in this issue, especially as Brainiac is one of my favorite villains. The battle scenes are high energy, and the images gloriously befit the sci-fi splendor of this tale.
Marcelo Maiolo, one of the most skilled colorists in comics, lends his palette to Van Sciver’s work. The use of color is clever here, the bright tones of Superman and Brainiac contrasting with this darkness of space and the desolate landscape of Telos. Letterer Travis Lanham does superior work as well, rendering Brainiac’s strange speech pattern in a series of beautiful irregularly-shaped purple bubbles.
The writing for Convergence #0 is somewhat of a mixed bag. This issue is the work of writers Dan Jurgens, a man almost synonymous for Superman among readers of my generation, and Jeff King, with whom I am unfamiliar prior to this comic. I’ll applaud the creative team for going all-out with this odd concept: Brainiac has started collecting the remnants of dead timelines and placed them on this planet, where Telos itself is deciding their fate by way of combat. Jurgens and King make sure to fill the issue with plenty of action, and provide a script that allows Van Sciver to display some impressive cosmic visuals.
Alas, Convergence #0 falters as it functions as a great deal of build up. While trying to explain this issue to my girlfriend, I noted that “It’s an issue where a lot happens, yet nothing happens.” The plot I described above is told in roughly thirty pages, but could easily have been condensed to make room for showing some of the actual cities. I realize these cities will appear in the upcoming Convergence two-shot series which accompany the core title, but nevertheless I think it was remiss not to display a little more of the plot.
That said, I’m still interested in what Convergence has to offer, and will certainly give the next issue a chance. It’s an imperfect start, but with a concept this high level I can’t blame the team for using a full issue just to sell readers on the idea. If nothing else, I’m just excited to see Red Son Superman and pre-Flashpoint Green Arrow in upcoming comics. Furthermore, with a strong art team, this comic promises to, at the very least, provide a visual treat.
-great Superman versus Brainiac action
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