In Review: Convergence #8

Outside of having various characters meet up, when all is said and done, there is no reason for this series to have ever happened.

The covers: The monstrous hand of Brainiac holds Superman, Lois Lane, their child, Flash, Supergirl, and Parallax, who’s using his power ring to send a burst of energy skyward on this Main cover by Andy Kubert and Brad Anderson. This cover spotlights several of the characters I like, so I’m happy to see it focus on them. The layout is fine, with some really cool, thin linework being used to show the energy emanating from Brainiac and Parallax. What I’m not liking are the colors, which are so pastel they blob up the art, making it hard to find a focus. A harsher color for the background would have fixed this. The first Variant comes from Tony Daniel with Tomeu Morey, showing an unearthly brown cyclone sweeping up Green Lantern, Superman, Yolanda, Dick Grayson, Telos, and the Flash. Big bonus points to this team for focusing on the characters that started this series. Excellent art and colors. The next Variant is a sensational illustration by Jill Thompson with Batman driving the Batmobile through a yellow backdrop, with his vehicle made out of the Metal Men. This is retro character cool that brings an absent sense of joy to this series. This happens nowhere in the book, but it’s nice to see a sense of levity being taken with at least one cover. The final Variant is by John Romita, Jr. who does a character key page, with this focus being rightly on Superman. It shows the Man of Steel from seven different head shots, four different sketches of his body, and the same four at the bottom of the page colored. If you’re a fan of character design and what goes into it, this is the cover for you. Overall grades: Main B, Variant Daniel A, Variant Thompson A, and Variant Romita, Jr. A

The story: Parallax killed Demios last issue which is causing the unraveling of all universes. He says he can fix it because “I know what’s best for everyone…” That’s when Telos sweeps the dark lantern up and immobilizes him, saying there will be no more reality bending from him. The world everyone stands upon begins to tremble and Telos says, “It means the countdown has begun.” This prompts the arrival of one famous DC time traveler accompanied by two other characters, who usher in the return of a major villain. “Last Stand” by Jeff King and Scott Lobdell close up the Convergence saga and in the process make some changes to the entire DC line that no one online has been able to concisely figure out. That’s not exactly the state I would expect writers would want to leave readers after eight issues. In a nutshell, the multiverse remains, but with a twist. The majority of the issue is made up of a lot of good byes, as characters take their leave of Brianiac’s petri dish planet and return to their own worlds with the characters from Earth 2 getting a new setting. That’s it. This took eight issues? Overall grade: C

The art: I’m also stunned it took four different artists to complete this final issue. You’d think that for a series this big there could have one artist who could have handled the entire series. This falls upon the editor’s domain and not the artists’. The pencillers included Stephen Segovia, Carlo Pagulayan, Eduardo Pansica, and Ethan Van Sciver, with the inkers being Jason Paz, Scott Hanna, Trevor Scott, Segovia, and Van Sciver. The art is fine. Readers are treated to major characters looking heroic against an alien wasteland or standing before this series’ uber-villain. Highlights include the double-page splash of 2 and 3, the double-page of 18 and 19, 24 and 25, and 26 and 27. It is noticeable when different artists take the helm, but the visuals are good. Overall grade: B+

The colors: Doing an outstanding job throughout this series is Peter Steigerwald, who ends the issue as strongly as he began. The book looks strong and bold in the beginning, using every shade of red to show the peril the characters face. I really like the colors coming off of the character that appeared on Page 6. It’s beautiful work and much appreciated. The exterior of a planet on Page 15 is really good, with blues, violets, and excellent use of white.  A terrific job on every page. Overall grade: A

The letters: The opening story title and credits, dialogue, yells, big bad guy speech, and scene settings are by Travis Lanham. It’s always impressive to see a letterer do their job well by inserting text so that it doesn’t step over the art, and what Lanham is able to do with some of these crowded panels is impressive. No sound effects to speak of this issue, as none are needed except in one sequence in the end, though I have no clue how the writers would phrase those possible inclusions. Overall grade: A

The final line: Outside of having various characters meet up, when all is said and done, there is no reason for this series to have ever happened. I liked seeing the characters, but the wrap up to every disaster is too quick and clean. Overall grade: B

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for several years with “It’s Bound to Happen!” and he’s reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He’s taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.

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