Comic Book Storytelling: DC Convergence Titles

DC comics Convergence event has started and they released a bunch of different titles to kick it off.  I did not pick up all of them because no one is actually paying me to do this.  I just grabbed a few that interested me when I paged through them at the comic shop and now I will give you my assessment of this event and what I think we may yet see from it.

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They have been setting things up in the New 52 for some time now leading up to Convergence.  It kicks off in Convergence #0 which is all about Superman fighting what appears to be Brainiac buts turns out to be an intelligent planet that works for Brainiac.  It sends out some avatars that look like various incarnations of Brainiac and Superman tries to beat them up and just all around acts like a dumb brute instead of taking a moment to think about what might be going on.  I know some people thought Brainiac was going to be the big bad of this event and it seems like DC wants to set up Brainiac as a major villain for other media.  But no for this event we get some newcomer called Telos who serves Brainiac and even kind of looks like Brainiac but is not Brainiac.

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We start with a group made up of people from Earth-2, the Injustice video game, the Flashpoint event, and Grant Morrison’s Multiversity stuff.  Then Telos pops up and starts with the exposition.  So Brainiac has been stealing cities from different dimensions and dropping them on this planet.  But now Brainiac is gone and Telos has decided to make champions from each city fight to the death to see which one gets to keep existing.  This sounds very similar to Marvel’s upcoming Battleworld scenario.  I know people have been saying Marvel and DC are doing the same thing right now but I did not realize how right they were.

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I also picked up the Batgirl Convergence tie in comic because it featured the pre-New 52 Batgirls Stephanie Brown and Cassandra Cain, also it had Tim Drake as Red Robin.  So it turns out all of the cities on Telos have been there for a year trapped inside force fields.  Cassandra and Tim have been keeping the streets of Gotham safe while Stephanie has retired from being Batgirl to be a nurse.  Then Telos makes his big champions-fighting-to-the-death announcement and it seems Batgirl is on the list so Stephanie will have to suit up again.

There are some good moments in this one.  My favorite is when Killer Moth tries to mug Stephanie and another nurse and she shames him into backing off.  But there is something else I feel I should talk about, both of the Batgirls in this story end up taking their clothes off at one point.  It is not so much an issue of sexist male gaze as it is that one of the instances is kind of nonsensical.

It turns out Stephanie and Cassandra are sharing an apartment and Cassandra comes home after patrolling and proceeds to take off her costume and hang out in her underwear.  Now this scene makes sense, there are plenty of people out there who are not afraid of their roommates seeing them in their underwear and overall it is a nice to see the two friends interacting and getting into an argument about whether or not to eat their pet guinea pig.  That last bit makes more sense if you read the issue.  But earlier in the book Stephanie also undresses but it makes a lot less sense.  So when Gotham was first taken from Earth and trapped in a force field some dumb activists set all of the zoo animals free.  And then one of the activists got mauled by a lion and a police officer had to shoot the lion and… this made Stephanie sad apparently?  So then she decided to not just quit being Batgirl but to immediately take off her costume and walk through the streets of Gotham City in her underwear.  It was a bit odd.

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The only other Convergence title I have read was the Justice League one.  It focuses on a group of the women of the Justice League trapped in yet another one of the abducted cities.  This might be the same one the Batgirls are in or it might not, its kind of hard to tell.  Supergirl, Zatanna, Jesse Quick, Vixen, Jade, and Mera are in the city when the dome goes up and they all lose their powers during the year it is on Telos.  During that time they still keep the city safe and I guess they do a lot of clubbing as well.  When the dome goes down and Telos makes his announcement they get their powers back and Mera is kidnapped by Flashpoint Aquaman, unless this is a different evil Aquaman.

I’m not sure how this Convergence stuff is going to work going forward.  It looks like these are going to be a lot of two issue minis instead of one shots like the Future’s End stuff.  I also the thought the Multiversity bad guys The Gentry might factor into this but maybe not.  Marvel starts their Secret Wars event soon so we will see how that stacks up.

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