I’m sure fan opinions widely vary on DC’s Convergence event, like they will for any comic, book, movie, TV show, etc. Personally, I had cooled on DC recently and skipped their Convergence event entirely, but my local shop recently had a 3-for-$1 sale on comics and included in that sale were a tremendous amount of the 2-issue tie-in series that went along with the main Convergence event.
While I was not enthused about paying $3.99 each (or even the $2.39 that would have been my discounted rate from DCBS), I was happy to pick up a bunch of these for 33 cents each. In the end, there were a handful that I really enjoyed; most of the others were not really “hate worthy”, the worst I can say is that I was sort of ambivalent towards them.
I have some general feelings that seem to characterize the ones that didn’t appeal to me:
- The story – A lot of them seemed to get off to a really slow start. Given these were 2 issue series, I’d have expected them to hit the ground running and not spend the 1st issue on mostly setup. Additionally, there were quite a few that seemed to devote a lot of time to tying into the Convergence event, focusing on the fact that these were pocket slices of continuity from different eras of DC Continuity that were preserved inside a dome and being forced to battle other continuity-slices. Not any kind of universal “nail in the coffin”, since I’m sure some people were loving this exact facet of the stories. For me personally, it was more enjoyable to see the continuity-slices without the baggage tying them to the Convergence event.
- The art – very subjective. Some of these felt more polished to me than others. As with any comic, the visuals are a key component and a story has to be EXTREMELY strong to overcome art that’s not appealing to me as a reader (as subjective as liking art is).
Some series hit on both #1 and #2, others one or the other. I like most of the characters/eras/timelines/Elseworlds represented in these series. For me the difference between a “Hidden Gem” and an “I’m Not Feeling It” had to do with the writing and art combining in my head to really capture the “look and feel” of the continuity-slice being represented. I read almost all of these pieces of continuity off the rack and they had a definite “sense memory” in my head that they needed to measure up to. Gee, not hard at all… (just kidding!) I freely admit that this was a tough challenge and an interpretation that will be different for every reader.
“Hidden” Gems (6)
These are the series I really dug. There was a tie-in to Convergence, but it didn’t strike me as overpowering (subjective, I know).
Adventures of Superman – I credit writer Marv Wolfman with entertaining me with pre-Crisis Superman and Supergirl (Kara Zor-El) combined with Kamandi. The art team of Roberto Viacava & Andy Owens is not one I was familiar with, but they brought a very 80s feel to the issues.
Booster Gold – Nice to see Dan Jurgens back doing Booster & Rip Hunter. And reuniting the Blue & Gold team hit all the right buttons for me… PLUS, the Legion! Nice!
Hawkman – Tim Truman’s art rocked this one for me, a visual feast. Jeff Parker’s story kept me interested, it was so nice to see Katar and Shayera Hol back in action. I like my Hawkman to be from Thanagar.
Superman – Another Dan Jurgens story I really liked (with Jurgens on pencil art as well), featuring the pre-Flahpoint Superman & Lois along with Flashpoint heroes, primarily the Flashpoint Batman.
Swamp Thing – Len Wein returning to his creation and then combining that with the vampire Batman from the Red Rain Elseworlds GN with the original artist from that, Kelley Jones. Perfection!
World’s Finest – Bravo to Paul Levitz for weaving a story starring Scribbly Jibbet (who I don’t think we’ve seen outside of a cameo or reprint since 1951) along with the Seven Soldiers of Victory vs. the Qwardians.
Dug the Art, Not the Story (3)
Batman & Robin – Denys Cowan & Klaus Janson were rocking the art here, but I was not feeling Ron Marz’ story.
Crime Syndicate – Loved Phil Winslade’s art. I really struggled with the story.
New Teen Titans – Nice art by Nicola Scott, but Marv Wolfman’s story was just not doing it for me, mostly due to the Tangent Universe Doom Patrol, a set of characters I really don’t care about at all.
I Was Not Feeling It (24)
I won’t belabor the whys and wherefores on these. They just didn’t hit me right and I’m certainly glad I only paid 33 cents a book for them:
Action Comics, Batgirl, Batman & the Outsiders, Batman: Shadow of the Bat, Blue Beetle, Catwoman, Detective Comics, Flash, Green Arrow, Green Lantern Corps, Green Lantern/Parallax, Harley Quinn, Infinity Inc., Justice League, Justice League International, Justice League of America, Justice Society of America, Plastic Man and the Freedom Fighters, Shazam!, Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes, Supergirl: Matrix, Superman: Man of Steel, Titans, Wonder Woman.
Didn’t Read (7)
There were 7 series I didn’t get my hands on at the sale: Aquaman, The Atom, Nightwing/Oracle, The Question, Speed Force, Suicide Squad, and Superboy.
In the End…
Of the 33 series I read, I liked 6 (~18%) which is about 1 out of 5. Not a great average, but I’m glad I dug through the sale box, because the gems made the effort of reading them worthwhile!
Bob Bretall: email@example.com
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