ReConvergence

Convergence concluded a few weeks ago. I bought the multi-universe myth-remix, which consumed all the DC Comics titles for two months, diligently at the cost of around a dozen comics a week.

Each title featured its own superheroic battle, a fight predetermined by an evil god who announced his intentions via a declaration that could be understood by every sentient being in every city he addressed. These were cities he’d already imprisoned in sphere, Stephen King Under the Dome style, for a year. The fights offered escape. They also allowed heroes to regain the powers they’d lost while stuck in the spheres.

I’m a pacifist, but I nevertheless enjoyed Convergence as a series of shortform strategic exercises. Some of the battles even ended in willful surrenders, stalemates or truces, in order to avoid bloodshed.

In some ways, the Convergence stories were the essence of superhero comicdom, the protagonist’s standard myths boiled down to a two-issue arc. Their origin tales were retold, then rebirths were experienced. The year of powerlessness allowed each hero to reconsider the meaning of his or her life, before being ordered to fight a presumed foe. These super-scraps are undertaken in order to save cities, which gives Convergence a sense of civic duty. There’s also a lot of flying and hurtling. (under the domes which encapsulate these cities, it’s still possible to soar, apparently.)

There’s a lot of realignment of the DC universe implicit in Convergence. Some fat has been trimmed away—whole planetary systems of fat. There’s been some clarification and prioritizing as, post-Convergence, DC unleashes dozens of new titles which so far seem distinguished by a lighter tone and a greater sense of humor. Some churlish fanboys have written off the whole Convergence endeavor as an easy way to keep the punters happy while the DC editorial offices made a grand move from New York to California. That attitude is unnecessarily caustic even for comic-realm critics. First, there are so many easier ways to fill two months of a publishing schedule than to create an interlocking story involving over 50-titles, hundreds of characters and dozens of artists and writers. Second, Convergence holds up remarkably well on its own terms, as a full-scale mythology marked by many small adventures and a grand earth(s)-changing conclusion. I look forward to rereading the whole stack of comics and happily reconverging soon.

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