Recon:Vergence Week Eight: YOU Get a Planet and YOU Get a Planet and YOU
Welcome to Recon:Vergence, a weekly look at what’s going on throughout DC’s new reality-smooshing event storyline, Convergence.
Every week for the past couple of months, every comic DC published was a part of this giant storyline – and it’s been a little confusing, especially for new readers. To help out, we’ve been providing a timeline of events, letting you know which Universes are still in the fight, and trying to keep everything on track. And now, at last, we reach the grand conclusion!
Convergence Group D
Every Convergence tie-in issue of the week is part of the same overall narrative, so you only get the whole story if you know what happened in every single issue last Wednesday. Group D sees four worlds go up against one another for the right to move into the next round:
Pre-Crisis Earth Two Metropolis: Earth Two is home to the Golden Age of DC heroes: Alan Scott is Green Lantern, Jay Garrick is the Flash, and Superman has these little white strips in his hair that makes him look like Reed Richards.
Moscow, Russia: The world of Red Son, Mark Millar and Dave Johnson’s three-issue Elseworlds miniseries, which saw Superman’s rocket crib land in Communist Russia rather than America. As a result, the Cold War… goes in quite a different direction.
Atlanta, Georgia: So… cowboy Jonah Hex once travelled into a post-apocalyptic future and joined a team called The Dogs of War. Last seen in the 80s, it look as though the Dogs of War are returned!
Qward, Anti-Matter Universe: An alternate Universe to the DC Universe, Qward is the anti-matter universe’s equivalent of Oa, home of the Green Lanterns. It’s where the Yellow Lanterns live, and was once ruled by the Anti-Monitor.
With several groups still in contention, this round of Recon:Vergence is going to be more pressed for time than the pre-roofed years of Wimbledon. Rather than rain, it’s the weekly earthquake that stops play for post-apocalyptic Jonah Hex, as Infinity Inc score an opening advantage by deciding to abandon dying civilians in order to punch the Dogs of War. Things even out into a stalemate eventually, because post-apocalyptic Jonah Hex isn’t stopped by mere things like superpowered heroes, and then Telos blows up, uh, something or other. Not quite sure what! Maybe Jonah Hex? There are a lot of dodgy finishes this week.
After keeping out of sight last month, The Qwardians ultimately slaughter the Seven Soldiers a whole bunch and cause some raucous damage to an innocent fish market. For shame, Qwardians! Do you not know the fragile state of cod farming right now? Luckily for the fishmongers of Earth 2, Qward are halted from progressing by the Action Grandpas of the JSA, who smack them down, destroy their machinery, then rock some incredible jackets once battle is over. It’s breathtaking grandpappery.
One of the most interesting battles – Red Son’s team Vs Pre-Crisis Earth Two – ends in a draw, as every character concerned seems to give up having character motivation six pages before the end of their respective issue. It’s… a storytelling choice, I’ll give them that one. The winner of Group D, ultimately? The readers who decided to skip these issues of Convergence, I’d say.
Convergence Group E
Fawcett City, Earth-S: Home to Shazam! And the Marvel Family. Originally published by Fawcett Comics, the characters were eventually picked up by DC Comics in the 70s and bought outright in the 90s.
Gotham City, Gaslight Universe: This is the home to DC’s first-ever Elseworlds story, Gotham by Gaslight, which was basically a steampunk Batman comic with art from Mike Mignola.
Things start off scarily for the Marvel Family, as they’re menaced by a malevolent caterpillar flying inside a gigantic evil robot suit. Luckily they have a talking tiger in a biplane to help them, as well as steampunk Batman, so they ultimately win and get to fly off into the sunset. It is, of course, utterly amazing. The Gotham by Gaslight characters then all vanish into nothingness for no particular reason other than page count, and everything ends heartwarmingly until you remember that five seconds after the last page the heroes all decide to fight for Deimos.
Convergence Group F
Metropolis, Earth 3: Home to the Crime Syndicate of America, everything is backwards on this world. The Justice League are all criminals, and Batman is actually called Owlman, for reasons best known to himself.
853rd Century Metropolis: Home to DC One Million, this is the world where the Justice Legion are active. Batman is the leader, with Superman, Wonder Woman and Aquaman also all featuring in the team.
Loads of characters you’d never heard of before fight each other in a giant crystal palace that looks like one of the final levels from Donkey Kong 64. Aquaman gets knocked out with a ship’s anchor, hopefully not for the last time, and at the end of it all the 853rd Century Wonder Woman staggers off victoriously. Where does she stagger to, you ask? Comics Limbo, I guess, her home for so many years.
Convergence Group G
New York City, Earth X: A world where the Nazis won World War II and took over America, with only a group of guerrilla heroes called the Freedom Fighters left to oppose their Nazi ways.
New York City, Future’s End: 25 years into the future, Brother Eye has turned everybody into cyborg robots. Frankenstein has Black Canary’s face implanted on his chest – remember that?
Nazis! Robots! High-tensile forearms! This comic has it all, including a bit at the end where Plastic Man explodes all the Nazis. The Freedom Fighters win, apart from the one who looks like Uncle Sam (is he actually called Uncle Sam?) who vanishes immediately and is never seen from again. Coward! Draft dodger!
Convergence Group H
Hub City, Earth Four: The home of Charlton Comics, discovered during Crisis on Infinite Earths, and home to heroes like Blue Beetle, Captain Atom and The Question.
31st Century Metropolis: Home to another Legion of Super-Heroes
I could’ve sworn we’d already seen some Legion of Super-Heroes characters show up a few weeks ago, but here they come again, ready for more fighting. Now this one has a really weird finale, whereby at the end The Question decides to fake his city getting destroyed in order to trick Telos into thinking that the Legion of Super-Heroes have won. But… Telos is the planet, right? There’s a super-creepy panel at the end where a disembodied, Andross-like head appears in the sky and smiles down on all the characters as they fly off. Yay?
Main Event! Convergence #8
Everybody has a nice time with Deimos dead, except the skies go red which, in defiance to what shepherds may tell you, actually means only ominous things for the characters. Time is breaking, or something; everybody panics; and you can tell things are getting really dire because Telos starts referencing Countdown to Final Crisis. Shiny-hair Booster Gold flies in and releases Brainiac, who goes on a long chat about the last few decades of DC Comics. Like us, he’s got event fatigue, so he tells them all that the only way to save the day is if they all band together and decide to stop having crossovers.
The characters almost fall for this pathetic attempt to lower DC’s stock pricing, but thankfully Parallax runs in and decides he’s going to go back in time and participate in Crisis on Infinite Earths for reasons beyond anybody's understanding, most likely including the creative and editorial team. Off-panel he saves the day – thanks, mass murderer! – and, well.
EVERY SINGLE PLANET EVER IN THE MULTIVERSE IS BROUGHT BACK INTO EXISTENCE
So let's head over to the Convergence League Table!
=1: Kingdom Come
=1: Booster Gold
=1: Pre-52 Gotham
=1: Moscow, Russia
=1: Future’s End
=1: Atlanta, Georgia
=1: Gotham by Gaslight
=1: Fawcett City
=1: Metropolis, Pre-Crisis 30th Century
=1: Hub City
=1: Pre-Crisis Metropolis
=1: Earth X
=1: Metropolis, Earth 3
=1: Metropolis, 853rd Century
=1: Earth 2
=1: Pre-Crisis Earth 2 Metropolis
=1: Pre-Crisis Gotham
=1: New York, Earth AD
=1: Tangent Universe
=1: Red Rain
=1: Pre-Zero Hour Metropolis
=1: Stan Lee’s Just Imagine
=1: El Inferno
=1: Injustice: Gods Among Us
There’s a turn-up for the books! So everybody is alive, everybody is back, DC can use any characters they want (apart from Captain Marvel) and the whole Universe is in a far better place. And all it took was eight issues of below-par event comic to get us here!
Considering DC have typically asked us to read fifty-two dire issues of event countdown before a major change in the status quo, this seems like a positive shift for the company.
With the event over, who was the big winner? Well, I’d suggest Jeff Parker, Evan Shaner and Jordie Bellaire, whose Shazam story was by far the most popular to come out of this whole thing. Secretly, I thought the most enjoyable was possibly the Guy Gardner story by David Gallaher and Steve Ellis, but Shazam did have a talking tiger in a biplane.
So there we go, Convergence over. And a final bonus for us all is that it didn’t end on a hook for a story called Convergence on Infinite Earths, which I was worried about right until the last page. We weren’t sure if Convergence really was all over – but it is now!