Both major comic book companies, Marvel and DC, have big cosmic events planned this year that plan to alter their publishing lines forever (or at least until the next big event). Although both companies have been tight lipped as to what the details of the events are, leaving a small trail of bread crumbs for all to speculate, both DC and Marvel have emphatically stated they are not rebooting their respective lines. So if neither publisher is planning a “reboot” just what are they doing? In part one of a two part blog, I’m taking a look at DC’s crossover event titled, “Convergence.”
The New 52 at a glance
In 2011 DC attempted to attract a new audience by rebooting its universe in a confusing storyline titled, “Flashpoint.” The result was a merging of DC’s multiple continuities into one universe labeled “The New 52.” Although the reboot initially meant big numbers for DC, sales quickly declined. It was unclear as to what classic story lines were still cannon and what was lost in the new big boom. Soon six titles including “Hawk and Dove”, “Blackhawk”,and “Mr. Terrific” were cancelled and six new titles were introduced, keeping 52 titles in circulation. Eight months later, four more titles “Voodoo”, “Captain Atom”, “Justice League International”, and “Resurrection Man” were cancelled and replaced by a third wave of new titles. This trend continued throughout the years, which is not unheard of for either published but DC’s tenacity for trying to keep the quality (and sales) of titles strong is notable.
In the end, Batman emerged as DC’s top seller in large part due to new talent, Scott Snyder, who took the Dark Knight into even darker places with stories like “The Court of Owls”, “Zero Year”, and “Death of the Family.” During this time readers were introduced to new characters such as Damien Wayne and the Joker’s Daughter, as well as a new creepier twist on The Joker himself. The Justice League and Aquaman also gained prominence under the tool-age of writer Geoff Johns who took the characters to new heights with stories such as “Forever Evil”. Despite this, The New 52 missed its mark in gaining new, younger readers and the market share quickly reverted back to Marvel.
Convergence: What We Know
Though details are still scare, a mere 2 months before the event kicks off, the following details are apparent:
– All current titles will cease publication for nine weeks, to be replaced by a nine part mini-series and 40 or so additional mini-series to run in tandem with the even.
– The Superman villain Brainiac is involved. The character has had a penchant for enslaving civilizations in the past by keeping them in a glass bottle on his ship. My guess is he has somehow tapped into the Speed Force that enabled Flash to merge worlds during Flash point and has kept the multiverse in his collection.
– Every character is up for grabs. Previews include a wide variety of characters including Thomas Wayne, Parallax, Gen 13, a very pregnant Lois Lane, and Steel.
– DC has promised the return of beloved classic characters missing from the DC universe since The New 52 started, most notably Donna Troy,
My Convergence Wish List
1. Leave Batman alone – Although it will be nice to revisit Knightfall and Elseworlds, I really love Scott Snyder’s Batman. I’m praying Batman comes out of Convergence unchanged.
2, Bring back Nightwing – Following “Forever Evil” Dick Grayson was outed as Nightwing, forcing him to go undercover as agent Dick Grayson. Although this brings a new unexplored side to the DC Universe, we need Nightwing back especially with everything that has gone on with the Batman Eternal series.
3. Lois and Clark – Although the Superman/Wonder Woman romance has been interesting, this preview art caught my attention and made me realize how much I missed the couple.
4. Bring back Wildstorm – In the 90s during the comic boom, I followed Jim Lee’s original characters Wild Cats and Gen 13, published by Image Comics. I was excited to see the New 52 integrate Grifter, Voodoo,and others integrated into the DC universe but it seemed they quickly faded away. The previews of Convergence have me hopeful with two of my favorite properties from the 90’s, Steel and Gen 13, facing off. I’m hoping these characters finally find their place in the DC mainstream.
5. Save Hal Jordan – Pre-New 52 I was a big fan of the Green Lantern books. I had to stop collecting Green Lantern as there were soon too many titles for me and my wallet to follow. Although I like the expansion of the spectrum to include the other corps, DC ran a muck with the titles and the quality of the stories suffered. My request, consolidate the series back to two titles. I am not optimistic in this case, as the previews seem to focus on Hal Jordon’s evil alter ego, Parallax.
Whatever the outcome, I’m hoping Convergence is more of an attempt at rich storytelling rather than a gimmick used to prep us for next year’s Batman vs Superman film. Sounds promising but here’s hoping.
Philip A. Maenza aka “Philtastic Phil” is an internet entrepreneur and consumer behavior professional whose interests include art, film, music, stand up comedy, fitness, and comic books. Phil is also a dedicated community volunteer and always open to connecting with like minded optimists. He’s also thankful DC didn’t go with the initial title of the series, “Hey Us Too!”