As “Convergence” approaches the wrap-up, issue #6 finally goes full-on superhero bonanza. Two rival armies gather in the wake of Deimos’ ultimatum, and the creative team gets to work assembling and enjoying the melee that results. Ed Benes and Eduardo Pansica handle page after page of panels packed with characters, and Jeff King and Scott Lodell’s script moves with speed and panache. However, while “Convergence” is starting to cohere, the execution is still not consistent, and the character arcs aren’t given enough time to be emotionally compelling. All told, “Convergence” #6 is a better-looking, more sure-footed book than its predecessors, but it still can’t make an emotional impact.
The pace of King and Lodell’s script is both a strength and a weakness of the issue. The frequent jumps between storylines do give the plot of a sense of escalation but, when the heroes don’t have a moment to breathe, neither does the reader. Appropriately for an issue titled “Team Work,” it reads like many pieces of a fast-moving machine all coming together. However, this pace also means that the reader doesn’t have time to consider and absorb, either. Telos’ turnaround is incredibly fast, and all the heroes and villains decide whether or not to “worship” Deimos very rapidly. There aren’t proper debates or arguments in “Convergence” #6; most disagreements are solved by explanation.
Now, to be fair to King and Lodell, events must move this quickly in order to squeeze everything into the issue, and many of the individual moments — Dick Grayson as the DC Universe’s spokesman to Telos, for instance — are well-imagined. However, the fact remains that the value and drama in story arcs come from following them through, not just catching the highlights.
Now, even if the story doesn’t tug at the heartstrings, it could still be a whole lot of fun. There’s a particular comic-y joy in just seeing a bombastic, overblown fight scene, and “Convergence” #6 almost nails that aspect of the story. These battles are drawn big and full of characters. Flight is also handled superbly throughout the book by pencillers Ed Benes and Eduardo Pansica and inkers Ed Benes, Trevor Scott, Scott Hanna and Wayne Faucher. No one looks static, momentum-less or awkwardly hovering and, with so many characters in the air, it would have been easy to phone that pose in. When this artistic team fills the sky with superheroes, it looks awesome.
Unfortunately, the art is uneven as a whole, which isn’t entirely surprising given the number of collaborators and the number of characters they had to finish. Some character expressions are flat; others, like Shazam’s sneer at the end, are pitch-perfect. Some of the body language is awkward, while other poses fit the characters perfectly.
Colorist Peter Steigerwald goes the extra mile in giving this book that big event feel. Reds and primary colors fill the pages and, while these very bright, very multi-colored scenes might be a bit much for some readers, I loved the excess and spectacle of the palette.
“Convergence” continues to fall short on the execution despite the fun it offers. I don’t think it will end up being a memorable event, but I hold out hope that the fight scenes in the last few issues might be.